Ease of Doing Business Index in 2020

Bangladesh targets higher rank

Ziaur Rahman

1 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Bangladesh is likely to improve its position significantly in the World Bank’s global Ease of Doing Business Index in 2020 as the government has made impressive progress in most of the indicators in recent days.

Bangladesh is currently ranked 176th among 190 countries in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2019 ranking scoring 40.99 out of 100 this time. The biggest fall was on starting-a-Business indicator due to an increase in the registration cost before starting a business.

But by this time, there has been a significant improvement regarding dealing with starting a business, construction permits as well as reducing cost of business. The country has made a commendable progress in 8 indicators out of 10 by April this year.

“We have done some basic work, made impressive progress in 8 indicators and hope to score some 54-59 points this year out 100 as against the country’s score of 40.99 last year,” said Tauhidur Rahman Khan, Director General BIDA expecting a respectable elevation in the rank if Ease of Doing Business Index.

According to Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), starting a Business was made easier in Bangladesh in recent days through consolidation of multiple works and now it requires 11 days to complete the whole procedure instead of 19.5 days.

The cost of starting a new business also reduced to 8.6 per cent of income per capita from the existing 21.2 percent – a decline of 49.43 percent. The number of procedures has also been reduced to 8 from 9. In line with the reform, the agency like RAJUK would give construction permits within 76 days instead of current 281 days and processes of getting electricity connection would be completed by 107 working days in place of 148 days.

The cost of reducing warehouse was also reduced to 0.2 per cent from 1.8 per cent of the warehouse value. The process and time for mutation were also reduced substantially. Mutation time has been now reduced to 56 from 106 days.  Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) claimed the achievement as the outcome of its reform measures undertaken at various levels to make the country look “attractive” to investors by enhancing service delivery.

To improve the country’s position in doing business ranking, the government investment agency BIDA has undertaken a number of reform initiatives since it came into being in 2016 following the merger of the Privatisation Commission and the Board of Investment.

In January 2017 BIDA unveiled a package of reforms aiming to bring down the country’s ranking in ease of doing business index below 100th position in next five years through reforms of rules and regulations of doing business. By next year, the country hopes to move forward by about 51 notches because of the improvements in areas, among other, starting a new business, reducing the cost, getting electricity and reducing time for construction indicators.

Even the Prime Minister's Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman at a WB seminar on Sunday said that Bangladesh position in ease of doing business index will come down to 125 from the present position of 176 because of the steps undertaken by the government.

The government has undertaken many measures to improve the situation but implementation of many of those initiatives has yet to be completed, said officials concerned. But the government is trying to complete the implementation in timely and coordinated manner, they told this correspondent.

The World Bank study that ranks the business environment of a country are based on 11 indicators: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and labour market regulations. The reform initiative has been taken in line with standards referred in those indicators to improve Bangladesh’s position in the ranking. However, implementation of those plans has been seen as the main challenge.

The BIDA has recently held a cost benefit analysis meeting and expressed its concern over the high cost of doing business in Bangladesh. The meeting urged all concerned to take immediate measures in this regard.