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World Bank Group President David Malpass visits Tarbela Dam

World Bank Group President David Malpass visits Tarbela Dam

TARBELA: World Bank Group President David Malpass on Thursday visited the Tarbela Dam and inspected different sections of it, including Tarbela Hydel Power Station and the power house of Tarbela-4 Extension hydropower project. Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda accompanied Mr Malpass during the visit.

He lauded the incumbent government for efforts to bring improvement in water resources sector, including removal of hiccups in completion of Dasu Hydropower project and construction of dams.

Vawda said measures were being taken under a comprehensive strategy to improve water resources in the country. He expressed confidence that water resources sector and hydropower would further grow with cooperation of the World Bank Group.

The minister expressed his gratitude to Mr Malpass for extending cooperation in water resources projects of the country.

Mr Malpass has arrived in Islamabad on a two-day official visit to hold talks with the Pakistani leadership and discuss ways to strengthen economy of the state.

The visit carries special significance in the backdrop of Pakistan’s recent inclusion among top-20 global reformers on Ease of Doing Business Index.

Pakistan has jumped up 28 places on the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index and attained 108th position besides securing a place among top ten global business climate improvers.

Pakistan carried out six reforms in the last one year that helped improving its ranking from 136 to 108, according to the World Bank’s annual flagship report “Ease of Doing Business 2020”, released on Thursday. Last year, Pakistan was ranked 136th among the 190 nations surveyed.

According to the World Bank, the six areas which saw reforms included starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders. Pakistan made starting a business easier by expanding procedures available through the online one-stop shop. In addition to improvements in property registration, obtaining a construction permit became easier.

The launching of online portals for new commercial connections made getting electricity easier, and tariff changes are announced in advance. Moreover, tax compliance became easier through online payment modules for value-added tax and corporate income tax. Pakistan made trading across borders easier by enhancing the integration of various agencies into an electronic system and by improving coordination of joint physical inspections at the port.

Since assuming the office, Prime Minister Imran Khan made it amongst his highest priorities to take measures for improving ease of doing business in the country. As a result of the coordinated efforts led by the state’s institutions, Pakistan has been acknowledged by the World Bank among the top global reformers this year.

Pakistan, another top improver, developed an ambitious reform strategy, setting up a national secretariat as well as a prime minister’s reform steering committee to ensure progress, the report acknowledged.

Pakistan’s economy kept up a solid pace of business regulatory reforms and earned the spot among the world’s top ten most improved economies and improved their global ease of doing business scores.

Governments of 115 economies around the world launched 294 reforms over the past year to make doing business easier for their domestic private sector, paving the way for more jobs, expanded commercial activity, and higher incomes for many, according to the World Bank Group’s Doing Business 2020 study.

This latest edition of the study documents reforms implemented in 10 areas of business activity in 190 economies over a 12-month period ending on 1 May 2019.

Business-friendly environments are associated with lower levels of poverty, and improved regulatory efficiency can stimulate entrepreneurship, startups, innovation, access to credit, and investment.