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October 26, 2018

Surge in online firm registrations brightens WB’s ranking prospects


October 26, 2018

KARACHI: Online registration of companies has crossed the 7,000 mark within barley six months after introduction of the digital facility, brightening prospect of improvement in Pakistan’s global ranking on the World Bank’s ease of doing business, a top official said on Thursday.

The newly integrated system, jointly launched by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), digitally registers companies and issues national tax number (NTN).

“The system has been introduced for one-window operation and ease of doing business,” Member Information Technology Khawaja Adnan Zaheer of FBR said. Zaheer, addressing a seminar organised by the Karachi Tax Bar Association (KTBA), said the step is in a right direction to improve ease of doing business.

Pakistan’s position in the Doing Business 2018 slid three notches to 147 out of 190 economies, although the World Bank expressed optimism over the progress made by the country in implementing business-friendly reforms. The country has so far implemented four reforms and also made it easier to register a new business, transfer commercial property and facilitate cross border trade. The annual report monitors the ease of doing business for small and medium enterprises around the world. Pakistan’s position in the Doing Business global rankings improved to 144 in 2017 as against 148 in 2016.

Zaheer said facilitation is an ongoing process at the FBR and people would soon experience some more new measures in this direction. He said the online registration facility was launched in March to provide ease of doing business and enable the companies to be incorporated with the SECP as well as get registered with the FBR simultaneously.

FBR’s official said the initiative is to facilitate the taxpayers and is a part of doing business reforms agenda, which will help in enhancing the ranking of the country in World Bank’s ease of doing business. He said once a company is incorporated with the SECP the credentials of incorporated company and its directors are automatically sent to the FBR’s system which verifies the data and allot NTN to the company.

“It also registers the directors of the company. A confirmation message having login credentials is sent from FBR to SECP as well as principal officer of the company and its directors,” he added.

Kashif Mahmood, deputy registrar of the SECP said the integrated system has so much been simplified that incorporation and NTN registration now takes “a few hours”.

Mahmood said the system is successfully running and that has been acknowledged by all the stakeholders. He explained the process in detail and encouraged the participants to avail the facility. Ziaur Rasheed Abbasi, additional registrar of companies at the SECP Sindh gave a detailed presentation about the company’s post incorporation compliances.

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