5-Year Trade Licence in the Offing — BUILD Trade and Investment Working Meeting at Ministry of Commerce

The Ministry of Commerce has accepted the proposal of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) for issuing trade licences for at least five years instead of one-year renewal culture to improve the ease of doing business.

BUILD came up with the proposal at the 9th Trade and Investment Working Committee (T&IWC) Meeting of BUILD. Ministry of Commerce and BUILD jointly organised the meeting at the Bangladesh Secretariat on September 28, 2022. Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Senior Secretary to the Ministry of Commerce and Md. Saiful Islam, President of the Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), co-chaired the working committee meeting.

BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum said that we had studied the City Corporation Ideal Tax Schedule 2016 and Municipal Taxation Rules and saw no legal bar in issuing trade licences for five years.

Echoing the proposal, Mohammed Nora Alam Siddique, Joint Secretary of the Local Government Division, said it could be implemented for municipalities and city corporations. However, we need to review if Union Parishad can issue it under its present status.

Addressing the event, Tapan Kanti Ghosh, Senior Secretary to the Commerce Ministry, said that we need to focus more on the recommendations of the previous meeting, which are yet to be implemented. Following the call of non-RMG sectors, we can formulate the sectoral sub-contracting rules, and we will engage with the National Board of Revenue to increase the de-minimis value.

Taking part in the discussion, MCCI President called for introducing NID as the singular document for trade licence issuance following global practices.

Referring to BUILD’s study on Improved Business Environment and Simplification of Company Registration Process, BUILD Chairperson Nihad Kabir suggested formulating a policy for availing certified copies from the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies And Firms (RJSC&F). The fill-up process of Model AOA (Article of Association) and MOA (Memorandum of Association) can be simplified to make the company registration process business-friendly.

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