Kathmandu, October 24
The World Bank has said that the environment for doing business in Nepal has improved but the country has made starting a business more difficult and property registration more expensive.
As per the Doing Business Report 2020 released by the bank today, Nepal has leapt to the 94th position out of 190 economies across the world scoring 63.2 points. Last year, Nepal was placed at the 110th position with a score of 59.7 points.
Of the 10 indicators that the World Bank evaluates to rank countries, Nepal has improved in five indicators, slipped in three and remained constant in two indicators compared to the previous year, as per the report.
Among others, the country has improved notably in getting credit and is ranked at 37th position with 75 points among 190 countries. “Nepal improved access to credit information by expanding the coverage of the credit bureau,” as per the bank.
S Asia sorecard
Source: World Bank
Similarly, the country has also improved in the trading across borders indicator of the World Bank and has been ranked 60th. “Nepal reduced the time and cost for exporting and importing by opening the integrated check post in Birgunj at the Nepal-India border,” says the report.
Likewise, Nepal has also improved in other indicators such as dealing with construction permits, getting electricity and enforcing contracts in comparison to last year.
However, the country has slipped in major indicators such as starting a business, registering property and paying taxes this year.
Nepal is ranked 135th in starting a business indicator, 97th in registering property and 175th in paying taxes by the World Bank.
Nepal made notable improvements with four reforms. The country improved an online e-submission platform for construction permits and enhanced the quality of land administration by publishing official service standards for delivering updated cadastral maps. Authorities improved the commercial judicial system by introducing time standards for key court events.
However, Nepal made the process of registering new employees with social security more cumbersome by requiring in-person follow-ups. The country also raised property transfer registration fees, reads the report.
Economists have said though it is good that Nepal has improved its position in the doing business index, there is still room for improvement.
“Nepal is still not among the top 20 improvers. India which was placed 142nd four years ago is ranked 63rd today,” tweeted economist Swarnim Wagle, adding that the government should expand and deepen business-friendly economic reforms.
Commenting on the difficult process of registering with social security as highlighted by the World Bank report, Minister of Labour Gokarna Bista said that the country this year is in the initial phase of implementing social security programme. “Social security programme will play a crucial role in lifting the country’s position in doing business next year,” he said.
A version of this article appears in print on October 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.