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Bureaucratic inefficiency major stumbling block to doing business: Report

A report has identified inefficient government bureaucracy as the major stumbling block to doing business in Bangladesh.

Entrepreneurs identified inefficient bureaucracy, corruption, and limited access to finance as the key barriers to doing business in 2019, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2020.

The forum’s local partner, Centre for Policy Dialogue, on Thursday released the Bangladesh part of the report at an online press conference.

“Earlier, corruption and inadequate infrastructure were at the top of the list of barriers. However, inefficient bureaucracy has now been identified as the major obstacle,” CPD Research Director Khondaker Golam Moazzem said.

“Entrepreneurs, surveyed for the report, think that inefficiency of bureaucracy and extra time and cost for public services increase the overall cost of doing business.”

The World Economic Forum, popularly known as Davos Forum, has been publishing the Global Competitiveness Report since 1979.

CPD has been carrying out the Bangladesh part of the report since the country was included in it in 2001.

Dr Moazzem recommended taking lessons from the world, undertake major initiatives for sustainable recovery in the post-COVID period through four targeted measures–transforming the enabling environment; transforming human capital; transforming markets; and transforming the innovation ecosystem.

Reducing institutional, operational bottlenecks

He said this also indicates weaknesses in transparency, accountability and efficiency in public service delivery. The government should focus more on implementation of SDG 16.6 which highlights related issues.

“Reforms in the public sector need to focus on public procurement system, taxation, database development, auditing and financial reporting and anticorruption drive. Over-expenditure in big projects and failure to implement on time put the government in fiscal constraints in undertaking important projects particularly those in social sector,” he added.

Dr Fahmida Khatun, Executive Director of CPD, indicated that an efficient public service delivery needs to be ensured through reducing institutional and operational bottlenecks.

Distinguished Fellow of CPD Professor Mustafiz said higher investment for technological upgrading should be accompanied by investment in skill development so that the risk of ‘job-less’ growth could be reduced.

This year’s report, the GCR 2020, is a special edition. Given the challenges facing all economies affected by the pandemic shock, the Special Edition does not provide comparative rankings. Instead, it draws out policy implications from the data for different countries and the respective leaders as they prepare for the economic revival.

The analysis has been carried out on 37 economies. And 11 prioritised areas identified to measure countries readiness for economic revival. A total of 142 countries have been surveyed of which 126 countries have valid responses.

However, respondents shared their views during March-May, 2020 when the COVID related scenario has evolved in the country with 46.7 percent entrepreneurs indicated that a major adverse impact was happened in their company’s production.

Source: United News of Bangladesh