Pakistan listed among 'Top 20 Improvers in Doing Business 2020' by World Bank

Updated September 27, 2019

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Pakistan was listed amongst the World Bank's list of 'Top-20 improvers in Doing Business 2020'. — Reuters/File
Pakistan was listed amongst the World Bank's list of 'Top-20 improvers in Doing Business 2020'. — Reuters/File

Pakistan was listed among the World Bank's list of 'Top-20 improvers in Doing Business 2020', it emerged on Friday.

According to the World Bank, Pakistan has improved in six areas measured by 'Doing Business', which are: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders.

The World Bank's Doing Business project "provides objective measures of business regulations and their enforcement across 190 economies and selected cities at the subnational and regional level".

As per the 2020 listing, Pakistan's improvement in the 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".

Read: BoI launches ‘doing business reforms plan’

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

The World Bank stated that Pakistan had made the process of starting a business easier by "expanding procedures available through the online one-stop shop".

Additionally, it said that along with improvements in property registration, the process of obtaining a construction permit had also been made easier. The listing said that this was 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".

"The launching of online portals for new commercial connections made getting electricity easier, and tariff changes are announced in advance," it stated.

According to the listing, tax compliance had also been made easier through online payment modules for value added tax and for corporate income tax. Additionally, the corporate income tax rate had been lowered.

"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.

"With 6 reforms, Pakistan emerges among top 20 reformers globally in Ease of Doing Business," World Bank Country Director for Pakistan Patchamuthu Ilango wrote on Twitter. "Rankings will be released on Oct 24. We laud the COLLECTIVE action of Federal, #Sindh & #Punjab Govts for an impressive feat."

According to 'Top-20 improvers in Doing Business 2020', India had made it easier to do business in four areas while China, also included in the listing, had "implemented reforms" in eight areas.