India ranked 142nd in ease of doing business

Washington, Oct 29 (IANS) India was ranked 142nd among 189 nations in ease of doing business in a new World Bank Group report, even as it found that the country set the pace for regulatory reform in South Asia in 2013-14.

India’s overall ranking fell by two notches in “The Doing Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency” report rankings released Wednesday.

In ease of starting business too, it dropped two steps to 158 and one step in dealing with construction permits to 184.

With 20 measures, India, however, topped the reformers in South Asia, which saw the lowest number of reforms.

Singapore tops the list of business-friendly economies globally, while five of the top 10 most improved countries are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the rankings.

The 12th annual report finds that the 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulatory environments are Singapore, New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, Denmark, South Korea, Norway, the US, Britain, Finland and Australia.

In New Delhi, commenting on the world bank report, CII director general Chandrajit Banerjee said the new “government has been most pro-active and we are already seeing results in terms of swift decisions and measures that have been taken”.

“CII has also identified good practices across various states which can be safely emulated across the nation in the quest for improving India’s ranking,” he said.

“CII is committed to work with the government in improving India’s ranking on ease of doing business,” he said.

Sub-Saharan African countries had the highest number of regulatory reforms — 75 of 230 around the world — while emerging Europe and Central Asia had the highest percentage of improving countries.

Progress was uneven in the Middle East and North Africa, with conflict-affected Syria near the bottom.

While 80 percent of countries in the study improved their business regulations last year, only about one-third moved up in the rankings.

However, the gap between the best- and worst-performing countries continues to narrow as countries improve their business climates, said Rita Ramalho, manager of the Doing Business Project.

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