Indian team in Washington to showcase achievements in improving ease of doing biz

Amiti Sen New Delhi | Updated on January 15, 2018

Ramesh Abhishek, DIPP Secretary

After India was ranked 130th last year, out of 189 countries, it is hoping for a better show this year

Eager to improve its ranking in the current year’s edition of the World Bank survey on ease of doing business, a team of top officials from the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion is in Washington DC to showcase to the World Bank steps taken by the country to make the business environment more conducive for investors.

DIPP has set an ambitious target of jumping up at least 40 notches to the 90th position from 130 last year in the group of 189 countries assessed by the World Bank every year. Countries are ranked on the basis of 10 given parameters that give an idea of how easy or difficult it is to do business in a particular country.

“The team of officials led by DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek will meet World Bank officials and present to them the reforms achieved by the country in the various areas identified by it. The idea is to give an accurate portrayal of all achievements so that it gets correctly reflected in the ranking,” a government official told BusinessLine. The meetings are scheduled during April 24-26.

Help woo investors

Countries participating in the ranking process take the exercise seriously as they believe that it helps investors, especially foreign, decide where it is best to invest their money. It is especially important for the Modi government to attract investments since it has made the ‘Make in India’ initiative its top priority.

Delhi was disappointed with the World Bank’s assessment in 2016-17 doing business survey where India’s ranking improved by just one position to 130, from 131 the year before. DIPP believes that reforms initiated in various departments and bodies in the Centre and States did not get appropriately captured in the survey due to inadequate positive feedback at the ground level.

“This time steps are being taken to ensure that various departments implement the reforms that are being undertaken by the Centre and stakeholders are consulted to keep them in the loop and also get their feedback,” the official said.

For a better reflection of the reforms undertaken, India has also asked the World Bank to expand the survey to 10 cities and not just limit it to Mumbai and Delhi.

10 parameters

The 10 parameters on which countries are ranked include ease in accessing electricity, enforcing contracts, starting a business, registering property, resolving insolvency, giving out construction permits, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes and conducting trade across borders.

Last year India fared poorly in the new criterion “post-filing index” introduced under the “paying taxes” parameter. It was ranked fourth from the bottom in the criterion which measured the efficiency of ‘processes that occur after a firm complies with its regular tax obligations’.

This year India hopes to improve its ranking significantly in at least five categories which include starting a business, construction permits, paying taxes, trading across borders, and resolving insolvency. “We have undertaken digitisation in a big way in most government processes and it has led to a decline in time taken. This will surely get reflected in our ranking,” the official said

India was already among the top 50 countries last year in three categories — protecting minority investors, getting electricity and getting credit.

Published on April 23, 2017

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