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Editorial: Good News for Modi Government in Election Year

Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi

Port Wings, 07 Nov 2018:

With the World Bank’s Doing Business Report giving thumps-up to Indian government on business sentiment, it has come as a big reprieve for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party just before the long election season in the country.

While five important states are going to Assembly polls in next few weeks, Indians will vote for new government in the Centre next summer.

Within minutes of the report coming in public domain, BJP’s leading voices literally hijacked the TV studios and presented the news as “Ache Din.” On the other hand, opposition parties led by Indian National Congress convulsed the jargon into mere propaganda by the ruling party and reiterated that the reality on doing business in India is something else.

Going a step forward in batting for the government, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant expressed hope that India can figure in top-25 nations in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking in next three years.

According to Kant, India, which has jumped 23 places to the 77th position in the latest ranking released on 31 October 2018, can reach top 50 in the ranking next year.

And the ruling party presents this ranking as a spectacular performance, as no country of India’s size and complexity has achieved such jump of 65 positions in three years. The ranking comes as a shot in the arm for the government which faces strong dissenting voices from opposition parties ahead of the general elections next year.  According to the ranking, New Zealanders can set up a business in a few hours. However, it will takes 174 days in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Slovenia is the cheapest place to get a business up and running. Afghanistan improved its score more than any other country after beefing up protection for minority investors. China slashed electricity-connection times from close to 150 days in Beijing and Shanghai to little more than 30.

In Asian continent, China and India were standouts. The Europe region accounted for half the slots in the top 10. Georgia hopped over the U.K. and the U.S. to claim 6th position. Along with New Zealand, Georgia requires just one procedure to start a business, the least worldwide. Gains by Georgia and Norway pushed the U.K. down two places to 9th.

The improvement may be a handy tool for the ruling party to project it as great achievement in this election season. Whether it will eventually turn the tide for the BJP or not, only time will tell. Till then, just sing “Ache Din” has come for Indians along with BJP leaders.

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