Malaysia ranked 15th in World Bank Doing Business 2019 Report

Roman Schwartz
November 1, 2018

BJP President Amit Shah today said it is a matter of pride that India has made another phenomenal jump in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business' rankings.

India was ranked 142nd among 190 nations when Prime Minister Narendra Modi took office in 2014.

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said the improvement in rank was due to a combination of several factors, including administrative changes and legislative reforms like GST and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC).

"The ultimate objective is to go to the top of the list", he added. India scored 137 in the starting a business category, 52 in dealing with construction permits, 24 in securing access to electricity, 166 in registering property, 22 in getting credit and 7 in protecting minority investors.

Hence, India was among the economies which made most improvement along with Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Azerbaijan, Togo, Kenya, Côte d'Ivoire, Turkey and Rwanda. The ranking by the World Bank - which also categorised India among the top 10 economies to make the most improvements - comes as a boost for the Modi government ahead of the 2019 general elections, amid questions from the Opposition on the falling value of the rupee and non-fulfilment of promises on job creation, among other economic concerns.

India is the highest-ranked country in South Asia.

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Malaysia jumps nine positions to occupy the 15th spot in a World Bank ranking on ease of doing business. India's journey from 142 in 2014 to 77 in 2018 marks a significant improvement, stated Jaitley.

The rankings of countries in the report indicate competitiveness as well as highlights the areas where reforms are immediately needed to improve business climate in the country. "By implementing the Single Window Clearance System in Delhi and the Online Building Permit Approval System in Mumbai during the second half of 2017", said World Bank. In addition, Mumbai abolished the practice of site inspections for registering companies under the Shops and Establishments Act.

Ranking compilers cited examples such as initiatives taken by utility distribution companies in Beijing and Shanghai, which "significantly reduced the time to obtain a new electricity connection".

With streamlining of processes, India made it faster and less expensive to obtain a construction permit. Last year, Israel was ranked 130th (and nearly last) for registering property, 99th for paying taxes, and 92nd for enforcing contracts. We have done some legislation already and if we focus on these areas, touching 50th rank is achievable. He explained ease of doing business as the process to maximise governance with minimum involvement of government staff and procedures to guide the investment environment.

The Ministry of Finance points out that this year's advance follows consecutive declines in recent years.

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