BUSI­NESS RE­FORMS ARE AC­CEL­ER­AT­ING IN BHUTAN, SAYS WORLD BANK

Bhutan Times - - EDITORIAL -

Ef­forts to im­prove the busi­ness cli­mate in Bhutan ac­cel­er­ated dur­ing the past year and have helped it to be the high­est rank­ing coun­try in the South Asia Re­gion at 71 out of 189 coun­tries ranked world­wide, says the World Bank Group’s an­nual ease of do­ing busi­ness mea­sure­ment.

“Do­ing Busi­ness 2016: Mea­sur­ing Reg­u­la­tory Qual­ity and Ef­fi­ciency,” finds that Bhutan in­sti­tuted two re­forms dur­ing the past year. In Get­ting Elec­tric­ity, for ex­am­ple, Bhutan made it eas­ier for en­trepreneurs to con­nect to the grid by speed­ing up the process for ob­tain­ing a new con­nec­tion.

Five years ago, it took an en­tre­pre­neur 93 days to get elec­tric­ity, now it only takes 61- less time than in France.

Bhutan also im­ple­mented a re­form in the Reg­is­ter­ing Property indi­ca­tor through which trans­fer­ring property has been stream­lined by in­tro­duc­ing a com­put­er­ized land in­for­ma­tion sys­tem, de­creas­ing the time to com­plete a trans­fer by 15 days.

“Bhutan has been ad­vanc­ing steadily in re­cent years in im­prov­ing its reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment and making it more busi­ness friendly. In do­ing so, the coun­try can stim­u­late both en­trepreneur­ship and job cre­ation for its pop­u­la­tion,” said Genevieve Boyreau, the World Bank’s Coun­try Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Bhutan.

“Through thought­ful and well-ex­e­cuted poli­cies and re­forms that sup­port im­prove­ments in the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment, Bhutan has the po­ten­tial to foster a dy­namic and ex­pand­ing pri­vate sec­tor that will help re­al­ize its de­vel­op­ment as­pi­ra­tions.”

This year’s Do­ing Busi­ness re­port com­pletes a two-year ef­fort to ex­pand bench­marks that mea­sure the qual­ity of reg­u­la­tion, as well as ef­fi­ciency of the busi­ness reg­u­la­tory frame­work, in or­der to bet­ter cap­ture re­al­i­ties on the ground.

In this re­port, five in­di­ca­tors saw changes - Deal­ing with Con­struc­tion Per­mits, Get­ting Elec­tric­ity, En­forc­ing Con­tracts, Reg­is­ter­ing Property and Trad­ing across Bor­ders. For ex­am­ple, the in­di­ca­tors on Deal­ing with Con­struc­tion Per­mits which pre­vi­ously mea­sured the pro­ce­dures, time and cost to com­ply with the for­mal­i­ties to build a ware­house now also mea­sures, through the Build­ing Qual­ity Con­trol in­dex, good prac­tices in con­struc­tion reg­u­la­tion.

No­tably, Bhutan per­forms well on this new in­dex scor­ing 13 out of 15- the same score as Ire­land. The econ­omy also scores well on the new in­dex for Reg­is­ter­ing Property, Qual­ity of Land Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The score of 24 out of 30 in­di­cates Bhutan has a high qual­ity of in­fra­struc­ture for en­sur­ing the re­li­a­bil­ity of in­for­ma­tion on property ti­tles and bound­aries as well as a high level of ge­o­graphic cov­er­age in land own­er­ship reg­is­tra­tion and cadas­tral map­ping.

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