Praising CUTS International as a partner to the US Embassy for the project ‘Evaluation of Competitiveness of North Indian States’ while delivering the inaugural address at a Symposium jointly organised by CUTS, FICCI and FISME, “Competitiveness of North Indian States to achieve Inclusive Growth” in Chandigarh, Shri VP Singh Badnore, Hon’ble Governor of Punjab opined ‘State Government’s attitude towards Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) would determine success or failure of EoDB reforms’.
The welcome address by Pradeep S. Mehta, Secretary General, CUTS International, set the stage for deliberations on enhancing EoDB via state competitiveness. He highlighted the need for state governments to formulate optimal regulations by learning lessons from the policy failures and drawing conclusions for the future from it, which would ease doing business for MSMEs in particular.
He also shared the findings of the two-year initiative of CUTS on state competitiveness, and emphasised on the importance of third party assessment of reforms implemented by governments, undertake cost/benefit analysis of regulations so as to reduce regulatory burden, re-engineering the regulatory framework in India, draft state specific export policies for the purpose of improving state competitiveness and lastly, undertake compliance of regulatory burden on MSME’s and arriving at policy recommendations so as to over the challenges.
Seconding his views, Sebastian Saez, Lead Economist, Trade and Competitiveness, The World Bank also stressed on the need for state governments to focus on quality of regulations, along with transparency in regulations.
The event also witnessed participation from Ariel Pollock, Director, North India office, US embassy and Daniel Mitchell, Chairman, Centre for Freedom Prosperity, who discussed a few American good practices on promoting state competitiveness, for effectuating EoDB through low taxes and optimal regulations, focused on fostering smaller businesses, and not just attracting big companies. The crucial role of states in acting as regulatory laboratories to find solutions for social and economic challenges, before implementation at a national level was also deliberated, which highlighted the potential of economic growth and efficient governance through cooperative federalism.
Recognising the importance of cross-learning between India and US, Paramjit Singh Sahai, IFS, Retd., noted economic cooperation to be the strongest pillar of India-US friendship. The event also saw participation of approximately 100 participants cross cutting 06 North Indian States (Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab and Uttarakhand) from senior policy makers, top industry representatives and academicians.