India rises 14 places to 63rd in global Ease of Doing Business rankings

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India has risen 14 places in the World Bank’s latest Ease of Doing Business global rankings, inching closer to its target of being counted as part of the top 50 club. The ‘Doing Business 2020’ report, released on Thursday, ranked India at 63rd position against 77th last year.  

India had breached the 100th mark two years ago, jumping 30 places from the 130th position. Last year, it gained 23 places to reach 77th, among a total of 190 countries. 

In the latest report, India managed to better its ranking on seven of the World Bank's 10 parameters, compared to six last year. As a result, the country has been placed in the list of 'economies with the most notable improvement' for the third year in a row.  India has been adjudged the 9th best performing nation in a list, which also features Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Pakistan and China. 

“Given the size of India’s economy, these reform efforts are particularly commendable,” the report said. Senior representatives of the government as well as policy experts believe the country can now finally crack the club of top 50 nations by next year, which has remained Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s aim.

“Till now, two cities have been covered. For a large country with regional diversity being very distinct, we have been impressing upon the World Bank that having just two cities, Delhi and Mumbai, may not be adequately representative. I’m very glad that from the coming year, Kolkata and Bengaluru will be added to the list of cities surveyed," Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at a conference to announce the latest ranking.

Resolving insolvency easier

Among categories, the country had the best performance in 'Resolving Insolvency', where it jumped 56 places to take the 52nd spot. “The recovery rate in case of insolvency has improved to 71.6 per cent from 26.5 per cent last year,” secretary of Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade Guruprasad Mohapatra said. Since its implementation, more than 2,000 companies have used the new law. Of these, about 470 have commenced liquidation and more than 120 have approved reorganisation plans, with the remaining cases still pending.  

As a result, reorganisation has become the most likely procedure for viable companies as measured by Doing Business," the World Bank said. In the past, foreclosure was the most common procedure reported by legal practitioners in both Delhi and Mumbai with an approximate duration of 4.3 years, according to the Bank.

In 'Dealing with Construction Permits', where it jumped by a massive 129 places in the previous year, India has managed to continue improving. It is now the 27th easiest place to construct a business unit. The country's third best improvement was in 'Trading across borders', where it rose 12 places to come in at the 68th spot. 

Challenges continue

However, the World Bank has observed that the country needs to do more in areas such as enforcing contracts and registering property where it’s a laggard at 163rd and 154th globally. Also, in ease of starting a business, India's rank rose by just a single place in the latest report. India's position on ease of 'paying taxes' also remains low at 115th. 

“Ease of compliance in GST is an ongoing process. We are examining where the difficulties are, the need to bring in better technology, and also faceless assessments that we are doing, what were the glitches in online filing of returns. In the next GST Council meeting, we want to make sure several steps are taken to improve compliance,” Sitharaman said. 

In the neighbourhood, China has moved up to 31st position from the 46th rank while Pakistan rose from 136th place to become the 108th easiest to do business in nation.

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