India jumps 23 places in global ease of doing business rankings

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Governments around the world set a new record in bureaucracy busting efforts for the domestic private sector, implementing 314 business reforms over the past year, the World Bank Group's Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform report said.

Overall, India carried out six business reforms during the past year, earning the credentials of being a top global improver for a second consecutive year, according to the report that was released today.

"The improvement is excellent news for India, and good news for the business community", Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Wednesday.

"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".

The Ministry of Finance has expressed great satisfaction at the change in the trend of Israel's place in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking. "During this past year, Kenya has once again showcased itself as one of the global leaders in adopting worldwide best practices in business regulation", said the report released yesterday. But in recent years, particularly since Modi was elected in 2014, the government has enticed foreign companies including Apple and Ikea to open factories and stores after years of delays.

Reiterating the government's role, Jaitley said, the ease of doing business is to maximise the governance with minimum government personnel. In 2016, 2015 and 2014, India had not improved much and was placed at 130, 131 and 134, respectively, in the ranking. Pakistan took up the 136th spot. Improvements have already done on enforcement of contracts, taxation and insolvency laws and would be reflected in future rankings, he said.

World Bank put India among the top 10 economies to make the most improvements, saying it focused on streamlining business processes.

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The report, introduced in 2003, measures the ease of doing business in 190 economies using 11 indicators on business regulation, such as how easy it is to start a business, deal with construction permits, trade across borders, protect minority investors, enforce contracts and secure credit.

Several improvements have also been made in the area of registering property.

Also, "India made paying taxes easier by replacing many indirect taxes with a single indirect tax, the GST, for the entire country".

Ranking compilers cited examples such as initiatives taken by utility distribution companies in Beijing and Shanghai, which "significantly reduced the time to obtain a new electricity connection".

"India also invested in port equipment, strengthened management and improved electronic document flow".

On global trade, the addition of a second gate at Port Klang with supplementary scanning facilities, the expansion of two terminals, and a reduction in cut-off times were highlighted as contributors to the improved score.