Assam ranked 20th under the State Reform Action Plan 2019, declared by Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in New Delhi on Saturday.

Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively at the all India level state ranking which aims to help attract investments, foster healthy competition and increase Ease of Doing Business in each state.

Ranking of states, based on the implementation of Business Reform Action Plan, started in 2015.

Mizoram ranked 25th, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura ranked 29th position among 36 states and Union territories.

Interestingly, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh improved to its current ranks from 30th and 34th respectively in 2018.

“India is seen taking the reform process seriously which showed when foreign direct investment in the country increased even during the Covid-19 pandemic, amid what was called the world’s strictest lockdown,” said Sitharaman.

“Some states have shown extraordinary energy in putting together action plans and making sure that reforms happen. States have embraced the true spirit behind the State Business Reforms Action Plan,” she added.

Till date, state rankings have been released for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017-18.

The Business Reform Action Plan 2018-19 includes 180 reform points covering 12 business regulatory areas such as access to information, single window system, labour, environment, etc.

The larger objective of attracting investments and increasing Ease of Doing Business in each State was sought to be achieved by introducing an element of healthy competition through a system of ranking states based on their performance in the implementation of the Business Reform Action Plan.

The ranking this time gives full weightage to the feedback from over thirty thousand respondents at the ground level, who gave their opinion about the effectiveness of the reforms. State rankings will help attract investments, foster healthy competition and increase Ease of Doing Business in each state.

“The Ease of Doing Business rankings being released today is a reflection of the efforts made by states, the rankings are competitive; India is among the very few nations which have state-specific rankings, which will, in turn, help the nation improve its ranking,” Piyush Goyal said during the event.

“I would urge States to undertake steps to minimize the regulatory burden by removing renewal of licenses or extending their periodicity, simplifying application forms, introducing risk-based inspections or the introduction of third-party inspections, digitizing approvals and undertaking measures to rationalize the regulatory regime,” said Union housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

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