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Finance Minister: India can breach top 50 in business ease index

India has jumped 23 places to the 77th position in the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ ranking released Wednesday, a development that could help the country attract more foreign investments.

Finance Minister: India can breach top 50 in business ease index
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The parameters include ease of starting a business, construction permits, getting electricity, getting credit, paying taxes, trade across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. India was ranked at the 142nd position among 190 nations when the Modi government came to power in 2014. It rose to 100th spot in the last ranking from the 131st rank in the previous year.

New Zealand topped the list of 190 countries in ease of doing business, followed by Singapore, Denmark, and Hong Kong. The United States is placed eight and China has been ranked 46th.

Neighbouring Pakistan is placed at 136. World Bank put India among the top 10 economies to make the most improvements.

Room for improvement

Buoyed by a 23-place jump on World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Wednesday said India can crack into top 50 if it improves on time taken for registering real estate, starting business and enforcement of contracts.

Addressing a news conference soon after the World Bank released its 2019 ranking, Jaitley said areas that require improvement include time taken for registering property, starting business, insolvency and taxation, and enforcement of contract areas. This government, since coming to the power, has reduced red-tape and corruption, and its reforms have ensured India jumps ranks from 142 to 77, he said.

Improvements have already been made on enforcement of contracts, taxation and insolvency laws and would be reflected in future rankings, he said. Jaitley said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had soon after coming to power in 2014 set a target of breaking into top 50 and it seems probable if improvements are done on time taken to start business, registering property, enforcement of contracts, paying taxes and insolvency laws. Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said the improvement in rank was due to a combination of several factors, including administrative changes and legislative reforms like GST and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

“As we go on, we will continue to improve more. The structural reforms which have not yet captured fully will be reflected,” he said.

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