India now a better place for business

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 27 September 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: With easier cross-border trade and greater credit access, India has become a better place to do business. The country has moved up 12 notches to 120 in the index of 178 nations listed in World Bank's 2008 edition of 'Doing Business'. Singapore, for the second year running, tops the aggregate rankings on the ease of doing business. China has moved up nine places to the 83rd rank.

The survey notes that India provides better access to credit by expanding credit bureau coverage to individuals as well as businesses. It also introduced an electronic registry for security rights granted by companies.

With better cargo management, traders can now submit customs declarations and pay customs fees online before the cargo arrives at the port. This reduces time lag by seven days. It takes 18 days to meet all administrative requirements to export, down from 27.

Overall, south Asia picked up the pace of regulatory reform over the past year to become the second-fastest reforming region in the world, on par with the speed of reform in OECD countries. The report is the fifth in an annual report series issued by the World Bank and IFC. The rankings are based on 10 indicators of business regulation that track the time and cost to meet government requirements in business start-up, operation, trade, taxation, and closure. The rankings do not reflect such areas as macroeconomic policy, quality of infrastructure, currency volatility, investor perceptions, or crime rates.

While India's position on labour reforms are understandably low at 86th, its worst performance comes in the wake of enforcing contracts where it is ranked 177th. What this means that it takes four years for a district court to intervene in a dispute between two commercial establishments.

"Economic policy decisions are the key to the reforms process. We expect the India ranking to go up further next year, since a lot of the reform processes are pending," says Sabine Hertveldt, investment policy specialist,

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