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At that time, the country was battling perceptions of excess red-tape and policy paralysis. Since then, Israel has slipped in the rankings, reaching 54th place a year ago.

It was 130th in 2017 when it was ranked lower than Iran and Uganda. Briefing the media on India at 77th rank in the World Bank's "Ease of doing business" index, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said there has been a record improvement in ranking.

The organisation said the National Democratic Alliance-led administration has made starting a business, processing of construction permits and cross-border trade much smoother. The latest ranking of 190 countries was topped by New Zealand followed by Singapore and Denmark. The US is placed eighth and China has been ranked 46th while Pakistan is placed at 136. The regional average rank is 115 in getting credit. There are already legislative systems for insolvency, taxation and enforcement of contracts. "It is also reflected in the government's strong commitment to broaden the business reforms agenda at the state and now even at the district level", said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India.

"The improvement is the result of a combination of measures taken by the government in the last four years", Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said.

"[It is because of] administrative changes, legislative reforms and particularly what our finance minister did - very path-breaking reforms, whether it is insolvency code, whether it is GST and many others, as well as technological changes", he said. Djibouti and India are the only economies to have been ranked in the "10 top improvers" list for the second consecutive year.

Autonomy of RBI essential, nurtured by government: Finance Ministry
The series of loan defaults by the IL&FS has resulted in doubts over financial soundness of the non-banking finance companies. Unlike in the past, all the four RBI deputy governors attended Tuesday's FSDC meeting along with Patel.


During the past year, India made starting a business easier by fully integrating multiple application forms into a general incorporation form. "India also replaced the value-added tax with the GST (Goods and Services Tax) for which the registration process is faster", the report said.

Other criticisms of the World Bank's rankings are well known: they do little to provide a comprehensive picture of the investment climate, it doesn't talk about prospects of growth and that its sources of data collection are primarily limited to two cities (Mumbai and Delhi).

World Bank said India has further streamlined the process of obtaining a building permit and made it faster and less expensive to obtain a construction permit.

The government also introduced the reorganisation procedure and improved the continuation of the debtors' business during insolvency (bankruptcy) proceedings for Karachi and Lahore.

A Commerce and Industry Ministry statement in New Delhi said: "India's leap of 23 ranks in the ease of doing business ranking is significant considering that previous year India has improved its ranking by 30 places, a rare feat for any large country of the size of India". Between 2014 and 2018, India jumped 65 places and 53 in the last two years.


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