Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is counting on a ripple effect from a small step it took this week. If it works, it will make it harder for the country’s notorious bureaucracy to stifle entrepreneurs.
Officials announced Friday that entrepreneurs looking to start a new business will now be able to incorporate by filling out just one form instead of the eight separate forms previously required by the corporate affairs ministry.
The new form, called INC-29, is part of Modi’s drive to improve India’s ranking on the globally tracked index of ease of doing business. Modi has made this a top priority and wants to reduce the time taken to register a company in India to one day.
Modi hopes within two years that India can reach the 50th position among countries ranked by the World Bank in its annual Ease of Doing Business survey. In 2015, out of 189 economies, India ranked 142. This is a significant drop from 2006, when it ranked 116.
Modi took a much bigger step in January by dumping India’s 65-year-old Planning Commission, which had been accused of stifling growth with Soviet-style bureaucracy. He replaced the rigid, cookie-cutter organization with a body that involves more Indian regions.
The Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy said in a 2012 report that India’s bureaucracy is the worst in Asia. India scored 9.21 on a scale of one to 10.