Odisha has become the 7th State in the country to successfully undertake “Ease of Doing Business” reform stipulated by the Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance. Thus, the State has become eligible to mobilise additional financial resources of Rs. 1,429 crore through Open Market Borrowings. Permission for the same was issued by the Department of Expenditure on 30th December, 2020. Odisha has now joined the six other States namely, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, who have completed this reform. On completion of reforms facilitating Ease of Doing Business (EODB), these six States have been granted additional borrowing permission of Rs. 20,888 crore.
The ease of doing business is an important indicator of the investment friendly business climate in the country. Improvements in the ease of doing business will enable faster future growth of the state economy. Therefore, the government of India had in May 2020, decided to link grant of additional borrowing permissions to States who undertake the reforms to facilitate ease of doing business. The reforms stipulated in this category are:
(i) Completion of first assessment of ‘District Level Business Reform Action Plan’
(ii) Elimination of the requirements of renewal of registration certificates/approvals/licences obtained by businesses under various Acts.
(iii) Implementation of computerized central random inspection system under the Acts wherein allocation of inspectors is done centrally, the same inspector is not assigned to the same unit in subsequent years, prior inspection notice is provided to the business owner, and inspection report is uploaded within 48 hours of inspection.
In view of the resource requirement to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of India had on 17th May, 2020 enhanced the borrowing limit of the States by 2 percent of their GSDP. Half of this special dispensation was linked to undertaking citizen centric reforms by the States. The four citizen centric areas for reforms identified were (a) Implementation of One Nation One Ration Card System, (b) Ease of doing business reform, (c) Urban Local body/ utility reforms and (d) Power Sector reforms.
So far 10 States have implemented the One Nation One Ration Card System, 7 States have done ease of doing business reforms, and 2 States have done local body reforms. Total additional borrowing permission issued so far to the States who have done the refoms stands at Rs. 51,682 crore.