New Delhi, February 7: The total number of states in India that have undertaken 'Ease of Doing Business' reforms stipulated by the finance ministry has gone up to 12 with the addition of four more states. On Saturday, four states -- Assam, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab undertook the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ reforms. With this, these states have become eligible to mobilise additional financial resources and have been granted permission to raise additional Rs 5,034 crore through Open Market Borrowings.

The ease of doing business is an important indicator of the investment friendly business climate in the country. Improvements in the ease of doing business will enable faster future growth of the state economy, a finance ministry statement said.

In India, total 12 states that fall in the list include Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, Assam, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab which was confirmed by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT). After completion of reforms facilitating ease of doing business, these twelve states have been granted additional borrowing permission of Rs 28,183 crore.

In May 2020, the government had decided to link grant of additional borrowing permissions to states that undertake the reforms to facilitate ease of doing business. In view of the resource requirement to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of had on May 17, 2020 enhanced the borrowing limit of the states by 2 per cent of their GSDP. Half of this special dispensation was linked to undertaking citizen centric reforms by the states.

So far, 17 states have carried out at least one of the four stipulated reforms and have been granted reform linked borrowing permissions. Out of these, 12 states have implemented the "one nation one ration card" system, 12 states have done ease of doing business reforms, 5 states have done local body reforms and 2 states have undertaken power sector reforms. Total reform linked additional borrowing permission issued so far to the states stands at Rs 74,773 crore.