Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have emerged as the top states in terms of ease of doing business in the country. Both states scored 100 per cent in eight out of the 10 reform areas benchmarked under the BRAP (Business Reform Action Plan). An online system detailing all state approvals required for specific businesses put in place by Telangana and AP have been recognised as the best practice by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and World Bank.
Armed with business-friendly policies, both the CMs — N. Chandrababu Naidu and K. Chandrasekhar Rao — set out to woo investors. “It’s given by the AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu. All the steps he has taken and the standing committee for commerce in the Parliament. By that time the World Bank had done rating of countries, where India stood at 80 which is good. I had suggested that to Amitabh Kant, who was the head of DIPC, to do a ranking of states also as India is a conglomeration of states. If a country is positioned high for ease of doing business then it would not be possible without states. No matter what the Centre does, if the states are behind there would be a roadblock. He took that up as a suggestion and started it with the help of World Bank to be authentic. In the process, the states took it up as a challenge and AP was among them. He has driven it and ensured that we improve. That’s how we catapulted to 12th position last year to 1st this year. Advantage depends on how long it takes to get approval, the cost and availability of land and power, labour, reducing the wastage and how long it takes to start and wind up the business,” says Jayadev Galla, managing director, Amara Raja Group and Lok Sabha member.
States are home to a handful of “unicorns” that can count on a pool of young, educated employees. “Both the governments are pro business with young leaders who are actively seeking out opportunities for their constituents. It is therefore no surprise that we are highly ranked in this category for which, I would like to congratulate and thank our leaders and administrators,” says Seema Boppana, director of academics, Srichaitanya Schools.
There is a healthy competition among both the states. To ease of setting up business, both the states’ retail policy allows enterprises to be open seven days a week, employ people on an hourly basis. They are also allotting land to retailers to set up distribution centres and warehouses under the commercial category.
“Each state has started to discover their strengths and weakness to work towards achieving prosperity. They are making new innovations and reforms in all sectors to make their respective states best. This is working out brilliantly for the people and the economy by attracting domestic as well as foreign investments,” says Mourya Boda, CMD, Brilliant Biopharma.
The states have been very proactive in promoting the industry. Explains B.V. Mohan Reddy, director, APSSDC and former chairman, CII AP, “It is more specific on new sectors like food processing parks, textile parks, etc., the advantage being abundant natural resources like water, minerals, agriculture, etc. The state also has excess power and for an industry I&C is reimbursing Rs 1 per unit for the first few years. This is a big support in having good operating margins. Similarly, the government reimburses stamp duty, VAT, and more benefits for the industry taking green initiatives. AP government also encourages new entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs. The government has identified close to 10 lakh acres of land to start an industry on a lease basis. This will bring down the capital cost for a new industry. Jobs will go up as we see the industry growing. One more point the CM has been focussing on is skill development across all sectors to render youth employable. He has formed an AP State Skill Development Corporation.
The chief ministers are proactive in new initiatives and policy making. “TS iPASS (Telangana State Industrial Project Approval and Self Certification) is the tool which has helped Telangana become the No.1 state in ease of doing business. It’s a one stop application which clears all required approvals from the state government to set up new ventures,” says Narendra Surana, MD, Surana Solar Ltd and adds, “AP is the best destination to invest and thrive in comparison to any other state and he takes personal effort to travel and meet global icons in business to invite them to invest in AP. He is a visionary and encourages all industry bodies to be part of the development.”
Young entrepreneurs like Suryaveer Singh, executive director, Trance Hotels & Resorts feels, “Telangana definitely ranks first in terms of infrastructure and constantly improving. The red tape is kept to a minimum and almost every sector is technology friendly. Due to such reasons, we started our company -— Trance hotels in Hyderabad. As hotelier and restaurateur, I would say that the city needs to promote tourism and the nightlife of the city.”
“AP not only offers a conducive environment for businesses to grow and flourish, but also helps enterprises realise their full potential with their inspiring governance and enabling policy framework,” asserts Murali Krishna Gannamani, MD & CEO, Fluentgrid Ltd.