World Bank business rankings: Govt plots 8-point strategy to reach top 50

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New Delhi: After a disappointing improvement in this year’s Doing Business ranking by the World Bank, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has plotted an eight-point strategy to make it to the top 50 of the list as targeted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India’s ranking in the World Bank’s annual Doing Business survey improved by just one notch to 130 in its 2017 report from a revised rank of 131 last year, highlighting a gap between policy measures and their implementation.

In a meeting chaired by finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday that was also attended by ministers and secretaries of other departments concerned, an eight-point agenda was finalized to make it easier to do business in the country.

Departments will now hold intensive stakeholder consultation to get their feedback on the reforms undertaken and also engage with the respondents to ensure that the reforms are felt at the ground level. Each department will review the progress every week for carrying out the necessary reforms.

Here is a list of eight key decisions taken in the meeting:

eBiz portal will be mandated for starting a business which will include three functions of the ministry of corporate affairs—registration for PAN (permanent account number) and TAN (tax deduction account number) and registration for EPFO (Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation) and ESIC (Employee’s State Insurance Corp.).

The ministry of corporate affairs, Central Bureau of Direct Taxes (CBDT), and the ministry of labour and employment will work towards reducing the number of procedures for starting a business to four and the number of days to start a business to four as well.

Shram Suvidha Portal will be the only portal for filing the return, challan and making online payment for EPFO and ESIC.

The department of revenue and the ministry of shipping will work towards increasing the number of direct delivery consignments to 40% by the end of this month. The departments will also ensure that the cost and time to export and import gets reduced substantially to bring India’s rank within top 50.

The ministry of corporate affairs will work with the concerned stakeholders so that the provisions as recently enabled under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code are implemented through the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT).

To further improve the country’s ranking in the indicator of ‘Getting Credit’ from its present ranking of 44, the department of financial services and the ministry of corporate affairs will work towards integrating the CERSAI (Central Registry of Securitisation Asset Reconstruction and Security Interest) database with the Registrar of Company (ROC) to create a single registry of assets.

Under “Enforcing Contracts” indicator, where India ranks poorly at 172, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman urged that eCourts should be expedited for electronic filing of complaints, summons and payments especially in the commercial courts.

On ‘Construction Permit’, urban development secretary said the procedures will be brought down to eight within 60 days. Jaitley asked the department to explore the possibility of commencing the construction on architect’s certification and approval granted only at the time of the occupancy of the building.