Ease of Doing Business: Pakistan jumps 11 spots in World Bank’s latest report

October 31, 2018

Photo: AFP

Pakistan has improved its ranking by climbing up 11 notches in World Bank’s annual Doing Business Report 2019, a press release said on Wednesday.

The report measures the performance in ease of doing business in 190 countries. Pakistan moved from 147 to 136, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industries and Investment Razzak Dawood announced at a press briefing held by Board of Investment (BOI).

On the measure of absolute progress towards best practices, Pakistan improved its score to 55.3 from 52.8.

Pakistan made three main reforms that helped the country improve its ranking in the SB’s global index, which was launched in 2002.

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Pakistan made ‘Starting a Business’ easier by introducing an online one-stop registration system, replacing several forms for incorporation with a single application and establishing information exchange between the SECP and the FBR, the statement said. “This change applies to both Karachi and Lahore,” it said. As per the report, Pakistan has reduced the number of procedures, days and cost of starting a business and witnessed its biggest jump in the area in over a decade.

Among other reforms, registering property in Lahore was made easier by streamlining and automating administrative procedures and by increasing the transparency of its land administration system. In Karachi, ‘Registering Property’ was made easier by increasing the transparency of the land registry. The most notable change in this area was reducing the number of days for registering a property to 26, less than half of the previous duration (56 days).

The government also introduced the reorganisation procedure and improved the continuation of the debtors’ business during insolvency (bankruptcy) proceedings for Karachi and Lahore.

Besides these reforms, other data corrections also contributed to the unprecedented improvement in the ranking of Pakistan, said Fareena Mazhar, executive director general, BOI. For example, getting an electricity connection now takes 185 days as compared to 215, previously.

The improvement was a result of combined efforts under the Prime Minister’s Steering Committee on Doing Business Reforms, she said.