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'States support must to make India better place to do biz'

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SummaryConcerned over the country's low ranking in ease of doing business, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot today said urgent steps are needed to make India a "safer, better and quicker" place to invest, but states need to be taken on board to achieve the goal.

Concerned over the country's low ranking in ease of doing business, Corporate Affairs Minister Sachin Pilot today said urgent steps are needed to make India a "safer, better and quicker" place to invest, but states need to be taken on board to achieve the goal.

Advocating a clear and long-term policy framework, Pilot said that regulations should act as enablers for investments and not appear as draconian or impediment for investors.

"What is my primary concern is that India's ranking in the doing business index is so low, it does not befit a country of the size and scale it has," Pilot told PTI in an interview here.

"We have set up a committee under former Sebi chairman M Damodaran and the panel is going to submit its recommendations soon in this regard.

"But internally, we have already started discussions at the Ministry to work towards making India a better, safer and quicker place to invest in," said the 35-year old Minister, who took charge of the Ministry of Corporate Affairs about six weeks back in late October.

In the World Bank's 'Ease of Doing Business' index, India is ranked at 132nd place, among a total of 185 countries. The ranking remains the same from the previous year.

India's ranking is even worse at 184th place in terms of "enforcing contracts" and at 182nd position for "dealing with construction permits".

"There is no reason for India's ranking to be so low despite lot of manpower, cheap labour, raw material and stable political environment, our rankings are so low," he said.

Admitting that there are some inherent problems in our system, Pilot said, "We must really make it not only easy to say but also easy to do business".

For this, "we must take state governments on board. There is no way in a federal structure that you can decide for the state government.

"Also, we need to go to village and panchayat levels, as these are the places where factories or plants come up and they have to be taken on board," the Minister said.

According to Pilot, ensuring compliance with regulations is a must to safeguard the interests of common people as well as small investors and adequate powers need to be given to enforcement and regulator agencies such as Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and Competition Commission of India (CCI).

"Whether its the SFIO or CCI, we must give more powers to them but they must also not seem to

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