Business leaders demand 5-year renewal of trade licences

Published : 11 Aug 2022 08:40 PM | Updated : 11 Aug 2022 08:40 PM

The leaders of MCCI on Thursday urged renewals of trade licenses for 5-year periods besides the regular 1-year period, mentioning that it would save a lot of time and effort of business houses.  The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI) leaders made the call in presence of Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, Mayor, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) in a discussion meeting. The discussion on Ease of Doing Business: Issuance/Renewal of Licenses for 5 Years” was organized by MCCI at it’s office at Motijheel in the capital.

DSCC Mayor attended the event as the Chief Guest.  President Md. Saiful Islam presided over the meeting while other members of the team were Senior Vice President Kamran T. Rahman, Vice-President Habibullah N. Karim, and several other members of the Board of Directors. The President stated that ensuring ease of doing business was vital for a country’s business and investment. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and the pandemic made it even more important, he said. 

One of the key factors based on which a country’s ease of doing business is assessed is how easy it is to start a business. This is an area where Bangladesh has some room for improvement. 

Starting a business requires several licenses (e.g., trade license) from different government offices. In most cases, licenses are issued or renewed for a year. Both processes are time-consuming. As a result, by the time businesses arrange the required documents for the issuance or renewal of a particular license, next year’s license renewal becomes due. 

Every year, DSCC issued a huge number of licenses. Hence, MCCI had invited the DSCC mayor for the discussion, the President clarified. MCCI also had plans to invite the mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation in the future.

Vice-President Habibullah N. Karim said that if the mayor helped with the 5-year licenses/renewals, its benefits could have a trickling effect in other areas of ease of doing business too. 

Member of the Board of Directors and the immediate past President Ms. Nihad Kabir pointed out that a prerequisite to trade licenses for e-commerce companies was to operate from commercial premises. She believed a waiver of this condition would help many small e-commerce businesses. 

Md. Shahidullah Azim, Acting President, BGMEA, mentioned that the Ready-made garment sector was eyeing $100 billion export volume by 2030, and 5-year license periods would very much be welcome by the sector.  

The mayor was very receptive to the points raised and the suggestions made. He assured of all possible help from his office in providing solutions to the issues faced by the business community.  He also commended MCCI’s efforts in leading a dynamic private sector. He added DSCC had raised its overall revenue by ensuring good governance without raising tax rates. 

He mentioned the DSCC was ready to give multiple year trade licenses as long as the other relevant bodies whose approvals were required by businesses would provide their permissions on time.  He also mentioned that the relatively high tax and AIT involved in obtaining trade licenses is respect to the fees paid to DSCC was another factor to be taken into consideration. 

He, however, believed that with MCCI and the business community in full support, DSCC could provide the solutions to not only the businesspeople but also to all the citizens of the country.