Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque poses for a photograph with the CIPs after the programme on 22 May, 2023

The government has been providing many stimulus packages for development in different industrial sectors including the agricultural sector. At the same time, it has enacted several laws to facilitate the initiative. But the benefits and laws are not being implemented properly due to the reckless attitude of the bureaucrats and systemic weakness, remarked Agriculture minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque on Monday.

The minister was addressing a programme to hand over awards honouring 44 personalities as commercially important persons (CIPs) in 2021 as the chief guest at Hotel Intercontinental in the capital.

The industries ministry selected the 44 business personalities as CIPs in different categories for their contributions to the country’s overall economy through setting up industries, creating employments and increasing national income.

Agriculture minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque attended the programme as chief guest while industries minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun, state minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Majumder, cabinet secretary Md Mahbub Hossain and FBCCI president Md Jashim Uddin attended as special guests.

Industries secretary Zakia Sultana presided over the event.

Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque hands over the award at the programme on 22 May, 2023

M Abdur Razzaque said, “The bureaucrats, our system and our mindset are such that they do not care about anything, no matter how many laws are there. They operate at their will. As a minister I am saying this taking full responsibility. They are always suspicious about the local and foreign entrepreneurs and common people.”

Mentioning that the picture is same from the lowest to top rungs of the bureaucracy, the minister said, “They (bureaucrats) always remain lenient. It seems they do not have any accountability; they do not have any transparency; they do not feel the need to be accountable to anyone. This is our situation.”

Speaking at the programme, president of Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) Md. Jashim Uddin said, “Our favourable condition or efficiency in many sectors has been declining. For example, increased gas price has almost reached the global standard. As a result, expense has been increasing. In this context, efficiency in work and competition has to be raised. But we have weakness in this sector too. We do not have adequate efficient human resources.”

Industries Minister Nurul Majid Humayun speaks at the programme on 22 May, 2023

The list of 44 CIPs for 2021 was published through a gazette notification on 3 April. As per the gazette, six was chosen in NCID category, 20 in large industries (production) and five in large industries (services), 10 in medium industries (production), two in small industries (production) and one was chosen in micro industries category.

Rupali Haque Chowdhury, president of Foreign Investors Chambers of Commerce and Industry, was chosen as a CIP as ex-officio. Speaking at the programme, she said, “We have achieved huge development in infrastructural sector. But we need to develop legal frameworks with this too. We face hindrances from different ministries and departments while running business. This obstructs the continuity of business.”

Anwar-ul-Alam Chowdhury, president of Bangladesh Chambers of Industries, said the businesspersons have been encountering obstacles due to various systems. They repeatedly complain about these problems. Businesspeople are worried about NBR (National Board of Revenue). They (NBR) bring changes in rules frequently. Besides, discipline could not be brought in the banking sector even after trying for a long time. The businesspeople have been incurring loss for this too, he added.