CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu may have notched a rank higher in the Ease of Doing Business ranking for the year 2019 by jumping to the 14th position from the earlier 15th position but officials feel it doesn't reflect the true picture.
Officials told Express that Ease of doing Business ranking is an assessment of certian specified approval processes and inspection system and is not reflective of actual investment climate. A source in the government said that the state has been ranked second in the State Investment Potential Index published by National Council for Applied Economic Research and is ranked third in the recently published Export Preparedness Index, 2020 by Niti Aayog. Even the Union government's good governance index has recognised the state as the best government state.
Even the recent survey by Projects Today recognised Tamil Nadu having attracted the highest amount of investments during the period April to June 2020 mong Indian states. During the Covid period, the state signed 41 memorandum of understandings amounting to 30,664 crore.
Officials also pointed out that states like Maharashtra which is placed in 13th postion, Karnataka whose ranking dipped from 8th to 17th, and Gujarat whose ranking dipped from 5th to 10th doesn't reflect their true potential.
However, while the trade and investment climate is attractive in the state, what impacted the ranking is commercial court computerisation, which is under the Madras High court jurisdiction, and the digitisation of Records of Rights at all Land Records Offices which will ensure the requisite information on ownership is available for pre-mutation verification of land transactions. The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, wanted the state to create a website which will have all digitised land records, property tax payment data and align it with revenue court case data (Court case number, Name of parties involved, Date of filing of court case, Status of case [Ongoing/Resolved]) and Civil Court case data. Official sources said that it could not be done.
Similarly, the other challenge is having a data of revenue and civil cases. These include court case numbers, name of parties involved, date of filing of court cases. Currently, there is no online system available for both revenue and civil court cases data based on survey numbers.
However, sources in the government said that though the ranking may not reflect the the actual investment climate, it is working towards bettering the ease of doing business ranking in the year 2020. The ease of doing business ranking for 2019 was delayed by six months due to Coved-19. In 2018, the state was ranked 15th under Ease of Doing business ranking with an overall score of 90.68 as per the evaluation done on implementation of 372 reforms suggested under Business Reform Action Plan in 2017-18.
The biggest challenges before the state are single window portal as well as services by departments which are yet to be made online. These include registration under legal metrology, weights and measures and change of land use. Similarly, end-to-end online services are not available for many services and so is implementation system for paperless courts by Home department.
Where the state bungled:
1. Single window portal as well as services by departments which are yet to be made online. These include registration under legal metrology, weights and measures and change of land use.
2. Computerisation of commercial courts as there is no online system available for both revenue and civil court cases data based on survey numbers.
3. End-to-end online services are not available for many services and so is implementation system for paperless courts by Home department.