A rather positive picture of doing business in India was today painted by a World Bank official who said India could jump 55 places if best regional practices are adopted nationwide.
Participating in a panel discussion on “Doing Business 2008” organized by CII, Michael Klein, Vice President for Financial and Private Sector Development, World Bank, said “this year India was the top reformer in trading across borders.”
He said World Bank and International Finance Corporation report “Doing Business 2008” comparing regulation in 178 economies said India was among the six nations which had improved in the ease of doing business.
The World Bank official said across regions, Eastern Europe and Central Asia reformed the most, followed by South Asia and rich countries. Latin America reformed the least.
He said the pickup in South Asia was led by India, which rose 12 ranks on the ease of doing business.
Klein said comparisons among cities within a country are even stronger drivers of reform.
The time to obtain a business license in India ranges from 159 days in Bhubaneshwar to 522 days in Ranchi, the report said.
It said the time to register property ranged from 35 days in Hyderabad to 155 days in Kolkata.
These time lag for licenses and registering of property in different cities in the country affects businesses and that is why those wanting to launch new enterprise be it retail or any other project get off the mark in some cities in the country much faster than others.
However, as P. K. Choudhury, CEO of ICRA, an Associate of Moody’s Investors Service, said one of the factors which has helped boost business in the country was because “businessmen are being now respected by all sections of society.”
But, he felt the major problem faced by the business community is availability of trained manpower which is hampering rapid growth of all industries and sectors including retail.
Choudhury felt that it was also imperative to pay more attention to agriculture and ease the ceiling on rural land holding alongwith emphasis on need to change the cropping pattern.
However, it was felt that industry should go directly to the people to explain their position and reassure politicians that their position is in no way threatened due to the starting of the business venture.