The Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said in Gujarat today that there is no ease of doing business in India as GST and demonetization have killed the economy. Gandhi’s comment comes just a day after World Bank index showed India improving in the list of the business climate. India jumped a record 30 places in the Ease of Doing Business report for 2018 for the first time, which is an influential 190-country parameter of competitiveness as many businesses probably consider for investment choices.
This World Bank report comes as a positive booster for the Modi government, which has been struggling the negative narrative around the economy that has decelerated to a three-year low of 5.7% in the quarter ended June. This will unarguably help blunt political criticism prior to elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, which will go for polls in November and December. Criticizing the finance minister Arun Jaitley, Gandhi said that the “entire country will shout to say that there is no ease of doing business in India”. The 47-year-old politician also added that the finance minister must meet small and mid-level businessmen for 5-10 minutes and ask if the ease of doing business had really improved or not.
Earlier in the day, the Congress vice-president had tweeted in Hindi, using a verse by famous Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib to say that Jaitley was fooling himself. “Sabko maloom hai ease of doing business ki haqeeqat, lekin khud ko khush rakhne ke liye Dr Jaitley ye khayal achha hai (Everybody knows the reality of ease of doing business, but this thought is good Dr Jaitley to keep yourself happy),” tweeted Gandhi. After the World Bank ranking was made public, the finance minister Jaitley said at a press conference on Tuesday that India is the only major country named for pursuing structural forms. “In 2014, we were 142nd and then (in) last two years, we improved to 131st and 130th. These are not generalized rankings. It happened in specific areas and they take tough parameters for that ranking,” Jaitley said.
India’s ranking improved because of few reforms in licensing, taxation, investor protection, and bankruptcy resolution, as per the World Bank.