Pakistan improves position in WB’s ease of doing business index

Pakistan has improved its position in the World Bank’s (WB) Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Index for the second consecutive year, according to an annual report issued by the Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP).

As per the World Bank’s latest rankings, Pakistan has improved its position by 28 points from 136 to 108 which is an “unprecedented improvement”, the report said.

Out of six reform areas acknowledged in the 2020 report, the highest improvement of 58 points has been made in ‘starting a business’ indicator, where the SECP is leading the reform process.

Pakistan’s ranking in this indicator has improved from 130 to 72 and is placed at the second position in South Asian countries in terms of ease of starting a business.

The improvement, according to the SECP, is primarily due to the integration of 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 e-services offer a one-window facility for company registration with FBR, EOBI, provincial employees social security institutions, the labour department and excise and taxation departments of Punjab and Sindh.

As a result of this reform, the number of procedures to start a business, as recorded in the Doing Business Report 2020, have been reduced from 10 to five and Pakistan has been able to be ranked “among the top ten reformers globally”.

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