India is now just a few days away from coming to the top 50 list of the World Bank’s Ease Of Doing Business Index, the government has been targeted. Ramesh Abhishek, secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, told that the government has done several reforms including Goods and Services Tax (GST), whose impact will be seen in next year’s ranking. In this year’s ranking, India has reached number two with a jump of 23 places. Excerpt from the interview:
What is the significance of such a big improvement in the rankings for companies at the ground level?
Keeping in mind the feedback we get at the ground level, we make improvements. When the cross border business improves dramatically, the time spent in export and import is reduced, the cost of documentation is low and the cost of doing business decreases, so the competitiveness of our companies increases. Its special importance is for micro, small and medium enterprises. The second thing is that when there is less time and money to get in the construction permit, when technology improves with the help of technology and improvements like bankruptcies, there is less stress on business. Now the tax payment in the country has become very easy.
The government has set a target to come in the top 50 in this list. Is the country close to achieving this goal?
The impact of the GST-like impact will appear in this ranking next year. To an extent its impact has also been on this year’s ranking, but the impact of GST return filing will take place next year. Through bankruptcy law we are expecting more companies revival. We do not want them to be liquidation of more companies. This will improve our Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code score. After the recent amendment, our commercial courts are working in Delhi and Mumbai. When it comes to fast hearing cases, it will help us. We think we will achieve the goal of the Top 50 very soon.
Is the government going to reform and new?
We are exploring whether the GST, ESIC (Employees State Insurance Corporation) and EPFO (Employment Provident Fund Organization) registration can be integrated with SPIC. There will be no need for three processes. We are also in the process of trying to create a digital signature. We have identified the reforms and they are under review now.
Does India need to work hard on any reform?
We should work on the property’s registry. This is a tough reform. We are also aware of the challenges in implementing contracts. With the commencement of the commercial courts, this issue should be resolved. Progress has been made in the case of insolvency. We have done many structural reforms and they are seeing good progress. Other countries in the world are also doing business reforms. Therefore, we will have to work hard to improve further rankings.