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India needs fresh reforms to be in top 50 nations with ease of doing business: World Bank official

World Bank says India needs "bold reforms" to move up the ladder in the ease of doing business report.

Updated: Oct 24, 2019, 07.19 PM IST
It is possible for India to get into the top 50 in the ease of doing business report, he said.
WASHINGTON: India needs a fresh set of "bold reforms" in the next three to four years if it wants to be among the top 50 countries with ease of doing business, a top World Bank official said on Thursday.

The official's remarks came as India jumped 14 places to take the 63rd position on the World Bank's ease of doing business ranking.

With the current reform agenda that the bank is watching like Insolvency and Banking Code, enforcing contracts, tax reforms being completed next year or the year after, India can get within the top 50, "may be even in the 40", Simeon Djankov, Director of Development Economics at the World Bank, told PTI in an interview.

India will face greater competition from other economies in Latin America and Europe to move up the ladder in the ease of doing business report.

"But then to improve beyond that you need fresh set of reforms,” Djankov said.

"India needs to ask, what it can do to from being in the top 50 to the top 25 economies. And for that you need to recharge," he said, adding that the government need to come up with a new set of priorities for the next four years.

"I don't think, that exists yet," Djankov said.

The upward movement in the ease of doing report is a result of the reforms undertaken by the Modi Government in its first term.

For declaration that “India is open for business you need another set of bold reforms to be announced and implemented in next three-four years for it to be in top 25," said the top World Bank official.

"It (top 25) is possible, but for a large democracy like India, it's extremely difficult,” he said asserting that India needs to set the agenda now and implement it over the next four years.

It is possible for India to get into the top 50 in the ease of doing business report, he said.

"To go beyond that, I think, you need to recharge, another declaration and another three-four years" of implementation, he said.

India, he said, was languishing, was stagnating for the first 15 years of doing business.

"India was basically doing nothing,” Djankov said.

When the Modi government came to power in 2014, it was their declared goal that there will be improvement in the ease of doing business.

As a result, "we have seen doubling" of India's position in the ranking, he said, noting that India has now moved from being among the African countries to those in Latin America and European countries.

"Competition now gets tougher," he said.

To declare that "India is open for business", the country needs at least one more year of tough reforms to be within the top 50 countries.

India has declared itself that it is open for business, but the international community is looking after many many years of languishing interest in improving the business environment.

"So you need at least another year” for people to say it is "truly open" for business.

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