Speakers at a webinar laid emphasis on introducing reduced fees and prompt services in registration of foreign companies to attract foreign investment in Bangladesh.
Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) organised the event on reducing time, cost and process-related bottlenecks in company registration on Sunday.The discussion focused on the findings of the recent survey that was conducted by the BUILD during March-May 2021 of the companies that have been registered over the past two years.
This initiative was supported by USAID funded “Feed the Future Bangladesh Improving Trade and Business Enabling Environment Activity.”
Having welcomed the participants at the discussion, BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara said some changes in the registration process will help the businesses grow.
She further emphasised the need for simplifying the process of registration for one-person company, self-amendment while having company registration, capitalisation, and simplification on trade licenses. Oleg Grigoroi, costing expert of the USAID Feed the Future Bangladesh Improving Trade and Business Enabling Environment, said removal and reduction of red-tape complexities should become a high priority agenda for the government.
Md. Kamran Hasnain, research associate at BUILD, made the keynote presentation highlighting the major challenges that include difficulties in obtaining information regarding step of the company registration process, requirements for hiring consultants and third parties, informal fees paid by the applicants to speed up the process, presence of intermediaries and informal parties and rules of Citizen Charter.
The study recommends that all process for obtaining company registration should go online having in-built option of self-service thus eliminating or minimsing the need for interaction with intermediaries.The study also urges the authorities to launch capacity development of applicants and awareness programme for businesses having detailed guidelines and video tutorials of each step of the company registration process on the website of the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms.
Afsarul Arifeen, secretary general of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) said the government may consider empowering the trade bodies, by involving them in trade license issue, to encourage enterprises to become members of relevant chambers and associates.
Engr Mohd. Farque, secretary (In-charge) of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) urged the government to make the registration process transparent and decentralised.
Barrister Shajib Mahmood Alam said that website of Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms should be mobile responsive and made a call for reducing the registration fee for foreign companies.
He also called for cutting down registration time, which is currently 19.5 days.
He also proposed the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms to make commercial address optional since, business entities who do not have a trade license can not avail an office.
Dr. Nadia Binte Amin, president of WEND, urged to make the trade license available both in English and Bangla.
Rezwana Khan, CEO of Star Computer System Ltd, requested the RJSC to reduce the extra fee and time for obtaining registration and to bring changes of the shareholders as and when required.
Santosh Kumar Pandit, additional registrar at the office of the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC), said the institution is planning automation and merger of name clearance, company registration and fee payment into a single process.