Govt taking measures to improve ease of doing business ranking

ISLAMABAD, Apr 10 (APP):Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on Wednesday said the government was taking effective measures to facilitate the investors and businessmen which would not only help Pakistan in improving ease of doing business ranking but also enhance the economic activities in the country.

Addressing a press conference here along with Chairman Board of Investment (BOI) Haroon Sharif, the advisor said the government has targeted to bring the country’s ranking in “ease of doing business” to below 100.

“Due to effective measures of the government, the country’s ranking has already been improved by 11 points to 136 out of 190 countries, according to the World Bank report 2019,” he added.

He said since the launch of Doing Business report in 2002 by the World Bank, it was the first time that Pakistan jumped 11 points in a single year.

He said by April 15, the government would send the progress report of Lahore and Karachi on ease of doing business to World Bank for Pakistan’s ranking evaluation.

The adviser said in order to improve the ease of doing business, the government was specifically focusing on promoting regional trade.

Abdul Razak Dawood and Haroon Sharif shared with Media various reforms undertaken by the federal and the provincial governments such as integration of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) with Punjab and Sindh business registration portal.

He said this has helped in reducing the time and process for registering a company and providing one platform where businesses are started.

The company could now be registered in one day with the SECP on its online platform, he said.

Replying to a question regarding Free Trade Agreement (FTA) II between Pakistan and China, he informed that the final agreement between Pakistan and China would be signed by April 28 during the Prime Minister Imran Khan visit to China.

He said that during the past few months, our imports have been declined by 28 percent, which was positive sign for the country’s economy.

Razak Dawood stressed that further improvement would take nothing less than a “whole of government approach”, in which all ministries and departments would have to follow the reforms process.

Meanwhile Chairman BOI, Haroon Sharif highlighted that the government was aggressively pursuing reforms to create ease of doing business in the country.

He said that in Lahore, the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) has started its one window operation where all departments involved in the process of issuing a construction permit are present.

Similarly, in Karachi a one-window solution is in its development phase and the government of Sindh will be launching it soon.

Haroon said that after the introduction of one window the process has been made efficient from 8 months to 2 months in Lahore and expected to be reduced to 3 months in Karachi.

Haroon Sharif explained that it is a priority of the government to make business entry and operations easier, faster and cheaper.

He added that the next step is to cut out the redundant regulations and remove unnecessary permissions/NOCs and inspections.

Haroon Sharif reiterated that the Board of Investment (BOI) as the secretariat of PM’s Steering Committee on Doing Business Reforms, is keen to improve the business climate.