The Financial Express

New forex law: Investors may get timely services

| Updated: August 11, 2020 21:57:10

Lankabangla and Fianancial Express Lankabangla and Fianancial Express
Illustrative photo Illustrative photo

The government is mulling over incorporating time-bound services into the proposed foreign exchange law to attract potential overseas investors, said officials at the financial institutions division.

They said time-bound services will help expedite the opening up of foreign currency accounts with the local banks and repatriating profits or dividends.

"We've acts, rules and regulations, but at the end-user level, the people are not getting services in time, which discourages investors," said an official at the division.

He said people suffer when they do not get services, even after submitting required documents accordingly.

He said if there were written instructions to complete a certain work within a timeframe, then the existing culture would have improved.

The official said they met recently on the matter with the key stakeholders and they have suggested such way to attract the FDI.

He said, "We want to attract FDI, especially from those who want to leave China, but if the existing culture prevails, foreign investors will not show interest."

The government has initiated a move to prepare a new law replacing more than 70-year-old foreign exchange regulations in order to attract investments -- mainly foreign direct investment.

A draft has been prepared by the central bank and presently stakeholders are making their opinions on the draft. The draft has been converted into Bengali.

The division now plans to hold another meeting to incorporate such provisions into the law in a month.

The division said that the existing banking services have many stages while opening a foreign currency account.

"Our objective is to ensure easy banking for the foreign investors."

Quoting recent stakeholders, the division official said an effective one stop service is a must.

"Many have suggested that the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority-sponsored 'one stop service' may include the opening of FC accounts."

The foreign exchange policy and operations in Bangladesh are now governed under the provisions of foreign exchange regulations, 1947, which empowered the central bank to regulate the movement of such currencies.

After fine-tuning, the new law will go to Cabinet Division for approval and then go to parliament after required vetting to make it a legislation to be named after the Foreign Currency and Exchange Management Act 2020.

Currently, Bangladesh Bank issues circulars time to time to facilitate the FDI. Presently, some 57 help desks have been in operation in banks to support foreign investors.

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