Reform package to ease doing business unveiled

The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority executive chairman Kazi M Aminul Islam speaks at a press conference 

The government has taken a package of reforms that includes curtailing time to complete the process for starting a business to seven days with the aim of raising the country’s position in the global doing business index.

The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority at a press conference on Tuesday announced the reform package that also includes reforming rules, regulations and procedures after two days of brainstorming discussions with all ministries, agencies, chambers and think tanks concerned.

BIDA executive chairman Kazi M Aminul Islam said that the package of reforms, which would implemented from today, was envisioned to bring down the country’s ranking in ease of doing business index below 100th position from the current 176th position in next five years.
He said that the package was set as authorities concerned had willingly determined areas of responsibilities and set respective targets for bringing down the ranking below 100.

Aminul said that different ministries and agencies had identified areas of reform in 10 indicators of the doing business ranking, including time for completion of process for starting business to seven days from 19.5 days.

The package also eyes cutting time for giving construction permits to 60 days from 278 days and electricity to 28 days from the present 404 days.

He said the targets were set to speed up the process of upgrading the country’s global position as the country had already missed many opportunities like China+1 policy of Japan to attract investment.

According to the reform to ease the doing business, Local Government Division, Bangladesh Bank, Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms, National Board of Revenue proposed completing process of starting business indicator by seven days from the current 19.5 days.

Besides, finance, commerce, housing and public works, environment and forest, land, home affairs, law, justice and parliamentary affairs, public administration ministries, survey and settlement department, Bangladesh Supreme Court, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, Banking Division have set their respective reform packages.

Aminul expressed hope of meeting the challenging target.

‘BIDA has not set the target. Different ministries and agencies have taken their duties on their own. So, the work is achievable as the areas of work on 10 indicators are regular part of the jobs of the authorities concerned,’ he told reporters.

He said without investment, target of graduating the country from least developed country to middle-income country by 2021 and to developed country by 2041 would not be possible.

Admitting that many LDCs or MICs could graduate the next stage after efforts of several decades, the head of BIDA said without ensuring massive and positive investment for business, it would not be possible to gain.

The BIDA held the press conference after a two-day workshop at Bahubal in Sylhet in January 27-28. It organised the workshop in support of the World Bank, International Finance Corporation and UK Department for International Development.

Department of Environment director general Md Raisul Alam Mondal, additional secretary Jahiruddin Ahmed, industries ministry additional secretary Parag, FBCCI president Abdul Matlub Ahmad and DCCI president Abul Kasem Khan spoke on the occasion, sharing workshop experiences and actions to be taken by respective organisations for creating business environment.

Replying to a question about action plan, Aminul said departmental committee, national level and inter-ministerial level monitoring system have been proposed for monitoring the progress in every month and take more plans for achieving the targets.

The FBCCI president said that the private sector could solve many problems but needed support of the government in creating business environment particularly checking undisclosed money, money laundering and checking non-performing loans. He also pointed out maintaining rules for business for a long time to enable the investors to do business.

The DCCI president laid importance on removing bottlenecks in business to trap the country’s opportunities of global business environment.
According to the package, certified copy of a registered deed will be made available right at the time of registration to make the registering process easier.

A copy of the deed will be sent to assistant commissioner (land) for mutation immediately after registration, it said.

Process, time and cost of paying taxes will be reduced in line with the international best practices. 

Procedures, time and cost related to export and import will be reduced in a coordinated way and customs act will be updated based on current and future need as part of easing trading across the borders.

Agencies concerned will place a proposal to amend the Companies Act-1994 to protect minority interest and related issues.

Credit Information Bureau of Bangladesh Bank will be made more resourceful with client data and information while a collateral registry will be created to make the getting credit process easier and transparent. 

Credit providers will be empowered with database and client information, it said.

A functional ‘One Stop Service Centre’ will be established to provide services such as clearances, certificates, licences and different types of approvals and permits to investors particularly foreign investors.

The government is also mulling to enact a law titled Bangladesh One Stop Service Act to ensure that all eligible investors get global standard services promptly and easily. 

source: Newage