Ease of doing business rankings among States announced; Sikkim ranks second-last position

Ease of doing business rankings among States announced; Sikkim ranks second-last position
Picture Courtesy: Wikipedia

The ease of doing business ranking of the states in India is an annual chart which lists the States/ UTs according to their ranking in the business sector, based on the completion percentage scores of action items points of annual Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP) under the make in India initiative. Since 2015, this ranking of states has been done annually by the World Bank and has been facilitated by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India based on the progress of states in completing annual reform action plan covering 8 key areas which have several points that vary every year.

For example, the 2016 and 2017 edition’s reform plans had 340 and 372 action points respectively. While this ranking of states does not reflect the level of business-conducive nature of the states, instead it shows the willingness of states to reform and attract investments. This same ranking chart of ease of doing business index is conducted by the World Bank for countries as well but is not done on the same criteria as it is done in the states. 

Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Government of India on September 5, during a virtual event announced the Ease of Doing Business India states rank 2019. The list of states have been listed respectively to their rank, which is as follows:

  1. Andhra Pradesh
  2. Uttar Pradesh
  3. Telangana
  4. Madhya Pradesh
  5. Jharkhand
  6. Chhattisgarh
  7. Himachal Pradesh
  8. Rajasthan
  9. West Bengal
  10. Gujarat
  11. Uttarakhand
  12. Delhi
  13. Maharashtra
  14. Tamil Nadu
  15. Lakshadweep
  16. Haryana
  17. Karnataka
  18. Daman and Diu
  19. Punjab
  20. Assam
  21. Jammu and Kashmir
  22. Andaman and Nicobar
  23. Dadra and Nagar Haveli
  24. Goa
  25. Mizoram
  26. Bihar
  27. Puducherry
  28. Kerala
  29. Arunachal Pradesh
  30. Chandigarh
  31. Manipur
  32. Meghalaya
  33. Nagaland
  34. Odisha
  35. Sikkim
  36. Tripura 

Sitharaman said that states have taken the exercise in its true sense which would help States and UTs to become a better place to do business. “Some States have shown extraordinary energy in putting together action plans and making sure that reforms happen. States have embraced the true spirit behind the State Business Reforms Action Plan,” Sitharaman said.

Andhra Pradesh, the third time in a row has been ranked as the top state in the ease of doing business index, while Uttar Pradesh has jumped 10 places in the rankings, who earlier in 2018 had ranked as 12th, in 2019’s edition has ranked in the second position. Telangana who in 2018 was in the second position has slipped into the third position in 2019. Delhi's position in 2019 which is 12th is an improvement as compared to its earlier ranking of 23rd in 2018.

Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce who was also present during the announcement has said that it is also a wake-up call for States which have slipped in the ranking. He added “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 per cent compliance to the 187 reform action points by DPIIT-World Bank as a part of BRAP 2019.”

While many North East States- Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura have fared in the bottom ranks in 2019’s ease of doing business index. Earlier, Sikkim, Meghalaya, and Arunachal Pradesh had ranked bottom in the 2017-2018 edition of the ease of doing business index, in which Sikkim was ranked third lowest state. During the 2017-2018 edition of the index, Sikkim did not have the Companies Act, as the repeal of the old Act, the new Companies Act had not been notified, as well as Sikkim being an environmentally sensitive zone, the clearance could not be automatic as each issue needs closer inspection. 

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