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World Bank pauses publication of Doing Business report, cites irregularities

PTI     August 28, 2020

The World Bank on Thursday said it has decided to pause the publication of its Doing Business report following a number of irregularities regarding changes to data in previous reports. A number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019.

"The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology," the World Bank said in a statement. The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has been briefed on the situation, as have the authorities of the countries that were most affected by the data irregularities, it said, adding "the publication of the Doing Business report will be paused as we conduct our assessment."

Also read: Govt chased 'bogus' rankings, says Jairam Ramesh after World Bank halts 'Doing Business' ratings

Observing that the integrity and impartiality of the data and analysis is paramount, the statement said the multilateral lending institution will be conducting a systematic review and assessment of data changes that occurred subsequent to the institutional data review process for the last five Doing Business reports.

"We have asked the World Bank Group's independent Internal Audit function to perform an audit of the processes for data collection and review for Doing Business and the controls to safeguard data integrity. "We will act based on the findings and will retrospectively correct the data of countries that were most affected by the irregularities," it added.

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As per the ''Doing Business'' 2020 report, India had jumped 14 places to the 63rd position on the ease of doing business ranking. India has improved its rank by 79 positions in five years (2014-19).

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