MUMBAI: The World Bank lowered India two notches to 142 on ‘ease of doing business’ for the year to May 2014 and served a timely reminder to a government committed to improving business working environment and attracting investors and manufacturers from across the world.
India’s last year rank was revised down to 140 after an initial position of 134. This is the lowest rank that India has got since the index was launched in 2006 when it was 116.
India ranked poorly in parameter such as enforcing contracts (186), granting construction permits (184), starting business (158), and paying taxes (156), the World Bank said. On indicators such as protecting minority investors (rank 7), ensuring credit (36), registering property (121), trading cross border (126), ensuring electricity (137) and resolving insolvency (137) the country fared slightly better than its overall rank.
Improving the ‘Ease of Doing Business‘ has been a pet theme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the past year or so including during his overseas visits to Japan and the US, where he sought to attract investors to set up manufacturing facilities in India as part of his ‘Make in India’ drive.
Last month, Modi said making government regulations easier India’s ranking could be improved to 50th rank.
Holding out hope, the Confederation of India Industry (CII) said the government has been proactive and one can see results in terms of swift decisions and measures taken.
“We have seen a slew of measures aimed at ease of doing business being announced by the government over the past four months,” CII said.
Kaushik Basu, the chief economist at World Bank, said an improvement in ease of doing business will ensure “a better regulatory framework for development, job creation and growth.” The Washington-based lender ranks 189 countries on 10 parameters. Countries with population of more than 100 million are judged from a survey of two cities.
(With agency inputs)
Kaushik Basu ‘switches side’
The World Bank’s Doing Business report, often “criticised and debated” by Indian policymakers, has got the country’s former chief economic adviser Kaushik Basu as author of the latest edition wherein India’s rank has incidentally fallen. Basu, currently Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of World Bank, has himself admitted to having “used, criticised, valued and debated the Doing Business report,” as an independent researcher initially and later as Chief Economic Adviser to the Indian government. “...unaware that I would be at the World Bank one day and hence be shifted from the side of the consumer to that of the manufacturer of this product,” Basu has written in his foreword to the ‘Doing Business 2015’ report.