Entrepreneurs have alleged that they still suffer complexities of red tape in getting business related services despite the launch of One-Stop Services (OSS)
“Doing business has become a tough task in Bangladesh where a company has to go to nine offices for renewal of license and other tasks apart from ‘cash gifts’ for having files released,” said International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) director Harun-Ar-Rashid Bir-Protik at a webinar on Monday.
“The government officials think that the businessmen make the profit only, and ‘cash gifts’ are the officials’ rights,” he expressed anger and frustration over the situation.
Citing the recent remark of Apex Managing Director Nasim Manjur, valiant freedom fighter Harun said the entrepreneurs have to leave the business bowing down to the regulatory complications.
IBFB and Bangladesh Enterprise Institute (BEI) jointly organized the webinar to review the state of ease of doing business in the country.
Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) executive chairman Sirazul Islam joined as the chief guest while Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) Maj. Gen. Md Nazrul Islam attended as the special guest.
BEI president ambassador M Humayun Kabir made the address of welcome with IBFB President Humayun Rashid in the chair.
BIDA executive chairman said the government has planned to introduce special court for resolution of commercial disputes in efforts to improve in ease of doing business.
He, however, said, “The state of doing business is not only dependent on the regulators only but on joint efforts by both public and private sectors.”
“We have yet to reform two indicators including long time for transferring property and commercial dispute. We have discussed with the ministry of law for introducing two courts in Dhaka and Chattogram. Law minister also assured me of a law for setting up the courts and related issues,” he said.
The government has integrated 47 services into online segment as part of introducing 150 services into the digital platform for the business, according to Sirajul Islam.
“The digital platform can reduce the gap between private and public sectors. We have introduced the services online,” he said, alleging that the business people were not taking the online services.
Despite significant reforms, Bangladesh remained just ahead of Afghanistan in South Asia in the latest index of World Bank.
India topped the list with a ranking of 63rd, up from 77th a year ago. Bhutan is ranked 89th, followed by Nepal 94th, Sri Lanka 99th, Pakistan 108th, the Maldives 147th, and Afghanistan 173rd.
Considering the limitations, BIDA chief said Bangladesh began the indicator-based reforms in last two to three years though the World Bank introduced the index around two decades ago. “I think it takes time. It is tough to bring the ranking into double digit within this year,” he added.
Resolving a commercial dispute through a local first-instance court takes on an average 1,442 days, almost three times more than an average of 590 days in the OECD high-income economies.
BIDA director Jibon Krishna Saha Roy, IBFB vice president MS Siddiqui, former NBR chairman Muhammad Abdul Mazid and Chittagong Port Authority chairman Rear Admiral M Shahjahan, among others, addressed the webinar.