Published in The New Nation on Tuesday, 16 February 2016
Strategic plan to boost pvt sector investment
Kazi Zahidul Hasan
As the private sector assumes its position as the main engine for economic growth in Bangladesh, economists and business leaders on Monday urged the government to devise a strategic plan for further accelerating private sector investment.They said, the private sector’s investment continues to show a sluggish trend for the last few years with infrastructure bottleneck hindering the growth prospect of Bangladesh economy. So, it is crucial to develop a plan to overcome the investment hindrances. “The government should go for an all-out effort to accelerate private sector investment with adopting a strategic plan,” Dr AB Mirza Azizul Islam, former Finance Adviser of the Caretaker Government, told The New Nation on Monday.He said, such a plan is necessary to facilitate the private sector investors to get one-stop service while making investment in various industrial sectors. “The national economy is failing to take off in line with its growth potential due to lack of necessary investment, particularly for the private sector one. Such a sluggish investment scenario is also leaving a negative impact on industrial expansion,” observed Mirza Aziz.He further said that if we look at the overall investment situation of the country, the domestic investment is declining. The low domestic investment has been a matter of concern because it holds back foreign investment additionally.According to him, weak infrastructure, poor governance, high-lending rates, unfriendly regulatory environment and ill-conceived investment promotion strategies stand on way to attract both local and foreign investment.”The prevailing ‘political uncertainty’ and sense of insecurity were other major roadblocks to investment,” he added.
“The national economy seems to be trapped under a 6.0 per cent growth due mainly to lack of investment. Investment is not accelerating due to lack of proper policy and investment promotion strategies,” Debapriya Bhattacharya, a distinguished fellow of Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD), told The New Nation on Monday.He said, Bangladesh targets a GDP growth of 8 per cent in its Seventh Five Year Plan. If the country wants to achieve the target, the share of investment in value needs to be accelerated to 32.5 per cent from current 28 per cent. “We cannot overcome such sluggish investment scenario unless investors are being facilitated by planned way. A strategic plan with various fiscal incentives for the investors is a must to gear up the investment scenario further,” he noted. Debapriya Bhattacharya further said the investors need supportive policies along with congenial political environment for the security and return of their investment.
“Investors are facing huge difficulties in making investment in Bangladesh due to poor service by the authorities concerned and unfriendly policies,” Mahmudur Rahman, Secretary General of Bangladesh-Greece Chamber of Commerce and Industries, told The New Nation yesterday.He added: “We have to move door to door of the service providers to take approval from them to set up industries. All these are very complicated process and the investors are increasingly becoming frustrated facing such types of hassles”. Mahmudur Rahman said that we had learnt that the authorities of Board of Investment were providing ‘one-stop service’ to the investors. In reality, it remains only on papers. They are yet to come up with such a service ultimately discouraging the investors.”The current investment scenario will not improve if the government offers the real one-stop service in a planned way for the investors. When it turns into the reality, the investors may come here with investment to take the opportunity of investment potential of Bangladesh,” he said.