Corruption a major barrier in ensuring a fair business environment: CPD

30 January 2023

Staff Reporter :
Corruption is a major problematic factor for doing business in the country and the financial sector needs major overhauling, according to the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD).
The other major problematic factors are inadequate infrastructure, limited access to finance and inefficient bureaucracy, it said while unveiling a survey on "Executive Opinion Survey (EOS)" at the private think tank's head office in the city on Sunday.
The CPD conducted the survey from April to July of last year in partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) aiming at appreciating the perception of entrepreneurs and businessmen on the state of business competitiveness and factors and institutions responsible for long-term growth, especially during the post-pandemic period.
In the survey, it said the businesses feel that a separate loan should come for the construction of 'Green City' from foreign partners in line with reducing environmental pollution.
In the presentation of survey, CPD Research Director Khondaker Golam Moazzem said that the corruption was one of the major barriers to doing business in Bangladesh as 64.6 per cent of the respondents complained about the high level of corruption.
The other major problematic factors include inadequate infrastructure, limited access to finance and inefficient bureaucracy and the emerging factors include inflation, foreign currency instability and policy instability - hence the challenges are multiplied through new factors, he said.
The business environment in the country did not show any considerable progress during 2021-22 - either it was stagnated, or it was deteriorated compared to the previous year, the report said.
"Institutional inefficiencies and weaknesses have further worsened though some improvement has taken place sporadically," it added.
"Financial sector needs major overhauling which could be initiated as part of complying with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan conditionality - amendment of bank company act, lifting the cap on lending rate to ensure better access of SMEs, transparency in outstanding loans, the effective oversight role of the central bank, Security and Exchange
Commission (SEC) and Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA)," the report said.
The report also said that the competitive environment in businesses has further deteriorated due to the lack of proper practices of corporate governance, weak regulatory oversight and lack of corporate ethics.
"The Competition Commission, the Consumer Rights Protection Division, central bank, NBR and Finance Ministry should play due role in ensuring competition in the market," it said.
An inclusive supply chain in major sectors needs to be developed with the assured presence of SMEs in each segment of the supply chain, the study said.
The report also added that business-related information needs to be disclosed in an integrated information and data system to review the operations of players in the supply chains.
"The survey was carried out on 11,800 respondents from 121 economies. Majority of them faced corruption in paying taxes, receiving licences, and securing the connections for utilities like gas, electricity, and water as well as during the export-import trades," Moazzem said.
CPD Executive Director Fahmida Khatun also spoke on the occasion.

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