Skip to main content

Gujarat No 1 in ease of doing business? Thank environmental compliance: Centre-sponsored World Bank report

World Bank-supported chart
By Our Representative
A Government of India report, supported by World Bank, consultants KPMG, and two top industry bodies, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), has placed Gujarat No 1 for “ease of doing business”, but point out, this has been possible because of cent per cent compliance to environmental laws, an area in which it is most suspected by environmentalists.
The report’s revelation comes amidst sharp criticism by top environmental experts of the Gujarat government’s “complete failure” to ensure that industries comply with environmental norms. Only two years ago, the Central Pollution Control Board had found two of the industrial centres in Gujarat, Vapi and Ankaleshwar, as topping the list of most polluting clusters.
Setting aside these concerns, the report, interestingly, is more points to how quickly environment procedures are followed in Gujarat. It says Gujarat is the only state which has implemented the online “consent management system”, achieving 100 per cent score on this score. The compliance in Gujarat, it adds, is very high for handling air, water and hazardous waste pollution.
The report, in fact, praises the Gujarat Pollution Control Board for adopting “a web based application called eXtended Green Node (XGN) to provide an IT solution for effective implementation of various pollution control board clearances/procedures”.
It says, “XGN provides hassle free, 24 X 7 anywhere e-access to businesses to apply online, track application approvals, file returns and statements and getting online permissions under various Acts and rules. obtain the online permissions from GPCB.”
The other two parameters for which Gujarat has been found to be particularly doing well are land allocation and implementation of labour laws. Titled “Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms”, the report is the outcome of Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking the World Bank Group to “support” India’s efforts to enhance India’s competitiveness and increase manufactured exports.
A World Bank source says, the report “captures the findings of an assessment of reform implementation by states led by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India”.
It comes close on the heels of World Bank ranking Gujarat 142 among 189 countries in its assessment of ease of doing business. The ranking has gone down by two in a year; it was 140 in 2014. Onno Ruhl, World Bank country director, who released the report, says, “The stark reality is that India remains a difficult place to do business. A disproportionately high regulatory burden is borne by businesses in India today.”
Despite ranking No 1, the report does not believe that Gujarat is a leader. It says, “States with an overall implementation status of 75 per cent and above” would be leaders, but at 71.14 per cent Gujarat is still a little away.
Gujarat is still an “aspiring leader”, the report states, pointing out that it in the company of six other states – Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan.
Notwithstanding Gujarat being No 1 in ease of doing business, as for “setting up business”, the report finds several states topping the list, but not Gujarat. Setting up business criteria include establishing an effective single window system, availability of information on regulatory compliance requirements, and similar such procedures.
The report comments, “Remarkably, Punjab is the only state in which the single window system allows application for all of the licenses studied in this assessment, although some others come very close. The box below examines how Punjab has achieved this.”
Other states which have “converted” their single window system into truly effective online portals” are Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh, the report points out.

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

60 ex-civil servants seek release of CAG reports on Rafale, demonetisation before 2019 polls

Counterview Desk
As many as 60 retired civil servants have asked President Ram Nath Kovind to expedite the release of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) reports on demonetisation and the Rafale deal. The letter, signed mainly by former Indian Administrative Service, Indian Foreign Service and Indian Police Service officers, regrets that the status of the audit is "unclear”. According to them, “An impression is gaining ground that CAG is deliberately delaying its audit reports on demonetisation and Rafale deal till after the May 2019 elections so as not to embarrass the present government”.