World Bank to discontinue ‘Doing Business’ reports after irregularities found

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World Bank Group has decided to discontinue ‘Doing Business’ reports that used to assess investment climate in countries after data irregularities were found in 2018 and 2020, reported news agency Reuters. In August 2020, World Bank paused the publication of Doing Business reports following a number of irregularities were reported regarding changes to the data.

The international financial institution later confirmed that the changes were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology. The World Bank has now said in a statement that a new approach will be worked out to assess countries’ business and investment climates after the irregularities raised ethical matters involving former bank staff and board officials, according to Reuters.

The irregularities had affected four countries: China; Saudi Arabia; United Arab Emirates; and Azerbaijan. According to the initial Doing Business 2018 report, China had a score of 65.3 with a global ranking of 78, similar to the previous year’s. After the corrections in data for indicators like Starting a Business, Getting Credit, and Paying Taxes indicators, China’s score fell to 64.5 and global ranking to 85.

“Taking as given the published data for all other countries, China’s global ranking in Doing Business 2018 would have been 85, a decline of 7 places relative to the previous year,” World Bank had said in a review report.

Economies like India, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, and Nigeria made notable improvements in the Doing Business 2020 report after they, according to the World Bank, implemented one-fifth of all the reforms in 2018-19 recorded worldwide.

In 2014, India was at 142nd position on the Ease of Doing Business Index and made significant improvements after the government launched an ambitious program of regulatory reforms. India moved to 63rd position on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking 2020.

source: Hindustan times

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