DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the World Bank conducted an annual reform exercise for all states and UTs under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP)
Attending the event where the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) released the rankings of states in Ease of Doing Business proved to be a torture. People in the auditorium, which included senior executives from the World Bank and industry chambers, were sweating profusely as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Haryana was announced as the top rankers. Jharkhand and Gujarat stood fourth and fifth, respectively.
It is for the first time that DIPP has introduced taking feedback to ensure that the reforms have actually reached ground level
The event on Tuesday was held at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra, under the Ministry of External Affairs, in New Delhi’s posh Chanakya Puri. The MEA prides itself on, as its website says, “Kendra’s state-of-the-art auditorium, multi-purpose halls, conference and seminar halls…” the air-conditioner, however, was not functioning properly. So, many in the audience were fanning themselves with paper sheets. Several men had taken off their jackets, including DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek.
He shared the dais with Caroline Freund, Director, Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment, World Bank Group, Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank, India, and senior officers of the DIPP.
“DIPP, Ministry of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the World Bank conducted an annual reform exercise for all states and UTs under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP),” said an official press release. “The aim of this exercise is to improve delivery of various Central government regulatory functions and services in an efficient, effective and transparent manner.”
Well, the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra badly failed on this count.
States, however, did a much better job, if the BRAP 2017 is anything to go by. As many as 17 states have achieved a reform evidence score of more than 90 per cent. “The states which have achieved 80 per cent or more reforms evidence score represent 84 per cent of the country’s area, 90 per cent of the country’s population and 79 per cent of India’s GDP,” the DIPP said.
The number of reform actions implemented under BRAP 2017 went up to 7,758 from 2,532 in 2015.
“It is for the first time that DIPP has introduced taking feedback to ensure that the reforms have actually reached ground level,” the release said. “The feedback was collected through face-to-face interviews of actual users selected from more than 50,000 users of the services provided by the state and UT governments. Seventy-eight reforms out of 372 were identified for the survey. More than 5,000 private sector users in 23 states and UTs, including 4,300 businesses and 800 architects, lawyers and electrical contractors from across the country shared their experience.”
All this may be true but the way it was showcased leaves a lot to be desired.
1. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.