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India is currently ranked 142nd among 189 nations on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business 2015 Index. Except two parameters (getting credit and protecting minority investors), India does not feature in the top 100 in the remaining parameters. In fact, India ranks among the bottom 10 economies on 'dealing with construction permits' and 'enforcing contracts' parameters.

Government of India has initiated reforms aimed at bringing India into the top 50 ranks in the ease of doing business. Among steps already taken to improve ease of doing business in the country are the withdrawal of the requirement of minimum paid-up capital and common seal for companies, allowing single-step incorporation of companies and integration of 14 government services on an online single-window portal. Cross-border trade has been made easier by cutting the number of forms for export and import to three from seven and nine, respectively. The DIPP plans to release its own ease of doing business rankings for the states by August 15 based on seven parameters, including setting up of a business, allotment of land and obtaining construction permit, complying with labour regulations and environment procedures and obtaining infrastructure-related utilities.

The Central Government has devised a 98-point agenda[1] for reforms at the State-level to ensure ease of doing business. The Central Government has already taken a number of measures to reform at its level and now the ball is in States’ court to take action.


Centre for Civil Society looks at the EDB reforms as an opportunity to lift lives of millions of poor both directly and indirectly; directly – by way of deregulating bottom-of-pyramid livelihoods such as street vending, e-rickshaw, cycle rickshaw and indirectly – by way of job creation in micro, small and medium enterprise sector. It is important to not limit the reforms to few sectors relevant to World Bank ratings. The policy makers must emphatically ease out regulatory compliance for micro and small enterprises as well. Equally important is a dialogue amongst stakeholders to make the reforms more meaningful and participative.

In that context, CCS wants to be the platform for all the stakeholders to engage with each other, understand, assess and evaluate the impact and adequacy of the ongoing reforms and recapitulate the same for purpose of policy review.

[1] Yet to be put in public domain. This may or may not be just limited to ‘Starting a new business’ and ‘Enforcing Contract’.



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