Kerala has become the eighth state in the country to successfully undertake ease of doing business reform thus becoming eligible to mobilise additional financial resources of Rs 2,373 crore through Open Market Borrowings, the finance ministry said on Wednesday.
Permission for the same was issued by the Department of Expenditure on 12th January, 2021. Kerala has joined the likes of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, who have completed the reform that facilitates ease of doing business. All the eight states have been granted additional borrowing permission of Rs 23,149 crore.
In view of the resource required to meet the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the central government on May 17, 2020, as part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat package, enhanced the borrowing limit of states by 2 per cent of their gross state domestic product (GSDP).
Half of this special dispensation was linked to undertaking citizen-centric reforms by the states, the statement said, adding that the states get permission to raise additional funds equivalent to 0.25 per cent of GSDP on completion of reforms in each sector.
The four citizen-centric areas identified for reforms were the implementation of One Nation One Ration Card System, ease of doing business reform, ULB/utility reforms and power sector reforms, the ministry said.
So far, 10 states have implemented the One Nation One Ration Card System, 7 states have done ease of doing business reforms, and 4 states have done local body reforms.
Total additional borrowing permission issued so far to the states that have done the reforms stands at Rs 54,265 crore, as per the statement.