Pakistan jumps 28 places on ease of doing business index

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Islamabad, Oct 24 (IANS) Pakistan has risen 28 spots to 108th position in the global ease of doing business rankings this year, according to World Bank posting on its website on Thursday.

It was placed at 136th spot among 190 countries in the ranking last year.

Pakistan also became one of the top 10 business climate improvers due to enactment of six regulatory reforms, Xinhua reported, citing the World Bank’s Doing Business 2020 study.

“This rise is significant and made possible by collective and coordinated actions of federal government and provincial governments of Sindh and Punjab over the past year,” the report quoted World Bank’s Country Director for Pakistan Illango Patchamuthu as saying.

“The accelerated reform agenda has many noteworthy features to improve quality of regulations, reduce time and streamline processes. This momentum needs to be sustained for Pakistan to continue to make progress,” Patchamuthu said.

Pakistan had made starting a business easier by expanding functionalities of the online one-stop-shop, the World Bank said, adding the measures taken had helped reduce number of procedures required to set up a business from 10 to 5 and improved the economy’s score for starting a business.

Authorities made the approval process for obtaining construction permit easier and faster in Karachi and Lahore, besides making registration of electricity and property easier for businessmen.

Moreover, Pakistan also eased the process for paying taxes by introducing online payment modules for value-added taxes and corporate income taxes. The government also lowered the corporate income tax rate for 2018 fiscal year. It reduced the number of payments from 47 to 34 and the number of hours required to comply with tax requirements per year from 294 to 283.

Responding to the World Bank’s report, Prime Minister Imran Khan lauded “all the people in the government who worked hard to make this happen”.

“Pakistan achieves biggest improvement in its history in World Bank’s ease of doing business rankings. Over last decade, Pakistan’s ranking had slipped more than 50 places. Now, we have improved 28 places,” Khan said in a series of tweets and added they had a long way to go and before 2020 they would make remarkable achievement in improving business climate.

–IANS

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