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Investments low under Communist rule in Kerala
By Ashraf Padanna November 07, 2017
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TRIVANDRUM: Kerala has slipped sharply in attracting investments and worsened in ease of doing business since the Communists came to power last year, according to federal data.

While it received investment intentions worth Rs51.07 billion (1.64 per cent) in 2015, it received no proposals in 2016 while they stood at Rs830 million during the first four months of this year, which is just 0.14 per cent of India’s total.

The neighbouring Congress-ruled Karnataka, which was only fourth in 2015, had topped the list of states that received the highest proposals last year (Rs 1.5 trillion) pushing the poll-bound Gujarat (Rs562 billion) to a second.

Gujarat, ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, continues to be second to Karnataka this year too followed by Maharashtra, also BJP-ruled, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Telangana. The southern state slipped to a dismal 27th position this year with an implementation score of 4.57 per cent in ease of doing business among others, compared to 20th last year and 18th in 2015.

Even the strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir is ahead of Kerala in implementing reforms to attract investments. It received proposals for projects worth Rs9.79 billion in 2016 and Rs8.79 billion during the first four months of this year.

Telangana tops the scorecard (61.02 per cent), followed by Haryana (54.03 per cent), Odisha (44.09), West Bengal (43.82), Maharashtra (43.28), Chhattisgarh and Assam (43.01), Gujarat (41.4), Jharkhand (38.71) and Karnataka (38.17).

The reform areas included labour regulation, single window system, environmental registration enablers, access to information and transparency, inspection enablers, land availability and allotment, obtaining utility and construction permits, paying taxes, registering property and contract enforcement.

Interestingly, West Bengal was improving remarkably since Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee rode to power ending three decades of the communist rule, longest in the world by a democratically-elected communist party, in 2011.

It was ranked only 15th last year, and it climbed up the ladder implementing 283 reforms out of 340 and performed well (100 per cent) in access to information technology enablers and tax registration and compliances.

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