Board of Investment

Board of Investment (BOI) was established in Dhaka in 1989 to accelerate private investment in the country, especially in pursuance of the policy of encouraging the private sector and participation of foreign private investment in the economy. In 2016, the government established the bangladesh investment development authority (BIDA) by merging Board of Investment and the Privatization Board. The Privatization Board was established in 1993 which was renamed as Privatization Commission in 2000. The board is vested with necessary powers to take decisions for speedy implementation of new industrial projects and to provide operational support services to the existing ones. The functions of the board include promotion of investment, registration of industrial projects, creation of infrastructural facilities for industries, issuing work permits to expatriate personnel, and providing assistance in financing industries. BOI provides support to industries through extending import facilities and approval of companies to go public for raising capital through issue/sale of shares. It also approves payment of royalty, technical know-how, and technical assistance fee to foreign nationals/organisations beyond prescribed limits and recommends allocation of land in industrial areas. In addition, Board of investment assists investors in expeditiously obtaining services such as electricity, gas and water connections, sewerage connections, telecommunication, customs clearance for imported machinery, spare parts, and raw materials, and clearance from environment control authorities.

The board is under the Prime Minister's office and has an executive council consisting of an executive chairman and members. The decisions of the board are deemed as those given by the government and are to be implemented by all concerned agencies. Registration of an industry at BOI is required for availing facilities and infrastructural support provided by the government and BOI gives the registration on receipt of application in its prescribed form only. Registered companies do not need to get any permission from the government for import of raw and packing materials or spare parts unless these appear in the list of restricted items. For import of items under the control list, the BOI conducts verification for proper assessment and then issues a pass book, which is then sent to the office of the Chief Controller of Imports and Exports, who, in turn, issues an Import Registration Certificate.

BOI registered units do not require any permission from any agency to borrow overseas if the rate of interest is up to 4%, the period of repayment is more than 7 years, and down payment is up to 10%. For approval of foreign loans not conforming to these conditions, a borrower should apply for approval of the BOI, along with a copy of the proposed agreement. For remitting royalty, technical assistance fees, etc. up to 6% of the previous year's sales or 6% of the value of the imported machinery, the BOI issues a pass book on receipt of an application in a prescribed form. Similarly, a passbook is issued for remitting fees for consultancy and training in amounts up to 1% of the sales of previous year. For obtaining allotment of industrial plots, sponsors of a registered company may apply with a layout plan for justifying the actual requirement.

The BOI approves the proposal on its merit and recommends it to the authority that owns, controls, or holds the industrial estate. On approach, BOI recommends acquisition of land to the deputy commissioner of the concerned district. Apart from these functions, BOI conducts an active campaign for attracting foreign private investment in the country and assisting the government in formulating investment policies. It maintains and regularly updates data on registration of foreign and joint venture companies, shares of foreign and local capital in them, their implementation status, product lines, production capacities and manpower employment capacity. [S M Mahfuzur Rahman]