Sindh govt rolls out new portal to facilitate businesses

KARACHI   -   The Sindh government has established a new portal designed to assist businesspeople dealing with various challenges posed by government departments, reported a news website.

The portal – named “Sindh business one-stop-one-shop” (S-BOSS) – includes an online consolidated business registry. This includes features such as applications processing, e-payment of fees and challans, issuance of no-objection certificates and permissions, application tracking, SMS/email notifications, a management dashboard for applicants/departments and e-certification. The old business registration portal provided only four types of online approvals, while the S-BOSS offers 140. “Out of 48 Sindh government departments, 16 would be integrated into the S-BOSS,” Naveed Jokhio, Director Sindh Industrial Facilitation Wing, told WealthPK.

He said the departments include food authority, health, environmental protection agency, education, industries & commerce, labour, excise & taxation, energy, Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (Sessi), Sindh Revenue Board, Board of Revenue, agriculture, building control authority and local government.

He said the provincial government was committed to making the province an easy and competitive investment hub in Pakistan. With technical support and assistance from the World Bank, the government is pursuing reforms to facilitate the ease of doing business in the province.

“The effort is spearheaded by the Investment Department that works to promote investment in all sectors of the economy, facilitate local and foreign investors in the speedy materialization of their projects, enhance Sindh’s international competitiveness, and contribute to economic and social development,” he said.

Rafiq Jamali, Director “Ease of Doing Business” Wing of the Industry Department, told WealthPK that the aim is to bring together the initiatives and action on reforms, as taken by multiple provincial departments and agencies, geared to facilitate the ease of doing business in the province. “While aiming to improve the business environment of the province, the “Ease of Doing Business” reform program also seeks to improve Pakistan’s ranking on the World Bank’s Doing Business benchmarks,” he told WealthPK. Jamali pointed out that Sindh has overhauled its regulatory structure in the past few months, as 15 plus interventions/reforms have been made to improve the regulatory environment and nine provincial departments activated (SBCA, KWSB, SEPA, BOR, Energy, SESSI, Industries, Excise & Taxation, and Labour) to facilitate the businesses.

He said the government is working to introduce one-window operations for industrialists to promptly resolve their issues. Conversely, provincial departments such as the Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), stamp duty, and Employees’ Old-Age Benefit Institution (EOBI) are being directed to facilitate industrialists rather than disrupt their business activities.

The government is also in discussions with the federal government to ensure provision of natural gas and electricity to the households and industries in order to introduce a public-private partnership to promote the establishment of combined effluent plants in the industrial zones as per the requirements of the exporting countries.

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