DUSHANBE, December 16, 2011 – Implementation of the one-stop-shop mechanism for starting and registering a business was the main topic of discussion at the World Bank Country Office in Tajikistan today. As requested by the government of Tajikistan in 2011, a group of World Bank experts, in coordination with involved state agencies and other donors, has carried out a feasibility study of the remaining challenges associated with the business registration system. The findings of this study were presented at the event for public and private stakeholders, and other development partners.
Back in 2008 the World Bank acknowledged the government’s commitment to reforming the current business registration system and together with other donors developed an action plan to implement the one stop shop for business registration. A European Union project supported the creation and implementation of the action plan and the changes started being introduced as early as in 2009. A network of entry points was established through the local outlets of the Tax Committee in every district. This model assumed that the three government agencies involved (the Tax Committee, the Pension Fund and the Statistics Committee) were willing and required to exchange data among themselves, rather than to force a client to do it on their behalf.
However, while the development of this new system was a big positive step forward, challenges remained. A recent study by the World Bank finds that the process of starting and registering a business can further be simplified in Tajikistan. The World Bank expressed its readiness to provide technical assistance to the government to improve this procedure so that all required registration numbers can be provided to entrepreneurs in only one visit to the registry and only one procedure. Once this occurs, the one-stop-shop mechanism will be fully functional. The World Bank believes that simplifying business start-up procedures is crucial: according to the literature, countries with less regulation of entry have lower corruption and smaller unofficial economies.
During the presentation, Andrea Dall’Olio, the Senior Economist at the Finance and Private Sector Development Department of the World Bank, noted that “current progress achieved through the one-stop-shop is quite impressive. Now only the last mile needs to be completed in order to make the model fully functional and the World Bank will be glad to work with the government and other partners to ensure that the full benefits of these reforms are captured by the current and future businesses wishing to operate in Tajikistan.”
The World Bank highlighted that, since the implementation of the reforms, Tajikistan has made significant improvements in this area. In the Doing Business 2012 report, Tajikistan moved from 137th out of 183 countries in the previous year to 70th in the area of Starting a Business. This improvement was due to the fact that Tajikistan made starting a business easier by allowing entrepreneurs to pay in their capital up to 1 year after the start of operations. This reform eliminated the requirement related to opening a bank account in order to start a business.