Andhra Pradesh Government has resorted to unethical means to gain a better “Ease of Doing Business” (EODB) Ranking. AP government officials have shamelessly stolen the EODB online application prepared by the Telangana Government officials.
The Telangana government has lodged a complaint with the Cyber Crime Police in this regard. The Telangana Government has taken a serious view of this incident. Chief Secretary Dr Rajiv Sharma discussed this issue with the Principal Secretary Industries Mr Arvind Kumar. The state Government has decided to initiate legal action against those responsible for this incident. It has also decided to bring this issue to the notice of the Centre.
A high level meeting was held by the Minister for Industries K T Rama Rao with the industry officials today. Officials handed over the proofs of the activities done by the neighbouring state. After the meeting, the Industry Minister dashed a letter to the Union Commerce Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman. The minister submitted the proofs and also explained the ways and means being resorted by certain states to top the EODB rankings. He said the EODB rankings will help the state government in bringing transparency and reduce red tape in granting permission to industries . The spirit of the EODB is getting affected when some states are trying to resort to unethical practices. The Minister appealed to the Union Minister to give priority to only those states who have brought qualitative changes at the field level and not those states who resort to unethical means. He requested that the reports submitted by the respective states should be gone through thoroughly after 30th June.
The Central Government awards EODB rankings for states annually, to attract investments. For this the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has given a questionnaire comprising 340 questions and set up an online dashboard to answer these questions. Rankings are announced based on the information given by the respective states. This year the Telangana government has taken foolproof measures in a systematic manner to improve the EODB rankings. Frequent meetings have been conducted with different departments and suggested the changes accordingly. It has also developed an online system simultaneously. Due to the continuous efforts of the state government, the state has notched top ranking in the recent past. This year, Andhra Pradesh has been consistently in the bottom of the rankings.
Though the deadline for submission of EODB questionnaire ended by 30th June , the DIPP has extended the deadline by another one week The AP government has misused this extension. As it is not possible to improve the EODB rankings in a short time, the AP government has resorted to unethical and illegal means. The blatant copying of the Telangana government’s online application procedure is an example.
The Telangana government has prepared a Commercial-Courts Online application on the 28th of last month and submitted to DIPP. The AP government has not done the same till the last day that is 30th June midnight. After the DIPP extended the deadline, the AP Government has copied the software application and submitted to DIPP. They even copied a spelling mistake in Telangana govt’s online application!
The Telangana Government has formulated a ‘Submission Reference Number’ for Industries under TSiPASS. It is unique procedure adopted by Telangana. Though this process is not in vogue in AP, they have used the terminology ‘Submission Reference Number’ in their version of the application.
As a result this copied application, the ranking of AP has improved suddenly.
The Telangana government lodged a complaint with Cyber Crime Police. The state government has asked them to look into the matter and initiate action against those responsible. A preliminary enquiry conducted by them has concluded that website information, template copyrights theft has been committed and a case has been registered in this regard.