On March 23, 2020 the Heritage Foundation published its 26th annual edition of Economic Freedom Index 2020 to measure the level of economic freedom in 186 countries. India (56.5) ranks in 120th position & Singapore (89.4) tops the index for the 1st time.
Created by the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, the annual index measures the degree of economic freedom in the world’s nations.
i.Hong Kong(89.1) for the 1st time secured 2nd rank since the 1st publication in 1995
ii.India secures 28th rank among 42 countries in the Asia-Pacific region & also has made improvement in its score by 1.3 points from 2019.
iii.New Zealand( 84.1) secured the 3 rank, North Korea(4.2) is positioned in 180th rank, Venezuela (25.2) in 179th rank & Cuba(26.9) in 178th rank.
iv.Due to lack of reliable statistics Iraq, Libya, Liechtenstein, Somalia, Syria, Yemen is not ranked.
India in Economic Freedom Index 2020
- It estimated the population as 1.3 billion, Gross Domestic Product(GDP)growth- 7.1%,Unemployment-2.6% Inflation Consumer Price Index (CPI)- 3.5% & Foreign Direct Investment -Rs 3.18 crore (USD 42.3 billion)
- The foundation remarked that over the past 5 years India experiences strong GDP growth but the country needs to take steps to improve fiscal health,address the shortcomings in banking regulations, start privatizing state-owned banks to increase financial independence & make reforms in tax code, investment regime & labour code.
Gist about the Index
i.The index is based on 12 factors which is grouped into 4 pillars namely, Rule of Law- property rights, government integrity, judicial effectiveness; Government Size- government spending, tax burden, fiscal health; Regulatory Efficiency- business freedom, labor freedom, monetary freedom; Open Markets- trade freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom
ii.It is graded on a scale of 0-100 which indicates, 80–100 Free,70–79.9 Mostly Free60–69.9, Moderately Free50–59.9 ,Mostly Unfree0–49.9 Repressed
About Heritage Foundation:
It is an American conservative research & educational institution founded in 1973 to improve public policy based on principles including free enterprise, limited government & individual freedom.
Headquarters– Washington,District of Columbia(D.C.), United States
President– Kay Coles(C) James