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Tweak and win

The State is always big on ideas, slow on execution. No wonder we need a brand new perception index.

india Updated: Jul 21, 2011 22:54 IST

How do superpowers (well, an emerging one maybe) act? We can tell you they behave much like superheroes, closely emulating the ethos and antics of your average Batman, Iron Man or Wolverine. They identify when the weak and persecuted need protection and succour and hunt down the tormentor. India, too, it seems, draws many a vital lesson from the costumed crusaders, especially when it chances upon an evil plan to besmirch its name. Such an attitude explains its petulance in being ranked lower than Pakistan, Samoa and Mongolia in the International Finance Corporation's Doing Business Report (an arm of the World Bank, if you are trying hard to locate the evil), and its plans to redress the situation by coming up with a new Perception Index to counter the bad name.

For those not in the know, India had been placed at a slov-enly 134 among 183 countries when it came to the ease of doing business, with its record on enforcing contracts being ranked at 182, followed only by Timor Leste (a nine-year-old country of little more than a million people). The study reveals, interestingly, that it would be easier to wind up a business in India (rank 134) than it would be to start one (rank 165). Indian officials, incensed and hurt, have quickly pointed out that IFC has not updated several recent developments, and have decided to abandon the World Bank's methods for their own, well, method.

In our rather benevolent and expansive role as commentators, we must applaud such a move. If you are big on ideas and small on executions, the only resort left to you would be to tweak all possible indices - whether on doing business, removing poverty or improving the status of women - to your own advantage till the warts disappear and you look squeaky clean. The other option would be to pull up your boot-straps and set to work. But then, we never meant business, did we?