In 2017, World Bank’s “Doing business” project ranks India 130th out of 190 countries. Rankings are a function of how other countries also perform. Ignoring that point, these rankings are based on 10 heads: Starting a business; dealing with construction permits; getting electricity; registering property; getting credit; protecting minority investors; paying taxes; trading across borders; enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency. There is another head on labour, but that doesn’t enter the overall rankings. Compared to the other nine, the eighth head, trading across borders, receives relatively less attention in reform discussions. Let’s first understand what the World Bank does.
As most people know, the entire World Bank exercise is based on two cities, Delhi and Mumbai. Specifically, on trading across borders, there is an export side and an import side. For exports, a shipment has to go from a warehouse in India (Mumbai/Delhi) to the US. The representative item is electrical machinery and equipment. For imports, it is the reverse and the representative item is parts and accessories of motor vehicles, imported from the Republic of Korea. The respective ports are Nhava Sheva and Mundra.