How did India manage to improve its rank?

Virginia Carson
November 2, 2018

New Zealand tops the list of 190 countries in ease of doing business, followed by Singapore, Denmark, and Hong Kong. And, Mauritius regained a spot in the world's top ranked economies, in 20th place. The Index seeks to measure 11 areas of business, among them the procedures, timelines and cost related to construction, protection of minority investors, payments of tax, time and cost to export a product or import it and to resolve commercial dispute, the quality of the judicial process and time taken and the cost for resolution or insolvency.

While there has been substantial progress, India still lags in areas such as Enforcing Contracts (ranked 163 globally) and Registering Property (166).

"[Any remaining] challenges will add to the government's determination to introduce significant improvements into services and legislation", he added. He explained ease of doing business as the process to maximise governance with minimum involvement of government staff and procedures to guide the investment environment.

- This year's top 10 improvers, based on reforms undertaken, are Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Azerbaijan, India, Togo, Kenya, Côte d'Ivoire, Turkey and Rwanda. On average, it takes four days and six forms to start a business in the USA, compared with only two days and one form in Georgia. The World Bank's latest Doing Business Report 2019 was released in New Delhi on Wednesday. This means that in the a year ago Rwanda has improved its business regulations as captured by the report indicators in absolute terms.

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Grant of a construction permit, trading across the borders, starting a business, getting credit, getting electricity and enforcing contracts showed improvement.

The improvement was a result of combined efforts under the Prime Minister's Steering Committee on Doing Business Reforms, she said.

The country also made trading across border easier as it reduced the time needed to export and import by implementing joint inspections, the NICIS2 electronic system and around-the-clock operations at Apapa Port. To be sure, India's insolvency code is still in its infancy, and the first cases under it were closed only this year, so it is a safe assumption that the country's record on this front will improve.

The labor market regulation data are not included in this year's ranking on the ease of doing business.

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

It takes a business in Pakistan 161 days to obtain an electricity connection, compared to the South Asia regional average of 98 days and the cost is 50 percent more than elsewhere in the region.

Under its National Trade Facilitation Action Plan 2017-2020, India implemented several initiatives that improved the efficiency of cross-border trade, reducing border and documentary compliance time for both exports and imports, World Bank said.

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