28 Apr Bill to introduce “One Stop Service” placed in Parliament
The cabinet has approved in principle, and placed in Parliament, the ‘One-stop Service Bill, 2017’ to facilitate domestic and foreign investors in getting various services, licenses, permits and registrations with regard to their business all under one roof. The proposed law reportedly comes as a part of Bangladesh’s efforts to place itself among the top 100 countries in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings and to present itself as an attractive destination for global businesses.
- The Bill proposes that once it becomes law, it would override all other laws which deal with provision of investor services and necessary licenses, permits and registrations, to the extent that they are contradictory (Section 3(2)).
- Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA), Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority (BEPZA) and Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Authority would each be a “Central One-stop Service Authority” providing services within a stipulated time (Section 2(3), Section 4, Schedule – A).
- Each Central One Stop Service Authority would be comprised of focal points from the service, license, permit and registration providing authorities and institutions (Section 4(2))
- A Central One Stop Service Authority would take a scheduled fee and deliver the necessary service, license, permit and/or registration within a stipulated time (Section 4(3)).
- Regional One Stop Service Centres may be created (Section 5)
- An applicant for one-stop service would not have to apply to any other authority other than the One Stop Service Authority for the scheduled services (Section 6(4)).
- Any negligence, reluctance or irregularity by any person in carrying out responsibilities under the law would be deemed to be “misconduct” (Section 8 & 9).
|SERVICES TO BE OFFERED BY THE ONE STOP SERVICE AUTHORITY|
|Approval of Investment Proposal||Name ClearanceCertificate of Registration / Incorporation|
|Import Permit||Tin CertificateVAT Registration|
|Export Permit||Trade License|
|Local Sale Permit||Building Plan Approval|
|Local Purchase Permit||Environment Clearance|
|Sample Permit||Fire Safety Clearance|
|Sub-contract Permit||Clearance on electrical wiring plan/connectionClearance on plumbing/water connection|
|Permission for Utility Connection||Boiler Registration|
|No Objection Certification offshore Banking License||Captive Power Plant/Generator Permission|
|License for Service Provider||Visa RecommendationWork Permit|
|Permission for installation of STP, WTP and CEPT||Telephone and Internet Connection|
|Permission for installation of Generator||Customs Clearance|
|Remittance of dividends, royalties and capital||Certificate of Origin|
The law, if passed and properly implemented, will be a significant breakthrough in increasing efficiency and transparency in the business set-up process. Businesses will be able to get 27 different services from one designated place and within a stipulated period. The one stop service will cover services provided by 17 different ministries and departments all brought under one roof.
The challenges to the success of this proposed law, however, lies in its implementation. Setting up a coordinated mechanism across so many departments will require a significant effort from the authorities to be put in charge of running the service. It is up to the government to stipulate deadlines for the various services and to enforce those deadlines as well. Therefore, even after passage of the law, it will remain to be seen how quickly and efficiently the government departments can take this off the ground and build upon the base that will be provided by the law.
– Saqeb Mahbub, Associate Partner & Rifat Rahman, Associate