States at the wheel
The latest all-India Ease of Doing Business Reforms rankings, jointly conducted by the World Bank and the department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), have sprung a pleasant surprise. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana jointly securing the top spot is laudable, especially because the latter ranked a middling 13 last year. Gujarat, top of the rung last year, has been displaced to number three. Haryana and Uttarakhand, too, have been impressive.
This churn is all to the good. For decades, the usual suspects have dominated the Indian economic landscape. The inertia has resulted in unhealthy socioeconomic disparities between different parts of the country. The Narendra Modi government must be given due credit for emphasizing inter-state competition, as must the state administrations which have earnestly embraced reforms.
Whether it is Andhra Pradesh and Telangana competing for Hyderabad’s businesses or a Gujarat and Maharashtra that can no longer afford to coast, this benefits everyone.