How electricity helped India gain on Ease of Doing Business Ranking

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The top 10 economies in the Doing Business 2019 are New Zealand, Singapore, Denmark, which retained their first, second and third spots, respectively, for the second consecutive year, followed by Hong Kong, South Korea, Georgia, Norway, United States, United Kingdom and Macedonia.

The Philippines ranked poorly in getting credit (184th), starting a business (166th), enforcing contracts (151st) and trading across borders (104th).

Jitendra Gianchandani, chairman and managing partner of Jitendra Consulting Group, said the UAE's improvement in the ranking from 21st place to 11th is phenomenal.

The instant licence and e-merchant, for example, are some of the most prominent initiatives the DED launched to ease as well as accelerate the procedures to start a business in the emirate of Dubai, Al Qamzi said.

To facilitate cross-border trade, they said, China implemented a national trade single window linking the customs and tax administration, port authorities, the Ministry of Commerce and other agencies involved in the export and import processes. This year's top 10 countries that advanced the most based on number of reforms undertaken, are Afghanistan, Djibouti, China, Azerbaijan, India, Togo, Kenya, Cote d'Ivoire, Turkey and Rwanda.

However, the next iteration of the World Bank's report may not be so charitable to India's business environment which is now fraught with short-term risks like a widening current account deficit (CAD), rising crude oil prices, and a weakening rupee. This means that in the past year Rwanda has improved its business regulations as captured by the report indicators in absolute terms.

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In Resolving insolvency, Pakistan made it easier by introducing the reorganization procedure and improving the continuation of the debtors business during insolvency proceedings.

"We are incentivising those who are doing honest business", Ramesh Abhishek, an official in the industries department of Modi's government, told a news conference on Wednesday.

The country is also said to have made strides in making it easier to deal with construction permits by reducing time for processing permit applications.

However the country struggled with construction permits, registering property and starting a business which remains a cumbersome process in Kenya. It also improved building quality control by introducing decennial liability and insurance.

China slashed electricity-connection times from close to 150 days in Beijing and Shanghai to little more than 30. "It takes 69 days and costs about 8 percent of the property value to register a property, compared to 20 days and 4.2 percent among high income OECD economies", the report said.

Although the DB 2019 report records a downtick from the previous year's ranking of 145, the country overall gained 1.37 points in its Distance-To-Frontier (DTF) scores, which assess the absolute level of regulatory performance over an one year time period.