Reaction of The Bengal Chamber President to the World Bank ranking of states on the ease of doing business

Ambarish DasguptaThe World Bank report, “Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms”, shows that West Bengal is ranked 11th among the 32 States and Union Territories surveyed.

In this context, on behalf of The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, President Mr. Ambarish Dasgupta said:

“The report gives a fair idea as to where the states stand and brought forth details on how states are implementing reforms. Although West Bengal has ranked a tad below Maharashtra, Karnataka and UP it has surmounted states like Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Delhi, Punjab etc.

 in terms of Overall Implementation (46.90%). As per the Department of Industrial Policy Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, they are going to select 12 states to champion the cause of ease of doing business in India. Hence, 11th rank for Bengal means they should feature in that list.

We have taken stock of the results and identified where West Bengal has performed commendably on the parameters. The report marks out a lot of positives for the state of West Bengal although it was categorized under the Acceleration Required states (basis overall score).

For e.g, West Bengal has done remarkably well in the context of simplification of registrations, payments and returns for VAT, CST, PT, Entertainment Tax, and Entry Tax but requires further improvement on the quality of information available on the procedures. It is one of the only 3 states to issue a single Tax ID to cover all State taxes. Additionally, The State has exempted 49 industries/activities from pollution control board clearances as a prerequisite to start business. They have also come up with a single window (Shilpa Sathi) system for large industries and MSME Facilitation Centre (MFC) for MSMEs. This year the survey was based on 98 points, next year the benchmark would be raised by introducing a 330-point action plan on which the states have to work. We have written to Government concerned officials expressing our interest to work with them on those 330 points as and when they are published. We would also be studying strong areas of other States so as to form a benchmark. We will try to showcase some improvements in areas, where the future areas of improvements are identified by the report, before this year’s global summit to the foreign Investors.

We offer our wholehearted support to the State Government to address these issues, to trigger a participatory and knowledge-driven reform process and bring West Bengal up to the top 3 States in next year’s survey.”