WB decision to end Doing Business Report irritates Islamabad – Newspaper

ISLAMABAD: The World Bank’s decision to discontinue the Doing Business Report angered Pakistan, which was convinced that the country would make a big leap in the next report to improve the current ranking from 108th to 75th this year.

Over the past two years, Pakistan has moved up 39 places to secure 108th place in the world’s ease of doing business. Company registration through the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has seen a growth of 63% and 99% of these registrations have been done online while 45% of applicants have received certificates of same day registration.

Commenting on the World Bank’s decision, Board of Investment (BoI) secretary Fareena Mazhar was confident that the work the BoI was doing in the context of regulatory reforms would provide an advantage in terms of future mapping criteria.

BoI says regulatory reforms will give Pakistan an edge in terms of future mapping criteria

The World Bank said in a statement that it will work on a new approach to assess the business and investment climate in countries.

Last month, the BoI, in collaboration with the World Bank Group, launched the seventh “Reform Action Plan” which focused on improving regulations for business entry, electricity reliability, tax regulations, trade regulations, creditors’ rights, improved property rights and court efficiency. etc., because reforms in these areas play a major role in accelerating economic development.

Concerted efforts by the BoI and federal and provincial agencies have resulted in the implementation of major reforms that resolve decades-old grievances in the private sector.

One of the most notable reforms has been the enactment of commercial courts in the Punjab. Milestones initiative increases dispute resolution timeframe from 1,000 to 180 days.

Likewise, Pakistan has joined the league of less than 10 jurisdictions around the world that offer a single certification system. The unique certificate can be applied on the SECP portal. The digitization of land registers is another landmark reform which eliminates ground inspection through the introduction of the geographic inspection system.

The World Bank statement indicates that after irregularities in the data on Doing Business 2018 and 2020 were reported internally in June 2020, the bank management decided to suspend the next “Doing Business Report” and launched a series of reviews and audits of the report and its methodology. The bank’s decision is based on a 16-page investigation report which says four countries manipulated their rankings in the 2017 and 2018 reports.

In January of this year, the World Bank Group conducted investigations to examine the internal circumstances of the bank that contributed to the irregularities in the data identified in the Doing Business 2018 and 2020 reports. Investigations were carried out to understand how inappropriate data changes for China and Saudi Arabia, UAE and Azerbaijan were made, and who at the bank led, implemented or was aware of the data changes and how their leadership or their pressure has manifested itself. ; and what internal circumstances, whether related to policy, personnel or culture, enabled the changes.

The WB says: “Confidence in the research of the World Bank Group is vital. World Bank Group research informs the actions of policymakers, helps countries make more informed decisions, and enables stakeholders to more accurately measure economic and social improvements. Such research has also been a tool available to the private sector, civil society, academia, journalists and others, broadening understanding of global issues.

Posted in Dawn, le 19 September 2021

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