FinMin Assures Further Relaxing of GST to Improve Business Ranking
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Nirmala Sitharaman, the Finance Minister of India, on Thursday assured to provide support to improve India’s position in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index. She further said Goods and Services Tax (GST) would be simplified to facilitate the improvement in the ranking. 

India has improved its ranking of late. It has improved its ranking by jumping 14 places to currently rank 63rd in the list of 190 nations in the World Bank’s ease of doing business index report. The improvement in the ranking may be due to considerable improvements in settling insolvency and getting permits for construction. 

Apart from that, India has done well in parameters such as registering properties, cross-border trading, paying taxes, starting businesses and receiving electric connections. Yet, India has not done well in the other three factors; protecting minority investors, contracts enforcement, and availing credits. 

The Finance Minister said that the next target is to achieve a rank of less than 50. Considering the significance of ranking in terms of attracting foreign investors, Nirmala Sitharaman said there would be further efforts put in by the government to simplify the process of starting a business in the country.

Also Read: World Bank: India Has Improved the Ease of Doing Business

Nirmala Sitharaman said that GST would be simplified to help the businesses in staying tax compliant. The government is carefully analysing GST to find glitches in filing offline returns. She further said that every GST Council meeting going forward would have more focus on simplifying the procedures.

Till now, only Mumbai and New Delhi were considered by the World Bank to prepare the ranking index for India. From next year, Bengaluru and Kolkata will also be taken into account for the ranking purpose. This means that one major city each from North, South, East and West of India would be considered. 

The decision to include Bengaluru and Kolkata will give a more holistic picture of doing business in India. Given the size of the country and its cultural diversity, it was only fair to increase the number of cities considered for the ranking purpose. The views of industries in Bengaluru and Kolkata will now play a significant factor in India’s ranking.

Back in the year 2014, India was ranked 142nd in the list, and it has come a long way to rank 63rd in 2019 currently.

For any clarifications/feedback on the topic, please contact the writer at vineeth.nc@cleartax.in

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