Govt considering 5-year trade licence for ease of doing business

Published : 29 Sep 2022 08:49 PM

The Ministry of Commerce has accepted the proposal of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) for issuing trade licenses for at least five years instead of one-year renewal culture to improve the ease of doing business.

BUILD came up with the proposal at the 9th Trade and Investment Working Committee (T&IWC) Meeting of BUILD. 

Ministry of Commerce and BUILD jointly organised the meeting at the Bangladesh Secretariat on Wednesday.

 TapanKanti Ghosh, Senior Secretary to Ministry of Commerce and Md. Saiful Islam, President of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), co-chaired the working committee meeting. 

BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum said that we had studied the City Corporation Ideal Tax Schedule 2016 and Municipal Taxation Rules and saw no legal bar in issuing trade licences for five years. 

Echoing the proposal, Mohammed Nora Alam Siddique, Joint Secretary of the Local Government Division, said it could be implemented for municipalities and city corporations. However, we need to review if Union Parishad can issue it under its present status. 

Addressing the event, Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Senior Secretary to the Commerce Ministry, said that we need to focus more on the recommendations of the previous meeting which are yet to be implemented. Following the call of non-RMG sectors, we can formulate the sectoral sub-contracting rules, and we will engage with the National Board of Revenue to increase the de-minimize value.

Taking part in the discussion, MCCI President called for introducing NID as the singular document for trade license issuance following global practices. 

Referring to BUILD’s study on Improved Business Environment and Simplification of Company Registration Process, BUILD Chairperson Nihad Kabir suggested to formulate a policy for availing certified copies from Registrar of Joint Stock Companies And Firms (RJSC & F).

The fill-up process of Model AOA (Article of Association) and MOA (Memorandum of Association) can be more simplified to make company registration process business friendly.

Citing the process of issuing a sub-contracting order, Mohammad Hatem, Executive President of BKMEA, said that we need more engagements and consultations with the regulators before formulating any trade policies to ensure private sector representations.

Mentioning the proposal of BUILD for establishing dedicated scanners for agro products in all ports, Dr Sayed Rafiqual Amin, Director, Plant Quarantine Wing, Department of Agricultural Extension, said that the Civil Aviation Authority had established terminal scanners which are not fully equipped for covering all agro items. 

Therefore we need more specialised scanners for agro items and proper coordination with the relevant agencies for export growth.

He further said that we have formed a committee to conduct a need analysis for establishing a National Plant Quarantine Authority, he added that a committee had been formed to analyse the importance of establishing the proposed Authority. 

BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum delivered the presentation on “Trade License-Needs Rationalization and Simplification” urging the government for issuing trade license for maximum 5 years as per the need of the businesses, and reduction of renewal fees.