The cabinet approved in principle the One-stop Service Act-2017 on Monday, in an effort to facilitate services and reduce the cost of doing business for both foreign and domestic investors.
The act was approved in the weekly meeting of the Cabinet, held at Bangladesh Secretariat with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Speaking at a press briefing after the meeting, Cabinet Secretary Shafiul Alam said: "Under the act, entrepreneurs or investors with registered companies will receive 16 types of services from the one-stop service centre within a stipulated time frame, for implementation of any project."
The services include issuance of trade licenses, land registration and mutation, environmental clearances, construction permits, explosives licenses and boiler certificates as well as connections for power, gas, water, telephone and internet.
The cabinet secretary added that the act had been approved as the government wanted to reduce the cost of doing business in the country.
Currently, Bangladesh ranks 176th out of 188 internationally in terms of cost of doing business, and the goal was to break into the top 100 within the next five years, Shafiul said.
Four organizations - namely the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA), Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA), Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority (BEPZA) and Bangladesh Hi-tech Park Authority- will act as the Central One-stop Service Authority in their respective areas, he said.
The law would supersede all related previous laws to overcome their limitations, the cabinet secretary said, adding that the act has been framed to encourage local and foreign investors "by making the procedures of doing business easier".
The one-stop service will be made available both centrally and regionally for foreign as well as domestic investors, he said.
Alam said rules to be framed under the law would describe the timeframe for receiving the services individually in detail.
"Failure to provide a service within the stipulated timeframe will be considered as 'misconduct' under the law and action will be taken against the responsible person as per the rules," he said.