Sri Lanka lags reforming nations in South Asia: Report

Chandi Dharmaratne

Sept 06 (LBO) – Once the leader in reform, Sri Lanka is now lagging other reforming economies in South Asia, and the country has become a more difficult place to do business, a World Bank report released today said. ‘Doing Business in 2007: How to Reform’ has found that only India and Pakistan had introduced regulatory reforms to make it easier to engage in business, while new taxes including a new stamp duty made the hassle of doing business greater in Sri Lanka.

No other South Asian economy improved its business regulations in 2005-2006, ranking the region last in the pace of reforms, the World Bank said in a statement,

South Asia includes Maldive Islands – which was judged to be the easiest place to do business, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Afghanistan – which was judged to be the worst place to do business in the region.

The report found that African nations were reforming faster than Asia, the Middle East or Latin America.

Sri Lanka retained the overall ranking of 89 in 2006 compared with 2005, out of 175 countries included in the report, but it lost places in many of the ten categories that the authors looked at, in ranking countries.

In ‘starting a business’ Sri