Pakistan has improved its ranking by 11 spots in the World Bank's latest Ease of Doing Business rankings, climbing to 136th from 147th previous year. The advance - the second big jump in a row - marks a huge step forward in Narendra Modi government's efforts to ease processes, project a business-friendly environment, and draw in foreign investment. In the 2017 report, the country was ranked 100.
A Commerce and Industry Ministry statement in New Delhi said: "India's leap of 23 ranks in the ease of doing business ranking is significant considering that past year India has improved its ranking by 30 places, a rare feat for any large country of the size of India".
Jaitley pointed out that the areas where India needs to improve include insolvency and taxation and the time taken to register property, start a business and enforce contracts.
Rwanda, which recently spent £30m in a sponsorship deal with Arsenal football club, carried out the most reforms in the region in past year, with seven, and moved up to 29th in the World Bank ranking. "The most dramatic improvements have been registered in the indicators related to "construction permits" and "trading across borders". But it fell short in registering property (53), resolving insolvency (44), getting credit (32) and enforcing contracts (30).
According to the Doing Business 2019 - Training for Reforms report, last year's reforms accelerated Turkey's efforts to improve the business climate for domestic small and medium enterprises - SMEs. India is now recognised as among top ten improvers for the 2nd consecutive year. The country now ranks first among South Asian countries, compared to the sixth slot it held in 2014, he added.
Reiterating the government's role, Jaitley said, the ease of doing business is to maximise the governance with minimum government personnel. "By implementing the Single Window Clearance System in Delhi and the Online Building Permit Approval System in Mumbai during the second half of 2017, India also continued to streamline and centralize its construction permitting process", it said.More news: Andre Drummond calls Joel Embiid 'Emmy Award-winning actor'
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Besides these reforms, other data corrections also contributed to the unprecedented improvement in the ranking of Pakistan, said Fareena Mazhar, executive director general, BOI.
"The improvement is the result of a combination of measures taken by the government in the last four years", Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said.
Ranking compilers cited examples such as initiatives taken by utility distribution companies in Beijing and Shanghai, which "significantly reduced the time to obtain a new electricity connection". "You have to crack the code and try and improve on the criterion in which we lack".
Kenya strengthened access to credit by introducing a new law on secured transactions that created a unified secured transactions legal framework.
India also performs particularly well in the area of Protecting Minority Investors, with a global rank of 7, and scoring a flawless 10 in the index measuring shareholders' rights and role in major corporate decisions.
Some of the reforms implemented in the past year were also mentioned in the report.