Punjab jumps to 8th place in export preparedness index
Punjab, a landlocked state, has been ranked at the eighth place in the export preparedness index (EPI), 2021, released by the Niti Aayog.
The state, which figured among the laggards with 18th position in the first edition of apex public policy think-tank’s EPI rankings in 2020, has jumped 10 spots to finish at number eight in the country this time. It got a composite index score of 50.99 out of 100 points on the basis of its export readiness and achievements, according to Niti Aayog report released two days ago.
In 2020, the state had a score of 39.63 and trailed behind most other major states. Gujarat and Maharashtra have bagged the top two spots for the second consecutive year. Punjab has been placed at number four in the landlocked states category topped by neighbouring Haryana. Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Rajasthan, Assam, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Bihar are the other states in this category.
Ranked on 11 parameters
The EPI prepared by Niti Aayog in partnership with the Institute of Competitiveness (IFC) ranked 36 states, city-states and union territories on the basis on policy (export promotion and institutional framework), business ecosystem (business environment, infrastructure, transport connectivity and access to finance), export ecosystem (export infrastructure, trade support and R&D infrastructure), and export performance (growth and orientation and export diversification). The index – a benchmark of the performance of states and UTs against their peers, is used to assess potential challenges as well as promote favourable environment for exports.
Policy, biz environment help ranking
Behind Punjab’s climb up the EPI ladder are the policy initiatives taken by the state government and improvements in logistics and business environment in the past year or so. “The state is making strides to increase its agri-export zones and has one of the highest LEADS index score (which measures the performance in logistics sector),” according to the report. It also did well on particularly district export action plan, valid export promotion strategy, thrust sectors, marketing support, power availability, emphasis on product quality and standards, international access, loan schemes for exporters and grievance redressal. The state, however, lags behind in trade support to exports and diversification of basket which require careful attention to improve its overall export preparedness score, reads the 236-page report. Capacity building, foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow, industrial corridors, multi-modal logistics hubs and development of information technology, software and food parks are areas where it has underperformed.
‘Target is to break into top 5 states’
State export commissioner and director, industries and commerce, Sibin C said the department is already working on areas requiring improvement. “The target is to get into the list of top five states in EPI rankings,” he said. In May 2021, the state had come up with the ‘State Export Plan 2021-26’ to implement ‘district as export hub’ and ‘one district one product’ schemes for a focused approach to improve ease of doing business, increase efficiency in supply chains and augment export infrastructure. Punjab exported goods worth ₹38,000 crore between April 2021 and December 2021 with cereals (mainly basmati rice), automobiles and auto parts, cotton, organic chemicals and apparels and apparel accessories topping the list of commodities exported from the state.
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