India on Wednesday jumped 23 places to secure 77th position in 2019 World Bank (WB) ease of doing business ranking (DBR) among 190 countries. The latest ranking of 190 countries was topped by New Zealand followed by Singapore and Denmark. The World Bank’s latest Doing Business Report 2019 was released in New Delhi on Wednesday. The WB data showed that various measures undertaken by the Narendra Modi-led NDA government – the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in July, relaxed construction permit, ease in starting a business and trading across borders – helped India jump 23 places from its rank of 100 in 2017.

The multilateral lender also said that permits needed by a business to start operations in New Delhi dropped to 11 from 20 while those in Mumbai need 10 permits as against 12 a year ago. Between 2014 and 2018, India jumped 65 places and 53 in the last two years. The country had entered the top 100 last year with a bigger jump of 30 places.

According to a finance ministry statement, the Doing Business assessment provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies on ten parameters affecting a business through its life cycle. Briefing the media on India at 77th rank in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of doing business’ index, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said there has been a record improvement in ranking. When the BJP came to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that India needs to come within the top 50 ranks and today, we are at Rank 77. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has worked on how to up the ranking on each criterion. With all uniform construction bye-laws, from 184 in 2014 ranking we have jumped up by 129 points to 52. We need to crack the code and try and improve on the criterion in which we lack, the FM said.

Speaking on World Bank’s ‘Ease of doing business’ index, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said India’s latest achievement is team work between the Central, state and local government and the collaborative effort and combination of several interventions has resulted in improvement into this ‘Ease of doing business’ index.

The World Bank index ranks 190 countries on the basis of 10 indicators, namely starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering a property, getting credit, getting electricity, trading across borders, resolving insolvency, enforcing contracts, protecting minority investors and paying taxes.

In 2017, the World Bank had noted in its last report that India lagged in areas such as starting a business, enforcing contracts, registering property, trading across borders and dealing with construction permits. According to reports, the Centre has set a target of achieving a rank of 90 in 2019 and to 30 by 2030.

Ease of doing Business index: What the World Bank said

– India continued its reform agenda and advanced 23 spots to 77th place. India is now South Asia’s top-ranked economy.

– Afghanistan, with 5 reforms, moved up 16 spots to 167th place in the global rankings. Collectively, region’s economies carried out 19 reforms in the past year, Afghanistan and Turkey, top improvers for the first time, implemented record single-year reforms, with five and seven, respectively.

– During the past year, Malaysia implemented six reforms, Mauritius five, and the UAE four. The reforms in Mauritius included the elimination of a gender-based barrier to equalize the field between men and women in starting a business.

– This year’s top 10 improvers, based on reforms undertaken, are Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Azerbaijan, India, Togo, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Turkey and Rwanda. With 6 reforms each, Djibouti and India are in top 10 for a 2nd consecutive year.

– In notable changes to the top 20 ranked economies this year, UAE joins the grouping for the 1st time, in 11th place, while Malaysia and Mauritius regain spots, in 15th and 20th places, respectively.

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