Hope to enter top 25 by 2025: Piyush Goyal
India is ranked 63 among 190 countries in ease of doing business index released by the World Bank, this time 14 notches high. Piyush Goyal is optimistic about India making it into top 25 and ensures a stable business policy to achieve the target.
The minister said the government will closely work with the states to make it easier to start business, ensure contracts are properly executed and respected, and empower businesses with a stable policy and regulatory regime in order to reach the top 50 ranks.
“By 2024-25, we would like to break into the top 25, but that is a very big challenge and one must appreciate that only the top progressive and highly developed economies are in the top 25,” said Goyal, who is in Stockholm to attend the 19th Indo-Swedish Joint Commission and is leading the Indian delegation.
India has been ranked ninth among the most improved, with a score of 3.5 in the change in ‘Doing Business’ score.
“I think investor sentiment is already looking up. It’s a mix of several factors—demand, capacity utilisation, international situation, global challenges and how the trade wars pan out, availability of capital,” he said.
The report assesses improvement in ease of doing business environment in Delhi and Mumbai but Bengaluru and Kolkata too will be accounted for in the index from next year.
Goyal added that the recent reforms such as reduced corporate tax rate will be a very powerful tool to attract investments as India’s tax rates are now comparable to developed economies and those in Southeast Asia.
“Steps are being taken in terms of making availability of land, working with the environment ministry and handholding investors to get clearances much faster. We are also looking at cluster approach sectorally to encourage industries with common facilities for testing and effluent treatment,” he said.
To attract investment, the government has also offered countries including Sweden to create ‘investment enclaves’ for their investors with ready plug and play infrastructure that will help in creating an enabling ecosystem.
Goyal said while slowing economic growth is something that plays out every few years, and is not happening for the first time in India, going forward, one will see a revival of the investment cycle and uptick in demand.
India’s economic growth slumped to a sixyear low of 5% in the April-June quarter with growth in private consumption expenditure slipping to an 18-quarter low of 3.1%.
“From the first quarter of calendar year 2020, I think we will be looking at an uptick in exports and bridging the trade deficit we are grappling with,” Goyal said.
(The author is in Stockholm at the invitation of CII)