Saturday, 17 November, 2018

India jumps 23 places to secure 77th rank

A view of Nairobi at night A view of Nairobi at night
Laurie Berry | 01 November, 2018, 04:28

It is now ranked first among South Asian countries compared to 6th rank in 2014.

At that time, the country was battling perceptions of excess red-tape and policy paralysis. Last year India was ranked 100 in the list. On the other hand, it is still ranked low for enforcing contracts and paying taxes (90th in both categories).

The World Bank has ranked Nigeria 146 out of 190 countries on ease of doing business.

The biggest improvements have been in the indicators related "construction permits" and "trading across borders", the ministry added. New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark were on top of the list.

The United States is placed 8th and China ranked at 46th. Pakistan moved from 147 to 136, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Investment Razzak Dawood announced at a press briefing held by Board of Investment (BOI). There are already legislative systems for insolvency, taxation and enforcement of contracts.

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The improvement was a result of combined efforts under the Prime Minister's Steering Committee on Doing Business Reforms, she said. "I believe it is entirely possible for the country to transform the regulatory environment and create a more competitive business environment, however, this improvement needs to be sustained and accelerated". The report notes that India has supported its ambitious reform agenda by providing regular training to both customs officials and private sector agents, as well as by establishing Customs Clearance Facilitation Committees which bring together actors involved in worldwide trade at regular meetings. "India, with six reforms, is among the top-ten improvers for the second consecutive year", the report said.

The report said that during the past year, India made starting a business easier by fully integrating multiple application forms into a general incorporation form. "In India the establishment of debt recovery tribunals reduced nonperforming loans by 28% and lowered interest rates on larger loans, suggesting that faster processing of debt recovery cases cut the cost of credit", the report said.

Also, "India made paying taxes easier by replacing many indirect taxes with a single indirect tax, the GST, for the entire country".

This improvement to the 77th position in the World Bank's rankings is a development that could help India attract more foreign investments. Further, India reduced the time and cost of export and import through various initiatives, including the implementation of electronic sealing of containers, the upgrading of port infrastructure and allowing electronic submission of supporting documents with digital signatures, it said. With streamlining of processes, the country has made it faster and less expensive to obtain a construction permit.

The government also introduced the reorganisation procedure and improved the continuation of the debtors' business during insolvency (bankruptcy) proceedings for Karachi and Lahore.

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