Ease of Doing Business ranking; Industry hails India’s ascend to 100th spot
Cheered by the country’s 30-notch jump to 100th in the World bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking, India Inc today said the improved performance will boost investor sentiment, even as the industry believes a “lot more needs to be done” on the reforms front. India has been ranked 100th among 190 countries and territories in the report released by the World Bank on Tuesday.
This, however, does not reflect the latest goods and services tax (GST), whose results could be reflected only in next year’s ease of doing business’ report. Last year, India was ranked 130th. “India’s climb up in ease of doing index comes on the back of several bold reform measures including Goods and Services Tax, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, digital drive and involvement of states in faster clearance of projects.
“However, a lot more needs to be done and the effort in further scaling up of ease of doing should continue,” Assocham said. India registered reforms in eight of the 10 areas of the report, which in itself is a record. While China continues to be ahead of India, but this year the gap between the two countries has narrowed down.
“The robust rise in India’s rankings from 130 to 100 is phenomenal. Game changing reforms by the Government are finally bearing fruit, making India one of the most compelling investment destinations globally. The Government has introduced comprehensive measures to simplify and broaden the tax net, enhance transparency and increase the share of manufacturing in the country.” Anil Agarwal, Chairman, Vedanta Group said.
“I believe that the time is also opportune to roll-out reforms in the mineral sector. After all, oil imports forms the majority of India’s forex outflow. The Government can entrust the private sector to boost energy & resources self-sufficiency. Divestment of large, dormant state enterprises, in phased manner, would unlock value, promote competition and generate huge revenues & employment. I have no doubt that this is India’s decade. Structural reforms will be instrumental in making it India’s century,” he added.
The report notes that India has adopted 37 reforms since 2003. Nearly half of these reforms have been implemented in the last four years. The report captures reforms implemented in 190 countries in the period June 2, 2016 to June 1, 2017. However, according to World Bank, India still lags in areas like starting a business, enforcing contracts and construction permits.
“The huge improvement in ranking and score will immediately boost investor sentiments. The report validates the commitment of the government to fast-tracking economic reforms, addressing red tape and facilitating business, which it has undertaken in mission mode over the last three years,” CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said.
“The speed at which reforms have been happening, have been remarkable and it was only a matter of time, before India was rewarded for its initiatives. CII is confident that on the back of GST and other reforms that are planned, India would see an equally impressive improvement next year,” he said.
The annual ranking of Ease of Doing Business is topped by New Zealand with 86.55 points, followed by Singapore, Denmark, South Korea and Hong Kong, which is now under the control of China. The US and the UK are ranked 6th and 7th respectively. Among BRICS countries, Russia tops the list with 35th position, followed by China which has retained its ranking at the 78th place for the second consecutive year. Brazil, despite improvement in its score, is now at 125th place.
“With the Indian government undertaking a spree of reform initiatives, the improvement in India’s doing business rankings come as no surprise. The reforms have been broad-based encompassing wide range of areas including taxation, finance, legal and administrative procedures,” Ficci President Pankaj Patel said.
-PTI, October 31, 2017