At HT Leadership Summit, PM Modi talks about phone call from World Bank chief

At HT Leadership Summit, PM Modi talks about phone call from World Bank chief

Some time after the World Bank announced its last Ease of Doing Business rankings, World Bank chairman Jim Yong Kim picked up the phone to speak with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. India had moved up 14 places in the rankings, and was among the top 10 performers on the list. India was ranked 63rd, up from the country’s 142nd rank when PM Modi took office in 2014.

‘In the last five years, we have improved 79 ranks,’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday as he revealed some details about the conversation in his inaugural address at the 17th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. The theme of the Summit is ‘Conversations for a better tomorrow’.

‘He said that for such a big country – that too a developing country – to continuously improve its ranking was something that the World Bank hadn’t seen this in the past,’ PM Modi told the gathering of business leaders, diplomats, political leaders and commentators at the Summit.

It was a sentiment that was reflected in the World Bank’s report that had mentioned PM Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign focused on attracting foreign investment, boosting the private sector — manufacturing in particular — and enhancing the country’s overall competitiveness.

In the months and weeks after being sworn-in as prime minister back in 2014, PM Modi had targeted placing the country under the top 50 spots and has driven simplification of procedures and laws at the Centre and the states.

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Like the one to shift the entire tax assessment online whereby neither the tax officer would know whose file he was scrutinising nor would the citizen know which officer had his file. ‘This will also end the industry of transfers and postings,’ he said, pointing out that it would also reduce instances of harassment.

The other changes over the last few years include structural changes like Goods and Services Tax and the insolvency and bankruptcy code, as well as investments in health and sanitation infrastructure and smart cities initiatives.

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