India’s performance in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index improved only a tad this year, contrary to the government’s expectations, showed the latest ranking of countries released by the multilateral body on Tuesday.
India is placed at 130 of 190 countries in the World Bank’s 2017 ranking — which took into account users’ perception of reforms done in the year through May 2016, barring ‘paying taxes’ — compared with 131 (revised) of 189 nations a year earlier.
‘Getting electricity’ was the star performer for a second straight year, as India’s ranking in this segment improved to 26 now from 70 last year, saving the country from a slump.
However, ‘paying taxes’ remained the worst performer, with the ranking in this segment declining from 157 of the 189 nations to 172 of the 190 countries this year. What is worrisome is that the country’s performance headed for the worse in five of the 10 segments on which rankings are based for a second straight year. In trading across borders, the country is placed at 143, compared with 133 last year.
While the goods and services tax (GST) regime is expected to significantly improve India’s ranking’, the country is unlikely to benefit much in the next year’s ranking in ’paying taxes’ category even if it is implemented from April 1 next year. This is because the World Bank will take into account tax reforms between January and December 2016 for the next year’s ranking in the ‘paying taxes’ segment.