Enthused by the recent improvement in India’s ranking on the ease of doing business index, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Arvind Panagariya today expressed hope that rating agencies will take note as they “always follow, not lead”.
“Rating agencies often follow, they don’t lead. There is a huge jump in India’s ranking in ease of doing business. It is very positive. The data on foreign investment in the first half is also very encouraging. Several companies are investing in India, including Foxconn,” Panagariya told reporters.
According to a recent World Bank report, India’s ranking in global ease of doing business has improved by 12 notches to 130 out of 189 countries.
On the improvement on India’s ranking, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had said, “I am grateful that the World Bank has recognised that India is now becoming an easier place to do business… I believe that this 12-point movement does not reflect the full pace of reforms that we have done.”
Rating agencies, including Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s, have assigned the lowest investment grade to India and have refrained from improving it despite initiatives taken by the NDA government to boost investment and economic activity.
Taking questions on mid-term review of the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17), Panagariya said, “We have almost done it and it could be tabled before the Governing Council.”
He clarified that NITI Aayog is not working on the 13th FYP (2017-22) as the call on drafting the policy document will be taken by the Prime Minister.
A meeting of the panel formed under NITI Aayog that will vet innovative projects worth Rs 2,000 crore and above is on the anvil.
On elections putting a burden on the exchequer, he said, “It’s too early, but the idea (of e-elections) can be explored where voters can vote using their mobile phones.”
He admitted that the multiple elections at different times in a year do slow down the process of decision making.