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

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.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.