India slipped 26 places to 105 among 162 countries and territories on the index of global economic freedom, according to the Economic Freedom of the World: 2020 report released by the Fraser Institute in Canada.
The country ranked 79th in the previous edition of this report, which measures the ‘economic freedom’, or the ability of individuals to make their own economic decisions in a country, by analysing policies and institutions of these countries. It does so by looking at indicators like regulation, the freedom to trade internationally, size of government, property rights, government spending and taxation. In India, the report was co-published by Delhi-based Centre for Civil Society.
According to the 2020 report, which uses data from 2018 as the latest year of comparable statistics, India performed worse in terms of size of government, regulations and the freedom to trade internationally. In 2018, India ranked 54 in size of government, compared with 11 in 2017. Its rank dropped to 122 in regulation from 108 during this time, while its rank in freedom to trade internationally also dropped to 137 from 131 previously. The country marginally improved its position in areas of ‘legal system and property rights’ and ‘sound money’, moving up a rank each to place 79 and 88, respectively. China ranked worse than India overall and was positioned at 124 on the index. At the same time, it performed better than India in terms of its freedom to trade internationally, scoring the 112th rank for this indicator.
Centre for Civil Society president Partha J Shah said as the ranking is based on 2018 data, newer restrictions on international trade, tightening of the credit market due to NPAs and the impact of Covid-19 on debt and deficits were not reflected in India’s score, according to a PTI report.