At the “Sindh Doing Business Reforms Exhibition II”, the Sindh Business Registration Portal (SBRP) was launched as part of the Ease of Doing Business Reforms in the province. The event was hosted by the Investment Department, Government of Sindh.
The World Bank has been providing technical support to the Government of Sindh for the implementation and facilitation of the Doing Business Reforms. The Government of Sindh has also had the support of Department for International Development (DFID), UK.
The business environment in Pakistan registered a significant improvement last year when the World Bank’s flagship report, the Doing Business Index, showed Pakistan’s global rank as having risen by 11 places from 147 out of 190 in 2018 to 136. The province of Sindh has a substantial role in this as Karachi represents 65 per cent of the weightage in the DB (Doing Business) methodology, whereas Lahore accounts for 35 per cent of the ranking.
Reforms to improve business environment with an objective to transform Karachi as an easy, competitive and business-friendly city in Pakistan, and in the region, have shown an improvement, and many reforms have already been implemented are in practice at relevant government departments. Of all these Reforms, the SBRP is one of the most salient.
In addition, the Board of Revenue Sindh also launched its Portal for Tracking of Property Deeds at the event. Through this portal citizens will be able to the progress of their property registration online.
Speaking at the occasion, Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah said that the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report is an important measure with economic and political consequences, and that the Doing Business report has become one of the most important indicators for companies choosing countries to invest in. He reiterated the resolve and commitment of the Government of Sindh to undertake more reforms and adopt policies that create an enabling environment for the private sector and make doing business easy in the province.
The keynote speech was delivered by Abdul Razzak Dawood, Adviser to the Prime Minister for Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production and Investment, who reaffirmed the focus of the Government of Pakistan on creating an enabling business environment in the country by furthering the agenda of the Ease of Doing Business Reforms.
Present at the occasion were members from relevant stakeholder departments of the Government of Sindh, representatives of the World Bank, and private sector representatives. Those who addressed the audience at the occasion included Muhammad Waseem, Chairman, Planning and Development (P&D) Board, Sindh, Ahsan Ali Mangi, Secretary, Investment Department, Sindh, and Illango Patchamuthu, Country Director, World Bank.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr Patchamuthu congratulated the Chief Minister Sindh for spearheading the DB reforms, and also lauded the efforts of the departments of the Government of Sindh, especially Investment Department, that completed several reforms as part of a series of 100-Days DB Reform Sprints. The Third 100-Days Reform Sprint has been successfully completed, while the Fourth 100-Days Sprint commenced at the occasion.
The World Bank Country Director added that it was critical that the on-going reform momentum is sustained to help Pakistan become a competitive and business-friendly investment destination. DB reforms are prominently featured in the [email protected] initiative which aims for the country to be in the top 25 economies globally by 2047.
The support extended by the Punjab Information Technology Board’s (PITB) to the Government of Sindh was acknowledged at the event. This technical support was given in designing, testing and launching the Sindh Business Portal as well as training relevant departments to effectively use it to facilitate private sector investment.
At the occasion, concerned departments showcased the ground-breaking reforms that have been introduced under the Doing Business Reforms in the province. The reforms are part of the Government of Sindh’s current focus on moving aggressively to transform the regulatory environment of the province to help make Sindh the next business powerhouse.
The Sindh Business Registration Portal (SBRP) has been launched as an online regulatory approvals and inspection interface. This is the result of number of processes and consistent efforts. The Portal would ensure businesses registration swiftly by providing access to a slew of online services, cutting down the cost, time and effort of visiting multiple government departments for the purpose.
The Government of Sindh, and in turn the Department of Investment Sindh, have led the way and paved the path for this milestone. Now any new business in Sindh can easily be registered online quickly, saving visits to multiple departments for paper-based documentation. Entrepreneurs can register their business with 4 provincial departments at the Portal:
- Labour & HR Department (Shops & Establishments)
- Sindh Employees Social Security Institution
- Industries Department (Partnership Firms)
- Excise & Taxation
The Portal will develop links between 4 provincial departments and federal departments (NADRA & SECP) for smoother and swifter business registration.
In the province of Sindh, the most salient DB Reforms have been in the following four indicators:
- Starting a Business
- Registering Property
- Getting Construction Permits
- Getting Electricity