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India ranks 100th in WB's 'ease of doing business' index
Nov '17
India ranks 100th in WB
India has jumped 30 places to rank 100th in the 'ease of doing business' index of the World Bank (WB) based on sustained business reforms over the past few years, the lending agency announced recently in its report ‘Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs’. India’s rank was 130 last year and 142 in 2014 when the Narendra Modi government took office.

India is the only large country this year to have achieved such a significant shift on the back of reforms in investor protection, bankruptcy resolution, construction permits and taxation, according to a World Bank press statement. This is the first time India has broken into the top 100 in this index.

India's ranking reflects nearly half of the 37 reforms, adopted since 2003, implemented in the last four years, the report said. It also recognizes India as one of the top 10 improvers in this year’s assessment, having implemented reforms in eight out of ten ‘Doing Business’ indicators.

The report does not cover demonetisation or the implementation of the goods and services tax (GST) from July 1 as it assesses the business environment till June.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the government is determined to further improve the rankings and scale greater economic growth with the mantra of 'reform, perform and transform', according to a news agency.

"This is the highest jump that we have made in doing business ranking and it is significant for India because for the last 3-4 years we are trying to improve upon all the 10 parameters (of ranking) so that it becomes easy to do business in India," finance minister Arun Jaitley told media persons in New Delhi. Prime Minister Modi's target of breaking into the top 50, he said, is achievable.

Terming India’s rank as a “significant movement and a very important barometer of India moving the right direction,” Nisha Desai Biswal, head of the US-India Business Council told the news agency that this will create channels to attract foreign direct investment.

The parameters responsible for the rank improvement were reduction in time to start a business, reduction in procedures and time required to obtain building permit, easier access to credit, protecting minority investors, ease of paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and making resolving insolvency easier, the World Bank said.

But the country still lags in areas like starting a business, enforcing contracts and dealing with construction permits.

Though it takes 30 days now to register a new business compared to 127 days 15 years ago, the procedures are still cumbersome for local entrepreneurs, it said.

While India now ranks 4th on protecting investors — up from 13th last year, its ranking on ease of getting electricity has deteriorated from 26 last year to 29. Credit availability ranking has improved to 29 from 44 and ease of paying taxes has jumped to 119th position from 172nd earlier.

According to the World Bank, New Zealand is the easiest place on the planet to do business, followed by Singapore, Denmark, South Korea and Hong Kong. The United States and the United Kingdom are ranked 6th and 7th on the list. (DS)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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