The perception among U.K. businesses that corruption is a major barrier in doing business in India has halved, according to the latest edition of the U.K. India Business Council’s Ease of Doing Business report compared with what it was in 2015.
There has been a considerable year-on-year fall in the number of companies that viewed ‘corruption’ as a major barrier – from 34% in 2016 to 25% in 2017. It has halved since 2015, where it stood at 51%.
This decline shows a major improvement, indicating that the current government’s efforts to mitigate corruption appear to be delivering tangible and much-desired results.
Corruption is no longer considered a ‘top-three’ barrier compared to those not currently active in India.
What made such steadfast progress?
The report noted that initiative such as Aadhaar, electronic submission of government documents, acceptance of electronic signatures, and the push to file taxes online. This all have reduced face-to-face interactions where corruption is most likely to take place.
The extent of digitalization, however, varies markedly across sectors, as does corruption, with those engaging in infrastructure projects still reporting significant issues relating to corruption.
Taxation issues and Price Points overtook ‘corruption’ as major barriers identified by 36% and 29% of respondents, respectively. The proportion of respondents identifying ‘taxation issues’ was 3% lower in 2018 than in 2017.
The key issue for those outside India is increasing market demand for their products and services relative to government and bureaucracy-related barriers.