a year ago

MoC may think of issuing 5-yr trade licences

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The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) has assured of considering a proposal of the Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) for issuing trade licences for at least five years instead of the present one-year renewal provision to facilitate the ease of doing business.

The BUILD made the proposal at the 9th Trade and Investment Working Committee (T&IWC) Meeting, which was jointly organised by the MoC and the BUILD at the Bangladesh Secretariat on Wednesday, said a press release.

Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Senior Secretary of the MoC, and Md. Saiful Islam, President of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), co-chaired the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum said as per the City Corporation Ideal Tax Schedule 2016 and the Municipal Taxation Rules, there is no legal bar on issuing trade licences for five years.

Echoing the proposal, Mohammed Nora Alam Siddique, Joint Secretary of the Local Government Division, said the proposal (of issuing trade licences for five years) can be implemented for municipalities and city corporations.

However, it should be reviewed whether the union parishads can do it under their present status, he observed.

The MoC senior secretary emphasised paying focus on the recommendations of the previous meeting, which are yet to be implemented.

Following call of the non-RMG sectors, steps can be taken to formulate the sectoral sub-contracting rules, and the National Board of Revenue (NBR) can also be engaged to increase the de-minimis value.

The MCCI president called for introducing NID as the single document for trade licence issuance following global practices, said the press release.

Referring to the BUILD's study on improved business environment and simplification of company registration process, its Chairperson Nihad Kabir suggested formulation of a policy for availing certified copies from the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC&F).

The filling up process of Model AOA (article of association) and MOA (memorandum of association) can be more simplified to make the company registration process business-friendly, it was observed.

Citing the process of issuing a sub-contracting order, Mohammad Hatem, Executive President of the BKMEA, said there is a need for greater engagement and consultation with the regulators concerned before formulating any trade policies to ensure the private sector's representations.

Mentioning the BUILD's proposal for setting up dedicated scanners for agro products in all ports, Dr Sayed Rafiqul Amin, Director of Plant Quarantine Wing, the Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), said the Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh established terminal scanners, which are not fully equipped for covering all agro items.

Therefore, it is necessary to ensure specialised scanners for agro items and proper coordination among the relevant agencies for export growth, he opined.

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