Pakistan’s big jump on World Bank’s index welcomed. Improvement in ease of doing business to enrich image, increase confidence. Govt should also try to attract local and foreign investment.

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(25 October, 2019)

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan to improve the business environment have worked well and the World Bank has improved Pakistan’s ranking from 136th to 108. A jump of 28 spots on the ease of doing business ranking covering 10 countries will improve image, confidence and the investment climate, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that a lot has to be done to improve the economic situation as India has bagged 63rd position while last year it was at 77th notch on the index.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the irritants hampering investment climate include incomprehensible policies, lack of continuity in policies, confusing and regressive taxation system, increasing cost of energy, difficulties in getting different permits, costly credit, and lack of implementation in agreements and a weak dispute resolution system.

The former minister noted that central banks and the finance ministry has not done what was expected otherwise Pakistan would have jumped more notches on the index.  He noted that key to the improved business climate lies in maximum use of technology reducing interaction among businessmen and tax collectors.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the World Bank’s report is encouraging but some of the issues are still haunting the business community. Deal with the IMF has stagnated economy and left 1.2 million unemployed while two million youth are entering the job market on annual basis who see no light at the end of the tunnel, he informed. He said that even if the existing growth rate is doubled it will be insufficient to absorb 2 million new workers entering in the market every year.

A reason behind unemployment is a lack on investment as other countries including Vietnam, Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka are attracting double investment than Pakistan, he said.

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