Global agency Moody&8217;s last week maintained status quo on India&8217;s rating despite the government&8217;s pitching for an upgrade listing a string of reforms it has undertaken. With a host of reform measures, including the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and enactment of insolvency law, the country will also witness improvement in its ranking in the World Bank&8217;s Ease of Doing Business in coming years. India was ranked 130th among 189 countries in the ease of doing business rankings 2016, an improvement of four spots from the previous year. Asked if the reform measures would get reflected in the World Bank&8217;s forthcoming ranking for 2017, Jaitley said,
There was a cut-off date for that. After that cut-off date, many steps were taken. If you see GST, Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act happened after that. So it&8217;s a continuous process. What has not been reflected would come up in the counting next year.
I think keeping the popular aspirations, the reform agenda of the government, a possible continuous improvement in the goods market through the GST, in the digital India space, I am sure that this momentum would continue. There are, of course, areas like health care and education where we need to do a lot more in order to further move up as far as this agenda is concerned, Jaitley said.
The landmark improvement in the Global Competitiveness rankings India is in consequence of the structural reforms and policy initiatives taken by the government in the last two years and should be viewed as an encouragement to us to continue with the agenda of reforms which would further streamline economic decision making and help us move up on the index of global competitiveness, Jaitley said.
The report analyses how India&8217;s competitiveness score had stagnated between 2007 and 2014 till the new government took office and undertook a range of reforms including opening the economy to foreign investors and international trade, improving public institutions and building infrastructure. There is however no room for complacency and the government will continue to focus on areas which need improvement, he said.
In the coming months and years, significant improvement in goods market efficiency may be expected from the GST implementation that will reduce fragmentation of the domestic market.