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178 businessmen get CIP cards

FE Report | December 19, 2018 00:00:00

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed speaking at the CIP (commercially important person) card (export and trade) giving ceremony in the capital on Tuesday — PID

Businesses demanded on Tuesday uninterrupted supply of energy and timely availability of all other essential services for the sake of achieving the country's desired trade and economic development.

They also urged the government to ensure accountability, enhance port facilities and work for improving the ease of doing business index ranking in this regard.

The demands were placed at an award-giving ceremony where commerce minister Tofail Ahmed was present as the chief guest.

The government awarded CIP (commercially important person) cards to a total of 178 businesspersons for the year of 2016 in export and trade categories for their extraordinary performance and contribution to the country.

The Ministry of Commerce and Export Promotion Bureau jointly organised the ceremony at the auditorium of Trading Corporation of Bangladesh in the city.

Commerce Secretary Mofizul Islam and EPB vice chairman Bijoy Bhattacharjee, among others, were present.

Of the total, 137 businessmen received the cards in the export category from 18 sectors while 41 directors of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) in the trade category.

"Despite ranking 176th in the ease of doing business and having other problems, Bangladesh's entrepreneurs are doing good as corporate profitability is good in the country," FBCCI president Md Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said while addressing the ceremony.

He requested the government to improve the ease of doing business situation saying that the government should ensure supply of quality electricity and gas to the industry for achieving required growth

"Today we require quality electricity and gas supply. Not only supply, we require quality that means no fluctuation," he added.

Terming the machines used in industries 'sophisticated and computerised', he explained that voltage fluctuation in energy supply destroys the machines causing damage to products and their quality.

He also alleged that the members of many regulatory bodies fail to realise the impact of fluctuation in power supply or low pressure of gas on the industries.

"If you (the government) allow the private-sector businesspeople to swim freely, we will give you a prosperous Bangladesh," he added.

The government should introduce one-stop service in real sense and commercial counsellors should be made accountable to achieve the target of proposed special economic zones, the FBCCI president said.

He also requested the government not to appoint any more nominated director to the trade body as it doesn't have enough space to accommodate any new director in its existing office building.

The government doesn't do business but facilitate trade and business activities and provide the required services, the commerce minister said.

He expressed the hope that export earnings might be higher than the targeted amount and stand at $46 billion in the current fiscal year.

Regarding the recent wage hike for readymade garment workers he said workers should have realised the reality that they would lose their jobs if there is no factory.

Despite entrepreneurs have invested millions of taka in improving workplace safety after the Rana Plaza building collapse, prices of apparels didn't increase in line with that, he noted.

Among the privileges, the CIPs will get special passes to enter the secretariat, use special stickers on their cars and get invitations to attend some public functions.

They will also get priority in seat reservations in airlines, railways, roads and public transports in waterways and get letters of introduction from the foreign ministry for travelling abroad.

They and their dependants will also get cabins in hospitals on a priority basis.

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