The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) has got rid of a two-week-long quorum crisis just before Eid-ul-Fitr through the appointment of a new chairman and two commissioners.
The remaining vacant post of a commissioner was also filled up on Tuesday through appointment of a retiring government secretary.
On the other hand, a similar quorum crisis in the country's insurance regulator has been there for even longer.
Both the regulators have been running with one post vacant in the second top layer for two to three years.
After the retirement of two members this year, the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) now only has its chairman and a member. Since April, it is technically unable to decide anything in the authority meeting that needs participation of the majority of the people holding posts.
According to the IDRA organogram, four of its members under the leadership of the authority chairman look after the life insurance sector, non-life insurance sector, insurance laws and the administrative departments separately.
Of them, the post of non-life wing's member has been vacant since 2017. After non-life department member Juber Ahmed Khan left, no one was appointed.
Borhan Uddin Ahmed, member of IDRA legal department, has been additionally regulating the non-life insurance sector, and of course that is never the ideal way an efficient regulator should be run.
At the end of February last, former bureaucrat Gokul Chand Das, IDRA member for the administration wing, retired.
The authority, regulating more than six dozen insurance companies in Bangladesh fell into a quorum crisis in the second week of April when retired district judge Borhan Uddin also had his last day in the organisation.
The quorum crisis is not allowing the authority to take any significant decision despite the fact that the insurance industry is going through an unprecedented tough time during the pandemic, said an IDRA senior official.
"It is a mere example of how the insurance sector is under-emphasised in Bangladesh. The regulator fell short of a quorum for decisive meetings weeks before the capital market regulator, but it seems no one is here to address the problem," said the official seeking anonymity.
Md Zafar Iqbal, additional secretary looking after insurance sector from the Financial Institutions Division of the Ministry of Finance, told The Business Standard, "We have been informed about the quorum crisis in recent weeks and very soon, the IDRA will get a new member so that it can continue the decision-making process."
Commenting on a post remaining vacant for years, he said that it is not always easy to find a perfect person and the government waits until it finds such a candidate.
Experts, however, have a different view.
Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam, finance advisor to the former caretaker government, told The Business Standard, "We have so many qualified people for the posts; the government just needs to find them out."
"A regulator cannot run with a manpower shortage, especially in the vital posts, if we mean to let them function," he said.
He thinks the finance ministry should be more serious in this regard.
The IDRA was formed on January 26, 2011, under the provision of the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority Act 2010. The government enacted the act to develop and regulate the insurance industry in the country.
The authority is assigned to work for a systematic development and regulation of the insurance industry through implementing the National Insurance Policy 2014. But it has often been underequipped.
Delayed organogram, halted salaries within IDRA and lack of manpower have made several headlines over the years.