The Ease of Doing Business rankings of 2019 showed how Indian states are augmenting business scenarios and catering to the growing industry demands effectively. This reflects a clear picture of India’s preparation to be ‘Atman Nirbhar’. And, Uttar Pradesh is one such state, significantly contributing its efforts to uplift the nation’s dwindling economy, writes Adarsh Som of Elets News Network (ENN).
The state of Uttar Pradesh secured the second position after Andhra Pradesh in State Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP) – 2019 Ease of Doing Business rankings. The Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman and the Minister for Railways, Commerce and Industries announced the results on September 5, 2020, whereas, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Government of India released the rankings.
The latest rankings came in as a major achievement for Uttar Pradesh as the state stood at 12th position in the previous rankings of BRAP 2017-18. The north Indian state leaped 10 positions and second-topped the current rankings leaving some of the leading states like Gujarat, Telangana, Rajasthan, Maharashtra etc. behind.
From 12th to 2nd: Uttar Pradesh’s Journey
Though Uttar Pradesh’s commendable ranking uplifted the state’s image, especially afront the big industry leaders looking forward to setting up in India, the performance of the state is backed by statistics displaying strong policy reforms and implementation. In BRAP 19, Uttar Pradesh has implemented 186 reforms out of 187 reforms suggested by DPIIT. The current rankings were based on ‘user feedback’ and hence it can be inferred that the users or the entrepreneurs are truly fetching the benefits out of the new policy implementations by the Yogi Adityanath-led Government of Uttar Pradesh. The new policy implementations saw reform in various areas such as labour regulation, online single window system, access to information & transparency, land administration, construction permit, commercial disputes, inspection enablers etc. Over 20 departments under the state government such as Invest UP (Udyog Bandhu), labour department, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), Commercial Tax, Power, Stamp & registration, IDAS, Excise, Food safety & drug and more have played a crucial role in implementing policy reforms.
Moreover, a successful implementation of ‘Nivesh Mitra’ in the state has steered the growth of Uttar Pradesh in the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ and reaching the second rank. In a period of two years, ‘Nivesh Mitra’, a single-window online portal for entrepreneurs to set up their businesses, received around 2,29,936 No-objection Certificates (NoCs) applications. Of the total applications received, the online portal has already disposed-off 94 percent applications to grant NOC/Licenses to entrepreneurs.
Bringing in light the contribution of ‘Nivesh Mitra’ to UP’s achievement, Alok Kumar, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Infrastructure & Industrial Development said that the maximum approval of BRAP 19 reforms and higher number of satisfactory user feedbacks on record on Nivesh Mitra portal played a significant role in achieving this milestone for Uttar Pradesh. “Further, initiatives like monthly ranking of all 75 districts on EoDB parameters shall further pave a path in attaining many more heights for UP towards creating a conducive business environment”, added the ACS.
Exploring another angle of the state’s achievement, Neena Sharma, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Invest UP put forward that the second position achieved by Uttar Pradesh in Ease of Doing Business is simply a projection of how more and more business owners and industrialists are accepting Nivesh Mitra portal. The single-window online portal has received a total 18,120 grievances from entrepreneurs as of yet and 17,752 of the total received have been successfully resolved leading to an outstanding resolution rate of 98 percent.
As per the Press Information Bureau (PIB), lauding the states that topped the rankings, the Finance Minister said, “India is seen taking the reform process seriously which showed when foreign direct investment in the country increased even during the COVID-19 pandemic, amid what was called world’s strictest lockdown. 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.”
Backing the words of the Finance Minister and highlighting how India is taking effective measures to become self-reliant, Minister for Commerce and Industry said, “The Ease of Doing Business rankings being released are a reflection of the efforts made by states, the rankings are competitive; India is among the very few nations which has state-specific rankings, which will in turn help the nation improve its ranking.” Uttar Pradesh, in a significant achievement, has jumped 12 positions from 2016 to reach the second position in the country in 2019 in ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has expressed satisfaction on this achievement and asked all the departments and agencies to strive further to do better in the next phase.
The CM said, “The state government is committed to providing smooth facilities to investors and the common man. To make ‘Ease of Doing Business’ even better, it is extremely necessary that investors and the public get benefits of the government facilities with a click on the computer.” He added that the basic requirement is to totally simplify the licensing procedure and all the departments should give impetus to their efforts in this regard.
Further, the CM also stated that the DPIIT, Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry has suggested many reforms for the next phase of the BRAP. So, he directed the concerned departments to prepare an action plan to act upon these and send back a report to the Government of India by October 30, 2020.
The CM directed the Additional Chief Secretaries/Principal Secretaries of the related departments to strengthen the online services of their respective departments. Ensure the speedy issuance of NOCs and the fee payment system for NOC should be linked to ‘Nivesh Mitra’ portal. In order to immediate issuance of NOCs, all the system should be in place by September 30, 2020, he instructed.
He further directed to expedite the implementation of reforms in the Geology and Mining Department and asked to make services online. He directed to implement proposed reforms in the excise department by the end of this month and link ‘Film Bandhu’ to Nivesh Mitra Portal by the end of next month. He also asked to take necessary steps for online mutation of the properties.
The Chief Minister said that the Urban Development department should prepare an action plan for providing online service to the investors. Similarly, the Medical, Health and Family Welfare department should provide for online facilities for nursing homes and ultrasound.
He said that the simplification of procedures in the Housing Department will facilitate the consumers. He further directed to make the licensing process for firecrackers online. He said that in the first phase, the reforms in the Stamp and Registration Department should be implemented in three districts by October 30, 2020. He asked to develop the software for reforms in the revenue department. Implement online services in the tourism department for registration and renewal of hotels and travel agencies. He further directed the Law Department to complete the work of e-filing, e-summon in a time-bound manner so that the litigants get speedy services as soon as possible.
The Invest UP has come up with a proposal to reduce the licences/NOCs required to set up and run the industry from 43 to 21. The departments of Environment, Food Security and Drug Administration, Labour and Food and Supply gave their consent on the proposal. Subsequently, the CM directed all the four departments to make progress in this regard by preparing an action plan so that the industrialisation procedure will ease further.
However, the statistical data of Uttar Pradesh’s growth and development, especially in the sphere of policy implementation and most importantly, climbing the ladder of improvement from rank 12th to second in the Ease of Doing Business Rankings added a feather to the Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s hat. The CM, following the announcements of the results of the rankings, said, “The state of Uttar Pradesh is committed to realise the dream of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi of making India ‘Atma Nirbhar’ and the Ease of Doing Business rankings are a proof of it.”