Ease of doing business ranking: Disappointed but not discouraged, says Nirmala Sitharaman

India moved just one rank up from the 131st position in the ‘ease of doing business’ ranking for the year 2016.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: October 27, 2016 3:20:36 am
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Union Commerce and Industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday said that she is disappointed but not discouraged with India’s 130th position in the 2017 ‘ease of doing business’ ranking, which was released by the World Bank on Tuesday.

India moved just one rank up from the 131st position in the ‘ease of doing business’ ranking for the year 2016. This improvement in one position came on the back of slight improvement in four indicators – getting electricity, enforcing contracts, trading across borders and registering property.

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“I am not really discouraged, it is disappointing … This central government as well as various states have taken various measures but for whatever reason it has not been adequately captured in the rankings,” said Sitharaman on Wednesday. She, however, added that she is not criticising the World Bank’s methodology and wants to focus on more interaction with states so that the impact of reforms is seen on the ground level.

The World Bank ranks the countries on the basis of total ten indicators. The areas where India’s ranking fell are dealing with construction permits, getting credit, protecting minority investors, starting a business and resolving insolvency. India’s ranking remained static for one category — paying taxes.

Sitharaman said certain reforms like setting up of commercial courts may not have gone into the systems of the World Bank as it happened on different dates in different states.

“Some of the steps do take time… so the trickle-down effect of certain reforms have taken their due time because India is a large country,” she added.

Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) – which works under the Commerce Ministry – had said on Tuesday that a dozen of important reforms like enactment of bankruptcy code, GST, introduction of single window system for building plan approvals and online ESIC (Employees’ State Insurance Corporation) and EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) registrations were not recognized by the World Bank this year.

The DIPP, he said, will appoint external agencies “to help departments carry forward reforms, hold stakeholders consultations, and monitor implementation of reforms”.

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