World Bank's ease of business rankings: Why is Congress cribbing?
India has jumped a massive 30 places to 100 in the World Bank's ease of doing business rankings this year. When Narendra Modi government took the reins of the country in 2014, India's ranking in the index was 142. So essentially in three years, India has moved up by 42 places to be at 100th rank this year.
To make India business friendly has been one of the key focus areas of Modi. Soon after assuming PM's post, he called for doing away with uneccessary laws and procedures that make setting up a business complex. In the last three years several procedures were simplified, rules were modified and over a 1,000 laws were abolished with the aim of bringing simplicity to conduct business in the country.
Modi government's aim is break into top 50 in this index which considers many parameters to rank the countries. New Zealand currently tops the list with Singapore at second place. India's neighbours China and Pakistan are at 78th and 147th place, respectively. India has jumped 53 places from 172 to 119 on ease of paying taxes, leapt over to the 4th rank on protecting minority investors and moved 15 places from 44 to 29 on ease of businesses getting credit.
Amid criticism from the opposition over the handling of the economy, the World Bank report is a major boost for the government. But the opposition did not seem too pleased with it and found lame reasons to cricise something which the entire world has lauded. Rahul Gandhi took to twitter and said said "everyone knows the truth".
"Sabko maloom hai 'ease of doing business' ki hakikat, lekin khud ko khush rakhne ke liye 'Dr Jaitley' yeh khyaal acha hai (Everyone knows the truth about ease of doing business, but let Dr Jaitley keep himself happy thinking about it)," tweeted Rahul.
During his address at a rally, Rahul tried to find faults with the ranking system itself. He said that World Bank has taken into account only Mumbai and Delhi while ranking India. The Congress has time and again called the BJP a party that favours big business groups. Rahul has used the expressions like "suit boot ki sarkar" to describe the Modi government. So, Rahul is doing what opposition does, that is to criticise anything and everything that the ruling party does. That is the way politics is done in our country. We can only hope that events and decisions concerning the nation would one day be viewed based on their merit rather than from the political point of view.
Here is what leaders from both sides said:
'We should have been in top 50', said Shashi Tharoor
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor wondered what there was to celebrate in the World Bank 'Doing Business 2018' report.
"Modi promised to us that we will be in the first 50 positions within two years of his government and the fact is that after four years we are at number 100," he said.
"When the prime minister of India announces a target and fails spectacularly... it's worth pointing that out before we start celebrating too much on this," he added.
Jaitley compared UPA regime to 'ease of doing corruption'
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley hit back at Rahul Gandhi over his remarks on World Bank's rankings and said that under NDA rule "ease of doing business" has replaced "ease of doing corruption".
"The difference between the UPA and NDA - The ease of doing corruption has been replaced by the ease of doing business," Jaitley had tweeted.
Sibal defends Rahul
Congress leader Kapil Sibal said that Jaitley must not forget that he is the finance minister of millions of people who do business and not just of the taxpayers.
"He must realise the day they feel that there is ease of doing business is the day that they will appreciate the Finance Minister. So, the Finance Minister should not rely on World Bank report given in respect with Delhi and Mumbai which deals with creamy layers of business in our society," Sibal told ANI.
BJP likens Rahul's remark to Pakistan
"When you hear statements of Rahul Gandhi and Congress Party about India doing well in the economy, and making it big into the world economy, the statement appears as if they are coming from Pakistan," BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao told news agency ANI on Thursday.