Updated on : 22-11-2023
Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Commerce Tapan Kanti Ghosh today said that the registration of companies with the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies (JSRC) would be done fully through online from this December.
"Various initiatives have already been undertaken to bring the operation of the Registrar of Joint Stock Companies (RJSC) under full automation to improve the business environment. The RJSC will go into digital version fully by this December. Then, there will be no need for providing documents manually. Side by side, the registration of companies will be done fully by this time," he said.
Tapan said this while addressing a seminar on "Reform of Companies Act 1994" organized by the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) held at the DCCI auditorium in the capital today.
Presided over by DCCI president Barrister Sameer Sattar, the seminar was addressed, among others, by Finance Division additional secretary and the president of Institute of Cost and Management Accountants (ICMAB) Abdur Rahman Khan, RJSC Registrar Md Abdus Samad Al Azad, International Finance Corporation (IFC) country manager Martin Holtmann, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) former president M Shahadat Hossain and Unilever Bangladesh Chairman and managing director Zaved Akhter.
Tapan said that the revised Companies Act is now at his Ministry after necessary vetting and scrutiny from the Ministry of Law. "Soon it will be sent to the Cabinet Division to appraise before the Jatiya Sangsad," he said.
Regarding automation of RJSC, he said that the software of RJSC would be in place by December this year. He said, "We don't want to make businesses complicated, rather less interference brings more efficiency at the end, and we believe in this philosophy".
He requested the businesses not to do profit only, rather to think about the community, society and well-being of mankind while doing business.
Acknowledging that all companies are not same in size, Tapan said the government has to give support to the SMEs as this category is the 'lifeline' of the country's economy. He later emphasized that Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is very crucial for fare competition in businesses.
Martin Holtmann, country manager, IFC Bangladesh said that the current Act is not fit for modern financing instruments.
"First of all we need to reduce the risks. We need to formalize the informal sector outside the data. In recent past Bangladesh did a tremendous improvement in terms of economy. If Bangladesh can do a radical change in the Companies Act it will bring enough confidence on businesses."
DCCI President Barrister Md. Sameer Sattar said that the reform of the existing Companies Act 1994 is now the pressing demand of time to create wider business confidence in the country as well as to attract FDI.
He also added that in order to fostering a pro-business environment with corporate governance in Bangladesh, formulation of relevant policies including Companies Act is instrumental.
Sameer later recommended for incorporating full-fledged automation and maximum flexibility to use technology within the framework, provision of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) for speedy dispute resolution, provision of incorporating Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
Barrister Rashna Imam, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh presented the keynote paper. She highlighted few reform proposals like the need of robust legal framework for merger and acquisition to fill the legislative vacuum.
Md. Shahadat Hossain, council member & former president, ICAB said that timely execution of Annual General Meeting is very important for compliance.
"Winding up of a company should be easier and the process should be short. In maximum private companies independent director can be introduced for transparency," he said adding that there is no unique definition of SMEs in the country, but it is very much essential.
Md. Abdur Rahman Khan, president of ICMAB, said that reform of the Companies Act will ease the business processes.
"Companies Law is a dynamic law in nature, with the changes of time the law needs to be updated with the changing dynamics of world businesses,"
Md. Abdus Samad Al Azad, Registrar (joint Secretary), RJSC said that automation of RJSC would bring more efficiency of this institution.
He also said that at least seven to eight more functions of RJSC should be streamlined to give better services. "The matter of confidentiality in connection with business account and password should be maintained by the Act," he mentioned.
Chairman and managing director of Unilever Bangladesh Zaved Akhter emphasized on integration and compliance of Companies Act. He also underscored the need for implementing ADR for any business dispute settlement.
DCCI senior vice president SM Golam Faruk Alamgir (Arman) and vice president Md. Junaed Ibna Ali were also present at the seminar.
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