End red tape to boost economy: DCCI
Bureaucratic tangles and other complexities waste 2 percent of the country's gross domestic product, the newly elected president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry said yesterday.
"It is good that Bangladesh is maintaining a 6 percent GDP growth. But we should have higher GDP growth, which is being delayed by bureaucratic tangles, a lack of time-befitting policies and other bottlenecks,” said Hossain Khaled, the DCCI leader.
Businesses do not want to see any confrontational political activities like shutdowns and blockades in future, he said.
“We will work together to accelerate the country's GDP growth and attract both foreign and local investment,” Khaled said at a briefing at DCCI office in Motijheel.
He termed the lack of long-term investment and industrial policies as a major barrier to foreign direct investment (FDI). “A country like Pakistan, where political uncertainty is rife, is receiving $7 billion FDI every year, while the amount remains stuck at $1 billion in Bangladesh,” he said.
Frequent changes in policies are also a major problem. “We need long-term policies and a vision that will help attract FDI as well as local investment,” he said.
“We need to enhance our productivity and efficiency by making the labour force skilled,” he said.
Khaled said the proposed pay hike for public servants will put pressure on the private sector.
He also said the government should not overlook the issue of inflation, as prices of essentials have increased even before the implementation of the new pay scale.
“We are also urging the government not to impose additional taxes on us to implement the Tk 2,200-crore pay structure,” he said.
The cost of traffic jam in the capital city is more than Tk 27,000 crore a year, he said, citing a study by the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh.
“We lose 32 lakh business hours every day, and the cost of fuel that is wasted every year is Tk 11,895 crore,” he said.
The delay in the construction of Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway caused loss of Tk 10,000 crore, as found by a study by the Roads and Highways Department, he said. “Several Padma bridges could have been built with all the wasted resources,” Khaled said.
Banks are charging high interest on industrial and business loans, he said, calling upon the government to set a single digit interest rate.
The DCCI president said, though the power generation situation has improved, new industrial units are still not getting utility connections. “If this situation continues, it will hurt the overall economy,” he said.
He suggested the government widen the tax net, instead of increasing the tax rates.