Commerce minister Suresh Prabhu indicates improvement in India's ranking in World Bank's ease of doing business index

New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu hinted at improvement in India's ranking in the World Bank's ease of doing business report, to be released on Wednesday.

"Tomorrow, you will be hearing a better news about India improving parameters on ease of doing business. We already have improved substantially. We will make the formal announcement tomorrow with the World Bank (releasing its report)," Prabhu said here on Tuesday.

India jumped 30 places to rank 100th among 190 nations in the last year's World Bank's 'ease of doing business' index.

The World bank ranks countries based on 10 parameters, including starting a business, construction permits, getting electricity, getting credit, paying taxes, trade across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.

According to sources, improvement is expected in parameters, including construction permits, starting a business, and trading across borders.

 Commerce minister Suresh Prabhu indicates improvement in Indias ranking in World Banks ease of doing business index

Representational image: Shutterstock

Further talking about India-US trade relations, the commerce minister said that New Delhi is actively engaged with Washington to resolve the issues.

He said that India would like to work with the US on global challenges to a multi-lateral trading system and matters related to existential issues of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

"We have some trade issues with the US, but we can resolve them," he said, adding India-US strategic and commercial dialogue is expected in January, in which US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross may participate.

He added that India is a growing economy and it offers huge advantages for US companies.

Citing a report, he said about 2,300 firms operating in China may be looking to shift their bases outside and "we want to offer them a choice based on intrinsic advantages that India offers".

"I have always been saying this that if you actually have a relationship with India, India can never pose a strategic challenge to the US," he said.

Senior officials of India and the US are already in discussions to finalise a kind of trade deal. Both the sides holding two track discussions -- to increase trade in the short and medium term, and identify long-term trade potentials.

India is pressing for exemption from the high duty imposed by the US on certain steel and aluminium products, resumption of export benefits to certain domestic products under their generalised system of preferences (GSP), greater market access for its products from sectors such as agriculture, automobile, auto components and engineering.

As many as 3,500 Indian products from different sectors like chemicals and engineering get duty-free access to the US market under the GSP, introduced in 1976.

On the other hand, the US is demanding greater market access for its farm and manufacturing products, including medical devices.

India's exports to the US in 2017-18 stood at $47.9 billion, while imports were $26.7 billion. The trade balance is in favour of India.

Updated Date: Oct 30, 2018 18:08:04 IST