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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Experts suggest regulatory reforms for businesses

The New Age

The initiative to bring regulatory reforms for improving business climate is yet to draw attention of the new government, the chairman of Regulatory Reforms Commission said, regretting lack of demand for business reforms from the stakeholders.
Akbar Ali Khan, addressing the presentation ceremony of a survey report on business reforms on Friday, added that delay in the government’s decision-making damaged the business climate, depriving the country of much-needed investments from home and abroad.
In view of trends of increasing regulatory measures, he further urged the Awami League-led government to publish all drafts of regulations, only except the national budget, before making them laws to take inputs from stakeholders for maximum public welfare.
‘We need amendment to laws and regulations including making some afresh. Unless the government acts on them, we will not be able to bring any constructive reforms. Without updating regulations and keeping them on the websites, no digital Bangladesh is possible,’ Akbar told the function organised by Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund at a city hotel.
Dwelling on the compliance, he pointed out that Bangladesh would not be able to allow any industrial investments if the country had to strictly follow the environmental standards because of the pressure of population on this small landmass.
Mahbubur Rahman, president of International Chamber of Commerce, Bangladesh, presiding over the session, said the country would not be able to attract or promote entrepreneurs to set up industrial units unless the energy problem could be solved. ‘Every ruling party says the electricity crisis cannot be resolved overnight,’ he expressed his frustration.
‘Return to democracy has raised the public expectations [relating to governance, infrastructures and institutions],’ said Moazzem Hossain, editor of The Financial Express newspaper.
The president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Zafar Osman, said the law and order, a prerequisite for promoting businesses, failed to show signs of improvement while the politicisation of the administration had been rampant.
Economists Atiur Rahman and Mustafizur Rahman questioned credibility of the survey which mentioned that a majority of the respondents had said the government’s services to be helpful for businesses.
With a simple size of 1,000 citizens, opinion leaders, businesses and public officials, the survey was carried out during the November-December 2008 period to understand stakeholders’ perception about the economy and business environment, said Aminur Rahman, investment policy officer of the multi-donor fund. The survey was said to have raised concerns about unemployment and corruption apart from other issues.



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