Poor electricity pushes country 4-notch down

Bangladesh ranked 122nd out of 183 countries in a survey on the ease of doing business, dropping four places from last year.

The report “Doing Business 2012: Doing Business in a More Transparent World” released globally yesterday by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation said difficulties in getting fresh electricity connections due to prevailing power shortage primarily caused this drop.

The slip comes despite doing well in the area of starting up of a business with an expedited registration approval process as well as automation of name clearance, which now takes only one day against seven days in the previous years, the ninth installation of the report said.

Bangladesh ranked fifth out of the eight South Asian countries with the

Maldives topping the list with 79th position, Sri Lanka 89, Sri Lanka 105, Nepal 107, Nepal132, Bhutan 142 and Afghanistan at 160.

The report said Sri Lanka implemented business reforms the best among the eight economies in South Asia.

Singapore topped the list for the fourth consecutive time, followed by Hong Kong in second and New Zealand in third position.

Bangladesh chief of World Bank Tahseen Sayed said, “In achieving the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ vision, the government has introduced online tax filing and electronic bidding in four key government agencies.

“When technology is used effectively, it not only increases efficiency but also ensures more transparency.”

Kyle F Kelhofer, Bangladesh country manager of International Finance Corporation, said, “Simpler regulations, increased access to information and critical infrastructure are keys to an improved operating environment for businesses.

“Bangladesh’s commitment to reforms and the efforts to implement regulatory best practices are visible and appreciated by the government, private sector and the civil society.”

The ease of doing business rankings are based on 10 indicators, the report said. The indicator of getting power was included this year.

Regulations affecting 11 areas of a business are covered including starting up a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving insolvency and employing workers.

The report helps local and foreign businesses understand business regulations in a country.

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