World Bank to rank cities on ‘ease of living’

The World Bank Group will soon bring out an “ease of living” index that will rank cities globally, even as it is looking at tweaking the methodology used in its country-wise “ease of doing” business rankings to better capture reforms being carried out in large and diverse nations such as India.

The decision comes at a time when India has launched a mission to develop over 100 smart cities.

On the World Bank Group’s Doing Business index, India had suggested that reforms undertaken across the country and not just in Mumbai and Delhi be considered.

On the proposed ‘ease of living’ index to rank cities world-wide, Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director, India, said, “One of the moot questions is that as you move more into high income [category], urban centres become extremely important, [including for] accommodation and so on. For cities to actually generate growth, the ease of living there has got to be very important.”

“We [the World Bank] have been working on it [‘ease of living’ index for cities] for several years now,” Mr. Ahmad said.

He said the methodology for the city-based index could be better than the Bank’s “ease of doing” business rankings.

The index could include categories on social inclusion, cost of living, public transport, housing, education, health, environment-friendliness, crime/safety, governance and corruption.

On the criticism regarding the World Bank Doing Business Report this year ranking India a lowly 130th despite several reforms being carried out by the government, Mr. Ahmad said the rankings did not capture important reforms including the laws on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and insolvency and bankruptcy as they did not come before the cut-off date.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 7:34:05 AM |

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