If the India Today Ranking of States 2006 had been a dampener for Bihar and Jharkhand, the World Bank-IFC report on 'Doing Business in South Asia 2007' might be music to the ears of the two state governments as it has ranked Patna and Ranchi 9th and 10th respectively, a notch higher than Mumbai and Kolkata, as business-friendly destinations among 12 major cities of the country.
While India Today had examined 20 states, on eight growth indices, and placed Jharkhand and Bihar at 19th and 20th positions respectively, the World Bank-IFC report released on Wednesday not only ranked India at 134, among 175 countries, but also has a surprise for those who think that the country's economic capital Mumbai and Kolkatta, with its new found love for capitalism, are easy to do business.
Tracking 12 major cities on indicators, like the time taken and cost involved for starting a business, registering property, dealing with licences, payment of taxes and closure, the report finds Hyderabad having the most business friendly regulations.
Incidentally, the national capital Delhi has just managed to pip Patna and Ranchi at the post and find a slot just above them at 8th position.
Other centers figuring high on the overall ease of doing business are Bangalore at second, only to be followed by Jaipur, Chennai, Bhuwaneshwar, Lucknow and Chandigarh.
'Large urban centers like Kolkatta and Mumbai are struggling because the high volume of business is causing regulatory and administrative bottlenecks,' said Caralee Mcliesh, an author of the report, thereby hinting at the ease with which a new business could be started in industrially virgin, but well regulated, centers.
For example, it takes about 50 days for a standardized company to start business in the state capital of Bihar while in Ranchi the number of days required for the purpose is 63. This is in comparison to 85 days in Kolkatta, more than 50 days in Delhi and 45 days in Jaipur.
Similarly, it takes 119 days to register a property in Patna and 164 days in Ranchi. However, Hyderabad requires only 35 days to complete the formalities as against 99-219 days in Kolkatta and 100-145 days in Delhi. However, there is not much of a difference between the state capitals of Bihar and Jharkhand when it comes to the number of payments and hours required to clear tax liabilities. Thus, one has to pay taxes 63 times in Patna as compared to 60 times in Ranchi while the time consumed remains the same at 264 hours.
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