Bridge building with business community | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 23, 2007 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 23, 2007

Bridge building with business community

A thought in the right direction

We agree with General Moeen that overenthusiastic bankers are displaying an inquisition mentality while dealing with clients seeking transaction of over Tk five lakh. This creates panic in the businessmen' mind. We can not however miss out on a plethora of circulars from the central bank to commercial banks which are reflective of the government's regulatory approach to financial matters.
The series of steps like demolition of small sale outlets, drive against black-money holders and tax evaders, crackdown on alleged hoarders, taking into custody of prominent businessmen may have been legally compelling and justifiable actions. Yet, there is no denying that the market structure and business culture as we knew them were shaken to their foundations with the void still to be filled in. And those who remain in business find themselves cramped in their style and cringing from coming out with needed investment.
We feel that the business community's unflinching cooperation is indispensable for invigorating free market operations aimed to enhance competitiveness and ensure price rationalisation and delivery of quality products to consumers. So, it is time for not alienating the business community but to take them on board. We understand the authorities are thinking of engaging the business community in a series of consultations to arrive at a common package of policies whereby the market behaviour will be rendered friendly to the consumers.
The hiatus that has developed between the business community and the government has to be replaced by some confidence building measures. The NBR, task forces and banks should not be too snoopy with bank accounts and business transactions solely on the basis of suspicion unless they are required by specific allegations to go into them. The point is, there ought not to be any sweeping and indiscriminate application of rules subjecting perfectly legitimate depositors or clients to harassment. They should be accorded full cooperation from the commerce ministry in terms of import and export activities with the port and customs authorities facilitating their functioning. The approach needs to be comprehensive rather than piecemeal.

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