Economic Freedom Index 2017:India Ranked 143

Date: February 17, 2017

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India ranked a dismal 143 in an annual index of economic freedom by a top American thinktank, behind its several South Asian neighbours including Pakistan, as progress on market-oriented reforms has been "uneven".

The Heritage Foundation in its Index of Economic Freedom report said despite India sustaining an average annual growth of about 7 per cent over the past five years, growth is not deeply rooted in policies that preserve economic freedom.

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Putting India in the category of "mostly unfree" economies, the conservative political thinktank said progress on market-oriented reforms has been "uneven".

Also, India's overall score of 52.6 points is 3.6 points less than that of last year, when India ranked 123rd.

Hong Kong, Singapore and New Zealand topped the index.

Among South Asian countries, only Afghanistan (163) and Maldives (157) were ranked below India. Nepal (125), Sri Lanka (112), Pakistan (141), Bhutan (107), and Bangladesh (128) surpassed India in economic freedom.

India is a significant force in world trade, the report noted, but corruption, underdeveloped infrastructure, and poor management of public finance undermine overall development.

China with a score of 57.4 points - an increase of 5.4 points compared to previous year - was placed at 111 position.

The United States was ranked 17 with 75.1 points.

The world average score of 60.9 is the highest recorded in the 23-year history of the index.

About the Index of Economic Freedom

The Index of Economic Freedom is an annual index and ranking created by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal in 1995 to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world’s nations.

The index scores the 186 nations on ten factors of economic freedom, separated into four categories, using statistics from organizations like the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, Economist Intelligence Unit and Transparency International.
In each factor, countries are scored 0 to 100, with 0 being the least free and 100 the most free. A score of 100 signifies an economic environment or set of policies that is most conducive to economic freedom.
Each nation is grouped in 5 different categories based upon the degree of economic freedom. These five categories includes, Free (80–100), Mostly Free (70.0–79.9), Moderately Free (60.0–69.9), Mostly Unfree (50.0–59.9) and Repressed (0–49.9).