New Delhi: Close on the heels of the industry department move to rank states on the basis of their business reforms for a second time, the Niti Aayog is preparing for a nationwide “enterprise survey of business regulatory environment" of around 3,000 units, including 500 start-ups.

The aim of the survey is to assess the perception of enterprises on the ease of doing business initiatives taken by the state governments.

A government official dealing with the matter said both surveys will complement each other.

“While the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) survey will focus on ranking states based on their business reform measures, the Niti Aayog survey will get feedback from the industries whether such measures are actually helping states or not. This will throw up another ranking of states from the industry point of view," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Niti Aayog has partnered with the IDFC Institute for the survey. The results of the survey are expected to be released by August. Around 100-odd questions have been framed.

“Questions will be asked sector-wise—such as the time taken for getting electricity, construction permits, whether the government has made these services available online or not," the official said.

“The objective of the current assignment is to survey around 3,000 units, including 500 start-ups and service sector units, on the state of business regulatory environment in the country. The enterprises covered in the sampling are dispersed in around 104 cities in different states and Union territories. In addition to the survey of the enterprises, the views of the industry associations representing different sectors in different states would also be sought," a second government official said, also requesting anonymity.

Jaijit Bhattacharya, partner, infrastructure and government services at KPMG, said more business reforms or ease of doing business measures by a state do not necessarily mean it is more attractive for investors. Also, if a state is more attractive for investors does not automatically imply that it is carrying out more reforms. “So, more the information collected on business reforms and their impact, the better it is," he said.

Under the Business Reform Action Plan 2016 for states and Union territories, the DIPP will launch an interactive dashboard on its website in December where state rankings will be reflected in a dynamic manner, depending on the reforms implemented by states. The site will track 340 parameters issued by the industry department.

Most of the parameters suggested to the states involve areas such as online single-window system, availability of land, its allotment, property registration enablers, construction permit enablers, environment registration enablers, labour regulation enablers, online tax return filing, inspection reform enablers and commercial dispute resolution enablers.

In this year’s ranking of states implementing business reforms by DIPP, which was assisted by the World Bank, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat topped the ranking, followed by Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

The DIPP listed eight areas in which the states were ranked on 98 parameters: setting up a business, allotment of land and obtaining construction permits, complying with environmental procedures, complying with labour regulations, obtaining infrastructure-related utilities, registering and complying with tax procedures, carrying out inspections and enforcing contracts.

Attempts to lighten the regulatory burden on business at the state level are an important component of Modi’s flagship programmes such as Make in India. His aim is to improve the overall business environment in the country to move up in the World Bank’s Doing Business rankings, by creating a competitive atmosphere among states.

The move is also expected to encourage states to carry out reforms in areas such as land acquisition and labour laws, where the Modi-led government has found it difficult to make legislative headway.

This year, India’s Doing Business ranking improved by four notches to 130 under a revised methodology.

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