BIDA to launch 'one stop service' next year

Investors to get utilities, licences under pilot scheme

| Updated: October 24, 2017 17:56:03

Picture used for representational purpose Picture used for representational purpose

The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) will launch a pilot by the middle of next year aiming to provide better, easier and transparent services to investors from a single window.

"The required fund is available and the one stop service will be launched by the middle of next year," Kazi M Aminul Islam, executive chairman of BIDA, said.

He made the announcement at a press briefing held Monday at a hotel in Dhaka.

The law related to the 'one stop service' is in Parliament now and the rules are at final stage, he said.

"We want to establish such a service, which would able to provide all required and effective services so that entrepreneurs can make investment and do business smoothly."

Though the reform work related to easing of doing business in the country started a couple of months back, the end-level work has just begun recently, he said at the briefing after the technical workshop on the service.

"So, we don't expect significant progress in the upcoming doing business index," he said, expressing the hope that the progress would be evident in the next year's index.

The single physical or virtual location service is expected to provide consolidated services to the applicant and coordination of government institutions, operations and services in a specified regulatory area or activity.

Responding to a question over providing all required services, the BIDA chief said all services might not be possible to provide now, but the important ones like electricity, gas and water and licencing would be given under the single window.

It would take time to provide all the services as there are so many issues that need to be addressed, he said, explaining coordination among some 26 ministries and agencies are needed to provide all services under one window.

Reforming law, updating the rules, simplifying the process and dissemination of information among other things are needed, he said, adding it is also difficult to make the changes.

Previously, it was known that investment climate was created by a single agency, but it is developed by the society where a madrasa student has also a role to play, he noted.

Masrur Reaz, senior economist of World Bank Group, stressed the need for providing effective services, saying "Only investment-friendly policy can't attract investment as without effective service it is not possible to start a business, run it and even shut down."

Bangladesh had such service but was not effective, he said adding that the lessons learnt from previous experience would help to operate the proposed service in a prudent way.

Terming the doing business reform a 'long term process,' Mr Reaz noted that it is not expected that significant changes would be possible within one or two years on this front.

Reform memorandum has been prepared, what type of reforms are needed has been finalised and a high-powered committee has also been formed, he said, expressing the hope about significant changes in the next year's doing business index for the steps the country has so far taken, though there is no limit to be perfect.

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