J&K Figures In Last Group In Ease of Doing Business Index

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Srinagar- Jammu & Kashmir has again achieved a disappointing percentage in Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Index, a World Bank initiative of ranking states and UTs based on the business environment.

The erstwhile state has been ranked among the worst states/UTs in EoDB as per the State Business Reform Action Plan 2020 (SBRAP- 2020). In the fourth edition of the report which was issued for 2019, J&K was ranked 21, which too was among the worst performers, based on the implementation and feedback scores.

Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab, Tamil Nadu and Telangana are the Top Achievers based on implementation of Business Reforms Action Plan. All the states have scored more than 90 percent in the Centre’s ranking of states on ease of doing business, thus leading the table.

Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh figure under the Achievers category where the states/UTs have managed to score 80-90 percent. While Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jharkhand, Kerala, Rajasthan and West Bengal have been placed in the Aspirers category (50-60 percent), Andaman & Nicobar, Bihar, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli.

Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Puducherry and Tripura have been clubbed under the Emerging Business Ecosystems category, which is the last group in the EoDB list. This list also reveals that J&K along with other UTs has scored less than 50 percent.

Pertinently, on June 30, Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, announced the assessment of States/UTs under Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP) 2020, the 5th edition of the BRAP exercise in New Delhi.

The central government started ranking states in 2015 based on the implementation of BRAP, which indicates progress in digitisation, transparency, and investor confidence in the country.

In 2015, J&K had scored only 5.93 percent in Ease of Doing business

The BRAP 2020 includes 301 reform points covering 15 business regulatory areas, such as access to information, single window system, labour and land administration.

118 new reforms were included to further augment the reform process. Sectoral reforms with 72 action points spread across nine sectors like trade license, healthcare, legal metrology, and cinema halls were introduced for the first time to expand the scope of the reform agenda.

Last year, Kashmir Observer in a report titled, “Where’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ For Locals, Kashmiri Entrepreneurs Ask” had highlighted how young Kashmiri entrepreneurs had asked administration to take immediate steps to reimpose a hassle-free procedure where the local entrepreneurs are given preferences over the non-domiciles that would stay within the broad spectrum of compliance.

The report had also highlighted how a simple analysis of the bleak presence of the first generation industrial level projects and businesses that have come up post abrogation in Kashmir was enough to contradict the official claims which showcased a massive investment pipeline and an increasing employment in J&K

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Zaid Bin Shabir

Zaid Bin Shabir is a special correspondent at Kashmir Observer. He tweets @Zaidbinshabir

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