Published: Fri, November 02, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

India jumps to 77th rank in the Ease of Doing Business Index

India jumps to 77th rank in the Ease of Doing Business Index

In the World Bank's Ease of doing business Index for 2019, India rose 23 places to 77th, up from 100th in 2018 and 130th in 2017.

Turkey carried out a record number of business reforms in the past year, earning the country a spot in this year's top 10 global improvers, read the World Bank Group's Doing Business 2019: Training for Reforms report on October 31.

Suresh Prabhu, Commerce Minister, attributed the improvement in the ranking to the collaborative effort by the state and central government.

"The ultimate objective is to go to the top of the list", he added. The Index seeks to measure 11 areas of business, among them the procedures, timelines and cost related to construction, protection of minority investors, payments of tax, time and cost to export a product or import it and to resolve commercial dispute, the quality of the judicial process and time taken and the cost for resolution or insolvency.

India has improved its rank in 6 out of 10 indicators. Among South Asian countries, it is now easiest to do business in India.

"India's strong reform agenda to improve the business climate for small and medium enterprises is bearing fruit".

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The high grade came despite recording a drop in ranking in six out of 10 parameters assessed by the bank. Enforcing Contracts and Getting Electricity saw milestone reforms, with 49 and 26, respectively. In addition, Mumbai abolished the practice of site inspections for registering companies under the Shops and Establishments Act.

The country is also said to have made strides in making it easier to deal with construction permits by reducing time for processing permit applications. It takes 1,445 days on an average for the civil resolution of contracts in India, as compared to 582.4 in OECD countries (even the regional average, 1101.6 is better). Back in 2014, it ranked far behind at 142. It now takes only 7 days to transfer property and costs only 0.1 per cent of the property value, the same as in New Zealand.

The other area of improvement is in construction permits. We have done some legislation already and if we focus on these areas, touching 50th rank is achievable. This year, Doing Business captured a record 107 reforms across 40 economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the region's private sector is feeling the impact of these improvements.

Commenting on the Report, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole, the Secretary of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) and Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Industry, Trade & Investment, said: "The feedback from the World Bank has reaffirmed the commitment of the PEBEC to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks faced by businesses in Nigeria as we work towards improving the country's competitiveness".

Also, "India made paying taxes easier by replacing many indirect taxes with a single indirect tax, the GST, for the entire country".

A total of 25 reforms were carried out in Latin America and the Caribbean in the past year. A case study in the report, which analyzes this data, finds that mandatory and annual training for relevant officials is associated with more efficient business and land registries. The latest reform initiatives included electronic submission of documents and upgrading of port infrastructure.

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