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Ease of biz ranking bares Odisha’s gaps in implementation

| | BHUBANESWAR | in Bhubaneswar

Odisha going downhill to occupy the 14th slot in the latest ease of doing business ranking vis-a-vis the 7th business-friendly State in 2015 could prove a dampener for the State Government’s endeavour to make the upcoming ‘Make in Odisha’ drive a success.

Because the State’s poor show is attributed to a below-40-per cent score in feedback category, which otherwise is a barometer of reality check for the State’s business policy on ground. This is important because it reflects investors’ confidence in the State.

While Odisha scored around 92.09 in the reforms-evidence score, the showing was pathetic in all important ‘feedback’ indices with a mark of a mere 39.2 per cent. Even in the reforms-evidence category, Odisha failed to score over 95 per cent when Jharkhand scored a perfect 100 because Odisha fared poorer in the Single Window System (SWS) reforms area notwithstanding the steps taken like Go-Swift portal for tracking investor applications. The latest ranking analysis shows in SWS Odisha fared poor among all major States.

Reason for low scoring in SWS: Odisha laid emphasis on web-based time-bound ‘clearances’ to investment proposals, but States like Uttar Pradesh scored over Odisha as it ensured a time-bound ‘service-delivery’ to entrepreneurs for registration or licensing processes in vital arenas like labour, environment, land allotment, construction permits, power/electricity connections and State taxes.

The poor on-ground feedbacks on SWS made Odisha fare poorer to finish 16th in the overall feedback ranking in country.

The World Bank had asked for enforcing timelines in ‘service-delivery’ and provisioning ‘punitive’ measures for violations.

Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh have passed this World Bank test. Significantly, both Andhra and Chhattisgarh fared better to finish at number 1 and 6, respectively.

Why Odisha’s score is poor in feedback? An analysis shows that when Odisha showed intention with incentives in the new Industrial Policy Resolution (IPR) to compete with Punjab, Andhra and others in attracting investments in agro, auto, electronic and pharma sectors, the  ground scenario is investors sweat it out to avail these in almost a year’s time thanks to complex documentation, non-adherence to standard objective procedures.

In contrast, Punjab has a Bureau of Investment Promotion (BIP) that offers one-stop system for various State-level regulatory and fiscal incentive approvals. Similarly, Andhra Pradesh has a Single Window System (SWS) with effective online-status tracking, scrutiny and approval, observed the World Bank.

Similarly, Odisha’s policy enabler to facilitate a business startup is not that conducive here as startup investors have to wait for 15 days for Entrepreneurial Memorandum (EM-I) registration and around 38 days for EM-II registration against 7 days and 15 days in its nearest competitor States.

More so, when Odisha is venturing into attracting investment in the  manufacturing sector other than core sectors, quality infra information would be most sought-after by a prospective investor.

And Odisha’s new IPR has no provision to extend its offer of GIS based comprehensive industrial data on infrastructures like road, water pipeline and sewerage systems unlike Gujarat, indicated the analysis.

Jharkhand outperformed Odisha owing to putting in place a dedicated environment consent management system for key statutory clearances.

Also, Odisha’s huge vacancies of judges in district courts that hampers in adjudicating commercial disputes proved a dampener in Odisha’s investor-friendly image, revealed the analysis.

 
 
 
 
 

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