The report on an assessment of the implementation of business reforms by various states—brought out by DIPP along with World Bank, CII and KPMG—is interesting as it is probably the first of its kind. While analysing the extent to which states have achieved success when targeting 98 action plans, we get a fair idea of how states stand on a common scale. This is a starting point and, going forward, if this exercise is done on an annual basis, we will get a clear idea of the progress made intertemporally. Given the stark differences across states, there would be an incentive for those lower down the echelon to improve on the pace of business reforms, enabling faster growth.
India’s overall rank of doing business is low, at 142, in a list of 189 countries, and in only two parameters—on credit access and investor protection—we come in the first 100. The implication here is that we do well when it comes to regulation—where credit goes to RBI and Sebi—but falter when it comes to processes where there is human interface. Besides, most laws that have to be adhered to are localised and fall under the domain of the state or the specific town or city where activity is undertaken. Hence, a state analysis is more compelling to pinpoint the areas that need improvement, as often these stress areas are not under the purview of the Centre.