India is top reformer in South Asia: WB

Washington, September 7 :

India is the top reformer in South Asia making it easier to do business there, according to a new report by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

‘Doing Business 2007: How to Reform’ finds that India implemented five reforms in fiscal 2005-06 to simplify business registration, cross-border trade, and payment of taxes, as well as easing access to credit and strengthening investor protection.

Although the reforms improved India’s ranking over last year’s, it still ranks relatively low at 134 and lies 41 places after China — which is reforming at a faster pace than India.

Bangladesh is the third easiest country in which to do business in South Asia, although as a whole it is lagging behind other parts of the world when it comes to reforms that could enhance business activity, the report said. Bangladesh has undertaken steps to improve its business climate and one notable reform made recently was introduction of a new land registration act to improve security and reduce corruption in land transactions.

However, Nepal ranks ahead of India at 100, despite political instability and growing Maoists threat. After the publication of World Bank’s report, foreign investors — who are sighing away at present — might be encougared to do business in Nepal.

S Asian ranking :

Maldives 53

Pakistan 74

Bangladesh 88

Sri Lanka 89

Nepal 100

India 134

Bhutan 138

Afghanistan 162