Ease of doing business Current Affairs - 2019
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India ranked 77th among 190 countries by leapfrogging 23 ranks in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business (EODB) 2018 rankings. In the 2017 rankings, India ranked 100th and had jumped 30 places. In 2016, 2015 and 2014, India had not improved much and was placed at 130, 131 and 134, respectively, in ranking.
EODB 2018 was topped by New Zealand (consecutive for third time), followed by Singapore, Denmark, and Hong Kong. US was placed at eighth and China was ranked 46th while Pakistan is placed at 136th.
Ease of Doing Business Index
The index ranks 190 countries based on 10 indicators across the life-cycle of a business, from “starting a business” to “resolving insolvency.” These 10 indicators are: Starting business, Dealing with construction permits, Getting electricity, Registering property, Getting credit, Protecting minority investors, Paying taxes, Trading across borders, Enforcing contracts and Resolving insolvency. Each one of these indicators carry equal weightage. In case of India, Delhi and Mumbai are only two cities surveyed by World Bank for this reankings.
India’s performance in EODB 2018
- Its jump in ranking in EODB 2019 was aided largely by improvement in areas such as “trading across borders”, “dealing with construction permits”, “getting electricity”, “getting credit” and “starting a business”.
- It has improved in rank in six out of ten indicators. It has moved closer to international best practice. India’s score also improved to 67.23, a gain of 6.63 from last year.
- The most dramatic improvements by India was registered in indicators related to ‘construction permits’ (improved to 52 from 181) and ‘trading across borders’ (rose to 80 from 146).
- However, compared to last year, India saw its ranking dip on various other parameters, such as “registering property”, “protecting minority investors”, “paying taxes” and “resolving insolvency”.
- It is among top ten economies improving most across three or more areas alongside countries such as Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Azerbaijan, Togo, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Turkey and Rwanda.
- It is only other country, alongside Djibouti, to be in top ten for second year in row. Two economies with largest populations — China and India — demonstrated “impressive reform agendas”.
- It made starting business easier by integrating multiple application forms into general incorporation form. India also replaced value-added tax (VAT) with GST for which registration process is faster.
Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has launched e-Sahaj portal to facilitate individuals and private companies in seeking security clearance for setting up businesses in certain sensitive sectors. The portal aims to bring greater transparency in according security clearances to business proposals relating to sensitive sectors and geographical locations.
MHA is nodal authority for granting security clearances in certain sensitive sectors before licence, permit, permission, contract etc is issued to companies, bidders, individuals by respective administrative ministry. The objective of national security clearance is to evaluate potential security threats, including economic threats and provide risk assessment before clearing investment and project proposals in key sectors.
The portal will help to strike healthy balance between meeting imperatives of national security and facilitating ease of doing business and promoting investment in the country, It will facilitate applicant to submit application online and also to view its status from time to time. The online portal will make security clearance process standardised, faster, transparent and easy to monitor. Thus it will help to facilitate ease of doing business and promoting investment in the country.