Odisha govt slammed after slip in ease of doing business rankings

Bhubaneswar: After Odisha slipped to 14th position in Ease of Doing Business rankings, Opposition parties have launched an all-out attack on the government accusing it of neglecting the State.

“The state government has not been able to provide any support in terms of raw material availability and it doesn’t have any specific set of rules for creating a land bank for industries. It is also very unfortunate how the government has targeted some specific industries in the past,” BJP leader Prithviraj Harichandan said.

“Odisha’s will enter a dangerous phase if this government continues to rule the state,” he added.

Similarly, Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik took a jibe at CM Naveen and said “It’s another feather added to the Chief Minister’s cap and shows development is not possible under BJD rule.”

Meanwhile, Baijayant Jay Panda took to Twitter and accused the government of harassing companies.

“Odisha’s rank in ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’: 2yrs ago: #7, Last yr : #11, Now : #14 Very sad, when lakhs of Odias being forced to migrate out to make a living. But predictable, w/deteriorating law & order+state govt’s harrassment of Companies!(sic),” Panda tweeted.

“I’ve been speaking of Odisha’s sharp decline in governance in the past 4 yrs, first in pvt then publicly. Been ostracised, & physically attacked, for telling the truth. But it gives me no pleasure to be vindicated by these harsh stats. It breaks my heart, i wish I’d been wrong,” another tweet from Panda read.

However, the government refuted allegations that the fall in ranking is a reflection of unfavourable business environment in the state.

“The highest score is 98 and we have achieved 92 so within a short band of just six points, a total of 14 states have been clubbed. This means that we are not so low in ease of doing business, but rather it only means that all the states are competing and there is a favourable competitive environment,” Industries Department Secretary Sanjeev Chopra said.

“Our score plummeted because of the combined compliance percentage and the feedback received from the industry. Our reforms have not been implemented properly so a lot of work has to be done,” Chopra added.

Rubbishing the allegations, ruling-BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra said, “It is hilarious that Opposition parties are holding the BJD government responsible for Odisha’s lower ranking. More than Rs 2 lakh crore investment proposals had come to Odisha during Make in Odisha conclave in 2016. In total, investment interests worth Rs 3.64 lakh crore have been received.”

The Ease of Doing Business Reforms Ranking is an annual business ranking of states and Union Territories carried out by the DIPP in collaboration with the World Bank under the Business Reform Action Plan (BRAP).

Odisha was placed 14th in annual business ranking of states and Union Territories this year while last year it was 11th and 7th, a year before.