US officials and investors said last week that despite reforms, doing business in India 'is messy'. Gaurav Choudhury reports. The tape is still deep redUpdated: Apr 07, 2013, 01:36 IST
The world has been peering curiously at the stuff bubbling in India's economic laboratory. Two years ago President Barack Obama had come calling with the largest business delegation ever to accompany the US head of state to any country - a clear sign that India's rising economy has never mattered more to the world than now.
Yet, India continues to be seen as a dodgy destination for anyone wanting to do business there, a fact that even the government now has begun to admit.
"I do understand that many of you may have difficult time in doing business in India. Many of you yesterday told me and I quote, "doing business in India is messy" unquote," the Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram told a group of investors in the US last month. The tape is still deep red
Five days ago, an optimistic Prime Minister Manmohan Singh admitted that corruption, government red-tape and inter-ministerial differences were resulting in delayed decision making, which in turn can hurt business sentiment.
India is ranked 132 among 185 economies in the World Bank's latest "Doing Business" report. Starting a business in India is daunting - requires going through 12 procedures, which can take 27 days and can be expensive. Registering a property or building a warehouse are time-consuming.
It's not about foreign investors only. As our graphic alongside demonstrates while adverse policy pronouncements had dented India's image as an investment hotspot sparking fears among global investors, domestic entrepreneurs also have a similar tale to tell on India's business environment.
Quick decision making, speedier implementation and a non-interfering administration are vital to reverse the slowdown in India's economy, spin jobs and multiply income.