Sindh, SECP to set up business registration portal

KARACHI: 

Four Sindh government departments and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for launching a business registration portal in an attempt to facilitate entrepreneurs in completing all registration formalities online.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Labour Minister Murtaza Baloch and senior World Bank economist Amjad Bashir were present on the occasion.

The chief minister thanked the World Bank for helping to improve investment climate in the province. The partnership between the Sindh government and the World Bank had been re-energised and “we are working together in many spheres of the economy to improve the living standards”, he said.

He emphasised that remarkable progress had been made in reforming the business climate as well as in the ease of doing business project on which the provincial government was working to improve the country’s global ranking.

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The Sindh CM revealed that the process of automation of all procedures for starting a business through the Sindh Business Registration Portal was now at final stages. “Through the portal, the entrepreneurs will be able to complete all registration procedures online, which are required by different departments such as industries, labour, social security, revenue board, NADRA and the SECP,” he said.

Shah pointed out that the land administration department had slashed the time for buying and registering a property by more than 90%. Under this project, 90% of the land record in all 29 districts of Sindh has been computerised.

Similarly, as part of facilitation measures, the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) has exempted low-impact projects from the condition of taking government’s approval and improved its services delivery time. “It is a significant step taken to deregulate the business environment,” he remarked.

Shah pointed out that the Sindh government intended to introduce technology and quicker procedures to assist investors. “Results of our collective efforts will help businesses grow faster and most importantly will drive entrepreneurship in Sindh,” he stressed.

The CM said the Sindh government was committed to making the province an easy and most competitive business hub.

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The chief minister recalled that the Sindh government had signed a financing agreement worth $100 million with the World Bank for the Sindh Solar Energy Project.

The project will introduce and showcase international best practices with renewable energy auctions, reduce the headline cost of solar development, create sustainable business models for potential replication, build institutional and private-sector capacity, and identify opportunities for the future renewable energy department that will address issues of grid integration.

In a bid to ensure the ease of doing business for businessmen and investors, the reforms undertaken by the provincial government include the replacement of the outdated regulatory compliance procedure with complete automation of business registration, building permits and approvals.

For this, the business registration portal is in the pipeline, which will serve as a one-stop online regulatory approval and inspection interface.

The provincial departments that signed the MoU included the Investment Department, Labour Department, Industries and Commerce Department, and Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (Sessi).