Commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman has asked states to focus on “ease of doing business” for attracting foreign investments in the country.
In a letter to chief ministers and lieutenant governors, the minister has asked them to emulate the best practices prescribed in the Accenture report on ‘Improving the Business Environment in India’, which was commissioned by the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP).
This is the same report that was dismissed by ex-commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma as a private study done by Accenture. The report had found that the Gujarat government followed the best practices for acquiring land in India. It also said that the state had the best environmental licencing procedures. The report had classified, along with Gujarat, states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan as among the few which had models worth following by others.
Released during the general elections, the study was lapped up by the BJP, especially because during the course of the campaign, Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi had criticised the Gujarat government for allegedly giving away land for a song to certain industries.
“The minister has written a letter to chief ministers to fashion the investment policies and practices of their states on the parameters and best practices mentioned in the report. The foreign direct investment will come into the country only when the investment environment is right and conducive. This is the message that has been conveyed,” a government source told The Indian Express.
The six select best practices identified in the report include integrated and comprehensive system for managing indirect taxes in Karnataka; labour management solution by Maharashtra; single window clearance for industries by Maharashtra; land-related interventions in Gujarat; implementation of e-governance in pollution in Gujarat; and single window clearance mechanism in Rajasthan and Punjab.
According to the World Bank report on ‘doing business’, India fairs poorly at 134 out of 189 countries, with deteriorating situation on parameters like starting a business, registering property, getting credit among others.