We Can’t Do So Many Re­forms, Say States

Urge Cen­tre to give fewer ac­tion points for ease of do­ing busi­ness rank­ing

The Economic Times - - Economy: Macro, Micro & More - Ruchika.Chi­tra­van­shi @times­group.com

New Delhi State gov­ern­ments have urged the Cen­tre to re­duce the ac­tion points for re­forms to a doable num­ber for this year’s ease of do­ing busi­ness rank­ing, rais­ing is­sues with the agenda drawn up by the De­part­ment of In­dus­trial Pol­icy and Pro­mo­tion (DIPP).

Af­ter cut­ting the num­ber of ac­tion points to less than 300, the de­part­ment had in­tro­duced sub-points, tak­ing the to­tal to nearly 680 re­forms. In con­trast, last year states had to implement 340 re­forms and the rankings were based on the out­come achieved.

The DIPP, while stress­ing that it had brought down the num­ber of re­forms, had gone for a deeper dive into every in­di­vid­ual ac­tion point. This nearly dou­bled the work for states this year.

“States have con­veyed that it would not be pos­si­ble to implement so many re­forms within a few months… We are still fi­nal­is­ing the fi­nal set of re­forms,” said a se- nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial, who did not wish to be iden­ti­fied. The gov­ern­ment has this year drawn fo­cus on spe­cific sec­toral re­forms at state level in ar­eas such as trans­port, state ex­cise, li­cences for health, drug, pharma and fer­tiliser.

In con­sul­ta­tion with the World Bank, the gov­ern­ment has clubbed var­i­ous re­forms to re­duce the over­all num­ber of head­line re­forms. How­ever, for each re­form states have been given a se­ries of de­tailed ac­tion points which has in­creased their task.

Due to the de­lay in the fi­nal­i­sa­tion of re­forms agenda for states, the rankings for 2017 are likely to miss the Oc­to­ber dead­line. Andhra Pradesh and Te­lan­gana tied for the first spot in last year’s rankings.

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