India's jump in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings 'huge leap in 4 years', says Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley made the statement after the World Bank released its latest Ease of Doing Business rankings, in which India jumped 23 places to the 77th position from the 100th.

FP Staff October 31, 2018 20:12:26 IST
India's jump in World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings 'huge leap in 4 years', says Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said India's jump 23 places to the 77th position in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings was "a huge leap in a matter of four years", and that India can crack into the top 50 if it improves on the time taken to register real estate, start a business and enforce contracts.

Jaitley made the statement at a press conference soon after the World Bank released its 2019 ranking for Ease of Doing Business. He explained ease of doing business as the process to maximise governance with minimum involvement of government staff and procedures to guide the investment environment.

"Prime Minister Narendra Modi Narendra Modi, in the initial years of the government, had said we will rank among the top 50 in Ease of Doing Business rankings. Today, we are at rank 77. The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion worked on how to up our ranking in each criterion. We only have to crack a code and try to improve in the criterion in which we lack," he said.

Indias jump in World Banks Ease of Doing Business rankings huge leap in 4 years says Arun Jaitley

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI

Jaitley pointed out that the areas where India needs to improve include insolvency and taxation and the time taken to register property, start a business and enforce contracts. "By focusing on these key areas, India can achieve the Modi government's target of breaking into the top 50," he said. "Improvements already been brought about in the enforcement of contracts and taxation and insolvency will reflect in future rankings."

The finance minister also added that the BJP government had reduced red-tape and corruption and that it was the reforms it introduced that ensured India's jump in the rankings.

This improvement to the 77th position in the World Bank's rankings is a development that could help India attract more foreign investments. India took up the 100th spot in the list last year.

"India was consistently ranked in the 180s when it came to 'Dealing in Construction Permits', but since the implementation of uniform bylaws, we improved from 184 in 2015 to 52 in 2018. This is the single largest jump. It was a big corruption issue, but there has been a record improvement in ranking," Jaitley said, also noting that India needs major reforms in the 'Starting of Business' criterion, in which it takes up the 137th spot, only a few notches higher than 158th in 2014. The ranking by the World Bank — which also categorised India among the top 10 economies to make the most improvements — comes as a boost for the Modi government ahead of the 2019 general elections, amid questions from the Opposition on the falling value of the rupee and non-fulfilment of promises on job creation, among other economic concerns.

New Zealand topped the list of 190 countries in Ease of Doing Business, followed by Singapore, Denmark and Hong Kong. The United States is placed eight and China, 46th. Pakistan took up the 136th spot.

With inputs from PTI

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