Barrier of bureaucratic tangles causing longer time to set up a business
Rafiqul Akter: Bangladesh is still lagging behind in areas like property rights, electricity, transportation, credit and land, and security for businesses, which are the major hindrances for ease of doing business, said the experts.
The electricity scenario has really improved a lot in Bangladesh alongside physical infrastructures like roads and bridges, although there was a lot of room for improvement. Besides, there is the barrier of bureaucratic tangles causing longer time to set up a business, they observed.
According to Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), inadequate infrastructure, power and energy shortage, and bureaucratic bottleneck are still the major impediments to the economic growth as well as ease of doing business.
The situation needs to improve far more for creating a major stimulus among the investors both local and foreign. For the last few years, domestic investment has drastically slowed down. Despite official measures to reduce the cost of doing business, domestic investors are not putting in their money in new investments, particularly in the manufacturing sector.
The existing state of corruption is also encouraging the country’s financial delinquency. However, other reasons such as black money, tax dodging and poor scope for investment are also responsible for worsening the condition of the economy. Financial auditing and reporting standards have still remained weak.
The financial sector needs further reforms in order to become more competitive and efficient. In case of foreign trade and investment, export suffers due to a weakness in internal and external connectivity, lack of diversity in products and markets, and poor networking of entrepreneurs.
All said and done, improvement in the key areas is a must-not only to give a positive signal to overseas investors, but also to render businesses far easier to spur national economic developments Meanwhile, according to the World Bank (WB) recent report, among South Asian nations, Bangladesh stands lowest, with India ranking at 77, Bhutan 81, Sri Lanka 100, Nepal 110, Pakistan 136, Maldives 139, Afghanistan 167, with Myanmar at 171.
Bangladesh needs more reforms to improve ease of doing business, says a World Bank report. As per the multi-donor bank report, available on its website, Bangladesh made it easier for entrepreneurs to start a business, obtain an electrical connection and access credit.
Among other initiatives, Bangladesh lowered the name clearance fee for new company registration, abolished digital certification fees and reduced registration fee calculations based on share capital.
In Dhaka, the electricity supplier cut the security deposit for a new connection by half and undertook major investments to expand its staffing and digitisation of processes. Licensing time was also reduced by the Office of Electrical Advisor and Chief Electrical Inspector.
Bangladesh’s Credit Information Bureau improved access to credit information by expanding its coverage to include five years of records and data on loans of any amount.
According to the report, the other improver countries are Azerbaijan, Bahrain, China, Djibouti, India, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, the Kyrgyz Republic, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Togo, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.
Among South Asian nations, Bangladesh stands lowest.
Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, former president of FBCCI urged the authorities concerned to improve ease of doing business to attain higher economic growth.