DPIIT Mapping Ease of Doing Business down to the District Level

By Bharat Raghuvanshi

Last week, the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) announced that they will expand their Ease of Doing Business mapping operations to the district level.

It is at the District level where businesses can frequently experience issues in the processing of licenses, NOCs, and renewals processes on a daily basis.

As such, the UK India Business Council (UKIBC) supports this development which shines the spotlight on an important aspect of doing business on behalf of our members – leading businesses and Universities investing in the UK-India corridor.

These mapping efforts, carried out by DPIIT and the World Bank, are integral to the annual publication of the Ease of Doing Business index of States and Union Territories in October driving competitive federalism.

In constructing the index, progress is measured on multiple parameters including the ease of starting a business, getting construction permits, securing electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, cross-border trade, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency, to name a few.

In the World Bank’s own 2018 global Ease of Doing Business rankings, India has made an unprecedented 53-place jump on the last two years, due to sustained Government efforts by to improve India’s positions across all indicators.

This recent announcement by the newly formed Government gives reason for business to be optimistic that improving EoDB at the ground level will be high on the agenda. UKIBC hopes the extension of these measures to the District level will reveal the need for action in the areas of local taxation, local permissions, lack of transparency around business approvals, particularly in the case of statutory approvals for investments, varying procedures from State to State, and inconsistencies within states – all important bottlenecks that our members consistently highlight.

Indeed, the UKIBC’s fourth annual ‘Doing Business in India (The UK Perspective)’ report, published in November 2018, showed that UK businesses consistently highlight lower regulation and supportive government policies with quick approvals and effective bureaucracy as the most important areas for improvement that influence their investment decisions.

Richard Heald, UKIBC Group CEO, welcomed the recent reform, saying

“the Government’s commitment to the competitive federalism approach is incentivising States to push for last mile Ease of Doing Business reforms at the district level. We hope this will be a positive drive for States seeking investment. Steps such as this give business optimism that regulatory and implementation challenges at the last mile will receive prominent attention in this new Government.”

Both private and foreign investment will be a key part of India’s growth story and will lead the way for the next phase of inclusive growth for India. As such, the UKIBC fully supports the district reform plan led by the DPIIT.

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