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Business ranks Calcutta low

New Delhi, April 6: There’s more bad news for Calcutta — it ranks 11th among 36 cities in India in terms of doing business there.

An independent study done by Bibek Debroy and Indicus Analytics for the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) reinforces the view that the clangour of commerce that once characterised the city is finally beginning to peter out.

The top five in the pecking order are Delhi, Greater Mumbai, Chandigarh, Coimbatore and Bangalore. The two presidency cities of Chennai and Calcutta no longer make it to that charmed group.

While Delhi’s strength is its level of communication penetration and good hotel infrastructure, its weaknesses include “poor transport, slowing growth, relatively poor in number of professional education institutions and relatively lower growth on a large base”.

On the other hand, Calcutta has gained points due to good hotel infrastructure and fast growth in the nineties, but lost as per the study since it was categorised as “moderate to moderately poor in most categories and requiring overall improvement in all”.

Greater Mumbai, Chandigarh, Coimbatore, Bangalore and Chennai have been ranked second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively.

The cities have been ranked in seven basic categories — communication, private finance, road transport, professional education, hotel infrastructure, growth of city economy and overall rating.

The study says that “apart from the four traditional metros — Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai — all available evidence points towards the rise of Bangalore, Pune, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad as the emerging metros”.

Categorically, Calcutta has been ranked first in relative growth, fourth in tourism, 11th in professional education, 13th in private finance, 24th in communication and 36th — the worst — in road transport facilities.

On the other hand, Delhi has been rated the best in communication, second in tourism, fifth in private finance, sixth in professional education, 10th in relative growth and 11th in road transport.

The rating in these categories involved the use of approximately 25 variables. The study mentions that “data is used from published and highly credible sources and all of it represents the situation in the cities as of 2001”.

The 36 cities ranked are Agra, Ahmedabad, Allahabad, Amritsar, Asansol, Bangalore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Delhi, Dhanbad, Faridabad, Goa, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Indore, Jabalpur, Jaipur, Jamshedpur, Kanpur, Kochi, Calcutta, Lucknow, Ludhiana, Madurai, Meerut, Nagpur, Patna, Pune, Rajkot, Surat, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam.

These cities are above one million-population urban agglomerations, according to the provisional Census 2001 figures. Goa and Chandigarh are added to these.

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