Kuensel newspaper recently covered a story Govt. takes credit for rise in Doing Business ranking. Bhutan has improved its ranking from 125 in 2014 to 71 in 2015. This is wonderful news for everyone but we must also understand that there has been changes in how Doing Business is measured. A change in parameter can help greatly improve capture data better. We also know when we look at the rankings in the region, our earlier ranking(s) left many of us with questions looking at some of the countries doing better than us. Because we had the good fortune of focussed leadership of our wise Monarchs, we had in place practices that could easily have put us many steps ahead. With improvement in both measurement and also better availability of data, we are beginning to appear in our rightful place.
I congratulate the Government on its efforts for the many initiatives that would have gone into this improvement. As for Government legislative initiative, Parliament is still discussing the new Companies Bill and an Enterprise Registration Bill, both aimed at improving ease of doing business. The Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry has already voiced serious concerns against the proposed Enterprise Registration Bill amidst lack of clarity on establishing the objective and the form of the Bill. The news article basically attributes it to two areas, both NEW parameters in the measurement of the index; (i) getting electricity (2), and (ii) registering property(5) and has left out zooming into the details, which is important for us to bring further improvement to encourage private sector growth.
A look at the details will help understand it better. While Bhutan has had improvements, rankings have also slipped in several areas and will help improve; (i) getting credit (-8), (ii) starting a business (-6), (iii) dealing with construction permits (-5), (iv) paying taxes (-2) and (v) protecting minority investors (-1). Given the leap in ranking, perhaps next report could see more leap as we being to see the Government address these 5 areas of concern in Doing Business environment.