Experts stress need to provide bond facility to partial exporters

The government has to facilitate partial exporters with bonded warehouse licence facilities to attain the country’s export diversification targets, experts have said. 

There is also the need for implementation of the work plan elaborated in relevant policies and export roadmaps to facilitate export diversification, they said at the 14th Private Sector Development Policy Coordination Committee meeting on Monday. 

Entrepreneurs are required to renew the trade licence by 30 September of each year whatever the issuing date, said Ferdaus Ara Begum, CEO of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD), a private sector think tank. 

She urged the government to change the policy so that businesses can renew their trade licence after five years from the date of issuance. 

Ferdaus Ara Begum presented the keynote, mentioning that out of 72 proposed reforms from the fifth to eleventh PSDPCC meetings, 37 reforms were implemented, said a press release. 

She also presented three policy papers on the simplification of the issuing and renewal process of trade licences, the simplification of duty free import process of raw materials for partial exporters, and the implementation of the work plan elaborated in relevant policies and export roadmaps to facilitate export diversification.

She mentioned that the Local Government Division has already been allowed to issue trade licences with a tenure of five years. However it is not fully implemented across the country, and she urged for awareness campaigns in this regard.

Principal Secretary Tofazzel Hossain Miah said they will regularly review the overall investment scenario in the private sector and set out ways to improve and identify bottlenecks in its development. He instructed LGRD to investigate the issue of trade licences.

He also requested the Ministry of Commerce to form a committee with the representatives of NBR, the Ministry of Finance, and the private sector to draft the Corporate Social Responsibilities Policy and come up within two months. 

The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution should come forward to formulate a labelling policy for plastic grade, dangerous items, and biodegradable items, he suggested. 

Tapan Kanti Ghosh, senior secretary of the Ministry of Commerce mentioned that a committee can be formed to investigate the issues of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the businesses that are not registered under the companies act.

Ministry of Finance Secretary Fatima Yasmin said rooftop power producers are getting funding at relatively lower interest rates. In this respect, President MCCI, Saiful Islam suggested considering small entrepreneurs so that they get access to finance. 

NBR Chairman Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem pointed out that after the automation of the bonded warehouse system, policy provisions for the partial exporters will be facilitated. Moreover, the duty drawback facility will be automated to facilitate the exporters to claim it in more simplified ways.

BUILD Chairperson Nihad Kabir urged to consider Digital Business Identification Number (DBID) as a document to get loans from banks. 

Zakia Sultana, secretary, Ministry of Industries, mentioned that her office has received a number of proposals for utilising solid waste, including one to produce raw materials of cement clinker.

Farhina Ahmed, secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry and Climate Change, said rooftop solar power producers should be provided with similar benefits as Independent Power Producers.

Muhammad Ibrahim, Secretary, Local Government Rural Development and Cooperatives, requested BUILD to initiate the process for further simplification of trade licence issuance and renewal, and holding tax issues. 

Syed Moazzam Hossain, director, FBCCI, requested frequent meetings of the PSDPCC committee so the private sector can raise their issues freely and frankly. 

PSDPCC is the only strategic public sector platform for private sector-related policy review, coordination, identification of investment barriers and fostering public-private cooperation. 

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