Ease of Doing Business index: Pakistan now 138th among 189 economies

Pakistan’s global ranking has slipped 10 ranks in a report on ease of doing business owing to poor performance on almost all indicators, while Singapore remains on top of the list.
A World Bank report published on Tuesday ranked Pakistan 138 of 189 economies, dropping 10 ranks from last year’s 128. The “Doing Business 2016: Measuring Regulatory Quality and Efficiency” report, now in its 13th year, looks at the regulatory environment for small and medium-sized companies to see how it hampers or helps them conduct business, from starting up and paying taxes to registering property and trading across borders.
The country’s biggest drop was on the trading across borders indicator, which slipped from 108 all the way to 19.
On the getting electricity indicator, Pakistan slipped from 146 last year to 157. The report also noted that businesses in Pakistan estimated losses due to power outages at up to 34pc of annual revenue.
While Pakistan kept slipping on the ladder, its eastern neighbour India has improved its ranking, moving 12 places up to rank 130 on the index.
For any big economy, a rank improvement of 12 is a remarkable achievement. Going from 142 in the world to 130, as India has done, is very good sign. It gives a good signal about the way things are moving in India,” World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President Kaushik Basu told in an interview. The International Monetary Fund said in a report early in October that India was poised for the fastest growth of any other emerging-market economy this year, at 7.3pc, thanks in part to policy reforms.
Singapore remains the easiest place to do business, while developing countries have stepped up their pace of business-friendly reforms in the past year, according to the report. There were barely any changes in the report’s top 10, according to adjusted data using this year’s criteria for both the 2015 and 2016 rankings.

New Zealand remained in the number-two position, followed by Denmark (3), South Korea (4), Hong Kong (5), Britain (6) and the United States (7). Sweden moved up a notch to number eight, switching places with Norway. Finland kept its 10th place. “A modern economy cannot function without regulation and, at the same time, it can be brought to a standstill through poor and cumbersome regulation,” said Basu. “The challenge of development is to tread this narrow path by identifying regulations that are good and necessary and shunning ones that thwart creativity and hamper the functioning of small and medium enterprises.” By surveying and ranking economies, the 188-nation development lender hopes that its “report card” will encourage regulation that contributes to economic growth and prosperity for people.
Progress was tilted to the downside among the five emerging-market powers known as the BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
China, the world’s second-largest economy, slipped one notch to 84th place. Brazil fell to 116th from 111th and South Africa dropped four notches to 73rd. But Russia, struggling with an economy hit by the plunge in oil prices and Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict, moved up in the ranks to 51 from 54.
To continue funding for different projects The World Bank has offered its assistance for the relief activities in the areas, which damaged due to the natural disaster that struck Pakistan on Monday.
Country Director World Bank, Patchamuthu Illangovan in a meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar expressed deep sense of grief and sorrow over the damage caused by the natural disaster that struck Pakistan on Monday. He said the World Bank was ready to offer any assistance needed for relief activities. The Minister thanked him for the kind sentiments.
They also exchanged views on the proposed Equitable Growth DPC-III.
The Minister informed Illangovan that the Government would have in-house consultation and convey its priorities for next set of Development Policy Credit Loans. Finance Minister shared with Illangovan details of his recent meeting with Ms Annette Dixon, Vice President, World Bank (South Asia Region) and other senior World Bank officials in Washington. The Minister said his meeting with Ms Annette Dixon was very positive and she appreciated the remarkable economic turnaround achieved by Pakistan as well as the prior actions completed for Power Sector DPC-II. The Minister said he was looking forward to World Bank Board meeting in November which would consider the case for release of Development Policy Credit Loan for energy sector of Pakistan. Patchamuthu Illangovan on this occasion said the World Bank would continue to finance different projects in Pakistan and that he looked forward to strengthening Pak-World Bank cooperation in future.


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