Progress in 'doing business' rank - a challenge to test.

Author:Kazmi, S. Kamal Hayder

Byline: S. Kamal Hayder Kazmi

International experts revealed that an economy cannot thrive without a healthy private sector. When domestic businesses flourish, they create job opportunities and generate income that can be spent and invested domestically. They were also of the view that any rational government that cares about the economic well-being and advancement of its constituency pays special attention to laws and regulations affecting local SMEs. Effective business regulation affords micro and small companies the opportunity to raise, innovate and, when applicable, move from the informal to the formal sector of an economy.

The present World Bank (WB) annual flagship report 2020 on Doing Business Index captures 294 regulatory reforms implemented between May 2018 and May 2019. Worldwide, 115 economies made it easier to do business. In the report statistics showed that the economies with the most notable improvement in Doing Business 2020 are Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Togo, Bahrain, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Kuwait, China, India and Nigeria. During 2018-19, these countries implemented one-fifth of all the reforms registered globally.

The World Bank's (WB) Ease of Doing Business Index recorded that Pakistan has jumped up 28 places and secured a place among the top 10 countries with the most enhanced business climate - a development that will greatly enhance the government's image. According to the WB's annual report, Pakistan carried out 6 reforms that assisted enhancing its ranking from 136 to 108. It turned out to be the 6th worldwide reformer and first in South Asia that brought ease in doing business in the previous one year.

The WB's officials monitor a country's business related regulations on 10 benchmarks that are as broad as from starting a business, to getting electricity connection, securing construction permits, paying taxes, dispute resolution, business insolvency and protecting minority shareholders' rights. The experts also urged that the report measures how close each economy is to the best worldwide practices in business regulations. On the measure of absolute progress towards best practices, statistics showed that Pakistan has enhanced the score to 61 from 55, suggesting the country did some remarkable work this time around and built on the reforms introduced in the last year also.

While India remained top among South Asian nations, up 14 spots to 63, Pakistan also made a mark by climbing 28 positions and securing a place among...

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