India needs to significantly bring down corruption and tax evasion to better perform in the Global Competitiveness Index, Saritha Nayar, Chief Operating Officer of the World Economic Forum (WEF) has said.
To that effect, policy measures such as demonetisation and GST represent much-needed reforms, she told Business Standard on Tuesday.
India's rank is down by a single position in the latest world competitiveness index compiled by WEF. Released last week, it places India at 40th among 137 economies for the 2017-18 report, down from 39th position in 2016-17. However, this is the country's highest score, under a new methodology, WEF has clarified.
In 2016-17, India had jumped 16 positions, from 55th rank a year before. The index this year measures national competitiveness.
Defined as the set of institutions, policies and factors that determine the level of productivity. Of the three sub-indexes, India has progressed the most in the efficiency enhancers category, up four positions to the 42nd rank.
Nayar said such issues would be the focal point of discussions at the upcoming three-day India Economic Summit, starting on Wednesday.
More than 650 leaders from 35 countries are taking part in the event this year.
The summit, with 'Creating Indian Narratives on Global Challenges' as its theme, will help the global business community learn first-hand about India's reform programme from key members of the Cabinet WEF said in a statement.
It is being co-chaired by Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, Wellspun CEO Dipali Goenka, Railways and coal minister Piyush Goyal, Textile Minister Smriti Irani among others.
Besides them, top policymakers will include Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.
Chairman of Bharti Enterprises Sunil Bharti Mittal, CMD of Spice Jet India Ajay Singh, Chief Executive Officer and Joint Managing Director of Welspun India Dipali Goenka, Chairman of Godrej Group Adi Godrej, Chairman of Hero MotoCorp India Pawan Munjal, and Director Essar India Prashant Ruia are among the top industrialists who would share their perspectives at the Summit.
The summit will also see the first-ever Open Forum India, more than 35 live-streamed sessions and over 130 journalists.The Open Forum India session, entitled My India @2022, will focus on the country's unique window of opportunity to convert its demographic advantage into a dividend.
At a press conference on the event, CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee reiterated that the government should not cut down on capital expenditure so that crucial infrastructure is generated and demand in the economy rises gradually. The states especially need to keep it up for economic revival, he added.
"Levels of capacity utilisation across industries have been on a steady rise. According to our estimates, it has currently reached around 70-71 per cent and is expected to rise to 80 per cent in the short term," Banerjee said.
He added that the RBI should slash rates by 100 basis points in the fourth bi-monthly monetary policy statement for 2017 -18, set to be released on Wednesday.
- WEFs Global Competitiveness Index, released last week, places India in 40th position among 137 countries
- In 2016-17, India was in 39th position
- India Economic Summit to see participation of Arun Jaitley, Suresh Prabhu and Piyush Goyal, among others
- Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal, SpiceJet CMD Ajay Singh, Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej and Hero MotoCorp Chairman Pawan Munjal will also be present