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BIDA OSS futile as agencies give same services

Other agencies need to stop taking applications

SYFUL ISLAM | November 12, 2022 00:00:00

The efforts to provide one-point services from the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) went in vain, as the agencies, which added their services to the BIDA One Stop Service (OSS) portal, are also individually accepting applications for these.

The BIDA now wants to stop entertaining applications by these agencies for providing the same services, added in its OSS portal, sources said.

A recent meeting of the National Committee for Monitoring Implementation of Doing Business Reforms (NCMID), chaired by Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam also asked the departments concerned to comply with the BIDA's plea.

According to officials, until now 18 agencies and departments have incorporated their services in the BIDA's OSS platform. Through the platform, the BIDA facilitates its own 18 types of services to the businesses/investors, while applications can be processed for 40 other services of various agencies.

They said the agencies incorporated the provision of providing their services through the OSS platform, but did not stop accepting applications for these through their own platforms.

Even they kept the provision of submitting applications physically in their offices, which discouraged the service-seekers to go through the OSS platform, they added.

Data shows that since February 2019, some 84,801 applications for 18 types of services, provided by the BIDA, were processed. Also, 18,245 applications of Security Services Divisions under the Ministry of Home Affairs were processed during the time.

However, only 251 applications of other 17 agencies/departments were processed during the period through the OSS platform. The platform received only one application in case of some agencies.

The entities whose services have been added to the OSS platform include: the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms, National Board of Revenue, Sonali Bank, Department of Environment, Chattogram City Corporation, Dhaka North City Corporation, Dhaka South City Corporation, Chittagong Development Authority, Dhaka Power Distribution Company, Chief Controller of Imports and Exports, and Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

A senior BIDA official said the authority has been working to add 150 types of services of at least 50 agencies to the OSS platform, so that the businesses/investors do not need to roam here and there to get required services.

But, linking the services alone would not bring any success to the target of providing one-stop service - unless the agencies stop receiving applications for similar services on their own arrangements.

"We have urged the entities concerned to comply with the OSS provision. Otherwise, the concept of ease of doing business would not work," he added.

Shahjahan Sipon, a real estate businessman in the city's Nikunja area, said all the services should be given through one platform to facilitate businesses.

"Presently, we can submit applications to get new trade licence or for its renewal by using both the OSS platform and the city corporation's website."

Services like these can be brought under one platform, he added.

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