Pakistan slides further down the list

THE NEWS report by Mehtab Haider

 Pakistan overall ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2014 further slid towards bottom as the country failed to undertake any business regulatory reforms.

The report disclosed that the country’s ranking in terms of paying taxes stood at 166 with 47 payments per year and 577 hours per year required to pay taxes. Total tax rate of 34.7 percent is paid out of total profit earned by taxpayers.

Pakistan’s ranking in terms of trading across the border stood at 91 with eight documents and 21 days required for exports while per container cost stood at $660. On the other hand, eight documents and 18 days are required for imports with total cost per container at $770.

The country’s ranking for achieving electricity connection stood at 175 with six procedures completed on average in 206 days. Pakistan stands at 110 in ease of business. The country’s ranking for starting a business stood at 105 with 10 procedures and 21 days on average required. The country’s ranking when it came to dealing with construction permits stood 109 with 11 procedures implemented on average in 222 days. Meanhwhile, registration of property in Pakistan required 50 days on average while 6 procedures were followed.

Pakistan’s ranking in terms of receiving credit stood at 73 and protecting investment at 34. For enforcing contacts, the country’s ranking stood at 158 with 46 procedures required and 976 days to enforce contracts obligations.

According to a press statement issued by WB here on Tuesday, a new World Bank Group report finds that South Asia leads the world in the share of economies implementing business regulatory reforms in 2012/13. Six of eight economies in the region completed 11 reforms simplifying the process of starting a business, strengthening access to credit, or easing the process for paying taxes.

The report revealed that Sri Lanka was the regional leader in implementing regulatory reforms. In 2012/13, Sri Lanka’s government took steps to simplify access to electricity for firms, reduce fees in construction permitting, and implement electronic systems for filing taxes and paying for port services.

Afghanistan strengthened access to credit by implementing a unified collateral registry, and it reduced the time and cost to obtain a business license. Bhutan improved access to credit information by passing regulations that govern the licensing and operation of its credit bureau.

Bangladesh and Nepal made business start-up faster by reducing administrative processing time. Maldives made paying taxes easier by introducing electronic systems for filing corporate income taxes, sales taxes, and pension contributions.

“Doing Business is about smart business regulations, not necessarily fewer regulations,” said Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director, Global Indicators and Analysis, World Bank Group. “We are encouraged by the rapid pace of reform in South Asia,which is advancing the region toward global good practices.”

Singapore tops the global ranking on the ease of doing business. Joining it on the list of the top 10 economies with the most business-friendly regulations are Hong Kong SAR, China, New Zealand, the United States, Denmark, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Georgia, Norway and the United Kingdom.

In addition to the global rankings, every year Doing Business reports the economies that have improved the most on the indicators since the previous year. The 10 economies topping that list this year are (in order of improvement) Ukraine, Rwanda, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, Kosovo, Djibouti, Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Guatemala. Yet challenges persist: five of this year’s top improvers—Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, the Philippines, and Ukraine—are still in the bottom half of the global ranking on the ease of doing business.

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