On a query over whether the participants listed in the report were the respondents that formed the basis of the ranking, the World Bank told Business Standard, “They are a subset of respondents who chose to have their names published in the report.”
A senior government official told Business Standard that after working closely with the World Bank, he realised that respondents were key to the entire exercise. “We realised that respondents are critical in the World Bank’s scheme of things. So we ensured that they (World Bank officials) are well informed about the decisions of the government,” said the official on condition of anonymity.
The jump in ranking from 130 to 100 made India one of the top-10 countries that saw the best improvement.
It is not unusual for government departments to participate in the World Bank exercise. But in 2014, when India was ranked 134, no government official was publicly listed as a participant in the report. In 2015, when India’s rank dipped to 142, four government officials participated, according to the public list. In 2016, when India was ranked 130, government participation was five officials. In 2017, again ranked 130, 23 government officials participated.
Luthra & Luthra, J Sagar Associates, PwC India, Trilegal, APJ-SLG Law Offices were the key respondents in this year’s report. At least two officials from the income tax department participated in the survey. India saw the maximum improvement in paying taxes, with a 50-notch jump to 119 from 172. This was essentially on account of the Income Computation and Disclosure Standards, according to the report. The World Bank also based its ranking on the parameter of ease of paying taxes due to the use of modern enterprise resource planning software.
‘Getting Credit’ saw a 15 point jump in ranking from 154 to 138. Vandita Kaul, joint secretary, department of financial services participated in the Doing Business Report.