New Delhi: After India hit a century in World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said taking India to the Top 50 is doable.
“I think it is possible to take India to the first 50 ranks in (World Bank’s) Doing Business ranking, as envisioned in Prime Minister Narendra Modi," said Jaitley at a press conference in Delhi. “In parameters such as doing business, dealing with construction permits, enforcing contracts and registering property where India is still lagging behind, there is reason to believe that we can improve our position significantly," he added.
India’s ranking in the World Bank Doing Business 2018 report climbed 30 notches to 100 as regulatory and policy reforms put in place by the central and state governments over the past four years start to deliver results on the ease of doing business front.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA), which has been seeking an improvement in India’s ranking to attract greater foreign investment, has set more ambitious targets. According to an output-outcome framework document prepared by the government, India is seeking to reach the 90th rank in 2017-18 and 30th by 2020. Last year, India’s ease of doing business ranking improved by just one notch to 130.
India was the only major country mentioned in the World Bank Doing Business report for undertaking structural reforms, Jaitley said, adding that India saw a jump in investor protection initiatives, credit availability in the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking.
Reacting to the India’s highest ever increase in ease of doing business rankings, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the historic jump in the rankings was the outcome of the all-round and multi-sectoral reform push of Team India. “Over last 3 years, we have seen a spirit of positive competition among states towards making business easier. This has been beneficial" Modi said.
“Guided by the mantra of ‘Reform, Perform & Transform’ we are determined to further improve our rankings & scale greater economic growth," the prime minister added.
Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu said, “Legislative, administrative and policy measures taken by the government would help in further improving India’s ranking in ‘ease of doing business."
“I think this is just the beginning. The prime minister has initiated a number of measures, which may not have been captured in this particular ranking study. So as we can see in the next few years’ time, we will see it improving again and again." Prabhu said reforms to ease business climate would help Indian entrepreneurship to blossom.
The report, based on data from the capital New Delhi and the financial hub of Mumbai, ranked India among the top 10 “improvers" globally, having done better in eight out of 10 business indicators.
“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.
“Starting a business is now faster," Dixon said, adding that India had strengthened access to credit system and made it easier to secure to procure construction permits.