BERF’s Work in Pakistan
DFID Pakistan has been a major client for BERF. The joint research and diagnostic report looked at business environment constraints in key sectors. There have been two studies in the area of stakeholder engagement, including the scoping of a project for improving stakeholder engagement using information and communication technology (which may be followed up with implementation support), and support for a public private dialogue in Punjab. BERF has also been commissioned to do a diagnostic study for Sindh province on Business Environment Reform.
- Pakistan Punjab Support to Public Private Dialogue
- BERF Research and Diagnostic for Punjab
- Pakistan Online Feedback Mechanism Scoping
Planned and Ongoing Projects
Pakistan has one of the largest populations in the world of people living in poverty. The population is over 189 million, with a poverty rate of just below 30% (National Poverty Line, 2013). Poverty rates have been falling rapidly as a result of rapid economic growth which has increased income per capita more rapidly since around the year 2000.
The DFID country programme vision 2011 to 2016 is focused on four areas; (i) Building peace and stability (ii) making democracy work (iii) promoting macroeconomic stability growth and jobs, and (iv) effective delivery of more equitable, inclusive quality public services. The programme is aligned to the UK Government’s integrated delivery plan for Pakistan, which has a particular emphasis on empowering women. It primarily operates in two provinces; Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (with smaller projects in Sindh), and provides DFID with high level access to government officials to engage in policy dialogue.
World Bank Doing Business
The World Bank Doing Business indicators for 2017 show Pakistan ranking 144, six places below its 2015 ranking of 144, but the Distance to Frontier indicator showed an improvement to 51.77 putting the country in the World’s top 10 improvers. Pakistan has improved in access to credit, land registration, and trading across borders, all of which are key metrics for business environment reforms.
The World Bank Country Partnership Strategy 2015 to 2019 aims to expand policy-based support for strengthening the business environment. This outlines that the Bank plans to improve Pakistan’s Doing Business ranking through federal actions to improve power access, streamline tax payments, setting up a One-Stop Shop for business registration, and approving the credit information law (all actions supported by the Fiscally Sustainable and Inclusive Growth Development Policy Credit and ongoing Technical Assistance). Further assistance can be channelled through the Indicator Based Reform Advisory. The Pakistan Board of Investment reports that it has undertaken provincial consultations and had developed an Action Plan for the reforms.
The Bank aims to use the Multi Donor Trust Fund for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (amongst other area/regional funds) to leverage finance from other sources/donors. It also planned that during the first half of the strategy implementation period it would provide analytical support – in particular for the private sector development component.