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Reforms Sops Elude State

Bhubaneswar: While Odisha has taken lead in bringing in reforms to attract investment, it continues to ignore adoption of other three Citizen Centric Reforms, which will not only help out the citizens, but also attract bigger borrowing limits as stipulated by Centre.

In fact, it was expected that Odisha will be adopting all four Citizen Centric Reforms as the State has been appreciated for Fiscal Responsibility approach and transparency in Administration.

Odisha was one of the first few states, which opted for Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) for Industrialization and investment.

EoDB is an important indicator of the investment friendly business climate in the country.

Improvements in the EoDB will enable faster future growth of the state economy.

Odisha has been able to get only Rs.1429 Crore additional borrowing permission, whereas Rs.86, 417 Crore of additional borrowing permission has been issued to States for adopting other reforms also.

In view of the resource requirement to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of India had on 17 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.

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.

Odisha adopted EoDB and the reforms stipulated in this category include Completion of first assessment of ‘District Level Business Reform Action Plan.

It also prescribes elimination of the requirements of renewal of registrationcertificates/approvals/licences obtained by businesses under various Acts.

And 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.

Odisha including other 14 States have done Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) reforms and they have availed Rs.38, 088 Crore additional borrowing permission.

Till now, 18 States have carried out at least one of the four stipulated reforms and have been granted reform linked borrowing permissions.

Out of these, 13 States have implemented the one nation one ration card system,6 States have done local body reforms and 2 States have undertaken power sector reforms.

Total reform linked additional borrowing permission issued so far to the States stands at Rs.­­­ 86,417 crores.