Government has already taken the initiative to build 28 Software Technology Parks
The Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) urged Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) not to shut down offices of BASIS member companies located in non-commercial areas.
The demand was made at a press conference at the BASIS head office in Dhaka yesterday. BASIS President Syed Almas Kabir, Senior Vice President Farhana A Rahman, and Secretary Hashim Ahmed, were present.
BASIS President Syed Almas Kabir said former Rajuk chairman, M Bazlul Karim Chaudhury, during his tenure had assured BASIS their offices in non-commercial areas would not be closed.
“However, Rajuk recently closed down the office of BASIS Member Company Solution 9 Limited in Uttara, as it was not located in a commercial area. The company was not given any prior notice and the incident has damaged their reputation severely. Earlier, Rajuk also closed down another BASIS member company’s office in Uttara,” he added.
Syed Almas Kabir also said the government has already taken the initiative to build 28 Software Technology Parks, and he expects BASIS members will be accommodated in the parks once they are completed.
“BASIS member companies will not need to rent and use office spaces in non-commercial areas once the Software Technology Parks are completed,” he said.
Also addressing the press conference, BASIS Senior Vice President Farhana A Rahman said commercial spaces were not suitable for BASIS member companies.
“Many BASIS members have clients in the US, Japan, and across Europe. In order to deal with the various time zones, these companies have to provide services 24/7. Commercial spaces don’t maintain or allow 24/7 operation. Furthermore, software and Information Technology enabled Services (ITES) related work requires significant concentration, so a silent environment is ideal,” she added.
When contacted, BASIS Head of PR, Md Wasek Sazzad, said it was also difficult for software related firms to obtain permits for commercial spaces, as this requires various documents such as intellectual property evaluations. These documents are difficult to obtain domestically.
Thus, BASIS has demanded that Rajuk immediately issue a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO), stating that the bar against operating businesses in non-commercial areas not be applicable for BASIS members, until the completion of the necessary software technology parks.
According to data from BASIS, 800 of a total of 1,100 members of the association, have their offices in non-commercial areas. These member companies employ an approximate 1 million people, and have invested $500 million in the ICT sector.
The companies generate annual revenues of about $800 million.