The government yesterday awarded CIP (commercially important person) cards to 178 businesspersons in recognition of their extraordinary performance and contribution to the economy. Among them there were 5 LFMEAB member factories, they are: Picard Bangladesh Limited, Akij Footwear Limited, Bay Footwear Limited, ABC Footwear Industries Ltd., and Leatherex Footwear Industries Limited.
Of them, 136 received the cards in the export category for 2015 while 42 cards were awarded to the directors of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) in the trade category as ex-officio members. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed handed the cards to the recipients at a programme at the Radisson hotel in Dhaka. The commerce ministry and the Export Promotion Bureau jointly organised the event.
“We need to be more caring about the businesspeople so that they can export more,” said Ahmed while speaking at the event. He said the government has already increased cash incentives for different sectors to facilitate exports. The minister urged banks to cut the lending rate to the single-digit in practice, not just in papers, so that businesses can really borrow at lower interest rates. Speaking on behalf of the card-winning exporters, Abdul Muktadir, chairman and managing director of Incepta Pharmaceuticals Ltd, urged the government to increase facilities for research and development and innovation. He sought permission to spend more on sending samples to buyers as it is a prerequisite to ship goods. Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of the FBCCI, called for improving the quality of services provided by state agencies. “We need more facilities from the government for product and market diversification.” Hasina Newaz, a director of the FBCCI, said the government should allocate more funds and extend more facilities to raise the number of women entrepreneurs. The volume and value of shipments, tax payment, compliances, initiatives aimed at saving the environment and corporate social responsibility are considered while selecting the CIPs. The CIPs will enjoy some privileges from the government until the next winners are named.
They will be able to use the cards as the entry pass to enter the secretariat and will be invited to state- and municipality-sponsored events, according to a gazette. They will get priority while reserving seats for travelling via railways, airways and waterways. The foreign ministry will also write to embassies or high commissions for visa purposes if a CIP plans to travel abroad for business purposes. The CIPs will be able to use the VIP lounges at the airports and their spouses and children will get priority in booking seats at public hospitals. Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose and EPB Vice-chairman Bijoy Bhattacharjee also spoke.
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