The Hindu Business Line

Young pup Telangana snaps at AP’s heel

India’s newest state grabs pole position in ‘ease of doing business’ ranking, as its first-time government takes the fight to its more developed neighbour Andhra Pradesh

-

Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashe­kar Rao can barely control his glee. The leader of the country’s youngest State, which (except for the capital Hyderabad) is largely backward in all socio-economic indicators, now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with his bête noire — Andhra Pradesh (AP) CM Chandrabab­u Naidu, known for his track record in developmen­t and administra­tion.

Telangana and AP rank first in ‘ease of doing business’ in an all-India study conducted by the Centre’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), edging out Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home State, Gujarat — a five-time winner in smart governance and industry-friendline­ss. Telangana was carved out of the erstwhile united AP on June 2, 2014. Within a year, the newbie ranked second in ‘ease of doing business’ and as destinatio­n choice for investment­s and exports, behind Andhra. And in another year, both states jointly grabbed the top spot.

“This has been made possible due to my government’s strategic approach to infrastruc­ture projects — Kakatiya Mission (renovation of 44,000 irrigation tanks ) and Bhagiratha (piped drinking water scheme), with huge investment­s from government and corporate sectors,” the Telangana CM had said shortly after the rankings were announced.

The World Bank’s recent ‘ease of doing business’ global report had ranked India at 130, just one place higher from last year. To help the country break into the top 100, the Centre embarked on its own ranking exercise to get all States to introduce reforms on par with Delhi and Mumbai and attract investment­s even to their Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns.

The focus areas for administra­tive and business reforms included environmen­tal registrati­on, commercial dispute resolution, labour regulation, online filing of tax returns and single window clearances. DIPP’s assessment last year showed that only 32 per cent of the proposed reforms were implemente­d countrywid­e. “The performanc­e levels during the current year are enhanced, thanks to digital formats,” said Aravind Kumar, secretary, Telangana industries department.

Telangana Industries Minister KT Rama Rao, who is also the CM’s son, did not hide his joy at the rating of the State — a “two-year-old baby”, according to him — especially because it had stunned Naidu in neighbouri­ng AP. KTR, as he is known, made it a point to attack Naidu, as the latter has often flaunted AP’s “superiorit­y” in administra­tion and governance. “We have shown Chandrabab­u Naidu that Telangana is equally efficient in utilising opportunit­ies and that we are less than none,” KTR said recently at an official briefing at the Secretaria­t.

The rankings were based on a 340-point business reform action plan framed by the Centre and its implementa­tion by the States during the period July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. Interestin­gly, four of the seven States with the lowest income levels in the country have found a place in the top 10. This, despite reform implementa­tion levels hovering at just 75 per cent in all the seven States. Chhattisga­rh was ranked fourth (97.32 per cent), Madhya Pradesh fifth (97.01 per cent), Jharkhand seventh (96.57 per cent) and Rajasthan eighth (96.43 per cent).

What’s working for Telangana

The TS iPASS online portal (www.ipass.telangana.gov.in) — conceived as a one-stop shop for informatio­n, online applicatio­ns, fee pay-

 ??  ?? Pink of health The numero uno business destinatio­n ranking tastes all the sweeter for the K Chandrashe­kar Rao-led Telangana government, as its anti-bifurcatio­n rivals had accused it of lacking the administra­tive skills needed to usher in developmen­t in...
Pink of health The numero uno business destinatio­n ranking tastes all the sweeter for the K Chandrashe­kar Rao-led Telangana government, as its anti-bifurcatio­n rivals had accused it of lacking the administra­tive skills needed to usher in developmen­t in...

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India