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India jumps 30 notches to 100th rank in ‘ease of doing business’. What’s the ground reality?

While India is set to grow in terms of GDP in 2018, the ground reality tells a different story. Recent rankings do show India in a formidable position to do business in. However, if this was actually the case, we would have seen many companies foraying into the market in India in the manufacturing sectors at least. While “Make in India” was aimed primarily at facilitating easy access for foreign companies to the Indian market, we have seen only a handful of forays made.

We are of the opinion that bureaucratic hurdles and governmental procedures still need to be simplified and easier for companies to enter and conduct businesses in India. We have also witnessed the exit of some big companies from India as their project gestation period took too long to clear leading to project cost overruns. This tells a different story all together.

Neelav Samrat De, AGM (Marketing and BD), ANDRITZ HYDRO Pvt Ltd

India is one of the top 10 improvers in this year’s assessment for ‘ease of doing business’. It is said that India has implemented reforms in 8 out of 10 ‘doing business’ indicators.

Unless government sincerely implement further actions and favourable policies for real economic growth in each sector and until businesses on ground reflect results with the mantra of ‘reform, perform and transform’ the ‘ease of doing business’ rank remains purely a good slogan for winning election.

Ground reality in wind energy sector does not reflect any ‘ease of doing business’ and almost each wind turbine manufacturer as well as component supplier have incurred huge losses, reduced manpower and are at the verge of closing their shop. Most of European and Chinese investors in wind companies have reduced or closed their shops in India and no new manufacturing companies have started making wind turbines or its components.

Dr Sanjiv Kawishwar,
Sr. Vice President,
ReGen Powertech Pvt Ltd

India’s leap to 30 notches in the ‘ease of doing business’ rankings is a good news. The recent government initiatives like GST, Make in India, Digital India will go a long way in revolutionising the way business is done in the country. However, the real challenge would be to sustain the rank in the long run. There is still a lot of scope for improvement. For example: in the solar sector, the process of obtaining clearances should be made unified, centralised and hassle-free. At the moment, it may take 3-4 months from the date of application to receiving a grant of connectivity even for a residential rooftop solar system. The process should be simplified and the subsidy should be provided on power generation rather than on installation.

Kunwer Sachdev, Managing Director, Su-Kam

While this is the highest jump this year by any nation and the report also states that India is within the top 10 most improved countries, there are few areas which need improvement like:
• Starting a business, enforcing contracts and dealing with construction permits. The number of procedures is still cumbersome for local entrepreneurs who still need to go through 12 procedures.
• Trading across borders is not congenial, in which India’s position has slid from 143 to 146. Because domestic aggregate demand remaining sluggish, a focus on exports can yield positive results.
• There are other facilities like online registration of property which is yet to be implemented by the state governments where India hasn’t performed well.
• India must clearly demonstrate to all foreign and domestic business contractors, that unlike in China or smaller emerging nations, there is a fair judicial and executive system in force to enforce business deals.

We should understand and recognize that this gain in the ranking is not an end in and of itself. For attracting new investment, both foreign and domestic, several macroeconomic issues must be addressed. These include political and economic stability, law and order maintenance, quality physical infrastructure, and buoyancy in financial markets. Major institutional and governance reforms not covered in the World Bank study remain prerequisites for new businesses to start and grow. India may have the advantage of a large domestic market, and our efforts to improve our ease of doing business rankings may be finally yielding results, but there is still a lot of work ahead.

Himanshu Yadav, Director, Ultimate Sun Systems

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