No irregularities found in World Bank's 'Doing Business' data on India

ease of doing business, world bank, doing business, india, china, india destination

India could attract more manufacturing companies, officials said, following the World Bank’s decision to discontinue its annual ‘Doing Business’ report due to data collection irregularities, especially from China.

India remains a preferred investment destination for the world since no data irregularities have been found, an official said, adding that the country continues to push for making it easier to do business with planned procedural easing.

“We continue to be a reliable, trustworthy destination while China is slipping in attractiveness,” the official said. An initiative to rank individual states on the basis of ease of doing business will also continue as it is driven by the need to reform India’s overall investment climate, the official added.

India’s ranking on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index – which is part of its ‘Doing Business’ report – improved 14 notches to 63 (among 190 countries) in 2019. The government has drawn up a detailed action plan to break into the top 50.

China’s ranking in the Doing Business 2018 report – published in October 2017 – rose seven places to 78 after the data methodology changes were made, compared with the initial draft report. Its rank was 31 in 2019.

ease of doing business, world bank, doing business, india, china, india destination

On Thursday, the World Bank said it was holding publication of its ‘Doing Business’ report as it conducts a “systematic review” to probe data collection irregularities in its annual study that ranks the business and investment climate of countries. It said it would work on a new approach to assess the business and investment climate.

Last year, the multilateral agency said it was reviewing some previous reports due to data irregularities, adding that Azerbaijan, China, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were the most affected countries.

“This would boost multilateral initiatives like SCRI (Supply Chain Resilience Initiative) and also aid in the shift of investments to India as global companies look to diversify manufacturing out of China,” the official said.

The SCRI initiative was launched by India, Japan and Australia to build resilient supply chains in the Indo-Pacific region as they seek to reduce dependence on China.

The government wanted to strengthen six core areas – enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency, starting a business, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders – before this year’s ranking, which should have been released next month.

The Word Bank report covers 12 areas of business regulation but includes only 10 broad indicators, such as taxation and ease of starting a business, in the ease of doing business score and ease of doing business rankings.

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