‘Ease of Doing Business far away from Reality’

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Corruption in the Government has come down significantly at the Central level in the last one year, while on other crucial parameters like regulatory clearances, land acquisition and taxation policies, a lot more needs to be much for making the real change at the ground level, according to the Ease of Doing Index worked by the ASSOCHAM.

The Ease of Doing Index (EDI) done by the ASSOCHAM Research Team covered a wide range of areas and the central theme emerging out is that going forward, speed of taking decisions would matter a lot since the industry, consumer, investor and the trade is not willing to wait too long for things to improve at the ground level- be it industrial licences, trade licences, government delivery system of citizen needs or resolution of the taxation issues.

The ASSOCHAM EDI showed that  that there is significant development in terms of the corruption in government system at center level as 34.1 per cent of respondents believe there is less corruption However, at the state level, 46.3 percent of industry believes that there is more corruption in government system.

Next the survey also tried to capture the improvement in ease of doing business as compared to the situation that existed one year back.  Under this parameter, 51.2 per cent of respondents believe no change in ease of land acquisition as compared to previous year at Centre level and 48.8 percent of respondents believe no change at state level.

As for environmental regulations, 48.8 per cent of respondents believe no change in environmental regulations as compared to previous year at center level and 53.7 percent of respondents feel no change at state level, adds the survey.

For non-environmental regulations, 58.5 per cent say there is no change as compared to previous year at center level and 53.7 percent of respondents believe no change at state level.

On the quality of infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports and ports, a large 56.1 percent of respondents see no change at the Central sector and 51.2 per cent see similar situation at the state sector projects.

The situation is no better as regards the power sector. “While power generation has picked up, the trouble is the load factor cannot improve significantly, unless the financial position of the state discoms improves. Several of them are in a precarious situation and are not able to buy and pay for the electricity,” ASSOCHAM Secretary General Mr D S Rawat said while releasing the survey.

As regards taxation, there is a lot of trust deficit among the investors, though some efforts being taken in the past few weeks have been appreciated. The predictability of the tax regime is crucial for investors, as measured by a majority of the respondents who feel that reforms in this area can make a big different on the Ease of Doing Business.

Another area which has somewhat changed at the Centre level but not too much in the states relates to quality of bureaucracy. But still 39.0 percent of respondents believe no change in quality of bureaucracy as compared to previous year at center level and 41.5 percent of respondents believe no change at state level.

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