Ease of Doing Business Reforms: Recommendations from the Legal Perspective
The Modi Administration has made ease of doing business – most clearly quantified by the World Bank’s annual Ease of Doing Business Report – a cornerstone of efforts to attract new business and investment. Given this focus, the U.S.-India Business Council partnered with Khaitan & Co., one of India’s oldest full-service law firms, to develop a list of targeted recommendations designed to make India’s economy more business-friendly and support the country’s expansive economic growth.
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Regulatory and policy reforms have been at the top of the agenda for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the NDA government since 2014. Over the past five years, the government has carried out numerous reforms aimed at improving the ease of doing business in India.
As a testament to the success of these reforms, India climbed 75 spots during PM Modi’s first term, reaching 77th in the World Bank’s 2018-19 Ease of Doing Business report. The Government of India has set the goal of improving its ranking to 30th spot by 2020.(1)
The U.S.-India Business Council and Khaitan & Co, one of India’s oldest and largest law firms, offer the following suggestions for reforms that we believe will significantly increase India’s status as a global leader in business. We see these reforms as easy and quick-to-implement solutions to procedural and regulatory challenges facing domestic and foreign-based businesses. This report is presented from the perspective of lawyers, who are often key figures influencing a company’s decision to invest in India.
These recommendations are based on our research and experience, supplemented by discussions with Indian and U.S. lawyers, including in-house counsel for some of the leading Indian and multi-national companies doing business in India.
It is our view that these recommendations are in line with the Government of India’s already significant success at enacting economic reforms. If implemented, we believe that will improve ease of doing business in India and propel the growth of foreign direct investment (FDI) from the international business community.
For ease of reference, we have classified the reforms into three broad categories:
- Easily implementable reforms
- FDI regime-related reforms
- Longer-term policy reforms