BIDA opens online one-stop service for investors

Formal launching in Jan-end

Saif Uddin | Tuesday, 8 January 2019

The Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) has started its online one-stop service (OSS) on trial basis ahead of its formal launch to be held in January-end, officials said.
"The OSS has drawn good responses since it went online on January 5," said BIDA Executive Chairman Kazi M Aminul Islam.
Entrepreneurs are currently getting 15 types of services online, he said, adding that they will get all kinds of services related to investment through this digital platform without paying a single visit to government offices.
This automated platform will ensure transparency, check irregularities and enhance the country's image to foreign investors, said Mr Islam.
Investors in Bangladesh's remote areas can also avail the services without any hassles, he said, adding that it will help improve the ease of doing business.
Prime Minster Sheikh Hasina is expected to formally launch the BIDA OSS at the end of this month.
The online OSS will provide services and documents digitally to domestic and foreign investors. The services are completely automated, paperless and cashless, BIDA officials said.
The online platform will also contain relevant news, statistics, reports, relevant laws, guidelines, instructions and other relevant information, they added.
The web link of the OSS is available on the homepage of the BIDA website -- bida.gov.bd.
At present, BIDA itself will provide 11 kinds of services, including business project registration, easing visa regime, office permission and work permit, while different government offices will provide other services.
The Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms (RJSC) is providing two services -- 'name clearance' and 'company registration' -- through this platform.
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) will issue Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) for companies through this online platform while state-owned Sonali Bank will provide online payment processing facilities.
Contacted, Tauhidur Rahman Khan, BIDA Director General (Registration and Incentives, Local Industry), said the number of services would continue to grow over time.
"Once the OSS becomes fully operational, investors would get over 150 types of services online," he said.
A good number of government agencies have already signed agreements with BIDA for providing services through this platform, he added.
"A Bangladeshi tech company developed the virtual platform under direct guidance and monitoring by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank Group member," he said.
He also said 1,841 individuals have requested for user identification and password through the digital platform in the last three days.
On February 5 last year, the Jatiya Sangsad passed the 'One Stop Service Bill, 2018', aiming to ensure business-friendly atmosphere and boost investment in the country.
According to the law, the government agencies concerned must give a decision within a timeframe. Otherwise, the investors will get clearance or certification in his favour.
Presently, investors have to wait for one month to four years to get approvals and licences to start their business projects.
The OSS will help reduce the waiting time up to 45 days, depending on the types of services.

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