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Ease of Doing Business in India : Past, Present and Future
By Niti Bhasin

First Published : 2018
ISBN : 9788177084702
Pages : 330
Binding : Hardbound
Size : 7 x 9
Price : US$ 98

In the development strategy adopted after Independence in 1947, India paid insufficient attention to improve business environment—so crucial for rapid economic development to combat the twin problems of poverty and unemployment. As a consequence, entrepreneurs struggled to do business in the face of restrictive policies and regulations that choked rather than enabled business enterprises. Myriad rules and regulations inhibited business growth and held back India from achieving its potential.

Economic reforms initiated in 1991 marked a clear change in direction as successive governments started paying attention to difficulties faced by businesses. Although the situation has improved considerably in recent years yet India remains a tough place to do business as per benchmarks of developed countries.

In the World Bank’s Doing Business Report, 2015, India was placed at 142 among 189 countries in terms of ease of doing business. India ranked even below Pakistan which occupied 128th rank and much below China which secured 90th rank.


Encouragingly, India jumped to 100th rank in the 2018 Report. The improved ranking has enhanced India’s global image as a promising investment destination. Government’s target of breaking into the list of top 50 countries is ambitious, yet achievable if it gets its priorities right on the weak areas.

India is presently the world’s fastest growing major economy. In the last few years, it has emerged as a global economic power, a leading outsourcing destination and a favourite of international investors. Indian industry has upgraded technology and product quality to a significant degree and met the challenges of openness after being protected for so long.

This book records and reviews the business environment in India prior to the initiation of economic reforms in 1991 (i.e. for the period 1947 to 1990). It provides a detailed account of policies and measures adopted for industrial liberalization, financial deregulation and trade openness since 1991. More importantly, it explains various programmes and schemes announced and implemented by the Government in recent years to catapult the Indian economy to a higher growth trajectory.

      The book contains 29 chapters which have been categorized into five theme parts.

Part I of the book, consisting of 2 chapters, describes the current state of ease of doing business in India. India is compared with leading countries of the world in terms of Doing Business Report, 2018 of the World Bank. Similarly, States in India are compared based on recent reports on Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

Part II, containing 5 chapters, traces, in historical perspective, the business environment in India prior to the initiation of economic reforms in 1991. It explains excessive regulation and control of private enterprise, state domination of financial sector, multiple and punitive tax regime, protectionist foreign trade policy and restrictions on foreign capital.

Part III, comprising 7 chapters, provides a detailed account of policies and strategies to unshackle the economy from the cobwebs of unnecessary bureaucratic controls. It particularly focuses on: (a) legislative measures to promote and facilitate private enterprise, (b) tax reforms, including the introduction of Goods and Services Tax (GST) from July 1, 2017 and (c) stimulus to foreign direct investment (FDI).

Part IV, consisting of 12 chapters, explains various programmes and schemes announced and implemented by the Government in recent years. These include, inter alia, Make-in-India Campaign, Start-up India Initiative, Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA), Stand-up India Scheme, eBiz Project, Smart Cities Mission, National Skill Development Mission (NSDM), Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) and Digital India.

Part V, containing 3 chapters, spells out current challenges facing the Indian economy and assesses its future prospects.  

Part I: Current State of Ease of Doing Business in India

1. Ease of Doing Business: India vis-à-vis World Economies
1.1 Why is it Difficult to Do Business in India?
1.2 World Bank’s Doing Business Report, 2018
1.3 Doing Business Report 2018 and India
1.4 Doing Business Report and India: 2008 to 2017
1.5 Recent Measures to Improve Business Environment

2. Ease of Doing Business in Indian States: A Comparative Analysis
2.1 Background
2.2 Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms, 2015
2.3 Assessment of State Implementation of Business Reforms, 2016
2.4 Business Reform Action Plan, 2017
2.5 Limitations of Inter-State Comparisons

Part II: Business Environment in India Prior to Initiation of Economic Reforms in 1991 (i.e. 1947 to 1990)
3. Excessive Regulation and Control of Private Enterprise
3.1 Industrial Policy Resolution, 1948
3.2 Industrial Policy Resolution, 1956
3.3 Industrial Licensing Policy Inquiry Committee (ILPIC), 1969
3.4 Industrial Policy Statements 1973, 1977 and 1980
3.5 Industrial Policy, 1947-90: A Critique
3.6 Disillusionment and Rethinking
3.7 Pressure for Industrial Liberalisation

4. State Domination of the Financial Sector
4.1 Policy of Social Control of Financial Institutions
4.2 Nationalization of Financial Institutions
4.3 Rethinking on State Domination of Financial Sector

5. Multiple and Punitive Taxation
5.1 Direct Taxes
5.2 Indirect Taxes

6. Protectionist Foreign Trade Policy
6.1 Partition and the Aftermath
6.2 Depletion of Sterling Balances
6.3 Import Substitution: Cornerstone of Trade Policy
6.4 Stagnant Exports

7. Restrictions on Foreign Capital
7.1 Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA), 1947
7.2 First Five Year Plan (1951-56) on Foreign Capital
7.3 Fourth Five Year Plan (1969-74) on Foreign Capital
7.4 Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA), 1973
7.5 Sixth Five Year Plan (1980-85) on Foreign Technology/Capital
7.6 Seventh Five Year Plan (1985-90) on Foreign Capital
Part III: Industrial Liberalization, Financial Deregulation and Trade Openness Since 1991

8. Industrial Liberalization, Delicensing and Institutional Support
8.1 Initiation of Economic Reforms
8.2 Industrial Policy Statement, 1991: The Great U-turn
8.3 Liberalization of the Locational Policy
8.4 National Manufacturing Competitiveness Council (2004)
8.5 National Manufacturing Policy (NMP), 2011
8.6 Institutional Set-up and Support for Industrialization

9. Reformed Legal Framework for Industry and Business
9.1 Constitutional Provisions for Industrialisation
9.2 Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951
9.3 Companies Act, 2013
9.4 Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices (MRTP) Act, 1969
9.5 Competition Act, 2002
9.6 Consumer Protection Act, 1986
9.7 Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), 1999
9.8 Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) Act, 2008
9.9 Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC), 2016

10. Financial Deregulation and Reforms
10.1 Focus of Financial Sector Reforms
10.2 India’s Approach to Financial Sector Reforms
10.3 Strategy of Financial Sector Reforms
10.4 International Security Standards
10.5 Migration to Basel Norms
10.6 Accounting and Auditing Standards
10.7 Technological Solutions for Financial Services
10.8 Legislative Measures to Strengthen Financial Sector
10.9 High Level Committee on Financial Sector Reforms, 2008
10.10 Committee on Financial Sector Assessment (CFSA), 2009
10.11 Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC), 2013
10.12 Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC)
10.13 Financial Action Task Force (FATF)
10.14 Financial Stability Board (FSB)
10.15 Achievements of Financial Sector Reforms and Areas of Concern

11. Tax Reforms and Goods and Services Tax (GST)
11.1 Commodity Taxation in India Prior to the Introduction of GST
11.2 Introduction of GST: A Historic Tax Reform
11.3 Salient Features of GST

12. Trade Openness and Integration with the World Economy
12.1 Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), 2004-09
12.2 Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), 2009-14
12.3 Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), 2015-20

13. Stimulus to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)
13.1 Industrial Policy Statement, 1991 on FDI
13.2 Post-1991 Initiatives to Attract Foreign Investment
13.3 General Conditions Governing FDI
13.4 Sector-specific Caps and Conditions on FDI for Permitted Sectors

14. Inflation Targeting
14.1 What is Inflation?
14.2 What is Inflation Targeting?
14.3 Origin of Inflation Targeting
14.4 Need for Inflation Targeting
14.5 Amendment of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934
14.6 Fixing of Inflation Target
14.7 Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)

 Part IV: Recent Policies and Programmes to Promote and Facilitate Industry and Business

15. Make-in-India Campaign
15.1 Four Pillars of Make-in-India Initiative
15.2 Sectors Identified
15.3 SIDBI Make-in-India Loan Scheme for Small Enterprises (SMILE)

16. Start-up India Initiative
16.1 What is a Start-up?
16.2 Start-up Ecosystem
16.3 Characteristics of a Start-up
16.4 Prime Minister’s Start-up India Initiative, 2016
16.5 India Aspiration Fund (IAF) for Start-ups

17. Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) and Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY)
17.1 What is MUDRA?
17.2 Services Offered by MUDRA
17.3 Pradhan Mantri MUDRA Yojana (PMMY)
17.4 Purpose of MUDRA Loan
17.5 MUDRA Card
17.6 Development and Promotional Support
17.7 Pricing of MUDRA Loans
17.8 Synergies with Make-in-India Campaign
17.9 MUDRA in the Budget for 2018-19

18. Stand-up India Scheme
18.1 Main Features of Stand-up India Scheme
18.2 Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI)

19. eBiz Project for Improvement of Business Environment
19.1 What is eBiz?
19.2 Vision of eBiz Project
19.3 Objectives of eBiz Project
19.4 Services Offered by eBiz
19.5 International Experience

20. Smart Cities Mission
20.1 Smart City Defined
20.2 Emerging Urbanization Scenario in India
20.3 Smart Cities Mission: Background
20.4 Typical Features of a Smart City
20.5 Strategic Components of a Smart City
20.6 Proposal Preparation
20.7 Process of Selection of Smart Cities
20.8 Number of Smart Cities in Each State/Union Territory
20.9 Implementation by Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV)
20.10 Financing of Smart Cities
20.11 Funds Release
20.12 Mission Monitoring
20.13 Convergence with Other Government Schemes
20.14 Selection of Cities in Different Rounds

21. National Policy for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (NPSDE), 2015
21.1 Vision and Mission
21.2 Objectives of NPSDE, 2015
21.3 Policy Framework for Skill Development: Eleven-point Strategy
21.4 Policy Framework for Entrepreneurship: Nine-point Strategy
21.5 Governance Structure and Financing
21.6 Monitoring and Evaluation

22. National Skill Development Mission (NSDM) and Initiatives
22.1 Why Skills and Knowledge are Important for India?
22.2 Launching of Skill India Mission
22.3 Objectives of NSDM
22.4 Institutional Mechanisms
22.5 NSDM Strategy
22.6 Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY)
22.7 Udaan
22.8 Skill Loan Scheme

23. Strategies and Measures to Promote Innovations
23.1 Meaning and Role of Innovations
23.2 Skills Required for Innovations
23.3 Strategies to Promote Innovations
23.4 Atal Innovation Mission (AIM)
23.5 National Innovation Foundation (NIF)
23.6 National Innovation Council (NInC)
23.7 India Inclusive Innovation Fund (IIIF)

24. Demonetization and Other Anti-Black Money Legislative Measures
24.1 History and Background
24.2 Prime Minister’s Historic Announcement on Demonetization
24.3 Objectives of Demonetization
24.4 Gains from Demonetization
24.5 Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002
24.6 Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Amendment Act, 2016
24.7 Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013
24.8 Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015

25. Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) for Infrastructure Development
25.1 PPP Defined
25.2 PPP Policy and Approach
25.3 PPP Cell in the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA)
25.4 National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF)
25.5 PPP Mode in Select Sectors

26. Promotion of Electronic Payment Systems
26.1 Recent Trends toward Electronic Payments
26.2 National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)
26.3 Committee to Review the Framework Related to Digital Payments
26.4 Credit/Debit Cards
26.5 ATM Networks
26.6 Digital Wallet
26.7 Aadhaar-enabled Payment System (AEPS)
26.8 Unified Payment Interface (UPI) of India
26.9 Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), *99# Banking
26.10 RuPay
26.11 Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM)
26.12 Payment and Settlement Systems: Vision-2018 of Reserve Bank of India

Part V: Indian Economy: Current Challenges and Future Prospects

27. World Economy and India
27.1 Global Economy: Current Scenario and Prospects
27.2 India in the Global Economy

28. Challenges before the Indian Economy
28.1 Empowerment of Marginalised Groups
28.2 Dismantling Internal Trade Barriers
28.3 Trade Policy Stress
28.4 Effective Public-Private Dialogue
28.5 Mobile Value Added Services (MVAS)
28.6 The China Factor

29. Future Prospects of the Indian Economy
29.1 Growth Prospects
29.2 Future Global Ranks of the Indian Economy
29.3 Towards Double-digit Growth Rate
29.4 Telecommunications, Information Technology (IT) and Electronics: The Triad of Future Economic Prosperity
29.5 Role of the Government in the Changed Scenario



Dr. Niti Bhasin is presently Associate Professor in the Department of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics (DSE), University of Delhi, Delhi. A gold medallist in the M. Com. examination of 2000 of University of Delhi, she holds M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees from the Department of Commerce, University of Delhi. She has published research papers in refereed academic journals including Multinational Business Review (Emerald), Journal of International Trade and Economic Development (Taylor and Francis), and Global Business Review (Sage).

Dr. Bhasin has attended and presented papers at various international conferences/seminars including the Third World Finance Conference, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 2012; Mahidol University, Bangkok (Thailand), 2016; and Henley Business School, University of Reading, London (UK), 2017. She is the recipient of Best Business Academic of the Year Award (2011) by Indian Commerce Association. Before joining the Department of Commerce, Delhi School of Economics, she taught for about 4 years at Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), University of Delhi. Her areas of specialisation include international business, foreign investment, finance and taxation.

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