Ease of doing business Current Affairs - 2020

World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business

India was raked 63rd in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking released on October 24, 2019. The ranking comes when the leading financing institutions including RBI, World Bank and IMF are slashing country’s growth forecasts. In 2014, India was ranked 142 among 190 countries. As compared to 2018, India moved up 14 places in the ranking mainly due to several reforms in the trade and commerce sector.

Highlights

  • India for the third time in a row was among the top 10 performers on the list.
  • The other top 10 performers other than India were Saudi Arabia at rank 62, Togo in the African continent at rank 97, Jordan (75), Tajikistan, Pakistan at rank 108, Kuwait (83), China (31) and Nigeria (131)
  • In 2015, India set a goal to join top 50 economies on ease of doing business ranking by 2020.
  • The experts believe that resolving insolvency with the Bankruptcy law, tax reforms, trading across borders, initiatives like Make in India are the major reasons for the leap in the rank

Ease of Doing Business

The ranking is framed based on 10 indices. It includes starting a business, registering a property, dealing with construction permits, getting credit, paying taxes, enforcing contracts, trading across borders, protecting investors, etc. The first set of ranking was prepared by the world Bank in 2003.

CBIC launches programme to strengthen Make in India

Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), India’s nodal national agency responsible for administering Central Excise, Service Tax, Customs, GST, & Narcotics has launched a revamped and streamlined programme to attract investments into India and strengthen Make in India through manufacture and other operations. The programme is launched under bond scheme of Customs Act, 1962 as this section enables conduct of manufacture and other operations in a customs bonded warehouse.

Moreover, CBIC in collaboration with Invest India has launched a dedicated microsite [https://www.investindia.gov.in/bonded-manufacturing>] for providing information as well as promoting scheme and for facilitation of investors.

Key Highlights of Scheme

It prescribes a single application cum approval form for uniformity of practice.

Jurisdictional Commissioner of Customs will function as a single point of approval to set up and oversee operations of such units. Moreover, there is no geographical limitation on where such units can be set up.

The unit can import goods (both inputs as well as capital goods) under a customs duty deferment program and the duties are fully remitted if processed goods are exported.

The units will benefit through improved liquidity as there will be no interest liability.

GST compliant goods can be procured from domestic market for use in manufacture and other operations in a section 65 unit.

A single digital account has been prescribed for ease of doing business and easy compliance.

The Scheme has been modernized with simplified compliance requirements Information and Communication Technology (ICT)-based documentation, clear and transparent procedures and account keeping, by issue of Manufacture and Other Operations in Warehouse Regulations 2019.

Significance: Scheme will also enable efficient capacity utilization, as there is no limit on quantum of clearances that can be exported or cleared to the domestic market. It is expected to play a critical role in promoting investments in India and in enhancing ease of doing business (EDB). It can provide impetus to Make in India programme by encouraging exports, creating hubs for electronics assembly, repairing/refurbishing operations, inward/outward processing, facilitating global e-commerce hubs among others.