The government has taken on an initiative to carry out legal and other reforms to bring down Bangladesh’s ranking in the World Bank’s ease of doing business to double-digit from 168th position this year, said top government officials yesterday.
As part of the strategy, the government is focusing on accelerating reforms of various laws such as Companies Act, Bankruptcy Act, Arbitration Act and Imarat Nirman Bidhimala (building construction rule).
It has also taken steps to formulate Secured Transaction Bill, establish of commercial dispute resolution court, and introduce efficient inspection systems for border compliance by developing risk-profiles of businesses, said the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) in a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
The event was organised to share Bangladesh’s improvement in the rankings this year. The country advanced 8 steps to 168th position this year.
“This is the first time we have made such a huge jump, but definitely we will not consider this a big achievement,” said Salman F Rahman, the prime minister’s private industry and investment Adviser to Prime Minister at the conference.
Rahman said efforts to improve Bangladesh’s standing in the ranking has started lately, especially after the current Awami League government reassumed power in 2019. As the cut-off date for this ranking was April, the government did not get much time.
“We are now focusing on the practical implementation of the change that we made so that we can get full marks in the future. We want to make substantial improvement next year.”
In addition, initiatives have been undertaken to make amendments in key laws, which, if implemented, will boost Bangladesh’s standing in the rankings.
Ten groups would be formed by officials to work on improvement in 10 indicators, said Abul Kalam Azad, principal coordinator of Sustainable Development Goals.
The indicators include starting a business, dealing with construction permits, registering property, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.
The groups would suggest measures including amendment and formulation of rules and policies and improvement in work procedure to ease the process of doing business, he said.
Only polices and legal changes will not bring about results unless people reaps benefit from the changes, Rahman said.
“We have become cautious about this. We will ensure that everybody from the top tier to the bottom know that there has been reforms and they will have to provide services in line with the reforms,” he said.
He, however, said it takes time for legal reforms.
Steps should be taken to improve the process of registering property, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency, he said.
A team has been formed at BIDA to work on improving the ranking, said its Executive Chairman Sirazul Islam.
In response to a question on digitisation of land record and easing registration, Mohammad Shahidul Haque, senior secretary of the legislative and parliamentary affairs division, said works are in progress and there will be some good results by April next year.
Probed about default loans, Finance Secretary Abdur Rouf Talukder said
the finance ministry has taken an initiative to know the true amount of defaults. For this, auditors have been appointed in four state-owned commercial banks.
“We will be able to know the actual situation of default loans once we get reports,” he added.
Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman also spoke among others at the occasion.