Sri Lanka jumps 11 spots to 100th in Doing Business Index
4 years ago
By Charindra Chandrasena
Sri Lanka jumped 11 spots to be placed 100th out of 190 countries on the influential World Bank Doing Business Index for 2019, released on Wednesday (31).
The 2018 index had ranked Sri Lanka 111th, and this year, the country’s score had improved by 1.80 points to 61.22.
The Doing Business Index is designed to help governments diagnose issues in administrative procedures and correct them. It measures the processes for business incorporation, getting a building permit, obtaining an electricity connection, transferring property, getting access to credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, engaging in international trade, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.
It is relied on heavily by businesses around the world when making foreign direct investment decisions.
While this is the highest ranking Sri Lanka has achieved in the Doing Business Index since 2015, it is notable that poverty-stricken nations such as Djibouti and Vanuatu have been ranked higher than Sri Lanka.
The South Asian average score on the latest index is 56.71, with India far ahead of Sri Lanka and Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Maldives trailing it.
The Unity Government came under fire over the past few years for not being able to improve Sri Lanka’s ranking in the index, which had been languishing at 114, 109, and 110 in the indexes for 2015, 2016, and 2017 respectively.
The report notes that Sri Lanka made it easier to deal with construction permits by “launching a single window, increasing transparency by providing online access to building regulations, and reducing the processing times to issue several building certificates”.
Sri Lanka has also made it easier to register property by implementing a single window to streamline the process of delivering several certificates and increased transparency by providing online access to cadastral information.
The report adds that the country made paying taxes easier by introducing online systems for filing corporate income tax, value added tax, and employee trust fund contributions. It also made it easier to enforce contracts by introducing a pretrial conference as part of the case management techniques used in court.
Sri Lanka has been named among 46 economies that in 2017/18 implemented regulatory reforms, making it easier to do business in three or more of the 10 topics included in this year’s aggregate ease of doing business score.
New Zealand has topped the list while Somalia occupies the 190th and lowest position.