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BD Post Report
To improve the country’s position in ease of doing business in line with the World Bank standards, the government has devised an inter-ministerial body.
According to officials concerned, the government body will work on lowering the number of documents required for exports.
Headed by Tapan Kanti Ghosh, additional secretary of the ministry of commerce, the body comprises representatives from Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue, Export Promotion Bureau, Office of the Chief Controller of Import and Export and other relevant parties, the officials said.
The government move came a day after Bangladesh ranked 176th among 190 countries in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index-2019.’
The country’s constantly poor performance drew widespread criticism as, in the ranking, Bangladesh was behind all South Asian nations, including war-ravaged Afghanistan.
In his reaction, Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith said Bangladesh’s performance is ‘shameful.’ He largely blamed the country’s bureaucracy for failing to improve the position.
While talking to Bangladesh Post about the new committee, a senior trade official said the body has been tasked with lowering the number of required documents to seven from the current 11 in case of exports.
Besides, the working group will check if the bill of lading and site draft can be merged as one document, minimising commercial invoice and purchase order packing list in one document, and consolidating letter of credit, bill of exchange, and insurance certificate into one document, he also said.
He added that the four other required documents are certificate of origin, freight certificate, bank EXP form, and export registration certificate (ERC), all of which will remain as they are.
According to official sources, the committee will also set procedures and a policy to simplify the use of documents in electronic and digital format.
The body will clearly recommend the number of required documents in the export policy or manual, they said.
Officials said the Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), a public private dialogue (PPD) platform to facilitate structured dialogues between the public and the private sectors, recommended that the required documents in export and import should be lowered and simplified.
The committee has now been formed in line with those recommendations aimed at easing doing business in Bangladesh while removing complicacies.