India urged to ease burdens on businesses

New report calls on the Indian government to improve the country as a place to do business.

India is urged to ease burdens on businesses.
The time is right for the Indian government to take steps to make it easier to do business in the country, according to a new report.Compiled by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and global professional services firm EY, the report says India has a "golden opportunity" to modernise the nation's business environment over the next five years.While the report says India has improved markedly as a place to do business in recent years, it still needs to improve its current ranking of 63rd in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings.It describes the UK as a "natural partner" of India's ambition to become a $5 trillion economy by 2025, but says "barriers to deepening trade ties remain, from tax and the complexity of regulations to contract and data protection issues".

Reducing bureaucratic barriers in India

The report, ‘Sterling Access: UK companies supporting India’s growth’, calls on the Indian government to urgently create a consensus at a national and state level on the next wave of economic reforms, which should significantly reduce the burden of compliance and bureaucratic barriers.Additionally, India is urged to adopt international standards and processes, and create a single regulatory authority to support industry.
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Lord Bilimoria of Chelsea, CBI vice-president, says, “As India rockets up the ease of doing business rankings, it is becoming an ever more attractive country in which to trade and invest for British firms.“Business has warmly welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s bold economic reforms, like the Goods and Services Tax. Now is the time to go further, building on India’s political stability, and reach consensus on new reforms, from adopting international standards to creating a single regulatory authority for industry.“There’s no doubt that India will continue to be a vital trading partner as the UK charts a new future outside the European Union. If the government can make these reforms a reality, the UK will be a natural partner in tackling barriers to trade and working to achieve India’s aim of becoming a $5 trillion economy.”

Sector-specific reforms needed

Adil Zaidi, partner at Ernst & Young LLP, hopes the publication of the report will provide ideas on how the ease of doing business in India could be improved, based on the experience of UK companies already operating there."This publication will provide insights to the policymakers and help steer the next wave of business reforms in India. As we go ahead, the focus should be on sector-specific reforms by learning from existing businesses,” he says.

For more news and features, visit our dedicated India section. 

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