Starting a Business – Federal (number of reforms: 11)


1.     Companies Act 2017 effective since May 30th, 2017

The new Act is the facilitation to the corporate sector and other stakeholders as well as strengthening of the regulatory framework, abolishing unnecessary requirements, maximum emphasis on the use of technology, a softer regime for companies without public stakes and protection of the interest of shareholders.

2.     Amendment in Companies (Appointment of Legal Advisors) Act, 1974

The aim is to save the small size companies from financial burden. It has been proposed that the companies having paid up capital of more than Rs 7.5 million will be required to appoint legal advisors.

3.     Limited Liability Partnership Act 2017 enacted since May 3, 2017

The LLP law provides a new initiation of a flexible corporate medium to enable professionals and entrepreneurs to amalgamate, arrange and utilize their competence in an unconventional and systematic manner. LLP is also functional for promoting startups such as investment firms and financial service providers.


1.     Cost of obtaining digital signature reduced from PKR 1500 to PKR 100

2.     Fee of PKR 500 for name availability waived

3.     Certified true copies of business registration documents

4.     Reduction in fee for company formation under 6th Schedule


1.     Launch of new Simplified User Registration system under e-Services reduced registration processing time to a few minutes

2.     Obtain digital signatures (a few minutes)


1.     Facilitation desks in business registration offices to improve customer interface

2.     Virtual One Stop Shop (VOSS) operationalized. During the month of March and April, 477 companies have been registered through VOSS.


Starting a Business – Lahore (number of reforms: 2)


1.     Two days to register


1.     Operationalization of Punjab Business Registration Portal merging three procedures:

a) registration with Excise and Taxation; b) Registration Social Security – PESSI; and c) registration with Labor Department


Dealing with Construction Permits – Lahore (number of reforms: 4)


1.     Automation of Lahore Development Authority (LDA) CP processes

2.     Availability of Construction Permits (CP) information on LDA website for increased transparency

3.     Integrated public facilitation counters (by end April)

4.     Change in EPA rules and regulation for granting approvals/NOC for new industrial units.


Dealing with Construction Permits – Karachi (number of reforms: 4)


1.     Time reduced to maximum 45 days from 60 days for obtaining building permits

2.     Time reduced to 30 days for obtaining completion certificate from 51 days

3.     Statistics for Risk-based categories published online

4.     Document checklist also published online


Registering Property – Lahore (number of reforms: 4)


1.     Reduced time for execution and registration of deed


1.     Automated registration systems

2.     Improved transparency of information

3.     Advertisement in newspaper not required


Registering Property – Karachi (number of reforms: 3)


1.     Reduced time for mutation document


1.     Automated registration systems

2.     Improved transparency of information


Enforcing Contracts – Lahore (number of reforms: 5)


  1. Alternate Dispute Resolution Center (ADR) Bill 2017 approved by the Senate
  2. Operationalization of a court annexed Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Center
  3. Mediation centers established in Lahore; also processing commercial cases e.g. negotiable instruments and IPR issues
  4. Automated Case Flow Management System launched at Lahore High Court
  5. Pre-trial conference system launched (senior civil judge scrutinizes cases before presented to the court formally)


Paying Taxes (number of reforms: 2)


1.     Auto-population of sales tax data through STRIVE system

It is under the new Sales Tax Real time Invoice Verification (STRIVe) system that the huge sum has been refunded en masse. It will help verify whether the sales tax returns, filed by the seller and purchaser, were commensurate with the refund demanded and received.

2.     Single application is available for feeding information on income and sales tax –for merging National Tax Number and Sales Tax Number


Getting Credit (number of reforms: 1)


1.     Enactment of Secured Transactions Act, 2016

The Act was designed to promote the conduct of banking business and increase access to credit, by clarifying the  rules applicable to various transactions.


Trading Across Borders (number of reforms: 4)


  1. Integration of I-form and E-form into WeBOC
  2. Integration of certificate of origin into WeBOC
  3. Electronic data exchange with China
  4. Publically available customs clearance data for improved transparency


Protecting Minority Investors (number of reforms: 1)

1.     Rules/regulations finalized for establishment of a centralized investor protection fund (under submission for approval)