Bangladesh food

Restaurant owners require one stop shopping for licensing, VAT for all food stores


BROA leaders also suggested renewing all licenses with three years validity.

Bangladesh Restaurant Owners Association (BROA) has introduced a one stop service system to license catering businesses in the country and also subject all food stores, including street vendors, to value added tax ( VAT).

They alleged that they currently have to apply to 11 government offices to obtain authorization for the company, which creates big problems in the management of their businesses.

The request was made on Saturday at the 33rd meeting of the BROA Central (Extended) Executive Council at a community center in town.

BROA President Osman Gani chaired the meeting as it was addressed by Secretary General Imran Hasan, Co-Secretary Firoz Alam Sumon, Treasurer Taufiqul Islam, Organizing Secretary Syed Mohammad Andalib and Councilor in Chief Khandaker Ruhul Amin.

BROA executives said that at present it is necessary to work under at least 11 different authorities to manage the restaurant business.

They pointed out that every year they have to pay a good sum to different authorities to renew their business authorization and business licenses.

“In this process, we are faced with enormous hassle and it sometimes becomes unbearable to spend time and money in these offices,” said Imrul Hasan.

“We need process simplification and one-stop service to run our business well,” he added.

All authorizations should be granted by a single department or authority under a one-stop service center, he said, requiring the immediate formation of a working group to reform the authorization process.

BROA officials also suggested renewing all licenses with a validity of three years.

They said that the catering sector is one of the industrial sectors in Bangladesh and about 2 million people are directly and indirectly involved in this sector.

They claimed that more than four lakh restaurants are operated in the country where three million workers work. This sector plays a huge role in agriculture, tourism, economy and employment. But the sector is neglected by the authorities concerned because it is not treated as an industry.

BROA leaders also criticized the bureaucracy for carrying out fairground court operations without any specific policy.

They observed that seven government agencies run mobile audiences without any specific policy, which creates lawlessness. “There should be a defined policy for the management of mobile courts,” said one executive.

Executives said all catering businesses, including street food stores, should be VAT registered in order to create a level playing field.