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Govt launches 100-day Sprint-III of doing business


10/6/2018
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has launched Sprint-III of Doing Business Reforms Plan and set several targets for the next 100 days that would facilitate businesses, improve the investment climate, and ultimately improve Pakistan’s ranking on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report.
 
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Trade, Industry, Textile and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood chaired the ceremony on Friday. The 100-day starts from October 5, 2018 and ends on January 20, 2019.
 
The World Bank is going to release the doing business report by end of this month. The advisor said the World Bank acknowledges that Pakistan has made a lot of changes.“There is a very strong commitment and soon we would be sitting (to) set our targets. We want to reach 70 on the ease of doing business ranking of the World Bank.”
 
He said for the economy to grow and flourish, improving the business environment was indispensable. While shedding light on the main components of the plan, he commented that by simplifying laws and regulations, many more firms and entrepreneurs would switch to the formal sector. In the formal sector, workers have benefits like social security, pension and insurance coverage, while the government benefits from the taxes.
 
“Our main objective must be to expand the reforms to different cities,” he said, reiterating the government’s commitment to improving competitiveness by working for public infrastructure, increasing support for the development of the private sector, and reducing the regulatory and administrative burden on enterprises.
 
Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Haroon Sharif said there was a big communication gap between the state and the entrepreneurs, and the new government would reduce it.
 
Pakistan went down in last three years on the ease of doing business, however, it would get better in days to come, he said. “It is a transitional economy and we are optimistic and ready to take off, as the nation is resilient especially, to the security issue which it had coped with,” the BoI chairman said.
 
Pakistan’s investment to GDP ratio was less than 15 percent. “If we want our GDP to grow by 7 percent in the next five years, we have to raise the investment-GDP ratio to 25 percent,” Sharif said.
 
The World Bank Doing Business ranking is based on a survey circulated to contributors from the private sector. The report measures eleven indicators – from laws, frameworks and procedures facilitating or hampering starting of an enterprise to others across the life cycle of a business.
 
In Sprint-III, BoI and various government departments planned to implement 45 reform actions in different business indicators. Sharif said the private sector would be consulted at all levels from planning to implementation of these reforms.
 
“Board of Investment will ensure that private sector is its partner in this journey,” he added. BoI acts as a secretariat for the Steering Committee on Doing Business Reforms. The committee is chaired by the prime minister. The World Bank has been supporting the Pakistan government as a Business Climate Reform partner.
 
Sprint I and II were the first two 100-days reform drives that were carried out under the steering committee in which various reform actions were implemented. Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Almas Hyder expressed hope that Pakistan’s ranking would improve and come down from 147 to 140 on the ease of doing business index.
 
“The prime minister has to monitor this activity. We would not be able to change the processes unless we get support at the highest level. We have to compare our self in the ranking with the best in the world,” he said.
 
Source: The News