2020-01-16 23:13:22 BdST

Electricity connection in 28 days for entrepreneurs


From now on it is not going to take more than 28 days for an entrepreneur to complete all required formalities for acquiring a new electricity connection.

Earlier, it used to take 125 days on average to complete at least nine procedures for the purpose.

Businesses will also get import-export document clearance within one hour and 45 minutes.

The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida) signed five memoranda of understanding with five government agencies on Wednesday at a city hotel to provide 11 such types of business related services in the shortest possible time through its one-stop service.

Bida is doing this to improve Bangladesh's ranking in the ease of doing business index. Bangladesh currently ranks 168th among 190 economies.

Bida Executive Chairman Md Sirazul Islam at the event said the government intends to take the country to 99th position within the next two years.

Despite moving up eight notches, Bangladesh still remains far behind other competitor countries like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, he added.

Jibon Krishna Saha Roy, director (one-stop service) of Bida, said the Bangladesh Power Development Board and the Dhaka Electric Supply Company will provide electricity connections to homes within 21 days, and to industries within 28 days.

This will reduce costs and time for establishing a new factory, he added.

Pranesh Ranjan Sutradhar, chief controller of the Office of the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports, said they provide a lot of services under four categories.

With the signing of the agreement, the time for clearance of export-import related documents will come down to one hour and 45 minutes from two days, he added.

Md Shahiduzzaman, secretary to the Security Services Division, said they provide security clearance to foreigners and clearance for fire safety.

The government is concerned about the arrival of citizens of some countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria and Turkey. That is why it takes time to provide foreigners with security clearances.

Tahera Ferdows Begum, secretary of the Chattogram Development Authority, said they will provide four services such as land use clearance, large and specialised project clearance, plan approval and occupancy certificate under the memorandum of understanding.

The Chattogram Development Authority will approve a plan in 15 days through the one-stop service. Earlier, it would take 45 days, she added.

AKM Dinarul Islam, executive member of Bida, said they introduced the one-stop service for investors in February last year, and are providing 18 types of services with the help of the International Finance Corporation.

Bida is planning to provide 154 services on behalf of 35 agencies in the future through the online one-stop service, he added.

Bida has signed the memoranda with the Bangladesh Power Development Board, the Dhaka Electric Supply Company, the Office of the Chief Controller of Import and Export, the Chattogram Development Authority and the Security Services Division of the home ministry.

Dr Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of the Policy Research Institute, said Bangladesh has been facing a serious shortage of gas and electricity because of administrative constraints. This initiative by Bida may help reduce official red-tape and improve the business environment if it becomes successful.

Many such initiatives were taken in the past, but were not implemented properly, he added.

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