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India jumps 23 spots to 77 in World Bank’s ease-of-doing-business rankings

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New Delhi : India jumped 23 places to come in at the 77th spot in the World Bank’s latest ease-of-doing-business global rankings in 2018, a year after it had jumped 30 places.

The World Bank’s ‘Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform’ report, released on Wednesday, showed India’s rank in ease of doing business jump up from the 100th place among 190 countries. India had broken into the club of 100 nations easiest to conduct business in last year when it managed to jump 30 places from the 130th position.

The latest rankings could become a major poll plank for the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party in the upcoming national elections, as the World Bank has named India as ‘one of the economies with the most notable improvement’ for the third year in a row.

 

India has been adjudged the fifth-best performing nation in reforming the business environment.

The country improved its rankings in six of the 10 sub-categories used by the World Bank to judge business climate. It had delivered a similar performance last year.

Interestingly, India’s ranking actually took a beating in two categories where landmark government reforms were expected to lead to better results. In ‘Paying Taxes’, India actually saw its rank slip two notches to 121, despite the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax. The World Bank praised India for merging taxes and significantly revising the tax code, but it didn’t lead to a better ranking.

The implementation of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) could not save India from shedding five positions in ‘Resolving insolvency’, to 108. Estimates by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) suggest that creditors working through the IBC have realised almost 59 per cent of claims.

However, a recent report by Debtwire Asia has pointed out that on average, it took 275 days to approve a resolution plan from the time the corporate debtor was admitted under the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process of the IBC. The government’s estimate is 233 days.

However, in ‘Trading across borders’, India surged 66 places to come in at the 80th spot. DIPP Officials attributed this to the implementation of a risk management system at ports that waives inspection requirement for 80 per cent of products. “Also, the E-Sanchit mobile app makes e-payment of customs documents possible as well, as a number of major seaports that have been made operational 24×7 have been considered by the World Bank” he added.

Among categories, the country had the best performance in ‘Dealing with Construction Permits’ where it jumped by a massive 129 places to become the 52nd easiest place to construct a business unit. Improved transparency and streamlined procedures were behind India cleaning up its notoriously corrupt land sector and the financial transactions that come with it.

The report, covering all policy reforms undertaken by the government till May 1 of this year, ranked India top among the South Asian nations. There was an improvement in the country’s ‘ease of doing business score’, which indicates the extent to which a country’s regulatory practices are in sync with global best practices.

India also remained among the top-30 nations in the same three categories as last year — getting electricity, securing credit and protecting minority investors. However, the World Bank noted that the country needed to do more in areas such as enforcing contracts, registering property and the most fundamental of them all — ease of starting a business.

The latest report by the Washington DC-based multilateral agency encompasses 128 economies, implementing 314 specific business reforms over the past year. This surpassed the previous all-time high of 290 reforms two years ago.

India is among 11 major economies for which the World Bank took into account two specific metropolitan areas, in this case, Delhi and Mumbai.


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Business

India second most optimistic globally about executive job market in 2019: Survey

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Mumbai: Senior management leaders in India are optimistic about growth of executive jobs in 2019, only second to Brazil. According to the 2019 BlueSteps Executive Career Outlook report, nearly 57 percent of India’s senior executives believe that there will be stellar growth in job market opportunities as compared with 2018 levels.

In Brazil, 72 percent leaders are positive of growth. India is followed by Africa at 54 percent and France at 40 percent. The results are based on a survey of over 1,400 senior executives worldwide.

Globally, optimism levels for executives about senior management jobs market dropped considerably as against their strong outlook at the beginning of 2018. “This indicates that while the decrease in optimism does reflect an overall concern in the marketplace, the change may be more of a reflection of how strong last year’s market was instead,” the report said.

 

Nearly a third of the respondents cite strong economic growth and business environment as a reason for their optimism. India topped the list with respect to economy forecast for 2019, where 57 percent respondents believed in the pace of the country’s growth.

Brazil trailed with 56 percent leaders expecting growth. Leaders of the eastern European countries, the UK and Ireland were pessimistic about their economy.

The technology sector is expected to have the strongest growth at the executive level in 2019, with 70 percent of all survey respondents believing there will be robust growth in the industry.

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Traders’ body slams Rahul’s statement on abolishing GST

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New Delhi: Traders’ body CAIT criticised Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s statement of abolishing GST if voted to power, saying he does not have a blueprint of any alternative tax structure.

The attempt of Gandhi for seeking political mileage making traders a scapegoat is deeply regretted and vehemently opposed by CAIT, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said.

He said Rahul Gandhi should not do any politics using shoulders of the traders else traders are capable to give a fitting reply in forthcoming elections.

 

CAIT secretary general said Gandhi is opposing the GST “whereas he does not have a blueprint of any alternate tax structure”.

Khandelwal demanded Gandhi should speak out the plans and programmes thought by the Congress party for traders and added that there must be a blueprint of alternative tax structure before abolishing GST.

While addressing a traders’ conference in New Delhi, he said the Congress has ruled the country for a long time and in such a long tenure, the trading community was never on a priority of the government or for the Congress party.

In reference to forthcoming elections, Khandelwal claimed almost 7 crore traders across the country have now converted into a vote bank due to a two-month national campaign of the CAIT under the slogan “One Nation-One Trader-Ten Votes”.

The CAIT would shortly release a National Charter of Traders carrying core issues of the trading community and whoever political party gives a logical road map of solutions, the traders will vote for that party as one unit across the country, Khandelwal said.

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NSE eyes 350-375 tonnes of domestically refined gold market for derivatives

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Mumbai: With over 350-375 tonnes of the domestically refined gold market still away from the organised trading platforms in India, the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) has decided to accept it as good delivery on its derivatives platform. So far, only London Bullion Market Association recognised bullion is accepted as good delivery on the exchange platform.

NSE has initiated a move to decide India good delivery norms for gold including sourcing norms for gold refined and unrefined (dore). The process of finalizing new norms and implementing is expected to take two months.

These are significant as in last few years Indian bullion refineries’ business has increased and in 2018 domestically refined gold contributed from dore and recycled gold to half (350-375 tonnes) of the domestic gold demand. However, on gold futures exchanges this gold cannot be delivered. This means domestic refineries have limited access to hedge their future production on exchange platform as they can’t deliver gold the refine on exchange platform.

 

India’s domestic physical gold demand is 600 tonnes for jewellery and 160-175 tonnes of investment demand, according to the World Gold Council 2018 data. 275 tonnes of gold was supplied by Indian gold refineries and 87 tonnes of gold was derived from scrap or recycled gold. Indian metal companies also derive gold from ores of other metals during the process of refining them. This was 8.6 tonnes. All these can now be deliverable on the futures market once India goods delivery norms are in place.

At present, only MMTC-Pamps refines gold, which is LBMA standard and eligible to be delivered on Indian exchanges.

NSE’s move will help this domestically refined gold deliverable on its futures exchange where gold is already traded. At present, MCX and BSE accept gold to be delivered in futures, which is as per LBMA good gold delivery standards. NSE spokesperson said that “we are developing India good delivery standards and they will be largely in sync with LBMA and BIS norms.” 20 plus Indian bullion refineries that are registered with Bureau of India Standards have applied to NSE and six have been approved. International agency Alex Stewart, which provides inspection and analytical laboratory services, is studying the processes of these refineries and giving their score.

Even a domestic laboratory is also looking at the same and expected to give its report on processes of refineries that it has studied.

Sourcing of dore or unrefined gold is a big controversy globally and there was always a question on mines which are producing it whether the mine is using the funds for illegitimate activities or not. Globally OECD has developed norms to avoid such gold and Indian industry has been working for the same. However, NSE spokesperson said that “the exchange’s India good delivery norms for gold will accommodate norms to verify legitimate sourcing of gold dore by Indian refineries.”

The sourcing norms will also include norms for sourcing domestic gold for recycling where the gold provider will have to give an undertaking that no money laundering etc involved for the gold he is giving for recycling.

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