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WB highlights Pakistan’s business reforms

WASHINGTON: Karachi has imp­rov­ed the transparency of land registration process by publishing online the fee schedule and the list of documents necessary to complete any property registration, says a World Bank report.
The report, released on Wednesday, also highlights various steps Pakistan has taken in the last 10 years to improve the business environment. The report includes a comparative study of business environment in Karachi and Lahore, underlining the reforms undertaken since 2008.
The report notes that in 2018, Pakistan made starting a business easier by enhancing the online one-stop registration system, replacing several forms for incorporation with a single application and establishing information exchange between the registry and the tax authority. This change applied to both Karachi and Lahore.
Lahore made registering property easier by streamlining and automating administrative procedures, and by increasing the transparency of its land administration system. Karachi made registering property easier by increasing the transparency of the land registry.
Pakistan made resolving insolvency easier by introducing the reorganisation procedure and improving the continuation of the debtor’s business during insolvency proceedings. This change applies to both Karachi and Lahore.
During 2017, Pakistan made starting a business easier by replacing the need to obtain a digital signature for company incorporation with a less costly personal identification number. This change applied to both Karachi and Lahore.
Karachi lists online the documents necessary to complete any property registration.
During this period, both Karachi and Lahore took steps to provide protection to minority investors by making it easier to sue directors in case of prejudicial transactions with interested parties.
The two cities also made importing and exporting easier by developing a new container terminal and enhancing its customs platform for electronic document submission.
During 2016, Karachi and Lahore improved the quality of land administration by digitising ownership and land records. They also improved access to credit information guaranteeing by law borrowers’ rights to inspect their own data. The credit bureau also expanded its borrower coverage.
Pakistan also made exporting and im­p­orting easier by enhancing its electronic “Web Based One Customs Platform”.
During 2015, Karachi made the process for getting an electricity connection faster as the distribution utility improved the stock of material for the external connection works.
During 2014, Pakistan made trading across borders easier by introducing a fully automated, computerised system for the submission and processing of export and import documents.
During 2011, Pakistan increased the profit tax rate for small firms.
In 2010, Pakistan made property transfer more affordable by reducing the stamp duty rate. Pakistan also reduced the time to export by improving electronic communication between the Karachi Port authorities and the private terminals, which have also boosted efficiency by introducing new equipment.
In 2009, Pakistan introduced an electronic registration system, allowing online registration for sales tax and eliminating the requirement to make the declaration of compliance on a stamped paper.
During 2007, Pakistan made registering property more expensive by increasing the capital value tax. Pakistan’s private credit bureau began distributing positive as well as negative credit information, and its public credit registry eliminated the minimum threshold for loans included in its database.
Source: Dawn