Ease of doing Business in India: Seems more of hype as of now..

Jyotsna Narang, a young entrepreneur, narrates her story of trying to get a loan recently.

She was highly enthused over recent promises by govt to ease doing business. Though, it was just a wake-up call.

I was much excited when Modi came in power with the motto of ‘minimum government, maximum governance’. The pathetic state of public sector banks, schools and hospitals, the corruption, red-tapism and the babu culture that had seeped in deep into the system had affected each and every middle class individual of this country. It was his slogan about maximum governance that reposed my faith back in the system.

I have a small business, a retail outlet in Delhi which needs to be renovated on an urgent basis. Like other businesses in India that fall deficient of working capital, we too did not have ample funds to pump into the renovation process. A month back we started approaching public sector banks. I was quite confident that it will now no longer be the same long tiring cumbersome process, reading the newspaper reports about a single widow clearance system being upheld by various ministries. With great cibil score and impressive turnover, I had no reason to anticipate ‘No’ from any bank.

But much to my surprise, none of the public sector banks agreed. On one hand were the private banks queued up desperately to give a loan and on the other hand were PSBs that had endless number of schemes in the name of women entrepreneurs, MSMEs, small-scale entrepreneurs but all to no avail. Some of them gave clear indication of a bribe while some asked for collateral. If one had to give collateral, then what is the need for the government to initiate schemes for small traders? I was also approached by many brokers who promised a low-interest loan in SBI by paying some extra processing fees.  We visited nearly all the possible public sector banks and this is what we got.

What follows is the usual story of running around banks and getting nothing.

It will take quite a long time to ease all these artificial restrictions which hinder not just business but most small things in life. The entire attitude is to always doubt a person’s intent which does not go anywhere.

The govt has to move beyond rhetoric and see what is happening at the ground level. There is no point if so called relaxation of rules does not lead to actual benefits. And for people, one has to be patient as there is just no choice.

Jerry Rao has a detailed piece on making India business friendly. The author makes most of the right points except saying that Indian PM should follow Deng and FDR. One should chalk out his own strategy as contexts might be very different which is usually the case.

The real deal is not to come in top 50 in Doing Business rankings which could just be plain artificial. But actually make it easy for people to conduct business in India. People should feel it and not jus the raters from World Bank.

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