PMO overseeing efforts to improve ranking in World Bank’s ease of doing business index

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 23, 2020

Last year, India had ranked 63rd among 190 nations

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is overseeing efforts to ensure that India improves its ranking further in the World Bank's ease of doing business index of 2021 and moves towards the goal of being among the top 50 countries.

An official told BusinessLine: “Steady efforts are being made to improve performance in the six areas of enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, starting a business, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders and consultations of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade with all Ministries concerned is also on. The PMO is being updated about the progress.”

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the Department of Revenue are also actively involved in the efforts, the official added.

Of the six identified thrust areas, last year India’s performance had deteriorated in the area of registration of properties while there was no improvement in category of enforcing contracts.

“The idea is to focus on those criteria where India has the chance to improve compared to other competing countries,” an official said.

India had climbed 14 places to be ranked 63rd among 190 countries, in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 report released in October 2019. It performed better in six of the ten parameters used for ranking including starting a business, dealing with construction permits, trading across borders, resolving insolvency, paying taxes and getting electricity. However, it fell short of being counted amongst top 50 countries — a goal laid down by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The one big issue with reaching the target of top 50 is the fact that it is not merely about a particular country performing better than before. Since all other countries, too, are trying to improve their capacity to attract more investments, bringing about an improvement in ranking is not easy,” the official said.

For improvement in the area of enforcement of contracts, India will focus on improving its commercial courts with e-court management while for better resolution of insolvency the government will try to broad base the committee of creditors and more timely disposal of cases, as per the plan.

Digitisation of records is expected to improve ranking in the area of registering property. A reduction in compliance time for GST, ESI and EPFO and introducing cash refunds for capital goods could help improve performance in paying taxes, the official added.

Published on January 23, 2020

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