ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has registered 14,461 new companies during the fiscal year 2018-19, showing 27 per cent growth as compared to the last financial year.
According to the SECP Annual Report, out of the new companies registered, approximately, 73 per cent were registered as private limited, 24 per cent as single member and three per cent were registered as public companies, not-for-profit associations, trade organizations, foreign companies or limited liability partnerships.
This year, around 93 per cent companies registered online and 54 per cent registered within same day. Total number of registered companies as of June 30, 2019 were 101, 328, annual report said.
Moreover, foreign investment has been reported in 617 new companies. This year 37 foreign companies from Canada, China, Germany, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkey, the UK and the US have established places of business in Pakistan during the year under review.
The SECP has introduced several reforms to simplify company incorporation process. These reforms include payment of fee through mobile and internet banking, issuance of certificate of incorporation through e-mail and further simplification of PIN generation process.
The SECP has also integrated its online system with Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Employees Old Age Benefits Institutions (EOBI) and Business Registration portals of Punjab and Sindh.
After this integration, SECP’s eServices is offering one window facility for company registration with FBR (NTN registration), EOBI, Provincial Employees Social Security Institutions (PESSI/SESSI), Labor Department and Excise and Taxation Department of Punjab and Sindh.
The SECP’s measures for ease of doing business contributed in improving Pakistan’s ranking by climbing up 11 notches in World Bank’s annual Doing Business Report 2019, improving from 147 to 136.
The report measures the performance in ease of doing business in 190 countries. According to the report Pakistan made ‘Starting a Business’ easier by introducing an online one-stop registration system, replacing several forms for incorporation with a single application and establishing information exchange between the SECP and the FBR.
As per the report, Pakistan has reduced the number of procedures, days and cost of starting a business and witnessed its biggest jump in the area in over a decade.
During the financial year 2018-19, the SECP has issued 53 licenses to not-for-profit associations under section 42 of the Companies Act, 2017, with objects of arts, sports, social services, charity etc.
Besides, licenses of 13 not-for-profit associations have been renewed, while licenses of 35 not-for-profit associations were revoked due to non-compliance.
The schemes of arrangement, amalgamation and reconstruction enable companies to consolidate their resources, achieve synergies in business operations and exploit tax-planning opportunities.
It also enhances a company’s capacity to deal with systemic risk and increase its market presence through conglomeration. Presently, schemes of arrangement of small-sized companies are approved by the SECP.