Govt Raps BMC Over Un-Ease Of Doing Business
After the World Bank positioned India at the 100the place in its Ease of Doing Business ranking in September last year, a jump of 300 places from its previous ranking, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been consistent in citing it as one of the biggest achievements of his government. India would occupy a place of pride in the World Bank report next year and in the years thereafter when reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax would be counted while assigning the ranking, said Modi in November last year. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said India would make it in the top 50 next year.
While the government might have been patting its back over the achievement, those who went beyond the headlines and read the full report are aware that on several parameters India’s performance actually deteriorated.
While the country’s worst performance was seen on the dealing-with-construction-permits parameter, it also fell 16 places on ease of registering property. India’s ranking on providing ease in starting a business also slid one point.
The findings of the global bank’s latest perception made matters quite uncomfortable for the government which has been basking in the glory of an improvement.
According to the survey, most of the reforms promised by Mumbai’s civic body were only academic and things went on as they did in the past. Despite the launch of online systems, real estate developers still have to bribe officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which is the richest civic body in India, to start their projects.
It is worth mentioning here that the World Bank maps India's progress in ease on doing business only by examining two cities, its financial capital Mumbai and its national capital Delhi.
Red-faced over revelation, the Prime Minister Office in February summoned the BMC commissioner and the Maharashtra chief secretary, asking them to explain what they did to improve their efficiency.
According to an article in The Economic Times, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has also sent a letter to the civic body, reprimanding it about the matter.
“Departments/agencies found it convenient to blame respondents and World Bank findings, without evaluating the system … However, the feedback from respondents indicated that there were significant gaps in actual practice as users reported that they continue to follow old processes,” the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) said in a letter. It also suggested the BMC took on board real estate developers to simplify procedures.