A one stop service (OSS) facility designed to expedite and ease the procedure of investment is set to launch within the next six months. It was announced during the “One Stop Service Act 2017 (proposed)” seminar held on April 29. The “One Stop Service Act 2017 (proposed)” has been put forward by Bangladesh Investment Development Authority as the legislative instrument to enable the process.
Organised by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries of Bangladesh (ICSB) and the Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and initiated by Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) the seminar was held at Hotel Purbani International, where Kazi M. Aminul Islam, the executive chairman of BIDA spoke as the chief guest.
Mohammad Asad Ullah FCS, chairman of Professional Development Sub Committee presided over the Seminar. He congratulated the government of Sheikh Hasina for timely reviewing and reforming the BOI and establishing the high power investment authority BIDA. He urged the government to form a taskforce to cut cost of business and to ease business processes to facilitate trade.
The taskforce should be comprised of concerned ministries, chambers, trade associations and business leaders under the leadership of BIDA, in order to monitor foreign direct investment (FDI), Asad Ullah suggested. He advised that specialized professionals should be appointed by BIDA to provide one stop service to the investors.
Attending the seminar as a special guest Ajit Kumar Paul FCA, executive member and secretary of BIDA said that no one can develop alone in the 21st century and Bangladesh needs foreign investment to make the country a lucrative investment destination. He said that the system should be more investor friendly so that investors get more benefits with their investment.
In the keynote speech Tauhidur Rahman Khan, director, BIDA, explained the salient features and implementation procedures of the proposed Act. In his paper, Mr. Khan mentioned that the BIDA OSS initiative is to house 17 ministries/departments of the government under one umbrella, aiming to ease foreign investments in the country.
Speaking as the ‘guest of honour’, Mohammad Sanaullah FCS, the President of ICSB, emphasized on the role of Chartered Secretaries in good governance in attracting foreign direct investment. They can play a pivotal role in growing the confidence of the investors, he said. He urged the chairman of BIDA to include the clause of mandatory appointment of Chartered Secretaries in the firms with foreign investments, so that they can ensure the compliance with the rules and regulations of Bangladesh.
Kazi M. Aminul Islam, the executive chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), in his speech as the chief guest announced to the tumultuous applause from the audience that the one stop service will come into operation within six months.
He said that the proposed Act is going to be enacted soon. The present government has taken bold initiatives to facilitate foreign investment in Bangladesh. “This act is one of those steps and we are confident that this Act will ease the foreign investment process to gain the vision 2021 set by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” said Mr Islam.
He also expressed hope that professional institutes like ICSB will engage more actively to contribute directly in the development process. He also mentioned that some of the recommendations made by the members of ICSB will be taken into consideration before finalizing the One Stop Service Act 2017.
The BIDA executive chairman said that Bangladesh currently has an economy of 250 billion dollars. He said that it is the vision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to transform that into a three-trillion-dollars economy. “That’s the kind of transformation we need,” he said.
Mr Islam said that investors need certain services when they come for investment. And the goal of the one stop service will be to provide them with these services. He said that the OSS will contain all services related to investment and will be accessible to investors from anywhere in the world through the online portal.
Mentioning that nothing like a one stop service ever existed in the country, the BIDA executive chairman told the audience that the Prime Minister proposed the idea of the one stop service first in a Board of Investment meeting during her previous term in the government. “Back in 1998 she was the one who instituted the one stop service concept into the workings of the Board of Investment at that time,” he said.
He informed that BIDA has studied one stop services in 23 different countries across the world in its attempt to design the best service possible. “And based on that experience we are devising our one stop service, which according to the World Bank is the best in the world,” Mr Islam said.
Dr Feroz Iqbal Faruqe FCS, former vice president of ICSB and Md Azizur Rahman FCS, council member of ICSB also spoke at the seminar.
A question answer session was held at the later part of the seminar in which the BIDA officials answered different questions from the audience. The programme was attended by a large number of members of the ICSB who are working in different listed companies in the country.