Pakistan moves up 11 spots in 'ease of doing business' ranking

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Marking areas where the country still needs to improve, Mr Jaitley mentioned starting of business, in which the country ranked 137, paying taxes and enforcing of contracts, which he said "remains poor". India took up the 100th spot in the list past year. India carried out six business reforms during the past year, earning the credentials of being a top global improver for a second consecutive year, says the World Bank Group's Doing Business 2019: Training for Reform report, released on Wednesday.

"India has improved in rank in 6 out of 10 indicators and has moved closer to global best practices.The most dramatic improvements have been registered in the indicators related "construction permits" and "trading across borders", the ministry said. New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark were on top of the list.

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- In notable changes to the top 20 ranked economies this year, UAE joins the grouping for the 1st time, in 11th place, while Malaysia and Mauritius regain spots, in 15th and 20th places, respectively. The regional average rank is 115 in getting credit.

"Legislation is already in place with regard to enforcement of contract, taxation, and insolvency. It is also reflected in the government's strong commitment to broaden the business reforms agenda at the state and now even at the district level", said Junaid Ahmad, World Bank Country Director in India. Jaitley also said the impact of GST has not been entirely accounted for in the ranking due to an early cut off date.

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Board of Investment, being the secretariat of Prime Minister s Steering Committee on Doing Business Reforms, briefed the press on the reforms behind improvements made in Pakistan s ranking and reforms being introduced to improve it further. The report notes that India has supported its ambitious reform agenda by providing regular training to both customs officials and private sector agents, as well as by establishing Customs Clearance Facilitation Committees which bring together actors involved in worldwide trade at regular meetings.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), said: "We started this process of two-way communication, where we - DIPP and other departments and agencies concerned - communicate the reforms to the stakeholders and then get the feedback from them whether it is working or not".

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During the past year, India made starting a business easier by fully integrating multiple application forms into a general incorporation form. "India made paying taxes easier by replacing many indirect taxes with a single indirect tax, the GST, for the entire country. Under its National Trade Facilitation Action Plan 2017-2020, India implemented several initiatives that improved the efficiency of cross-border trade, reducing border and documentary compliance time". "India streamlined the process of obtaining a building permit and made it faster and less expensive to obtain a construction permit", the report said.

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