Andhra Pradesh has emerged as the best state in India for ease of doing business for the second consecutive year. It was followed by Uttar Pradesh and Telangana, according to the State Business Reform Action Plan Ranking for 2019, released on Saturday.

The report, prepared by the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, was released by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. The ranking aims to improve competition among states to provide a better business climate for domestic as well as global investors.

The rankings are based on the implementation of the business reform action plan and considers parameters such as construction permit, labour regulation, environmental registration, access to information, land availability and single-window system, according to PTI.

The top 10 achievers for 2019 included Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Gujarat. While Uttar Pradesh was judged the best performer in North India, Andhra Pradesh was the best in South India, West Bengal in the east, Madhya Pradesh in the west and Assam in the northeast. Delhi was the best performer among Union Territories.

Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal and Cabinet Minister Hardeep Singh Puri were also present at the event. “Government of India has been making efforts to streamline business regulation through a single window system, labour law reforms, reforms in Disputes Act etc to make doing business quick and economical,” Goyal said, according to the Hindustan Times. “Covid-19 has impacted all countries but the nation will emerge stronger due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a self reliant India. The nation will be able to play a more assertive role on the global stage.”

“India’s steadfast commitment to reforms is evident from the steady climb from 142nd rank in 2014 to 63rd rank in 2019 in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking,” Goyal added. “If a state has a high ranking, it does not mean it is superior to others in any way. Efforts put in by all states count.”

The annual ranking of countries’ business and investment climates released by the World Bank has been important for the Narendra Modi government, which has taken credit for the improved rankings. Before Modi rose to power in 2014, India was ranked 142nd. In October 2018, India jumped 23 steps to reach the 77th rank. In May 2019, the country was at the 63rd spot.

However, in August, the World Bank said it was pausing publication of its annual Doing Business Report, which carries the Ease of Doing Business rankings, to investigate data collection irregularities.