FBR has made trading across borders easier
Pakistan climbed up 31 positions in the Trading Across Border Index, which enabled the country in jumping up 28 places, from 136th to 108th, in World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business 2020’, a press release said on Wednesday.
Pakistan has improved from 142nd to 111th on the rank of the Trading Across Border Index, which helped it improve its ranking in the WB’s Ease of Doing Business index.
“After improving its rank, Pakistan secured a place among the top 10 countries that have done the most in the corresponding year to improve the ease of doing business in their countries. This milestone has led Pakistan to be the sixth global reformer and first in South Asia that has brought ease in doing business for the national, international trade,” it said.
The Federal Board of Revenue made trading across borders easier by focusing on three crucial areas: enhancing the integration of various agencies in the Web-Based One Customs (WEBOC) electronic system. This reduced the number of documents required for import and export clearances and enhanced capacities of the Pakistan Customs officials for playing a pro-active role in smoothly regulating border trade.
It is important to note that border facilitation is amongst the top priority areas as per the comprehensive policy laid down by the government. Concerted efforts by the Pakistan Customs, under FBR, led to impressive performance in terms of compliance to the provisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Trade Facilitation Agreement.
Pakistan has been able to reduce the dwell time (at the borders and ports) for imports and exports by increasing the percentage of clearances through Green Channel. For instance, the time required for documentary compliance to effect exports has been reduced from 55 hours to 24 hours, and the time required for overall border compliance to effect exports has also been reduced from 75 hours to 24 hours.
Similarly, the time required for documentary compliance to effect imports has been reduced from 143 hours to 24 hours, and the time required for overall border compliance to effect imports has also been reduced from 120 hours to 24 hours.
In order to further improve Pakistan’s position in the Trading Across Border criterion, the Federal Board of Revenue is pursuing simultaneous completion of Regional Improvement of Border Services (RIBS) and Pakistan Single Window.
Regional Improvement of Border Services (RIBS) is being implemented at Torkham, Chaman, and Wahga and is the flagship programme that aims at improving border-crossing facilities which are key transit points to Afghanistan and India.
The Pakistan Single Window would, on the other hand, integrate online at least 46 departments or agencies in Pakistan and would make trading across borders a hassle-free and seamless operation.