UPDATE 1-World Bank ranks Gujarat as best Indian state for business
(Adds Rajasthan chief minister's quote)
By Manoj Kumar
NEW DELHI, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Gujarat, the state Prime Minister Narendra Modi ran for more than a decade, is India's best place for conducting business, the World Bank said on Monday, in a report that ranks the country's states in an effort to encourage them to cut red tape.
The report, prepared with support from KPMG on the request of the Modi government, gains importance by coming before the World Bank's annual Doing Business report, which ranks nations and is expected to be released next month.
Since taking charge in May 2014, Modi has set an ambitious target of improving by 2017 India's national ranking from a woeful 142 of 189, below Pakistan and Iran, to the top 50.
Last year, India slipped two spots in the report, and was ranked lower than Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa - mainly because of delays in approvals for starting a business, tax payments, getting bank loans and property registration.
"The growth of business in India requires concerted action on several fronts - infrastructure, capital markets, trade facilitation and skills," said Onno Ruhl, the World Bank's India director. "The stark reality is that India remains a difficult place to do business."
Monday's report suggested that such steps as offering single-window clearances for administrative approvals, if followed by all states, could improve India's global ranking.
It said that states -- including the top five, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh -- had implemented reforms in online tax payments, construction, permits, electricity connections and environmental clearances in a specified time. Continuación...