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Washington: India ranked 123rd in 2016 Index of Economic Freedom by conservative US think tank Heritage Foundation on Monday, with an improvement of 1.6 points in its overall score.

Though still rated as “mostly unfree”, India with a score of 56.2 out of 100 was among 32 countries which achieved their highest economic freedom scores ever in the 2016 Index.


India scored its best scores on government spending (78.1), fiscal freedom (77.1), monetary freedom (72.8) and trade freedom (71.0).

But on freedom from corruption India scored 38, while it was rated 40 on financial freedom, 35 on investment freedom and 55 on property rights.

With the exception of India, progress among the other BRICS nations Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa has stalled, according to the index which analyzes economic policy developments related to economic freedom in 186 economies.

Russia plunged 10 places in the rankings to 153rd, with its score deteriorating by 1.5 points. The rankings of South Africa, Brazil, and China declined to 80th, 122nd, and 144th, respectively.

According to the Index which rates countries as “free” (scores above 80), “mostly free” (70-80), “moderately free” (60-70), “mostly unfree” (50-60) and “repressed” (below 50), global economic freedom has advanced for the fourth year in a row.

The US continues to be mired in the ranks of the “mostly free,” the second-tier economic freedom category into which the US dropped in 2010.

Worse, with scores in labour freedom, business freedom, and fiscal freedom notably declining, the economic freedom of the US plunged 0.8 point to 75.4, matching its lowest score ever

As many as 97 countries, the majority of which are less developed, gained greater economic freedom over the past year.

The global average economic freedom score of 60.7 is the highest recorded in the 22-year history of the Index.

Of the 178 economies ranked in the 2016 Index, only five (Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, and Australia) earned the designation of “free” with scores above 80.

Others in the top ten but rated “mostly free” were Canada, Chile, Ireland, Estonia and United Kingdom.

As many as 97 countries, the majority of which are less developed, gained greater economic freedom over the past year.

Declining economic freedom was reported in 74 countries, including 19 advanced economies such as the United States, Japan, and Sweden.(IANS)


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