Pakistan ranking has further deteriorated to 144th position among 190 economies in the fresh rating of the World Bank related to ease of doing business, down from 138th position in last year’s ranking.
According to the report Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All, Pakistan witnessed improvement in its Distance to Frontier (DTF) score standing at 5.77 as compared to previous one, 51.69, showing a modest increase.
The drop in ranking by 6 grades and increase in score reflect that country’s economy was seen growth but its performance declined in comparison with similar economies.
A record 137 economies around the world have adopted key reforms that make it easier to start and operate small and medium-sized businesses, says Doing Business 2017: Equal Opportunity for All, the World Bank Group’s annual report on the ease of doing business.
The new report finds that developing countries carried out more than 75 percent of the 283 reforms in the past year, with Sub-Saharan Africa accounting for over one-quarter of all reforms.
In its global country rankings of business efficiency, Doing Business 2017 awarded its coveted top spot to New Zealand, Singapore ranks second, followed by Denmark; Hong Kong SAR, China; Republic of Korea; Norway; United Kingdom; United States; Sweden; and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The report cites research that demonstrates that better performance in Doing Business is, on average, associated with lower levels of income inequality, thereby reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity.
In South Asia, five of the region’s eight economies implemented a total of 11 reforms in the past year, compared with nine the previous year.
Pakistan, which was among the world’s top 10 improvers, implemented several reforms this past year, as did India and Sri Lanka. The bulk of the business reform activity in the region was aimed at facilitating cross border trade. However, Afghanistan and Pakistan, stipulate additional hurdles for women entrepreneurs.
Pakistan Included in List of Top 10 Performers
Pakistan has been included by World Bank in the list of 10 economies showing the most notable improvement — in terms of regulations and performance — on the Doing Business indicators in 2015/16.
Other countries in the list include: Brunei Darussalam, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Belarus, Indonesia, Serbia, Georgia, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain .
These economies together implemented 48 business regulatory reforms across all of the areas measured by Doing Business.
Overall, these 10 countries implemented the most regulatory reforms in the areas of getting electricity and registering property. These countries also actively reformed in the areas of starting a business and protecting minority investors.
The ease of doing business ranking for these economies ranges from 144 in Pakistan to 16 in Georgia; on average it is 62.
Pakistan remained the sole economy in South Asia to reform property transfers. Starting in 2007, the Punjab province of Pakistan launched the Land Records Management and Information Program to strengthen the capacity of land administration institutions in Lahore.
During a five-year period, the project deployed an automated land records system and improved the quality of services provided by the land agency.
The report also mentioned that Pakistan improved access to credit information by adopting new regulations that guarantee by law borrowers’ rights to inspect their credit data.
Power Sector Remains a Hurdle In Pakistan’s Economic Growth
Pakistan is in the midst of an energy crisis as the rapid expansion of the economy in recent decades has led to increased energy demand. Pakistan’s power sector also grapples with financial challenges.
In 2014 electricity tariffs were charged at 20.8 cents per kilowatt-hour, but the bill collection rate was below 80%. Because tariffs were set at below cost-recovery level, generation costs were not entirely recuperated through end-user tariffs. This resulted in chronic debt for the power system.
The reliability of electricity supply is critical for the development of the private sector—as well as for societies at large. There are multiple interdependent factors that directly affect reliability. Some are beyond the control of policy makers (such as inclement weather or commodity prices) yet many factors are, in fact, actionable if a long-term and comprehensive approach is adopted. Therefore, adequate generation capacity, financial performance, the operational efficiency of the utilities and the overarching regulatory framework need not be treated separately.
All of these levers are integral to ensuring that electricity supply meets demand in a sustainable fashion. With adequate planning and foresight, different strategies can be used to ensure a constant flow of electricity, as policymakers must cope with local market factors and other development objectives such as “greening” the energy mix and making electricity affordable for subsets of the population.
Pakistan’s Ranking in Various Areas:
Pakistan’s ranking for “Easy of Doing Business” in various areas remained as following:
- Overall Ranking: 144
- Starting a Business: 141
- Dealing with Construction Permits: 150
- Getting Electricity: 170
- Registering Property: 169
- Getting Credit: 82
- Protecting Minority Investors: 27
- Paying Taxes: 156
- Trading Across Borders: 172
- Enforcing Contracts: 157
- Resolving Insolvency: 85
Clearly there is a lot of room for improvement in multitude of areas, particularly in fulfilling the energy demands on the businesses.
Faisalabad Ranked First in Ease of Doing Business in Pakistan
Among various Pakistani cities, Faisalabad is ranked as best place for ease of doing business in the country.
Islamabad is ranked at top slot for “starting a business” indicator, while Multan is ranked first for “dealing with construction permits”. Other rankings for Pakistani cities is as following: