Maharashtra, one of the most industrialised states in the country, could not make it to the top 10 in the Ease of Doing Business Rankings for 2019. The state, however, can take some consolation in the fact that it has maintained its 13th position compared to the previous list. As per the rankings released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion on Saturday, Andhra Pradesh continued its numero uno position, followed by Uttar Pradesh and Telangana. The other top rankers are Madhya Pradesh (4), Jharkhand (5), Chhattisgarh (6), Himachal Pradesh (7), Rajasthan (8), West Bengal (9).
Gujarat slipped to 10th from 5th slot in 2018. The rankings have been based on parameters that include construction permit, labour regulation, environmental registration, access to information, land availability and a single-window system. Maharashtra’s inability to improve its position was despite a slew of seemingly investor-friendly decisions implemented by the earlier BJP government headed by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis during 2014-19. The previous government had contested the 13th rank in 2018 on the grounds that its initiatives, including policies for startup, fintech firms and the retail industry apart from slashing of the number of clearances needed for investors, had not reflected in the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) rankings. Referring to the EoDB scores, Union Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal said India under PM Narendra Modi is “revolutionising” the business environment for prosperity, job creation and attracting foreign direct investment.
"By working on the State Business Reform Action Plan, States are marching ahead to realise the goal of Aatmanirbhar Bharat," he said in a tweet. After taking over the charge of the state from the BJP, the Maha Vikas Aghadi dispensation in Maharahstra launched an “Investor First” programme to make the state more friendly and attractive to investors. As reported by the Free Press Journal, the government has introduced “Plug and Play” infrastructure where the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation offers a ready-to-move factory environment at affordable rates.
MIDC has appointed relationship managers and relationship executives to interact with companies investing above Rs 50 crore. Industries Minister Subhash Desai had announced a “Maha Parwana” intervention to bring an end to bottlenecks in getting licences and permissions for investing in the state.
Under this move, all statutory permissions required to start operations are to be delivered between 3-30 days or else, they are considered a deemed approval. Further, the government has launched a Maha Jobs Portal to act as an industry employment bureau. It also plans to provide physical and fiscal incentives to investors, especially from the IT sector once the Covid-19 crisis is over.