The Financial Express

Country's performance in 'Doing Business' index shameful: Muhith

Bureaucracy is responsible for this, he says

FE Report | Published: November 02, 2018 14:42:20 | Updated: November 04, 2018 13:38:28

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith seen in this undated FE photo Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith seen in this undated FE photo

Finance Minister AMA Muhith expressed his disappointment over Bangladesh's performance in the 'Doing Business' index.

"It is shameful for us that Afghanistan is far above us," he said on Thursday while speaking at a meeting with the Economic Reporters Forum (ERF) at the secretariat.

Mr Muhith said bureaucracy is responsible for this.

"Our bureaucracy is very much powerful. There is no change in its mindset," he added.

In the World Bank's Doing Business-2019, released on Wednesday, Bangladesh's ranking was 176.

Bangladesh escalated one spot up in the index while war-tattered Afghanistan improved its rank by 16 steps.

Responding to the ERF executive members' queries on too many banks, the minister said new banks are getting permission under political considerations.

"I am very unhappy about it. No new banks are required now," he mentioned.

Mr Muhith said, "I can visualise that merger of those banks will start soon."

Legal amendments, including provisions of bankruptcy, have to be well-defined, he commented.

To this end, the minister said, a draft will be handed over in the present government's tenure.

On doing business situation, he said there might be some improvement because of competition.

"However, it's shameful. I don't know how it will improve," Mr Muhith added.

The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) chairman has taken some effective steps, he stated.

He made a time-bound plan to dispose investment proposals within seven months.

The BIDA has signed memoranda of understanding with relevant entities in this regard, Mr Muhith disclosed.

It has moved to offer one-stop service to the investors, he said.

"There would be a quantum jump of Bangladesh in 'Doing Business' index once the one-stop service is in place," he added.

About Thursday's political dialogue with Oikya Front, the senior minister said the ruling authorities have responded to their call.

"There might not be a significant result from the dialogue. Their demand is not as per the country's constitution," he said.

Mr Muhith said he would submit a nomination paper for the upcoming general election.

"It'd be a dummy nomination from my part," he said.

Some 10 new banks got approval in the present government's tenure.

Apart from this, it has turned a non-scheduled bank into a scheduled one and the other is in the pipeline.



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