Andhra Pradesh, closely followed by Telangana and Haryana, topped the State Business Reform Assessment, 2017, which indicates ease of doing business in the country. On the other hand, states such as Gujarat and Maharashtra slipped to fifth and 13th positions, respectively. In the third edition of the annual exercise, which indicates progress in digitisation, transparency and investor confidence in the country, Telangana came second. Along with Jharkhand, it was among the only two states which managed to implement a hundred percent of reforms. Maharashtra, the leading industrial state of the country, slipped from 10th position to the 13th. Another industrial state – Tamil Nadu – registered a distant 15th in the latest ranking, even as it was an improvement over the previous year by three notches. Last year, the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) had finalised a total of 372 reforms in the regulatory processes, policies, practices or procedures. This is spread across 12 key reform areas. ALSO READ: Andhra Pradesh tops the 'ease of doing business' ranking among states The final ranking is based on two separate scoring systems with the majority of the assessment conducted on the basis of states providing evidence of reforms in policies and procedures undertaken by them. On the other hand, for 72 reform areas, the government introduced for the first time, a feedback exercise aimed at responses from businesses, lawyers, architects and electrical contractors, on the quality of implementation of reforms claimed by the government. “We hope to increase this to the entire survey next year,” DIPP secretary Ramesh Abhishek said. Telengana had a full score on the reform evidence front, higher than 99.73 per cent by Andhra Pradesh in the latest ranking. However, Andhra Pradesh had higher feedback score at 86.5 per cent than 83.95% for Telangana. Bolstered by the rankings, Andhra Pradesh minister for panchayati raj and rural development Lokesh Nara tweeted, “(This is the ) reason why some of the best companies in the world are looking here to invest.” ALSO READ: Ease of doing business and other silly stuff Haryana and Gujarat had the same score as Andhra Pradesh on the reforms evidence front. This meant that their scores on feedback by businesses were lower than Andhra Pradesh. Gujarat also ranked lower than Telengana on the feedback front, but had the third slot on this parameter. All the states had a score below 90 per cent on the feedback given by businesses. All the five top states on the combined score – Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Haryana, Jharkhand and Gujarat – had over 80 per cent marks on the feedback parameter. All the top 10 states on the combined parameters had over 90 per cent score on the reforms evidence front.
West Bengal replaced Maharashtra as the 10th state on ease of doing business. It had 99.46 per cent score on the reforms evidence front, but fared poorly on the feedback terms at 53.69 per cent. Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh had higher score than West Bengal on the feedback given by businesses. They scored 60.89 per cent and 66.84 per cent respectively. Delhi got 23rd ranking, slipping from 19th position in the previous year. It ranked below Bihar (18th), Punjab (20th), and Kerala (21st). ALSO READ: More needs to be done on ease of doing business: UKIBC COO Kevin McColeBihar went down two notches compared to the previous year's ranking. Punjab presented a sorry state of affairs as its ranking slid eight positions. Kerala went down by one place. In 2017, India had for the first time broken into the club of the 100 nations for ease of conducting business, driven by ease of paying taxes, resolving the insolvency problem, access to credit, and protection of minority investors. The World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs’ report had shown that India's rank in ease of doing business jumped 30 places to 100 among 190 countries. The country has also been adjudged the fifth best-performing nation globally in reforming the business environment. The country improved its rankings in six of the 10 sub-categories used by the World Bank to judge the climate of business. THE TOP TEN