According to final rankings of States in Ease of Doing Business released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the top rankers are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Haryana. Jharkhand and Gujarat stood fourth and fifth respectively.
DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the World Bank conducted an annual reform exercise for all States and UTs under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP). The aim of this exercise is to improve delivery of various Central Government regulatory functions and services in an efficient, effective and transparent manner.
The reform plan has expanded from 285 to 372 action points till 2017. States and UTs have conducted reforms to ease their regulations and systems in areas such as labour, environmental clearances, single window system, construction permits, contract enforcement, registering property and inspections. States and UTs have also enacted Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act to enforce the timelines on registrations and approvals.
The current assessment under the BRAP 2017 is based on a combined score consisting of Reform evidence score that is based on evidences uploaded by the States and UTs and Feedback score that is based on the feedback garnered from the actual users of the services provided to the businesses.
It is for the first time that DIPP has introduced taking feedback to ensure that the reforms have actually reached ground level. The feedback was collected through face-to-face interviews of actual users selected from more than 50,000 users of the services provided by the State and UT governments. 78 reforms out of 372 were identified for the survey. More than 5,000 private sector users in 23 States and UTs, including 4,300 businesses and 800 architects, lawyers and electrical contractors from across the country shared their experience.
The State reform exercise under Ease of Doing Business in India is creating a lot of interest in other countries like Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia which proves that such reforms are imperative for improving the business and regulatory environment.
DIPP has already shared proposed reforms for the next year with the State and UT Governments. As systems developed in last three years have matured during the existing assessment cycles and the importance of the feedback from the users and success of obtaining user feedback in BRAP, 2017 has been proved, the next year’s assessment will be entirely based on user feedback.