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ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) registered 27,746 new companies in the FY 2022-23. This shows an increase of around 5 percent as compared to the previous fiscal year. The total number of registered companies now stands at 196,805.

As a result of end to end digitization of the company incorporation process, about 99.8 percent of companies were registered online while 1,256 foreign users were registered from overseas. Total capitalization (paid-up-capital) with regard to newly incorporated companies for the FY 2022-23 stood at PKR 36.6 billion.

Real estate development & construction sector led the number of new incorporations with 4,527 new companies registered, followed by information technology with 4,038 new companies and trading with 3,539 new companies.

SECP data shows services sector with 2,928 new incorporations, food & beverages with 1,106, tourism with 1,101, education with 1,048, ecommerce with 910, corporate agricultural farming with 732, marketing & advertisement with 672, textile with 634, engineering with 591, pharmaceutical with 468, mining & quarrying with 462, healthcare with 451, power generation with 447, transport with 423, chemical with 402, cosmetics & toiletries with 274, fuel & energy with 272, auto & allied with 271, communications with 268, lodging with 266, broadcasting & telecasting with 208, paper & board, and cables & electrical goods with 192 each, and 1,324 companies were registered in other sectors.

SECP has made significant reforms to facilitate the registration of companies by fully digitizing the registration process, along with company registration certificate. With this automation, companies can now be registered online from any part of the world, without needing to visit SECP offices.

SECP's e-services have also been integrated with Provincial Revenue Departments to facilitate registration of companies with Provincial Revenue Departments at the time of incorporation. Company tax number is also issued online.

As a result of integration of SECP with FBR and various provincial departments, 26,125 companies were registered with FBR for registration of NTN, 819 companies with EOBI, 317 companies with PESSI/SESSI and 569 companies with excise and taxation department.

Moreover, an online portal has also been created for banks to facilitate companies in opening corporate accounts after registration. The SECP has also a dedicated WhatsApp facility for instant resolution of the queries pertaining to name availability and incorporation process. During FY2023, around 14,973 queries were responded with 96% satisfaction rate.

During fiscal year 2023, nearly 58 percent companies were registered as private limited companies, while 39 percent were registered as single member companies. Three percent were registered as public unlisted companies, not for profit associations, Trade Organizations, foreign companies and limited liability partnership (LLP).

Foreign investment has been reported in 841 new companies. Major chunk of investment was received from China with 448 companies, the US with 46, the UK with 36, Afghanistan with 35, Germany with 32, Turkey and South Korea with 16 each, UAE with 15, Singapore with 11, Nigeria with 10, and 176 companies from other countries.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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