According to a World Bank 2020 Report, India has improved its ranking by 79 positions in its Ease of Doing Business index in five years (2014-19). Currently it is ranked 63rd among 190 nations. However, this report finds few takers in India Inc. In private, industry leaders are unanimous that doing legit business in India is a high-risk undertaking in which businessmen are routinely subject to a thousand unnatural shocks.
Right now the Central government-controlled National Investigation Agency (NIA) is investigating three cabinet ministers of the coalition Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government which governs India’s most industrialised state, on charges of extorting huge sums from businessmen. NIA’s arrest and grilling of assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze, under investigation for the murder of businessman Mansukh Hiren whose deadly gelatin sticks laden car was found parked near the 28-storey home of India’s wealthiest business tycoon Mukesh Ambani on February 25, has unearthed astonishing revelations about how the country’s greedy, amoral politicians routinely pillage industry leaders and businessmen.
According to Vaze, transport minister Anil Parab directed him to squeeze Rs.50 crore from the Saifee Burhani charitable trust which is executing a massive redevelopment project to upgrade a rundown Muslim ghetto in Central Mumbai. Moreover, in a written order Parab directed Vaze to extort Rs.2 crore from all civil contractors approved by the Shiv Sena controlled Mumbai Municipal Corporation to overlook their acts of omission and commission in executing corporation projects.
That’s not all. Mumbai’s top cop Parambir Singh told the Supreme Court that the state’s home minister instructed him to extort Rs.2 lakh from all 1,650 bars and restaurants operating in the city.
All these mind-boggling charges and counter-charges — the MVA alleges it’s a Central (BJP) government conspiracy to topple the state government — are being traded in the country’s commercial capital. Ease of doing business! A cruel joke.