DPIIT working on improving India’s ranking in World Bank’s revamped business environment survey

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) is focussed on improving India’s performance in the new World Bank global ranking survey for assessment of business climate that will begin in August this year, DPIIT Secretary Rajesh Kumar Singh said. The revamped survey is set to take place three years after the World Bank had to discontinue its flagship doing business’ rankings following revelation of data irregularities, some of which favoured China.

The DPIIT is also working on  a cross sectoral study to identify, rationalise and remove duty inversions for greater competitiveness in manufacturing, Singh said in his address at the CII Annual Summit on Saturday. He added that India had one of the most liberal FDI regimes and further liberalisation of norms can be considered in areas where easing is possible once the new government takes charge.

“We are focussed on the new World Bank (business) ranking. The survey will start in August this year. This involves a new set of indices which will cover ease of entry, ease of operation and ease of exit of businesses. The World Bank has shared a set of 1,370 questions which will be assessed across various economies. Our survey starts in September,” Singh said.

DPIIT, together with various ministries, is hard at work to first assess the indices and see if  some quick reforms can be made in certain areas to ensure that India’s overall performance improves, he said. 

These global rankings, despite some shortcomings, such as allegations on data irregularities and favouritism towards China that surfaced in 2019, have a signalling effect for foreign investors in particular, Singh pointed out. “And we have to ensure that we do not regress and we continue to improve when it comes to those rankings,” he said. India was ranked 63 among 190 countries in World Bank’s last doing business survey in 2019.

  • Also read: World Bank projects Indian economy to grow at 7.5% in 2024

After it discontinued its `doing business’ rankings in September 2021 following its investigations revealing data irregularities, the World Bank last year announced a new methodology and improved safeguards for assessing the business climate in countries.

The DPIIT Secretary pointed out that India was becoming less conservative in its Free Trade Agreements, and the Indian industry should prepare for lower tariff regime in longer regime. However, he added that any inversion in tax regime should be corrected. “I know in many commodities, in both GST side and customs duty side, we continue to have inverted duty structure which affect our competitiveness. The DPIIT is doing a cross sectoral study to ensure that both in GST council and through the Finance Ministry we try to rationalise and ensure that those inversions are removed to improve the competitiveness of our manufacturing sector,” he said.

On the Electric Vehicle (EV) policy that was announced in March, Singh said that the government attempted to use tariff tweaks as a way to trigger performance commitments from manufacture without having to spend money.

He said something similar was also being tried for tyre manufacturing where production could be enhanced through tariff adjustments and not incentives.

  • Also read: World Bank provides $300 million loan to Tamil Nadu to help 21 Urban Local Bodies

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