India today jumped 30 places to rank 100th in the World Bank's 'ease of doing business' ranking, sending the jubilant government to vow to continue reforms that will help the country break into top 50 in coming years.
India, which was ranked 142nd when the Narendra Modi government took office in 2014 and 130th last year, is the only large country this year to have achieved such a significant shift on the back of reforms in taxation, construction permits, investor protection and bankruptcy resolution.
The World Bank said it is "one of the top 10 improvers in this year's assessment, having implemented reforms in 8 out of 10 'doing business' indicators." This is the first time India has broken into top 100 nations.
Reacting to the development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the government is determined to further improve the rankings and scale greater economic growth with the mantra of 'reform, perform and transform'.
He hailed as "historic" the jump in India's ranking in 'ease of doing business' and said it was a result of "all-round & multi-sectoral reform push".
Addressing the media in New Delhi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "This is the highest jump that we have made in doing business ranking and it is significant for India because for the last 3-4 years we are trying to improve upon all the 10 parameters (of ranking) so that it becomes easy to do business in India."
In its annual report 'Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs', the World Bank said that India's ranking reflects nearly half of the 37 reforms, adopted since 2003, implemented in the last four years.
With June as cut-off for assessing business environment, the ranking does not take into account the landmark reform of Goods and Services Tax (GST), which from July 1 weaved the country of 1.3 billion into one market with one tax and removed inter-state barriers for trade. Also, demonetisation has not been covered in the report.
The ranking comes as a shot in the arm for the government that has been battling dissenting voices against the way GST was implemented and growth being hit, although temporarily, due to demonetisation of higher denomination currency.
"In 3 years, from 142 we have come to 100. And I think in those areas where we are still lagging behind, there is a sufficient amount of work in progress. There is a reason to believe that we have a capacity to further significantly improve our position," Jaitley said.
Modi's target of breaking into top 50, he said, is achievable.
"I believe this is doable and therefore these remaining 3 -4 areas where work has to be done we will be pushing it with all the greater force," he added.
The parameters that witnessed improvement in 2016-17 were India making it faster for start business, reduction in procedures and time required to obtain building permit, easier access to credit, protecting minority investors, ease of paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and making resolving insolvency easier, the World Bank said.
But it still lags in areas such as starting a business, enforcing contracts and dealing with construction permits.
It takes 30 days now to register a new business, down from 127 days 15 years ago, but "the number of procedures is still cumbersome for local entrepreneurs who still need to go through 12 procedures", it said.
While India is now ranked 4th in the world on protecting investors (up from 13th last year), its ranking on ease of getting electricity has deteriorated from 26 last year to 29 this year.
Credit availability ranking has improved to 29 from 44 and
ease of paying taxes has seen a jump to 119th position from 172nd previously.
"This is a major major jump," Rita Ramalho, Acting Director for World Bank's Global Indicators Group, told
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)