Jaitley says due to a series of structural reforms undertaken by the govt since coming to power, India’s rankings have improved by 32 places in the last two years
New Delhi: Implementation of the goods and services tax from 1 April 2017 will help in further improving India’s rankings in the global competitiveness as well as in the ease of doing business index, finance minister Arun Jaitley said.
A report released by the World Economic Forum on Wednesday showed that India’s rankings had improved by 16 places to 39 this year among 138 countries from 55 last year.
“Due to a series of structural reforms undertaken by the government since coming to power, India’s rankings have improved by 32 places in the last two years. This signifies India’s competitiveness vis a vis other economies,” he said.
“If there is a possible implementation of GST in 2017, then that part of the negative characterisation in terms of the goods market will be taken care of. In terms of negative aspects of the ICT (information and communications technology) industry, implementation of digital India, will help address that,” he said, adding that education and healthcare are two areas where there is still a lot of work to be done.
Jaitley pointed out that amongst the BRICS countries, only China is slightly ahead of India. He also expressed hope that the momentum will continue in the future as well.
When asked if the government expects a good improvement in the World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings to be released later this year, Jaitley said that the cut off date for the index means that the implementation of the bankruptcy code and the forward movement in GST would not have been taken into account this year.
India was ranked 130 among 189 countries in last year’s ease of doing business index.
Shaktikanta Das, secretary, department of economic affairs, said GST will have a big impact on both ease of doing business and on world competitiveness rankings.
“The improvement in the competitiveness ranking is a consequence of the various reform initiatives that the government has undertaken over the last couple of years. Strength of investor protection and internet availability are some of the positives that have been highlighted,” he said.