KARACHI – Pakistan has been ranked at 147th position out of 190 countries in ‘Doing Business 2018’ report of the World Bank.
The bank says, “Pakistan, which implemented four reforms in the past year, also made it easier to register a new business, transfer commercial property and facilitate cross border trade” in its report.
“Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also measures labor market regulation, which is not included in this year’s ranking.”
According to the report, Pakistan implemented four reforms in 2017 in order to facilitate businesses in country, including
Starting a business
Pakistan made starting a business easier by replacing the need to obtain a digital signature for company incorporation with a less costly personal identification number. This change applies to both Karachi and Lahore.
Pakistan (Karachi) improved the transparency of the land registration process by making the fee schedule and list of documents to submit for property registration available online.
Protecting minority investors
Pakistan increased minority investor protections by making it easier to sue directors in case of prejudicial transactions with interested parties. This reform applies to both Karachi and Lahore.
Trading across borders
Pakistan made importing and exporting easier by developing a new container terminal and enhancing its customs platform for electronic document submission. These changes apply to both Karachi and Lahore.
Pakistan is among the South Asian economies that carried out a record 20 business reforms in the past year, bringing to a total of 127 in past 15 years.
In past 15 years, India introduced the most reforms in the region, with 37, followed by Sri Lanka (22) and Pakistan (19).
No South Asian country is among the top 50 ranking of doing business. However, the region’s top ranked economies are Bhutan at 75th place, India (100), and Nepal (105).
The World Bank said the countries put focus on protecting minority investors.
The reforms included enhanced remedies to address cases of prejudicial transactions between interested parties in India; rules to clarify ownership and control structures in Bhutan; greater corporate transparency in Nepal; and facilitating legal action against directors in case of prejudicial transactions with interested parties in Pakistan.
“With three-quarters of regional economies making positive reforms, it’s no surprise that this is a record year for regional reforms,” the Bank said.