Ease of doing business: India’s rise makes Odisha’s decline even more perplexing

Bhubaneswar: While India has climbed 23 places in World Bank’s (WB) latest ‘ease of doing business’ rankings, Odisha’s performance among the states in the country has been quite opposite.

Earlier in July this year, Odisha was placed at 14th position in the ease of doing business rankings among all the states and what is more concerning is that its ranking has been decreasing for the last three years.

Odisha was placed in 7th in 2015 and thereafter it had slipped to 11th position.

Experts have blamed non-execution of policy decisions at the ground level and negative feedback from investors behind Odisha’s decline.

“The State government has taken some commendable steps to score well in certain areas but the State continues to face myriad problems as far as implementation of those reforms is concerned,” Resident Editor of Business Standard, Dillip Satpathy said.

While, the state government is all looking to attract huge investments through its flagship ‘Make in Odisha’ conclave scheduled to be held in a few weeks time on November 15, the state is yet to receive any noticeable interests from investors.

The Opposition has alleged that the state government is only busy promoting and advertising its own schemes instead of ensuring a friendly environment for businesses.

“The State government is all about talks and publicity. In reality, industrial growth is zero in Odisha and the present scenario indicates deterioration in business environment,” said Odisha Congress chief, Niranjan Patnaik.

“The present Odisha government is clearly showing an anti-industry attitude, be it the case of IMFA or any other company. One can easily ascertain how the state government has been misusing the industries for political gains,” said BJP spokesperson, Prithviraj Harichandan.

Former MP Jay Panda has also criticised the government for steady decline in the state’s ease of doing business rankings since 2015.

However, the ruling-BJD said that the state will do well in future despite a decline in rankings.

“We have taken every possible attempt to maintain growth and ease the process of doing business. But it is disappointing that our rankings are declining. However, we are sure that the state will bounce back,” said Industries minister, Ananta Sethi.