THE JEWEL OF THE BRIC CROWN
India is the preferred destination for Doing Business among the emerging BRIC countries, comprising of Brazil, Russia, India and China based on key factors that include, protecting investors’ interest; getting credit; employing workers; starting a business; and trading across borders, according to the rankings in the global report on ‘Doing Business 2009’ by the World Bank and its affiliate the International Financial Corporation.
India occupied the top slot in three of the parameters – protecting investors, getting credit and employing workers; while emerging second in trading across borders and starting a business. India’s improving business environment is a reflection of the regulatory reforms by the Government to bring uniformity in urbanisation across its regions to bridge the urban-rural divide, representing what it calls an “inclusive approach” to development.
This approach is reinforced in the Financial Budget 2009-10 announced by the Indian Finance Minister on July 6, committing increased investments in the infrastructure sector to more than 9% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2014 from 5% currently, apart from other rural development and welfare programs. This opens scope for investment opportunities, in the form of Public Private Partnership (PPP) developments that the government has championed.
Regional variations remain, however, due to internal pressure groups and anti-reforms voices within certain state governments. Cities such as Ludhiana in the north Indian state of Punjab; Bhubaneshwar, capital of the eastern coastal state of Orissa; Ahmedabad in the western state of Gujarat and Hyderabad, capital of the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh rank high in ease of doing business. In contrast, Kolkata, the capital of the East Indian state of West Bengal ranks lowest.