Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan yesterday chaired a meeting to review progress on improving “ease of doing business” (EoDB) in the country.
The meeting was attended by Finance Minister Asad Umar, adviser to PM on commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, adviser to PM Ishrat Hussain, BOI chairman Haroon Sharif, SAPM Iftikhar Durrani and senior government officials.
BOI chairman briefed the prime minister about the progress on various indicators related to “ease of doing business” (EoDB).
On the issue of number of tax payments, it was informed that the number of payments have been brought down from 47 to 21. Efforts were underway to introduce e-payments of social security contributions in Sindh and Punjab. BOI chairman said that a new system of value-added tax (VAT) refunds would be in place by March 31 which would significantly reduce time in obtaining VAT refunds.
The BOI chairman informed that efforts were also being made to improve risk-management system to reduce number of physical audits.
About the ease of starting business, the prime minister was informed that integration of SECP with provincial portals and EOBI has been completed in Punjab. However, efforts were being made to expedite the launch of portal in Sindh.
On ease in getting electricity, the prime minister was informed that significant progress has been made to facilitate provision of power and timely information to the businesses. Besides availability of required documents on website, full online application system was being rolled out and advance notifications were being ensured about change in tariff.
In the area of getting credit, it was informed that registrar would be appointed by the end of this month and rules under Secured Transaction Act were being finalised by ministry of finance.
BOI chairman also briefed the meeting about steps being taken to facilitate trading across borders and reducing clearance time in imports and exports.
He also identified various issues mostly related to Sindh province in integration of SECP and EOBI with provincial portal, end to end automation of construction permits and availability of complete electronic database of property registry.
The prime minister emphasised upon the need for greater focus towards addressing EoDB issues related to Sindh since Karachi was the financial hub of the country.
Briefing the meeting about various positive developments with regards to investment facilitation, it was informed that MoU on industrial co-operation has been signed with China last month.
It was decided that regular EoDB meetings meeting would be chaired by the prime minister with participation of chief ministers and the provincial chief secretaries.
It was also decided that dedicated EoDB offices would be set up at federal and provincial level for the purpose of removing bottlenecks and facilitating investors in the smooth business operations.
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