BHURBAN: Board of Investment (BOI) Chairperson Naeem Y Zamindar has said that the government is going to conduct a meeting on March 1, 2018 in a bid to sort out all outstanding issues that affect Pakistan’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index.
BOI has acted upon 52 initiatives out of 68, while the rest will be taken up later in the second phase. “We first acted on the low hanging fruits where we easily made visible change in the shortest possible time,” said the chairperson, while talking to reporters on Wednesday.
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Pakistan’s rank in the Ease of Doing Business Index, an annual ranking released by the World Bank, is declining continuously. From 105th in 2012, Pakistan has fallen to 147th in 2018, forcing the government to take up matters seriously.
Zamindar, a private-sector IT professional who took the job less than 4 months ago, said that investors have been coming to Pakistan but when they see difficulties in investment conditions they get discouraged.
“We just have to make them feel that the situation is going to change,” he added.
Pakistan is targeting a position among the top 50 countries in the index in three years. The official said that this is very much possible if the country continues its speed in making reforms.
“Overseas Pakistanis want to invest so we have to make the situation feasible for them and others. Out of the 9 million-strong Pakistani diaspora, about 1 million successful professionals want to invest in the country and this can make a big change if we succeed in helping them,” he added.
Speaking on upcoming special economic zones under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said Pakistan can become part of Chinese value chain through joint ventures and this will completely change the outlook of Pakistani economy.
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Planning and Development Department Punjab Chief Economist Dr M Amanullah said that after making reforms the building permit issuance period has now been reduced to 21 days from 60 days.
Sindh Board of Investment Director Projects Abdul Azeem Uqaili commented the Sindh Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is now giving approvals in 15 days instead of 30 days. Similarly, the time required for a new connection from the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) has been reduced to 21 days from 61 days.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 22nd, 2018.
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