A conducive investment climate is instrumental in attracting both domestic and foreign investment by providing a more facilitative institutional, policy and regulatory environment for businesses to operate. World Bank’s Report on Doing Business (DB) ranks economies across the world annually on the basis of 10 comprehensive areas in the life cycle of a business. In DB report 2020 Pakistan improved 28 ranks. Since the launch of DB report in 2002, it is the first time that Pakistan has jumped 28 points in one year with 06 reforms. This report measures the performance in ease of doing business in 190 countries. The six (06) reforms that have been approved are as under:
- Starting a Business: Pakistan made starting a business easier by expanding procedures available through the online one-stop shop. This reform applies to both Karachi and Lahore. Furthermore, Pakistan (Lahore) abolished the Labor Department registration fee.
- Dealing with Construction Permits: Pakistan (Karachi) made obtaining a construction permit easier and faster by streamlining the approval process and also made construction safer by ensuring that building quality inspections take place regularly. Pakistan (Lahore) also made obtaining a construction permit easier and faster by streamlining the approval process and by improving the operational efficiency of its one-stop shop for construction permitting.
- Getting Electricity: Pakistan made getting electricity easier by enforcing service delivery time frames and by launching an online portal for new applications. Pakistan also increased the transparency of electricity tariff changes. This reform applies to both Karachi and Lahore.
- Registering Property: Pakistan (Karachi) made property registration faster by making it easier to execute and register a deed at the Office of the Sub-Registrar. Pakistan (Lahore) made registering property easier by increasing the transparency of the land administration system.
- Paying Taxes: Pakistan made paying taxes easier by introducing online payment modules for value added tax and corporate income tax, and less costly by reducing the corporate income tax rate. This reform applies to both Karachi and Lahore. Trading across Borders: Pakistan made trading across borders easier by enhancing the integration of various agencies in the Web-Based One Customs (WEBOC) electronic system and coordinating joint physical inspections at the port. This reform applies to both Karachi and Lahore.
Other positive data corrections also contributed to the unprecedented improvement in the ranking of Pakistan. This has been made possible with the efforts of the dedicated teams of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), State Bank of Pakistan, Governments of Punjab and Sindh. World Bank’s assistance is critical to the reform process and the achievements. The improvement is a result of combined efforts under the Prime Minister’s Steering Committee on Doing Business Reforms.