India up 12 spots in 'Ease of doing business' report; Singapore tops
.By Times of India.
India now ranks 130 out of 189 countries in the ease of doing business, moving up 12 places from last year, according to a World Bank report. Singapore remains the easiest place to do business, while developing countries stepped up their pace of business-friendly reforms in the past year.
There were barely any changes in the report's top 10, according to adjusted data using this year's criteria for both the 2015 and 2016 rankings.
New Zealand remained in the number-two position, followed by Denmark (3), South Korea (4), Hong Kong (5), Britain (6) and the United States (7). Sweden moved up a notch to number eight, switching places with Norway. Finland kept its 10th place.
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The World Bank's annual "Doing Business" report, now in its 13th year, looks at the regulatory environment for small and medium-sized companies to see how it hampers or helps them conduct business, from starting up and paying taxes to registering property and trading across borders.
"A modern economy cannot function without regulation and, at the same time, it can be brought to a standstill through poor and cumbersome regulation," said Kaushik Basu, World Bank chief economist.
"The challenge of development is to tread this narrow path by identifying regulations that are good and necessary, and shunning ones that thwart creativity and hamper the functioning of small and medium enterprises."
Significant improvement for India
"A forward movement of 12 spots in the ease of doing business by an economy of the size of India is a 'remarkable achievement," Basu was quoted as saying by PTI.
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"For any big economy, a rank improvement of 12 is a remarkable achievement. Going from 142 in the world to 130, as India has done, is very good sign. It gives a good signal about the way things are moving in India,"
China is ranked 84 and Pakistan is at 138th place. Pakistan in fact has slipped 10 spots from 128 last year while China has moved six spots in a year from 90 since the last report.
The World Bank said India, which has a global ranking of 130, implemented two reforms during the past year.
For example, in starting a business, India eliminated the requirements for a paid-in minimum capital and a certificate to commence business operations, significantly streamlining the process for starting a business.
"What is significant about India is that they are in the middle of what appears to be a very, very ambitious process of reforms affecting a broad range of areas captured by the Doing Business indicators," Lopez Claros, Director of the Global Indicators Group World Bank, said during a conference call.
"My expectation, therefore, is that if this process continues, if it is sustained, and the authorities show the degree of determination which has been in evidence in the last year, then we could see substantial improvements in coming year," he said.
Observing that the potential to see kind of a rapid economic growth in India is very high, Claros said it has very favourable demographics, and to the extent that some of the bottlenecks that the Doing Business data identified in India are removed, the potential benefits could be quite large.
"And India being India, that is a large economy. This could have also international repercussions in terms of the impact on the global economy," he said.