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Assam ranks 17 in list of 18 states
SPL CORRESPONDENT
 NEW DELHI, July 11 - Despite an all-out effort by the Sarbananda Sonowal Government to present an investor friendly face, Assam has been ranked 17 in the ease of doing business out of 18 states.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Ministry of Commerce and Industry has released the final rankings of States in Ease of Doing Business. The top rankers are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Haryana. Jharkhand and Gujarat have been ranked fourth and fifth respectively.

DIPP and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the World Bank conducted an annual reform exercise for all States and UTs under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP). The aim of this exercise is to improve delivery of various Central Government regulatory functions and services in an efficient, effective and transparent manner.

The reform plan has expanded from 285 to 372 action points till 2017. States have conducted reforms to ease their regulations and systems in areas such as labour, environmental clearances, single window system, construction permits, contract enforcement, registering property and inspections. States and UTs have also enacted Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act to enforce the timelines on registrations and approvals.

In the reform evidence score, Assam has scored 92.41 per cent, while feedback score was 17.21 per cent. The State’s final score was 84.17 per cent. Assam was a notch above Bihar, whose final score in ease of doing business was 81.91 per cent.

Official sources said that the feedback was collected through face-to-face interviews of actual users selected from more than 50,000 users of the services provided by the state governments. More than 5,000 private sector users in 23 states, including 4,300 businesses and 800 architects, lawyers and electrical contractors from across the country shared their experience.

DIPP identified partner states to mentor another state to facilitate implementation of reforms in states needing support. Telangana and West Bengal held extensive workshops to support Tripura and Nagaland respectively.

The state reform exercise under Ease of Doing Business in India is creating a lot of interest in other countries like Brazil, South Africa and Indonesia which proves that such reforms are imperative for improving the business and regulatory environment, said sources.

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