India picks holes in World Bank report

India red tapeIndia has taken strong objection against the World Bank’s report, which placed Asia’s third biggest economy 134 on its ‘Doing Business’ report.

The Indian government rebutted the reports, citing anomalies and exaggerations of cost which, they claim, have led to lower India’s ranking.  

According to the World Bank report, nine mandatory documents are needed for exports from India. However, the government asserts that only five of those documents listed in the report are mandatory.

Indian officials also repudiated a similar list for imports into India: the reports lists 11 mandatory documents, while official argue that only seven documents are needed.

“There is a lot of discrepancy in the documents they have listed and also the cost. They may have picked up some consignments where these documents were required. An analysis is being done. We are also seeking numbers from our members,” said Ajay Sahai, director general and CEO of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations. He added that contrary to the report, the actual cost of exports from India should be $600-700 not $1,170 as suggested by the World Bank.

 This report comes at a time when India’s new government has actively tried to reduce cross-border transactions costs and make India more business friendly. 

During the recent meeting between India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and World Bank Group President Jim Kong Kim on July 21, Dr Jim had said India could jump 50 position in the bank’s Ease of Doing Business survey if all states followed the Gujarat model of development, which was marked by prompt clearances and time-bound implementation of projects. 

Indian officials allege that the report is biased as some documents that were made mandatory by the OECD countries were also added as mandatory documents for India’s exports.

 Previously, several countries, including China and Senegal, have charged the World Bank of favouring developed countries over developing economies in its reports.

Criticising the methodology of the report, Amitabh Kant, secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion, recently called the study flawed as it is conducted only in Mumbai which has neither a manufacturing base nor industrialised sectors.

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