World Bank Assistance Requested to Accelerate the PRMI Project Implementation

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, chaired a strategy review meeting on Pakistan Regulatory Modernization Initiative (PRMI), in Board of Investment (BOI).

Advisor to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, Chairman BOI, Atif Riaz Bokhari, Secretary BOI, Fareena Mazhar, representatives of the World Bank and other stakeholders attended the meeting.

During the meeting, the team of BOI presented the progress on different decisions undertaken in the previous meeting of the Steering Committee of PRMI. BOI informed that they adopted alternate solutions to make up for the resource constraints at BOI. It was informed that the World Bank’s technical assistance has been engaged to accelerate the implementation of the PRMI project.

It was further apprised that the project proposal, which is a part of the Pakistan Goes Global project funded by the World Bank, has been submitted to the Planning Division for formal approval.

The World Bank team presented the outcomes of initial research in the regulatory environment of some of the key sectors in Pakistan. The team also presented the basic framework of Pakistan Business Portal, a one-window portal which aims to automate and consolidate the business processes for the various sector. A roadmap for planning and execution of the PRMI project was also shared which depicted that the project would meet its objectives in the next three years.

Talking about different steps being undertaken by BOI, Razak Dawood appreciated the efforts of BOI to find new solutions without compromising on the timelines of the project. He emphasized that the PRMI project aims to overhaul the regulatory environment for businesses in Pakistan and it has to be completed within the agreed timeframes.

Dawood further underlined that the purpose of the project is not limited to finding problems in the business environment but to put recommendations before the Steering Committee regarding the remedial measures required for making improvements.

He advised the team at BOI to use prioritization approach for identification and implementation of reforms, by looking at the agencies with major bottlenecks in the systems as well as the regions where most of the business activities are concentrated.

While discussing the need for automation, Dr. Ishrat Hussain highlighted that the automation is not fruitful unless combined with business processes re-engineering. He added that the purpose of automation is to provide simplification as well as ease of doing business, while reducing the overall cost of doing business. Dr. Hussain underscored that the institutional arrangements need to be in place in BOI in order to make sure that the project implementation is sustainable throughout its cycle.

The meeting ended with the decision to hold the next interval review meeting in the first week of September 2020 followed by the Steering Committee meeting in October 2020.

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