India has jumped to 100th place in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business rankings, jumping 30 notches from last year, in an endorsement of the string of reforms implemented by the Narendra Modi government.
The report also recognises India as one of the top 10 improvers in this year’s assessment, having implemented reforms in eight out of 10 Doing Business indicators.
India is the only large country this year to have achieved such a significant shift. On the “distance to frontier metric,” one of the key indicators in the survey, India’s score went from 56.05 in Doing Business 2017 to 60.76 in Doing Business 2018. For the full story, go here.
What do the experts think about India's rise in the rankings? Here a lowdown.
Amitabh Kant, CEO of government think-tank Niti Aayog, said on Tuesday that India can easily jump into the top 50 of the Ease of Doing Business rankings given the current political will.
“It is a huge achievement. No country in the world has made such a big quantum jump over 2-3 years — 42 positions. It also shows India's commitment for reform,” Kant said.
In Starting a Business, India has reduced the time needed to register a new business to 30 days now, from 127 days 15 years ago. However, the number of procedures is still cumbersome for local entrepreneurs who still need to go through 12 procedures to start a business in Mumbai, which is considerably more than in OECD high-income economies, where it takes five procedures on average.
“Tackling these challenging reforms will be key to India sustaining the momentum towards a higher ranking," said Junaid Ahmad, Country Director India. "To secure changes in the remaining areas will require not just new laws and online systems but deepening the ongoing investment in the capacity of states and their institutions to implement change and transform the framework of incentives and regulation facing the private sector. India’s focus on ‘doing business’ at the state level may well be the platform that sustains the country’s reform trajectory for the future.”
Commenting on the World Bank Report on Ease of Doing Business, Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said: “The huge improvement in ranking and score will immediately boost investor sentiments. The latest report validates the commitment of the government to fast-tracking economic reforms, addressing red tape and facilitating business, which it has undertaken in mission mode over the last three years.”
Describing as significant the huge improvement in India's position in the World Bank's ease of doing business ranking, a top US-India business advocacy group today said this would help the country attract more FDI.
"This is a significant movement and a very important barometer of India moving the right direction and in creating the kind of channels that will attract (foreign direct) investment," Nisha Desai Biswal, the new head of the US-India Business Council (USIBC), told PTI.
“With the Indian government undertaking a spree of reform initiatives, the improvement in India’s Doing Business Rankings comes as no surprise," said Pankaj Patel, President, FICCI.
“The reforms have been broad-based encompassing wide range of areas including taxation, finance, legal and administrative procedures. With GST, the government has laid the foundation for a more efficient indirect tax system and likewise, with the enactment of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, India now has an efficient institutional mechanism for easing of business exit," he added.
"Reforms are continuous process. The 3-4 areas where we haven’t been rated high, will take this into consideration in next year’s data." says Jaitley.