India drops 26 places in the 2020 Global Index of Economic Freedom

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India reported a marginal decrease in the size of government (from 8.22 to 7.16), legal system and property rights (from 5.17 to 5.06), freedom of international trade ( 6.08 to 5.71) and credit, labor and business regulations (6.63 to 6.53).

India fell 26 places to 105th in the 2020 Global Index of Economic Freedom, according to a report released Thursday. The country was in 79th place in last year’s ranking. The Fraser Institute of Canada’s Economic Freedom of the World: 2020 Annual Report was published in India in collaboration with the Center For Civil Society think tank in New Delhi.

The report says the prospects for increased economic freedom in India hinge on next-generation reforms in factor markets and greater openness to international trade. India reported a marginal decrease in the size of government (from 8.22 to 7.16), legal system and property rights (from 5.17 to 5.06), freedom of international trade ( 6.08 to 5.71) and credit, labor and business regulations (6.63 to 6.53).

A score closer to 10 indicates a higher level of economic freedom. According to the report, based on 2018 data, Hong Kong and Singapore again topped the index, continuing their streak of first and second, respectively.

India was ranked higher than China, which sits at the 124th position.

New Zealand, Switzerland, the United States, Australia, Mauritius, Georgia, Canada and Ireland round out the top 10.

The report measures economic freedom (levels of personal choice, ability to enter markets, security of private property, rule of law, among others) by analyzing the policies and institutions of 162 countries and territories.

The 10 lowest-rated countries are the African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Republic of Congo, Algeria, Iran, Angola, Libya, Sudan and Venezuela. Other notable rankings include Japan (20th), Germany (21st), Italy (51st), France (58th), Mexico (68th), Russia (89th) and Brazil (105th).

Center for Civil Society president Partha J Shah said that with the rankings based on 2018 data, many new restrictions on international trade, the credit market tightening due to NPAs and the impact of COVID -19 on debt and deficits not reflected in India’s score.

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