Doing Business Report 2015: A Mixed Bag for India

The World Bank has
released its report titled “Doing
Business 2015: Going Beyond Efficiency
”. It has also published a country
report on India
for the same year.
At the overall
level, India does not emerge in positive light, given that its ranking has
fallen to 142 (out of a total of 189 countries) from 140 in last year’s
rankings. India does not rank favourably among comparator economies either –
Mexico (39), Russian Federation (62), and China (90). The South Asian regional
average is above India at 134, with Bangladesh trailing at 173.
This is despite
numerous efforts undertaken by the Government both last year (here)
as well as this year (here)
to improve the environment for business in the country. Since the report is
based on data as of June 1, 2014, many of the reforms announced and planned since
that date would not have been taken into account for the purpose. It is likely
that the more recent reforms would be reflected only in next year’s rankings,
which would represent the true test for the country’s performance.
At the same time,
all is not bleak, and India performs creditably on an aspect that we pay a lot
of attention on this Blog, i.e. investor protection. It ranks at 7 out of the
189 economies. This is perhaps a tribute to the recent reforms in corporate
govenance in the form of the Companies Act, 2013 followed by the slew of rules
promulgated by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs as well as the revised
corporate governance norms prescribed by SEBI.

About the author

Umakanth Varottil

Umakanth Varottil is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. He specializes in corporate law and governance, mergers and acquisitions and cross-border investments. Prior to his foray into academia, Umakanth was a partner at a pre-eminent law firm in India.

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