October 21, 2016
Dear Friends, I am happy to share few of my thoughts on diverse subjects. Global Competitive Index India climbed 16 places more this year in World Economic Forum’s Competitive Rankings and ranked as 39 out of 138 countries rated (from 55th place post jumping 16 places in 2015). The ranking is based on 12 parameters including infrastructure, market size, institutions, business sophistication etc., The ranking is an analysis of the factors and institutions that determine long-term growth and prosperity. This is a huge progress for the country and credit must go to the Modi Government. It has helped attracting more inbound investment. The preface to the report rightly articulates current context of the world as - The Global Competitiveness Report 2016–2017 is being launched at a time of rising income inequality, mounting social and political tensions, and a general feeling of uncertainty about the future. Growth remains persistently low: commodity prices have fallen, as has trade; external imbalances are increasing; and government finances are stressed. However, it also comes during one of the most prosperous and peaceful times in recorded history, with less disease, poverty, and violent conflict than ever before”. Ease of Doing Business The other global ranking which I have been tracking and wish to see huge improvement is ease of doing business ranking. India Ranked at 130 out of 189 countries as per 2015 rankings and current year ranking is yet to be announced. Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has been made nodal agency to work on to improve this ranking. DIPP is working on a mission to ensure that, India is ranked in top 50 in next three years, let’s hope we will get there. I am happy to share couple of my experiences which acknowledges improvement in ease of doing business (a). Have been able to incorporate companies in single form in less than 24 hours on a consistent basis [which used to be a dream or one off case] (b). Speedy disposal of income tax returns and refunds – return filed on 30th July 2016 for a business entity received refund on 5th Oct 2016. Fourth Industrial Revolution World started recognizing current environment as Fourth Industrial Revolution. It’s a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another as per Klaus Schwab, Chairman of World Economic Forum. It’s a fusion of technologies straddling the physical, digital and biological worlds. This offers huge opportunities and challenges. Like earlier revolutions it can lift global incomes and improve lives worldwide and the supply side miracles due to technology will lead to long-term gains in efficiency and productivity. The downside of this is – undoubtedly eliminate many manufacturing and manual jobs, infringe rights to privacy etc., It is going to be humongous challenge to all businesses, either fortune 500 or small, everybody needs to reinvent their business models and align with the digital revolution. Irrespective of outcomes it’s interesting and fascinating to be part of current generation. Business Regulatory Framework It’s amazing to see the pace at which government is moving on various regulatory aspects governing business:
- Goods & Services Tax – Has been able to get the constitution amendment bill for GST, GST Council constituted, IT back bone under development, likely approval of GST Bill in winter session, implementation from 1st April 2017.
- Insolvency & Bankruptcy – MS Sahoo assumes charge as Chairman of Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) and also appointed 4 members to the Board, draft rules have been put up for public comments, working to make this functional by end of FY 2016-17.
- Commercial Courts – The States of Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra have constituted commercial courts and start functioning, other states are yet to constitute these benches.