The Finance Ministry on Wednesday said it has permitted Odisha to borrow an additional Rs 1,429 crore after the state successfully undertook ease of doing business reforms. Odisha has now joined six other states — Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana–who have undertaken the reforms facilitating ease of doing business to be eligible for additional borrowing.
These seven states have been granted permission for additional borrowing of Rs 20,888 crore. "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," the Ministry said in a statement.
The ease of doing business is an important indicator of the investment-friendly business climate in the country. The government had in May decided to permit states to borrow additional funds if they undertook reforms stipulated in this category. The reforms include completion of first assessment of 'District Level Business Reform Action Plan', elimination of the requirements of renewal of registration certificates/approvals/licences obtained by businesses under various Acts.
In view of the resource requirement to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the government had in May enhanced the borrowing limit of states by 2 per cent of their GSDP. Half of this special dispensation was linked to the states undertaking citizen centric reforms — implementation of One Nation One Ration Card system, ease of doing business reforms, urban local body/ utility reforms and power sector reforms.
So far, 10 states have implemented One Nation One Ration Card system, 7 states have done ease of doing business reforms, and 2 have done local body reforms. The Centre has so far allowed total additional borrowing of Rs 51,682 crore by the states who have undertaken all these reforms, the Ministry added.