News Excerpt
The latest ease of doing business rankings for Indian states, released by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) based on implementation of Business Reform Action Plan for the year 2019.

Pre-Connect
•    The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) has developed Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) for State Reforms since 2015 and circulated it with States/UTs for implementation.
•    The Government is committed in bringing ease to regulatory compliance for businesses.
•    It has started an ambitious program for reforms in partnership with State Governments to make it easier, simpler and quicker for businesses to operate.
•    These reforms cover the entire lifecycle of the business and aim at reducing compliance burden on industry significantly.
•    The Plan is designed keeping in mind 2 factors viz. Measurability and Comparability across States.
•    To support this initiative, an online portal (www.eodb.dipp.gov.in) showcasing rankings was developed and launched in April 2016, it is the first such platform for knowledge on regulatory compliance requirements across 36 States/UTs in the country.
•    The portal allows for collaborative dialogue between the DPIIT and the State Governments/ Union Territory Administrations in finalizing the evidence submitted for reforms implemented. States/ UTs are given chances to modify/ add evidence if required.-
•    Till date, State Rankings have been released for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017-18.
•    BRAP 2019 is an 80-point list of reforms recommended to simplify, rationalise and digitise the regulatory framework in a state.
•    The reforms are grouped into 12 broad areas like land administration, labour regulation, obtaining electricity and water supply permits, environment regulation, etc.
•    The ranking this time gives full weightage to the feedback from over thirty thousand respondents at the ground level, who gave their opinion about the effectiveness of the reforms.

Analytica
    The Business Reform Action Plan 2019 released by the Centre contains a list of 80 reforms (187 reform action points) to be implemented by 19 State departments.
    Andhra Pradesh has achieved 100 percent compliance to the 187 reform action points by DPIIT-World Bank as a part of BRAP 2019
    Andhra Pradesh was the first state to have come up with the “ReSTART” package in post-Covid scenario for business continuity of micro-small-and-medium enterprises (MSMEs).
    Andhra Pradesh has undertaken several reforms in the last year, ranging from the development of online systems, enhancing transparency to regulating inspections covering the entire lifecycle of the business.
    UP jumped ten spots to number two and Telangana slipped to three.
    Gujarat, which was first in the first-ever edition of the rankings, was ranked 11; Haryana slipped all the way to 17.
    Delhi has improved its ranking by 11 notches to the 12th position among 36 states and Union territories.
    This is good news for India’s ranking because, despite marked improvement in recent years to a record 63rd position last year, Delhi’s poor performance continued to partly weigh down the country’s ranking.
    For the first time since its inception in 2015, the BRAP rankings relied entirely on the feedback it received from the businesses for whom these reforms were intended. This is in sync with a practice adopted by the World Bank when it ranks countries on ease of doing business.
    Earlier editions computed scores based on the responses of the relevant state government departments. The 2017-18 edition used a combination of state government and user feedback to compute the score
    The ranking this time gives full weightage to the feedback from over thirty thousand respondents at the ground level, who gave their opinion about the effectiveness of the reforms.State rankings will help attract investments, foster healthy competition and increase Ease of Doing Business in each State..

Way Forward
The larger objective of attracting investments and increasing Ease of Doing Business in each State was sought to be achieved by introducing an element of healthy competition through a system of ranking states based on their performance in the implementation of Business Reform Action Plan.