Government banks on international trade, GST, insolvency reforms to improve doing business rank

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Trading across borders, payment of indirect taxes and insolvency resolution are the three sets of reforms where India is upbeat, ahead of the release of the World Bank’s ease of doing business report later this year. 

“We are bullish on three sets of reforms,” said an industry department official on Thursday. The cut off date for World Bank’s Doing Business Assessment 2019 was May 1 and the multilateral agency’s officials visited India from May 7-21 to observe and assess the on ground implementation of the reforms claimed.

India has taken up implementation of the Single Window Interface for Trade(SWIFT) to facilitate trading across borders, offered 24*7 customs clearance at select ports and improved infrastructure at ports as part of the ease of doing business initiatives for easing cross border trade.

On taxation front, the payment of indirect levies has been converged into goods and services tax (GST) that has reduced compliance from 105 man hours last year to 36 now, as claimed by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion but subject to acceptance by World Bank. 

The third reform that makes India confident is the enactment of Insolvency & Bankruptcy Code which is in line with international standards.

Last year, India jumped 30 positions to become the top 100th country in terms of ease of doing business and implemented reforms in eight out of ten indicators.

These were starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

This year, the report is expected to be released in October. Earlier this month, government data showed that for the second year in a row, Andhra Pradesh outperformed 28 other states and seven union territories to be the best state in India to do business in followed by Telangana and Haryana.  

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