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INDIA RANKS 142 IN DOING BUSINESS

India ranked 142 among the 189 countries surveyed for the latest World Bank's "Ease of Doing Business" report released today, a drop by two places from the last year's ranking, as Singapore topped the list. The fall in India's ranking from the last year's 140 is mainly because other nations performed much better, Bank officials said. India's ranking originally stood at 134 last year, but has been now adjusted to 140 by the Bank to account for fresh data. In the 2014 report, India had 52.78 points and this year it scored 53.97 points. The latest ranking, however, does not take into account a slew of measures taken by the Modi Government to make India a business friendly destination. "We do not want to send the impression that the drop in India's ranking is connected in any way with the current political situation (government)," said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators Group, Development Economics of the World Bank Group. "It is absolutely true that the new government of Mr Modi has made it very clear that they see the creation of a better investment climate and a more business friendly environment in India a top priority. However, it is important to remember that the new Government did not come into office until the second half of May," he said. Noting that the cut-off of ease of doing business is May 31st, Lopez said whatever the government would do and whatever is in the pipeline is going to have an impact on these indicators only next year. Appreciative of the steps taken by the new Indian Government, World Bank officials said that there was a very high likelihood of India significantly jumping up the ladder in the next report. Singapore with 88.27 points occupies the top position in the ease of doing business followed by New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark and South Korea respectively. Among other major countries, the US has been ranked seventh, Britain (eight), China (90), Sri Lanka (99), Nepal (108), Maldives (116), Bhutan (125), and Pakistan (128). When asked about the ambition of the new Indian Government to move up the ladder and gain a ranking within top 50 countries, Lopez said: "There is no reason, why not?". "Absolutely, it can be done. There are many examples of countries who through focused efforts, through intelligently designed reforms have managed to make very substantial improvement," he said. Though India did drop a little bit in terms of its ranking, the ease of doing business has improved over the last 12 months, he said. Rita Ramalho, lead author of the Doing Business report, said India's ranking dropped, despite improvement in its business environment, because other countries improved. "There is a continuous improvement across the world. India improved, but others improved at a faster pace," Ramalho said.

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