SBI to launch business regulations reform programme


KARACHI: The Sindh Board of Investment (SIB) in collaboration with the World Bank Group on Monday hosted a press on the “Ease of Doing Business” (EoDB) reform prorgamme being carried out in the province. The briefing informed participants about Sindh government’s strategy to reform business regulations in the province.

SBI Chairperson Naheed Memon explained how improving the investment climate is a national emergency. She said that as a country, we should strive to become the best place for doing business. She also informed that Sindh plans to automate business registration via a portal which will link all provincial and central databases and authorities to facilitate the entrepreneurs in starting a business. This facility will be first be launched in the key government departments and will also be placed in the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Office, she added.

The relevant provincial agencies are reforming the regulations related to the construction permits. These reforms include de-notification of environmental approval for low- impact projects, simplification of procedures & reduction in the timeline for water connection at Karachi Water Supply Board (KWSB) and reduction in the number of procedures at Sindh Building Control Authority for obtaining a building permit.

Reforms such as the establishment Land Administration & Revenue Management Information System (LARMIS) at the board of revenue have already been implemented. The Sindh LARMIS was the first system in the country to automate the process of property registration.

The automation of property registration aims to ensure that all current registrations are scanned, indexed and made available online for online title search through Digital Scanning Unit. The time for execution and registration of deed is now less than 100 days. This procedure took more than 200 days previously.

KWSB has also reduced the prerequisites for a new water connection application. Their checklist for a new connection now requires only four items instead of eight items that were required previously. Moreover, the time taken for a new connection will be reduced to 21 days. This procedure took 61 days in the past. The Chairperson, Sindh Board of Investment is the focal person for doing business reforms in Sindh.

The provincial government has formed Sindh Investment Climate Improvement Cell (SICIC) for bringing a reform agenda. The reform plan is a part of the larger plan to introduce doing business reforms at the federal and provincial level.

“The provincial government remains committed to making Sindh into an easy and most competitive investment hub in Pakistan,” said the SBI chairperson.

The EoDB Index produced annually by the World Bank Group (WBC) measures the quality and efficiency of business regulations and its enforcement in the selected cities across 190 economies including Karachi and Lahore from Pakistan.