Saturday, November 25, 2017

Bill on one-stop services for investors goes to parliament

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-09-11 23:11:23 BdST


A bill to reach all services to the investors at a 'single point' has been placed in parliament.

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, who is also in charge of Prime Minister’s office affairs in parliament, placed the ‘One Stop Service Bill 2017’ on Monday.

The bill says the move to pass it into law was taken to provide the investors, both local and foreign, with all the facilities like incentives, license and clearance for proposed projects within a specific period and from a particular place.

When the bill is passed to become law, investors will be able to get 27 different business-related services from one designated place and within a stipulated period.

Negligence of duty vested under the law and failure to dispose of any application from the investors within the stipulated time will be considered misconduct once the law is passed, according to the bill.

When an initial draft of the bill received Cabinet’s clearance in principle in May this year, the government said the law would encourage domestic and foreign investors by providing them with necessary 'conveniences and opportunities'.  

Bangladesh Investment Development Authority or BIDA, Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority or BEZA, Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority or BEPZA, and Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority or BHTPA will work together as the authority of the one-stop service, the bill says.

The services will be provided in 27 categories including trade license, land registration, environmental clearance, permission for construction, utility connections, telephone and internet connections, license for explosives, and boiler certificate.

Once the law is passed, the investors will not have to hop around and waste time at different agencies for these clearances.    

They will be able to avail the services online in the shortest period, and the complexities in opening a new business will ease.

The periods for providing different services will be fixed later in schedules of the law.

Minister Matia said BEPZA was conducting a one-stop serviced point, but it needed to be more effective. For this reason, the law is a priority issue for government to attract more investments. 

The bill was sent to the parliamentary standing committee on law ministry for vetting.

Earlier, BIDA Executive Chairman Kazi MAminul Islam said the one-stop service law was a part of a plan on how to place Bangladesh among the top 100 countries in the World Bank’s 'ease of doing business' rankings in order to make it an attractive destination for global businesses.