Newly formed BIDA suffers switchover troubles

Dhaka,  Monday,   2016-09-19
Published : 19 Sep 2016, 23:31:50 | Updated : 20 Sep 2016, 09:13:50

Newly formed BIDA suffers switchover troubles

Officials lack authority to carry out designated jobs
Newly formed BIDA suffers switchover troubles
Jasim Uddin Haroon

Major activities at the newly established Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) are being 'hampered' as officers drawn from the defunct BoI lack legitimate authority to sign on decisions, sources said.

The now-defunct Board of Investment (BoI) used to actually run with officers deputed from different departments, including autonomous organisations.Newly formed BIDA suffers switchover troubles

The government formed BIDA with the merger of BoI and the Privatisation Commission aiming to expedite services to businesses in respect of investment and industrialisation.

The investment-promotion entity practically came into being on September 01 last. Kazi M Aminul Islam leads it as executive chairman.  

At the outset, the sources said, major decisions in terms of loan approval, work permit issuance for foreign workers and similar services are now being hampered as the officers now in the organisation lack 'due approval' from their respective organisations or the Ministry of Public Administration.

However, BIDA officials hinted that they would get the required permission shortly.

But at least one senior official working at the BIDA said they were working very smoothly as they had prepared adequate service-continuity plans to serve people seeking services from the now-defunct BoI.

A number of officials who switched over from the BoI said they are working with the BIDA sans approval for induction into the new body.

"As per official documents, I am not assigned anywhere-either BoI or BIDA--as my department has not issued letter so far," said one official working on deputation.

As a result, they cannot sign or forward the files that were half-done earlier.

But they say that they are at work.

However, some of them hope to get such orders shortly.

On the other hand, Nabhash Chandra Mandal, an additional secretary now working with the BIDA, said the newly formed organisation is working properly.

He, however, said the high-ups in the organisation were now grappling with the preparation of its new organogram.

"You know we have prepared a service-continuity plan considering the would-be complexities during the transitional period from BoI to BIDA."

A number of officials say that the procedures in terms of official approval for the new organisation were also affected by the long vacation on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha, the second-biggest festival for the Muslims.

The BIDA Act 2015 was passed to boost investment, especially foreign direct investment, and ensure use of the unutilized lands of public-sector industries in industrialisation.

And the BoI, established under the Investment Board Act 1989, had aimed to facilitate private investment in the country.
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