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Staff Correspondent
Some reforms are a must to maintain sustainable economic growth and improve ease of doing business as well, experts said.
The country’s businessmen are still facing various difficulties in doing business like getting construction permit, registration, and paying tax on time.
However, braving all odds, businessmen have continued to do their business and trading contributing to enhance the GDP, Export and FDI, they added. The government has taken improvement of environment to do business seriously after Bangladesh ranked 176th among 190 countries in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index-2019’.
The body comprising representatives from Bangladesh Bank, National Board of Revenue, Export Promotion Bureau, Office of the Chief Controller of Import and Export and other relevant parties, has created several committees to improve doing business ranking, the officials said.
World Bank lead economist Zahid Hussain said the country’s business people are doing a great job in helping the economy grow faster despite facing problems in doing business, reflected in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index-2019’.
He added the government should address the issues, on which its ranking is close to the bottom like getting electricity, enforcing contracts and registering property.
Principal Coordinator for SDG Affairs, Abul Kalam Azad said, the country has set a target of securing a place below 100 by 2021 on ease of doing business ranking.
“We need to cooperate from all stakeholders to achieve this target,” he mentioned.
Although we did not secure a good position in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index-2019’, we are committed to doing well in future to improve all the indicators in doing business ranking, Azad said.
We need to ensure using technology in all sectors to reduce all procedures in doing business, he said further.
There are mainly 10 areas in ranking criteria: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
Executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), Kazi M Aminul Islam said, the long-awaited One Stop Service scheme will be operational in the country by January in 2019, which will help businessmen get service under one umbrella.
When it will come into full swing in doing business, we can reduce the number of processes to 5 from 9, he said, adding that the timeframe will be reduced to 4.5 days from 19.5 days.
“On the other hand, RJSC needs to reduce the cost to 13 percent of per capita income from the current 21.2 percent”, he mentioned.
BGMEA President Md Siddiqur Rahman told Bangladesh Post, the government has taken several initiatives to improve ease of doing business, which will attract foreign investors to inject more funds into the country.
“We are sitting at several meetings with different government officials to enhance the country image across the world,” he said, “The government’s good initiatives will help to boost our businesses further.”
Commerce Minister, Tofail Ahmed said on Tuesday, at the first steering committee sitting of ease of doing business forums “Bangladesh has done well in all social and economic indicators. Still the country lags behind others because of the flaws in business environment.”
He said, “Foreign investors come to pour money into Bangladesh, but they go back after visiting the country because of poor road and business climate.”
Ahmed said, “All the government authorities need to work together to improve the country’s business-friendly environment to attract foreign investors. So, the BIDA should take the main responsibility to improve the ease of doing business.”
Speaking at the meeting, finance minister AMA Muhith said “We are mainly lagging behind in doing business due to long customs procedures and inefficiency of process of releasing imported goods.
He said “We need to focus on those areas immediately”