The World Bank (WB) announcement to discontinue the next Ease of Doing Business report has saddened Pakistan, which was expecting a major improvement in the index.
The WB, in its announcement, stated that trust in the research of the World Bank Group is vital.
World Bank Group research informs the actions of policymakers, helps countries make better-informed decisions, and allows stakeholders to measure economic and social improvements more accurately. Such research has also been an available tool for the private sector, civil society, academia, journalists, and others, broadening understanding of global issues.
“After data irregularities on doing business in 2018 and 2020 were reported internally in June 2020, World Bank management paused the next EODB report and initiated a series of reviews and audits of the report and its methodology,” the bank said in a statement.
“In addition, because internal reports raised ethical matters, including the conduct of former Board officials as well as current and/or former bank staff, management reported the allegations to the bank’s appropriate internal accountability mechanisms,” the statement added.
After reviewing all the information available to date on Doing Business, including the findings of past reviews, audits, and the Board of Executive Directors, WB Group management has taken the decision to discontinue the Doing Business report.
The WB Group remains firmly committed to advancing the role of the private sector in development and providing support to governments to design the regulatory environment that supports this.
Going forward, we will be working on a new approach to assessing the business and investment climate. We are deeply grateful for the efforts of the many staff members who have worked diligently to advance the business climate agenda, and we look forward to harnessing their energies and abilities in new ways, they mentioned.
It is pertinent to note that the WB group in January this year carried out investigations to review the internal circumstances at the bank that contributed to the data irregularities identified in the Doing Business 2018 and 2020 reports.
Officials said that Pakistan is taking every step to introduce reforms in government institutions, and the government was also expected in the next report to improve the current ranking of 108th to 75th position this year.
It is worth mentioning here that Pakistan had advanced 39 places to secure 108th place on the ease of doing business global ranking in the last two years.