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India jumps 14 places on World Bank's ease of doing business list

FILE PHOTO: A general view of Mumbai's central financial district, India June 13, 2017. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Faster bankruptcy resolution and issuance of construction permits helped India jump 14 places in the World Bank’s annual ranking of countries for their ease of doing business, but at 63rd it was still way behind the likes of China and Malaysia.

“India put in place four new business reforms during the past year and earned a place in among the world’s top ten improvers for the third consecutive year,” the World Bank said in its “Doing Business 2020” report released on Thursday.

Keen to draw investment and accelerate economic growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has targeted winning a top-50 ranking in the World Bank’s annual assessment of 190 countries.

Last year, India’s government also eased rules for starting new businesses and for conducting international trade. And this year it cut the corporate tax rate to encourage investment.

Yet, the economy has slowed over the past year as weak private investments led to year-on-year growth falling to a six-year low of 5% in the April-June quarter.

New Zealand topped the World Bank’s ease of doing business list. Malaysia was placed 12th and China ranked 31st.

The economies that showed the most notable improvement were Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, India and Nigeria, according to the report.

The latest report showed India still lagged in areas such as enforcing contracts where it was ranked 163rd, and registering property where it was 154th.

Reporting by Aftab Ahmed; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Simon Cameron-Moore