Govt to make doing business easier

BIDA to sit with PM, finance ministry to ease rules, procedures for investors

Shamim Jahangir

6 August, 2020 12:00 AM printer

The government is likely to ease the terms, conditions and procedures for doing business to boost investment at a time when a steady inflow of private sector investment is at stake due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) will sit with the ministry of finance today to discuss and implement at least 27 recommendations for ease of doing business in the private sector.   

It is also scheduled to meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on August 13 to seek her intervention for implementing the recommendations to help revive the economy through investment.

BIDA has already provided the recommendations to improve business confidence in the country as it is at a record low in many areas due to coronavirus crisis. 

It has already sought policy interventions through a high-powered national task force to tackle the country’s detracting economic condition.

BIDA also sought the suspension of regulatory compliances for local and foreign firms to help them revive their business during the corona crisis.

BIDA has suggested the task force to identify required ministries-based incentives packages. It will also evaluate and reform the incentive packages. The task force will also prepare economic impact map caused by Covid-19.

BIDA provided other recommendations from the private sector to support the economic recovery process.

Businesses are expecting the government to simplify the process of approving foreign loans including offshore loans.

There should be provisions for working capital loans for businesses from foreign lenders. It also has been suggested to waive all fees for investor services provided by BIDA.

The period of time to pay income tax should be 60 days due to coronavirus pandemic, as per the recommendations compiled by BIDA. Besides, the deadline for tax returns and corporate tax and other taxes should be extended further for businesses.

Other recommendations from businesses include —- suspension or time extension for the payment of the worker profit participation fund or the payment time, interest-free loans from banks for the next six months, allowing delayed payments of utility bills for industries, simplifying the payment systems of Letter of Credits and offshore banking, introducing alternative credit rating strategy for creating new fiscal facilities for start-ups and small informal businesses, facilities for foreign investors to easily open bank accounts with local banks and equal incentive packages both for local and foreign investors.

Director (Deputy Secretary) of BIDA, Mohammad Saiful Islam Bhayian sent letters to three secretaries - Finance, Internal Resources and Finance Institutions Division - to take necessary measures to help doing business easier.