Bill on Special Economic Zone Passed
Tuesday, 20 July 2010

The parliament has passed a law that will allow the government to declare a particular region as special economic zone for rapid growth and industrialisation.

Any entrepreneur, investing in the special economic zone, will get special tax rebate and financial benefits, the bill, pushed through on Tuesday, says. In addition, they will get land from the government on lease.

According to the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority Act-1980, there was no scope of extending such privileges to industrial units beyond the eight export processing zones.

Agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury, also in-charge of prime minister's office in the parliament, tabled the bill, which was passed by voice vote in absence of the opposition MPs.

The government, as per Section 7 of the bill, will formulate a master plan for the special economic area. The proposed zone will have four areas: export processing area, domestic processing area, commercial area, and the non- processing area.

The export processing zone area will be designed for export-oriented industries while the domestic area will be dedicated to units producing products for domestic markets.

The commercial areas will house commercial institutions, banks, warehouse, or office and the non-processing areas will have accommodation for health, education and other establishments.

To facilitate setting up such special economic zones, the government will form an independent authority and a governing body, which will be headed by the prime minister, or a minister appointed by them.


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