ISLAMABAD, Mar 2 (APP): Pakistan has improved its position on World Bank (WB) Ease of Doing Business Index for the second consecutive year, according to the annual report issued by Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

As per World Bank’s latest rankings on ease of doing business for 2020, Pakistan has improved its position by 28 points from 136 to 108 which is an unprecedented improvement, report said.

Out of 6 reform areas acknowledged in 2020 report, the highest improvement of 58 points has been made in Starting a Business indicator where SECP is leading the reform process.

Pakistan’s ranking in this indicator has improved from 130 to 72 and is placed at 2nd position in South Asian countries in terms of ease of Starting a Business.

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This improvement is primarily due to integration of SECP e-Services with the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the Employees Old Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) at the Federal level and with Business Registration portals of Punjab and Sindh at the Provincial level.

After this integration, SECP’s eServices is offering one window facility for company registration with FBR (NTN registration), EOBI, provincial employees social security institutions (PESSI/SESSI), Labor Department and Excise and Taxation Department of Punjab and Sindh.

As a result of this reform, number of procedures to start a business as recorded in the Doing Business Report 2020 have been reduced from 10 to 5 and Pakistan has been able to ranked at first in South Asia and 6th among the top ten reformers globally.

Financial Institutions (Secured Transactions) Act, 2016 (STA), enacted on July 01, 2016, provides a comprehensive legal framework for creation, perfection, priority and enforcement of security interest on movable assets. STA applied to both incorporated and unincorporated entities with certain exemptions.

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The charges created by companies continue to be registered in the register maintained by the SECP under the Companies Act, 2017 while charges created by unincorporated entities are required to be registered in the Secured Transactions Registry (STR) established under section 19 of the STA.

The administrative powers under the STA relating to operationalization of the STR have been entrusted to the Commission through the Financial Institutions (Secured Transactions) (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020. The SECP, with financial support from DFID (UK), has launched the STR on April 30, 2020.