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Pakistan Listed Among World Bank’s ‘Top 20 Improvers in Doing Business’

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Pakistan has made it to the World Bank’s list of ‘Top 20 Improvers in Doing Business 2020’, it was revealed on Friday.

According to the World Bank list, Pakistan has improved its ranking in six major areas measured by ‘Doing Business’, including starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, provision of electricity, paying taxes and cross-border trade.

The list “provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level”.

Per the 2020 listing, the improvement shown by Pakistan in the above-mentioned six areas is a reflection of “the country’s development of an ambitious reform strategy, including the establishment of a national secretariat and prime minister’s reform steering committee”.

In 2018, the Board of Investment (BoI), in association with the provincial governments of Punjab and Sindh, had launched the ‘100 Days – Sprint-III’ to ‘Doing Business Reforms Plan’ which was aimed at facilitating businesses and improving the overall investment climate.

Through the listing, the World Bank acknowledged the fact that Pakistan has taken steps to make the process of starting a business easier by “expanding procedures available through the online one-stop shop”.

Further, it noted that besides improving the trend of property registration, the process of obtaining a construction permit had also been made uncomplicated. According to the listing, the improvements could be introduced because the Sindh Building and Control Authority (SBCA) and the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) had “streamlined approval workflows and improved the operational efficiency of their one-stop shops”.

It also stated that, “The launch of online portals for new commercial connections made getting electricity easier, and tariff changes are announced

Moreover, the World Bank appreciated Pakistan’s efforts towards making tax compliance easier through online payment modules for value added tax and corporate income tax. In addition, the corporate tax rate has also been lowered in the country.

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“Pakistan made trading across borders easier by enhancing the integration of various agencies into an electronic system and by improving coordination of joint physical inspections at the port,” it added.

According to ‘Top-20 improvers in Doing Business 2020’, neighbouring India has made it easier to do business in four key areas while China has introduced reforms in eight areas.

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