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Northeast in the emerging ecosystem of business

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Guwahati: Assam has been classified as an aspirant, while Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, and Tripura have been classified as emerging business ecosystems.

In New Delhi today, Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, announced the assessment of States/UTs under the Business Reforms Action Plan (BRAP) 2020, the 5th edition of the BRAP exercise.

The overarching goal is to increase investor confidence, foster a business-friendly climate, and improve the ease of doing business across the country by introducing a healthy competition element through a system of assessing states based on their performance in implementing the Business Reforms Action Plan.

The BRAP 2020 contains 301 reform points that cover 15 business regulatory areas such as Access to Information, Single Window System, Labor, Environment, Land Administration & Transfer of Land and Property, Utility Permits, and others.

To supplement the reform process, 118 new reforms were included. Sectoral reforms with 72 action points were introduced for the first time to broaden the scope of the reform agenda, namely Trade License, Healthcare, Legal Metrology, Cinema Halls, Hospitality, Fire NOC, Telecom, Movie Shooting, and Tourism.

Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana are the Top Achievers in terms of Business Reforms Action Plan implementation. Achievers include Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttarakhand, and Uttar Pradesh. While Assam, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Jharkhand, Kerala, Rajasthan, and West Bengal have been classified as Aspirers, Andaman & Nicobar, Bihar, Chandigarh, Daman & Diu, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, and West Bengal have not.

The Emerging Business Ecosystems category includes Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Puducherry, and Tripura.

The announcements were made in the august presence of Piyush Goyal, Minister for Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Textiles, Anurag Jain, Secretary, DPIIT, and senior State and UT administration officials.

Sitharaman stated after the release of the assessment report that the nature of reforms had changed since 1991. “The reforms that are currently taking place are responsive reforms.” Unlike the 1991 reforms, which we were given to implement, there is no compulsion now. The goal is to determine what will result in system improvements and better lives for us. Nudge has been incorporated into every level of government. Nudging cannot be done solely by the government, and industry must play a significant role in this,’ said the Finance Minister. The Finance Minister praised the changes made to the implementation and assessment framework under the Business Reforms Action Plan over the years.

Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, stated at the event that the assessment has progressed from evidence-based to 100 percent feedback in a multilingual format. He stated that the goal of this BRAP exercise is to instill a culture of learning from each other’s best practices and to improve the business climate in each State/UT with the common goal of making India the most preferred investment destination in the world.

“When the Prime Minister gave the thrust in 2014 to improving the ease of doing business, one of his major thrust areas was that while we are working at the international level to improve our ranking, we must involve all stakeholders, including the States and UTs, in our effort to get them on board so that people truly feel the difference and change in their ecosystem, which will lead to ease of living,” Goyal explained.

“The process that began in 2014 is bearing fruit as we go along.” Rather than being limited to a few areas, cities, and businesses, we are seeing it reflected across the country through a spirit of competitive federalism as well as collaboration,” the Commerce and Industry minister added.

Shri Anurag Jain, Secretary, DPIIT, stated that the differences between various states/UTs were so minor that ranking them made no sense and that they should instead be classified.

In contrast to previous years, where states/UTs were ranked, they are now classified into four categories this year: Top Achievers, Achievers, Aspirers, and Emerging Business Ecosystems. The goal of assessing states/UTs is not to create a hierarchy among states/UTs, but rather to create an enabling framework in which learnings can be shared among states/UTs, resulting in a nationwide spillover of good practices. The assessment gives full weight to feedback from actual users/respondents on the ground who provided feedback on the effectiveness of reform implementation.

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