Initiatives launched to steer business

PRMI and two online platforms will make regulatory environment business friendly


Our Correspondent June 15, 2021
British High Commissioner Christian Turner. PHOTO: TWITTER/@CTurnerFCDO

ISLAMABAD:

Pakistan has immense potential and having an enabling environment supported by effective regulations will increase job opportunities and FDI in the country said British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner.

Turner’s comments came in the backdrop of the launch of Pakistan Regulatory Modernization Initiative Strategy (PRMI), Special Economic Zone Management System (SEZMIS) & Investor Relationship Management System (IRMS) by the Board of Investment (BOI) on Monday to foster an enabling business climate with automation and reduced compliance burden.

The British envoy said, “Future of Pakistan anchors around its economic growth,” adding that UK supported the regulatory efforts of the federal and provincial governments to lay the foundation for a regulatory system.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, BOI Secretary Fareena Mazhar explained the objective of the launch of PRMI strategy and the two online platforms, which aim to make the regulatory environment business-friendly, provide local and foreign investors the ease of online registration for zone enterprises and a comprehensive database of existing and potential investors that will promote investment activities.

She said that gradual transition to a paperless environment will reduce the compliance burden for businesses and promote formal economy as well. On the occasion, representatives from the private sector acknowledged that the joint efforts of the public and public sector ensure the success of the reform drive that stands to greatly benefit the businesses. They congratulated BOI for its efforts and assured of their continued cooperation for Pakistan’s economic growth.

World Bank Country Director for Pakistan Najy Benhassine said, “PRMI will greatly contribute to sustainable regulatory reforms and integrate compliance across federal and provincial levels through automation. It will help simplify and harmonise the regulatory regime across Pakistan.”

The automation of regulatory service delivery with the development of the Pakistan Business Portal will further reduce the need for businesses to visit multiple offices for regulatory compliance, he added.

Also speaking on the occasion, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms and Austerity Ishrat Husain highlighted that these efforts will culminate in the Pakistan Business Portal, which will reduce the cost of doing business & make Pakistan competitive. Similarly for international trade, Pakistan Single Window will allow automated processing which will contribute to improved governance.

The PM adviser further shared that due to the automation of FBR, refunds to the businesses are being provided within 72 hours. FBR, in the last one year, processed refunds worth Rs250 billion, which is the highest in the history of Pakistan.

PRMI will carry out national-level modernisation of all regulatory requirements of businesses including registrations, licenses, certificates and other permits (RLCOs). With SEZMIS, enterprises and zone developers will be able to file applications electronically which will be processed in a paperless environment. The IRMS will record the interaction of investment officers with investors to track and generate investment through engagements.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 15h, 2021.

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