Representatives of the FBCCI have called for a need to have a legal basis for the upcoming National Industrial Policy 2021, to be formulated by the government.
Businesses are not able to take advantage of the many benefits of the exiting industrial policy of 2016 due to the lack of legal entities, so the members of the standing committee on industry and industrial policy of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) made the call during the first meeting of the committee on Monday.
The discussants said that many discrepancies in the existing industrial policy deprive entrepreneurs to reap the policy benefits while discouraging local and foreign investment, ultimately hampering the industrialisation process.
During the meeting, Mostofa Azad Chowdhury, senior vice-president of FBCCI and director-in-charge of the Standing Committee on Industry and Industrial Policy, said coordination among various ministries is essential for the proper implementation of industrial policy.
He complained that the entrepreneurs have to pay the high service charge even if they do not get any service in the Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) industrial cities. "Sometimes the charge is increased by 50% to 60% without consulting with the concerned industrialists," he added.
The senior vice president of FBCCI also called upon the government to follow in the footsteps of other countries and impose restrictions on foreign products and anti-dumping duties.
Shamim Ahmed, chairman of the standing committee and president of the Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers and Exporters Association, said the service sector contributes to the economy by more than 50% but the draft industrial policy does not properly address this sector.
"Although public-private partnerships play an important role in the development of the economy, it is not mentioned in the industrial policy," he said, adding that foreign investors are being discouraged as there were many inconsistencies between the policies of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (Bida) and the industrial policy.
The discussants also pointed out the lack of coordination between different policies and said that the industrial policy should be considered as the supreme policy so, if any other policy conflicts, the entrepreneurs can avail the benefits as per the provisions of the industrial policy.
Speakers at the meeting noted that the post-LDC challenges, diversification of export products, skilled manpower, ICT, and the SME sector should get priority in the upcoming policy. The speakers also demanded that the concept of the circular economy should be included in the forthcoming industrial policy.
Md Salim Ullah, senior assistant secretary (Policy) of the Ministry of Industries, highlighted various aspects of the draft industrial policy during the meeting.
The meeting was attended by Co-Chairmen of the Standing Committee Md Abdur Razzak and Asif Ibrahim, Directors of FBCCI Abul Kasem Khan, Dr Nadia Binte Amin, Former President of MCCI Dhaka Nihad Kabir, FBCCI Advisor Monjur Rahman, and CEO of BUILD Ferdous Ara Begum, among others.