The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Ranchi worst for biz: Bank

Ranchi, Sept. 26: The world may be going gaga over Ranchi boy Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his sport, but the World Bank has branded the capital the “worst city in India to do business”.

A report “Doing Business — 2008”, released by the World Bank in New York today stated that in India there exists a huge discrepancy in the ratings for doing business among various cities. It rated Hyderabad the easiest and Ranchi the most difficult.

“The time to obtain a trade licence in India ranges from 159 days in Bhubaneswar to 522 in Ranchi. The time to register property ranges from 35 days in Hyderabad to 155 in Calcutta,” it said.

The World Bank, however, rated India as the top reformer worldwide in trading across borders this year. “India is leading regulatory reforms in South Asia”, it added.

“A hypothetical Indian city, with the country’s top performance in each of “Doing Business” indicators, would rank 55 places higher on the ease of doing business than Mumbai,” the report observed.

The ranking is based on 10 indicators of business regulation that track the time and cost to meet government requirement in business start-up, trade, taxation, operation and closure.

India climbed 12 places and is now rated 120th on the ease of doing business, improving more than China, which rose by only nine places to 83rd.

Meanwhile, the business community in Ranchi was not surprised with the World Bank findings. “It was not news to us,” they said, adding there is no governance worth the name.

“It takes 100-180 days for even a routine file to be cleared. We have to get the file processed, approved by the minister and notified by the bureaucrats. There is complete lack of co-ordination between ministers and bureaucrats,” said a senior official of Essar Group.

There was yet another reason for the delay, he said. “We prefer to wait for routine clearance to the files instead of using speed money. Frequent transfer-posting of officials is another stumbling block to making projects operational.”

A senior official of Jindal Steel and Power said that even if they got the licence they could not implement a project. “The politicians are always working at cross-purposes, creating hindrance at every step. Law and order situation leaves much to be desired,” he added.

According to Small-scale Industries Association president Vikas Singh, the World Bank report “rightly reflects the sordid state of affairs in Jharkhand”.

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