India Jumps 30 Places In Ease of Business, PM Modi Says 'Historic': 10 Points
India's improved ranking in the World Bank ease of doing business index is a boost for the government which has had to defend its economic policies amid criticism over the GDP growth rate hitting a three-year low in the April to June quarter.
Sharing details of the report, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Tuesday that India has made the biggest jump on the index. "The Prime Minister said we should be in the top 50. The fact that in three years we have jumped from 142 to 100, I believe this is doable," Mr Jaitley said.
PM Modi, in a series of tweets, said the jump in India's ranking was a result of all-round and multi-sectoral reform push. "Easier business environment is leading to historic opportunities for our entrepreneurs, particularly MSME (medium and small scale sector) sector and bringing more prosperity," he tweeted.
The report, based on data from New Delhi and Mumbai, ranked India among the top 10 "improvers" globally, having done better in eight out of 10 business indicators. Mr Jaitley said the government has been trying to improve on all 10.
India has jumped 53 places from 172 to 119 on ease of paying taxes, leapt over to the 4th rank on protecting minority investors and moved 15 places from 44 to 29 on ease of businesses getting credit.
There are also some red flags. India has fallen 16 places on ease of registering property, slid slightly on trading across borders and one rank from 155 to 156 on ease of starting businesses. Mr Jaitley said this would improve next year since the report hadn't factored in changes made to the law Companies Act.
New Zealand tops the World Bank index on ease of doing business this year and Singapore is number 2, with Denmark placing third. Somalia is last. China is at 78, Pakistan is at 147 and Bangladesh is at 177.
The report is a boost for the government which has had to defend its economic policies amid criticism over the GDP growth rate hitting a three-year low in the April to June quarter.
The government has insisted that the fundamentals of the economy are strong and has rejected allegations that its two big reforms, last year's demonetisation and new national tax GST launched this year are to blame for the economic slowdown, saying they will deliver big benefits.
"Today's result is a very clear signal from India to the rest of the world that not only has the country been ready and open for business, as it has been for many decades, it is now competing as the preferred place to do business globally," Annette Dixon, World Bank's vice president for South Asia, told reporters in New Delhi.
The opposition Congress, however, kept up its attack, saying the NDA government's decisions were more like "cease of doing businesses" for the medium and small sectors. The hype being built by the government around the report, the Congress said, was an attempt to seek "manufactured relevance" from the World Bank when people were suffering due to GST and the notes ban.