The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority has set a five-year plan to improve the environment of doing business and make it easier for investors, officials have said.
They have told New Age recently that the BIDA, the country’s sole investment promotion authorities, has set a target of uplifting the global ranking in the ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’ within 99th position or below by 2021 from the current 176th position through improvement of regulatory environment and solving other complexities in doing business.
Bangladesh was ranked in the 176th, out of 190 countries, in the latest Ease of Doing Business ranking prepared by the World Bank.
The BIDA has prepared a set of reform initiatives for national level and plan of action for ministries and other government agencies including ministries of finance, commerce, land, home, power and energy, environment and shipping, the National Board of Revenue, Bangladesh Bank, Local Government Division, and Law and Justice Division involved with the doing business process.
According to the BIDA, the aim of the initiatives is to substantially improve business climate for advent of a new generation of enterprises and investors and expansion of existing businesses domestically and attraction of foreign direct investment in areas of the country’s interest.
Under the plan, the BIDA will conduct studies on 10 different sub-matrices related to ease of doing business.
It will also finalise a plan of action in consultation with stakeholders including ministries, private sector, trade bodies and experts from local and international development agencies. Each implementing ministry and agency will have an implementation plan.
The BIDA is planning to launch the reform initiative in January.
BIDA executive chairman Kazi M Aminul Islam in a recent letter requested cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam to take appropriate and effective programmes and implement those in line with the target.
Cabinet Division on December 6 forwarded the letter to secretaries of the government having involvement with the process of ease of doing business and asked them to take necessary steps in this connection.
In the letter, BIDA executive chairman said that the ministries and agencies would have to make improvement at the highest level within minimum time for uplifting the ranking.
The ministries and agencies will have to indentify the reasons behind lengthy process, additional time and money and higher number of process taken for doing business and investment promotion in the country compared with that of other competitive countries, the letter stated.
According to the draft action plan, the ministries and agencies will have to improve the fields where the country lagged behind in the ease of doing business environment including regulatory affairs, taxation, starting a business, getting credit, getting electricity, enforcing contracts, number of procedures in starting business, protecting minority investors and trading across borders.
‘Reforms should be brought immediately in rules and regulations, policies and traditions which will create a global standard business and investment conducive environment,’ Aminul wrote.
He said that ministries, divisions and agencies would enjoy full freedom in taking reform initiatives, programmes and activities to achieve the target.
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