New Delhi: In a signature leap of ambition, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set India not just the goal of getting into the top 50 in the world in ease of doing business, but also a membership of the $5 trillion club of global economies.

One could have brushed it off as tall talk if India hadn’t jumped a record 53 places in the last two years in ease of doing business. Its economy, despite the anticipated jolt of demonitisation, is back to being well above 7% growth and pushing the 8% mark.

Speaking to a gathering of top industrialists recently at his 7 Jan Kalyan Marg residence, PM Modi quoted a native Gujarati saying which loosely translates to, “One can be forgiven for not achieving a target, but not for setting the target too low.”

India has improved in eight of the 10 sub-indices in the World Bank’s global Ease of Doing Business rankings. It has done quite spectacularly in some of them. 

The US and China are firmly in the 5-trillion club, their economies clocking at $20 trillion and $12 trillion respectively. Japan’s is touching $5 trillion. Germany is approximately at $3.6 trillion and India and UK at $2.6 trillion.

The Prime Minister said that organisations such as IMF and Moody’s, today appear confident and optimistic about India’s future.

However, the PM said the Ease of Doing Business Grand Challenge will not be easy. “It is easy to change software, but not swabhav (habit). But I am confident that with the measures we have taken up with determination, we will make it to the top 50, and soon,” he said.

He added his government has laid stress on Policy Driven Governance and Predictable Transparent Policies, which has helped in improving the living conditions of common people. 

He said that in the last four years more than 1400 archaic laws have been repealed and there has been a dramatic reduction in areas such as time taken for resolution of commercial disputes, clearance of imported goods and others. 

He also mentioned the efforts made for the micro, small and medium enterprises, such as approval for loans up to Rs 1 crore in just 59 minutes.

The World Bank’s Doing Business Report was released on October 31, in which India has recorded a jump of 23 positions against its rank of 100 in 2017. In 2018, it is placed at 77th rank among 190 countries assessed by the World Bank. 

As a result of continued efforts by the NDA government, India has improved its rank by 53 positions in the last two years and 65 positions in the last four years (2014-18).

Addressing the gathering, Hartwig Schafer, Vice President, South Asia of the World Bank Group, appreciated the enormity of India's achievement.

He also stressed that it gets tougher to improve ranks as a country moves higher up in the ranking and expressed his belief that India will continue to maintain the momentum it has gained over the last four years in its efforts in improving Ease of Doing Business.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation minister Suresh Prabhu, environment minister Harshvardhan and housing and urban affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri were also present on this occasion.