Bureaucratic complexities for investment would remove through implementing the service
Zahid Hossain Biplob: Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) is going to complete all process to provide the One-Stop Service (OSS) by September this year with a view to facilitating both local and foreign investors to invest in Bangladesh.
The OSS would provide all the necessary services for the investors which would ensure the hassle-free service as well as to attract the investors for their investment.
Starting business in Bangladesh is difficult, particularly because the initial spending on getting licence and permits is very high, according to the World Bank report. The report revealed that 404 days are lost to get electricity connection and 244 days to register property, much higher than the South Asian and global averages.
Under the OSS rule, businesses will get gas and electricity connection in seven days and 14 days respectively.
Actually, the foreign investors are keen to invest in the country but they are facing multifarious bureaucratic complexities for lack of OSS. Some 150 services to be available online, said the sources.
They said, the second phase work of virtual One-Stop Service under BIDA is scheduled to be completed by September, officials said.
After that, investors from home and abroad will be able to avail more services, such as – taking building construction permit and occupancy certificate etc, from the agencies concerned completely online from any place. The online OSS has been operational on trial basis since early January.
Currently an investor can get access to 22 types of services, like – name clearance, company registration and obtaining Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), from five government agencies.
According to the BIDA documents, when the OSS will become fully functional, 150 types of services, including certification, licensing and approval, will be available via internet and without any human intervention from anywhere in the world.
Contacted, Kazi M Aminul Islam, the BIDA Executive Chairman, said the investment promotion agency has received good responses from the investors so far.
The OSS is getting very positive responses from the investors, as it is offering hassle-free experiences to them, he opined.
A good number of government agencies have already signed agreements with the BIDA for providing their respective services via the digital platform, he added.
It will help ensure transparency, check irregularities, and enhance the country’s image as an investment destination to foreigners. It will help the country make progress in the ease of doing business index too, he added.
Being completely automated, paperless and cashless, the online OSS will provide required services and licenses digitally to domestic and foreign investors.
The platform will also help investors to see relevant news, statistics, reports, laws, guidelines, instructions and other necessary information at one place.
Its web-link is now available at the homepage of the BIDA website – ‘bida.gov.bd’. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is supervising development of the OSS.
The parliament passed the One Stop Service Bill 2018 to ensure business-friendly atmosphere and boost investment volume in the country.
According to the law, the government agencies concerned must give a decision regarding an application within a fixed timeframe. Otherwise, the investors concerned will get the clearance or certification in their favour.
Sources said at present the investors have to wait from one month to four years to get required approvals and licenses to start commercial operations of their ventures. The OSS will help reduce the waiting time from one day to 45 days depending on the types of services.