The PTI government, under the leadership of Imran Khan, had pledged to make Pakistan an investor-friendly country with reforms that encourage ease of doing business, when it came in power in 2018. With the efforts of the government and its skilled and experienced diplomats, According to World Bank, Pakistan climbed 28 spots to secure the position of being the 108th country in the global ease of doing business rankings this year, being on the 136th position last year.
Moreover, as per the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2020 study, Pakistan is now one of the top 10 business climate improvers. The country enacted six regulatory reforms to encourage investors in doing business with the state.
There are five measurements the Pakistani government took to achieve this. These were:
Online One-Stop Registration System
Pakistan made starting a business in the country easier by providing functionalities of the one-stop online shop. Aforementioned has significantly reduced the number of steps required in starting a business from 10 to 5. Resultantly, encouraging more people in the industry to get their startups and businesses up and running in less time.
Construction Permit Easier To Get
The government has also made the approval procedure in getting a construction permit faster and easier in the country’s major cities, such as Karachi and Lahore. Moreover, the registration for property and electricity has also been made more accessible, especially for business people.
Easy SME Financing For Women
The country is focusing its financial efforts on SMEs, especially women SMEs by allocating Rs. 6 billion for issuing short-term and easy industrial loans to the women entrepreneurs in the country, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said while addressing an awareness seminar on ‘SMEs Finance Awareness Programme for Women Entrepreneurs’.Moreover, various banks across the country are offering easy SME financing for women such as JS Bank Khud Mukhtar – Karobar Mera Apna program that offers a financial solution for women empowering them to build their own business and attain financial stability. The JS Khud Mukhtar lends up to Rs. 1.5 million at a subsidized mark-up rate of 5% per annum to encourage women entrepreneurs across Pakistan.
Ease Of Paying Taxes
By providing online payment modules for corporate income taxes and value-added taxes, the government has also eased the tax-paying procedure.
Decreasing Corporate Income Tax Rate
In the 2018 fiscal year, the government had also decreased the corporate income tax rate. This decreases in corporate income tax caused a decrease in the number of payments for the year from 47 to 34. It also left a setback on the number of hours needed to comply with the tax requirements each year from 294 to 283.
With these reforms, there will be an enhancement of productive skills which will lead to better linkages between SMEs and larger enterprises. There will also be an improvement in the job sector of the country, especially for the youth of Pakistan. Improving procedures involving tax-paying, opening businesses, registering for electricity and construction will offer more incentives for entrepreneurs to establish a business in the country, improving its economic condition.
Editor: Abdullah Ali Abbasi