Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said he was encouraged by the World Bank report that lifted India 42 places in the `Ease of Doing Business' ranking, calling it as a well deserved recognition of his government's stupendous efforts towards improving the country's business climate.
''I sense a well-deserved mood of celebration here. The World Bank has recognised the stupendous work done by us towards improving Ease of Doing Business. We are now among the top hundred countries in the Doing Business rankings. In a short time of three years we have improved forty-two ranks,'' Modi said at an event attended by World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva.
''This year, India's jump in ranking is the highest. India has been identified as one of the top reformers. Congratulations to all who have worked for this. You have done the nation proud,'' Modi said.
He said the improvement is important in India's 'Ease of Doing Business' ranking is important because it is an indicator of "Good Governance", a measure of the quality of its public policies; a benchmark of transparency of processes; because the ease of doing business, also leads to ease of life; and, ultimately, it reflects the way people live, work and transact in a society.
The Goods and Services Tax (GST) is the biggest tax reform in the Indian economy. With GST, India is moving towards a modern tax regime, which is transparent, stable and predictable, although the full impact of its implementation is yet to be realised and this has not been reflected fully in the World Bank report, Modi said.
There are many other reforms which have already happened, but need gestation and stabilisation time, before they are taken into account by the World Bank. There are a few other reforms where our team and the World Bank team need to find common ground. ''All this, combined with our conviction to do even better, gives me the confidence that India will occupy a place of pride in the World Bank report next year and in the years thereafter,'' he said.
He complimented the World Bank for engaging with countries to improve ease of doing business across the world. He also commented the theme in this year's World Bank report - 'Reforming to create jobs,' adding that business is a major force, which can be an engine for growth, employment generation, wealth creation and delivery of goods and services that make people's lives comfortable.
It is with the intention of creating jobs for its young population that India has positioned itself as a start-up nation and a global manufacturing hub, he said.
Through these initiatives, combined with the new eco-system of a formal economy and a unified tax regime, we are trying to create a `New India' - an India where opportunities are created and harnessed to the advantage of the needy. ''We are particularly keen to develop India into a knowledge based, skill supported and technology driven society,'' he said citing the Digital India and Skill India initiatives.
India, he said, has reached a position from where it is easier to improve further. ''Our efforts have gathered momentum. In management terms, we have achieved critical mass for a swift takeoff.''
India is swiftly changing for the better, he said, even as he listed some more global recognitions which indicated that India:
- Has moved up 32 places in the last two years in the Global Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum;
- Moved up 21 places on the Global Innovation Index of WIPO in two years;
- Jumped19 places on the Logistics Performance Index of 2016 of World Bank;
- India is also among the top FDI destinations listed by UNCTAD.
He said that the government is putting efforts to make business environment simpler and inducive, claiming that more than 90 per cent of FDI approvals are taking place through automatic route. Furnishing data to support his claim, the prime minister said total FDI inflow into India has seen a 67 per cent increase in the last three years and in August 2017, India received FDI worth $9.64 billion- the highest ever for a month.
''Our mantra is reform, perform and transform. We want to do better and better. I am happy to note that for the first time, the World Bank is helping us in this exercise at the sub-national level too. In a federal democracy like India, it is often not easy to take on board every stakeholder while undertaking reforms. However, over the last three years, there has been a sea change in the response of governments, both at central and state level. State governments are finding innovative ways to create a business friendly environment. While often competing with each other in implementing business reforms, they are also helping each other in implementing them. This is an exciting universe in which competitiveness and cooperation co-exist,'' he said.