World Bank: India improves in ease of doing business

RSTV Bureau

worldbankIndia now ranks 130 out of 189 countries in the ease of doing business, moving up 12 places from last year, according to a World Bank report.

“A forward movement of 12 spots in the ease of doing business by an economy of the size of India is a ‘remarkable achievement,” World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Kaushik Basu said.

“For any big economy, a rank improvement of 12 is a remarkable achievement. Going from 142 in the world to 130, as India has done, is very good sign. It gives a good signal about the way things are moving in India,” Basu told PTI as the World Bank released its annual report ‘Doing Business 2016′.

Singapore tops the list which is followed by New Zealand, Denmark, South Korea, Hong Kong, Britain and then the US.

China ranks 84 and Pakistan stands at the 138th spot. Pakistan slipped 10 spots in the list. Last year, Pakistan was at the 128the spot while China moved up 6 spots this year.

India implemented two key reforms in the past year, said the The World Bank. In starting a business, India did away with a paid-in minimum capital and a certificate to commence business operations, significantly streamlining the process for starting a business.

“What is significant about India is that they are in the middle of what appears to be a very, very ambitious process of reforms affecting a broad range of areas captured by the Doing Business indicators,” said Lopez Claros, Director of the Global Indicators Group, World Bank.

“My expectation, therefore, is that if this process continues, if it is sustained, and the authorities show the degree of determination which has been in evidence in the last year, then we could see substantial improvements in coming year,” Claros explained.

“And India being India, that is a large economy. This could have also international repercussions in terms of the impact on the global economy,” he said.

India has made big strides toward better and more efficient business regulation. In 2004 it took 127 days to start a business in India. In 2015 this has been reduced to 29 days, the report said.

The report also added that the full effects of government reforms are yet to be felt. And the benefits of these reforms have had a positive impact on both Delhi and Mumbai.

In dealing with construction permits, India ranks 183 and in registering property it ranks 138. But in getting electricity India now ranks at the 70th spot, said the report.

In protecting minority investors, India ranks 8 and in getting credit it is now placed at the 42nd spot. In paying taxes and enforcing contracts India stands at the 157th spot and 178th spots respectively.

In the past year and a half, the Modi government has proposed a string of economic reforms, which were aimed at attracting investors and making the ease of doing business simpler.

All eyes are now on the Good and Services Tax (GST) bill, which the Centre intends to pass in the Winter Session of the Parliament. In the last session, the government failed to the get the Opposition on board to be able to pass the GST.

(With inputs from PTI)