India is hosting a team of World Bank Group experts, who arrived on the request of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The team will suggest key reforms and support India's efforts to improve its business environment.
Since India ranks a poor 142, amongst 189 countries, in the ease of 'Doing Business' ranking for 2014, Modi is keen to improve the nation's image, and to get his pet project 'Make in India,' off to a significant start and improve investor sentiment.
World Bank Group's Trade and Competitiveness Practice experts will suggest changes to India's commercial legislation — at local, state and national levels — for the government to implement the necessary reforms, according to The Hindu.
Sylvia Solf, Global Product Lead of Indicator-based Reform Advisory of the World Bank Group's Trade and Competitiveness Practice said that the team will meet with all stakeholders from the private and public sectors at Delhi and Mumbai, to study the ongoing reform initiatives, and would discuss potential reform options and the feasibility of their implementation.
'Business friendly' reforms
Modi, earlier this year, requested World Bank President Jim Yong Kim for a team from the bank to be sent to suggest necessary reforms.
The experts are focusing on indicators related to laws, particularly enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency, amongst others.
Resolving insolvency is high on the list of priorities for government representatives, and resolving the issue provides "a window of opportunity to address changes to commercial legislation." Both sides have examined the scope of possible reforms as per provisions of the Companies Act 2013. The establishment of a regulatory body for insolvency is also said to be under consideration.
Additionally, key bottlenecks in the resolution of commercial cases are being studied, with special focus on relatively small claims in the local Civil Courts in Delhi and Mumbai.
World Bank Group has been assisting more than 70 countries since 2007 with reform programmes and to improve the regulatory mechanism for businesses covered by the 'Doing Business' project, such as business registration, construction permits and insolvency reforms, Solf explained.
The focus of their work is to encourage formal entrepreneurship, primarily made of small and medium-sized organisations; and a more business friendly regulatory environment for domestic companies, she added.
On Tuesday, the Union Cabinet cleared 14 amendments to the Companies Act, 2013; two specifically related to the Doing Business parameters.
Modi seeks to improve India's ranking to improve by March 2015.