Regulatory Framework

The developments of an economy are very much dependent on its regulatory capabilities, depth of the underlying legislations and their enforcements. As such, for developing countries like Bangladesh it is very much important that the existing legislations are regularly evaluated and necessary reform policies are devised.

Since long international organizations like USAID, World Bank, European Commission etc. are assisting the Government of Bangladesh by way of funding in such regulatory framework analysis on Bangladesh laws and regulations. It is very much important that such analysis is done by competent and experienced analysts. Doulah & Doulah being a leading and experienced law firm in Bangladesh has been engaged in a number of such regulatory framework analysis for formulating necessary guidelines and recommendations. The reputation and goodwill enjoyed by Doulah & Doulah in this field is tremendous. A few examples of such analysis / projects undertaken by Doulah & Doulah are as follows.

IFC awarded the Project “Corporate Governance Assessment - 2008” to D&D for execution in 2008-09 period. The corporate governance assessments and recommendations are prepared under the joint World Bank/IMF Reports on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) program. It is emphasized on the role of international standards – such as the OECD Principles of Corporate Governance -- in strengthening the international financial architecture. In a world of integrated capital markets, financial crises in individual countries can imperil international financial stability. At the international level, international standards enhance transparency and multilateral surveillance. They highlight weaknesses that may contribute to economic and financial vulnerability, foster market efficiency and discipline, and ultimately contribute to a global economy that is more robust and less prone to crisis. At the national level, such standards help identify vulnerabilities and guide policy reform.

World Bank's US$175 million IDA credit that carried stipulations for extensive reform, IMF provided technical assistance in monetary policy and bank supervision and USAID’s US$19.4 million for a large program of direct assistance cumulatively became the FSRP Technical Assistance Program. D&D was appointed as the lead local legal counsel for the project in Bangladesh. The Financial Sector Reform Project was adopted with a view to ensuring the effective role of the financial sector in the economic development of the country through structural and policy change. The specific objective of the project were adoption of flexible interest rate (both for deposited and lending), Monetary Management through adoption of flexible and indirect monetary control, Strengthening financial base of the banks by restructure their capital base, adoption of suitable loan classification policy, strengthening central Bank’s inspection and monitoring system, modernization of bank management and computerization, strengthening legal framework by amendment of existing laws or by enactment of new laws for the banking sector and development of capital market. In achieving the foregoing to provide legal guidance D&D had to analyzes all laws and regulations in finance sector of Bangladesh in conjunction to the laws of other common law countries such as India, Pakistan, UK, Australia etc.

A.B.M. Badrud Doulah and A.B.M. Shamsud Doulah, both Advocates and partners of Doulah & Doulah worked for the project under official assignment from the World Bank, Ministry of Law of Bangladesh and Bangladesh Bank. Under this project they have also drafted The Bankruptcy Act, 1997 along with Mr. James C. Regan, reputed American Bankruptcy Attorney of Los Angeles. The Bankruptcy Act, 1997 is still regarded as one of the milestone in the corporate governance scenario of Bangladesh. Under this project Doulah & Doulah finalized the licensing regime for Banks and financial institutions of Bangladesh as well.

This project was conducted by Chemonics International Inc under IQC Contract N. LAG-1-00-99-00014-00 and funded by USAID. Doulah & Doulah was appointed as the lead legal counsel for the design of the Bangladesh Tropical Forest Conservation Fund. Under the project our firm explored various options for the operation of the non-profit organization and conducted extensive literary and market research including relevant corporate governance requirements, benefits and risks, tax treatment, local and foreign employment, donations, use of donations and reporting requirements. The structure of the Bangladesh Tropical Forest Conservation Fund was finalized as per the recommendation of our firm and the firm also oversaw the establishment of the Foundation in Bangladesh as a registered entity.

World Bank started the “Doing Business” project back in 2000 under its Doing Business unit. Doulah & Doulah was officially appointed by World Bank for the core research and analysis for a number of areas from the very beginning under official contract for the project. Doulah & Doulah is a regular consultant to World Bank with respect to the following areas since then:

  • Business Incorporation
  • Labor & Employment Regulations
  • Secured Transactions
  • Bankruptcy & Insolvency regulations
  • Credit facilities
  • Real Asset Regulations
  • Protection of Investors

In 2007 Doulah & Doulah has been awarded the “Impediments to International Integration” Project. Under the project Doulah & Doulah analyzed the laws, regulation, procedure, consent, permit & License requirements in respect to the thrust investment sectors in Bangladesh e.g. Banking, Insurance, Mobile Operation, Ware House, Aviation, Shipping, Industry etc. Doulah & Doulah identified policy and regulatory barriers faced by foreign providers who wish to enter these sectors and advised necessary guideline and recommendation for necessary reforms.

EC’s Country Framework Project, 2006: Doulah & Doulah as a consortium partner (led by IDC) was awarded the European Commission’s Country Framework Project for the Lot 11 which concerned Macroeconomic / monetary analysis (inclusive privatization policy/effects and aspects related to regional integration) , Fiscal accounts and analysis (Government Financial Statistics), Taxation (direct and indirect, personal and corporate, excises etc.) , Treasury, Budget and Debt management, Central banking (incl. fight against money laundering, monetary policy etc.) , Financial sector regulation (incl. supervision of banking, insurance, pension funds, Stock exchange etc.), Financial instruments for SME development (policy), Insurance sector (incl. insurance accounting and licensing) , Customs legislation and procedures, External trade policy, Privatization and industrial policy, including Public-Private Partnership, Intellectual property, Commercial policy, Sector policies (textile, mining, pharmaceutical industry, agriculture, tourism etc.) and Corporate Governance. Under the project we analyzed a few sectors of the lot with follow ups and recommendations.

Doulah & Doulah as a consortium partner (led by ATOS) was awarded the European Commission’s Country Framework Project for the Lot 10 which concerned Investment promotion (domestic and foreign), Small and Medium enterprises (SME) support (inclusive advisory services for management, production, technology, research & development, marketing, partnership, safety, exports promotion, financing, human resources management incl. gender issue, training, environmental impact, production quality, etc.), Commercial banking, inclusive financial services to SMEs (credit lines, equity, guarantees, micro-credits :), guarantee funds, Supporting professional/commercial/advisory bodies (professional associations, decentralized advisory agencies, local consultancy strengthening, chambers of commerce, European Information Correspondence Centers (EICC) networking), Business Centers and Stock exchange. Under the project the firm analyzed a number of sectors of the lot with follow ups and recommendations.

In 2011 Dr. Amina Khatoon of Doulah & Doulah were appointed by ADB for reviewing existing published literature on status of municipal laws pertaining to public and environmental health, and identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Based on the literature review and global/regional best practices, we recommended the key policy actions for strengthening municipal laws and regulating institutions. We also recommended implementation strategies for successful implementation of various policy actions pertaining to municipal laws provide specific recommendations and strategies for implementing the relevant components.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank appointed Doulah & Doulah to participate in the Investing Across Borders (IAB) project, a global initiative comparing regulation of foreign direct investment (FDI) in countries across the world. IAB's objective is to stimulate reforms leading to a more business-conducive, transparent and secure environment for foreign investors. IAB's methodology is modeled after the successful Doing Business initiative of the World Bank Group. The project consists of the following areas:

  • Investing Across Sectors (on FDI ownership restrictions across various sectors)
  • Starting a Foreign Investment (on establishing a foreign-owned subsidiary, special economic zones and access to industrial land)
  • Employing Skilled Expatriates (on immigration law and the applicable legal framework concerning temporary work permits)
  • Converting and Transferring Currency (on restrictions to currency convertibility and the transfer of foreign currency across borders)
  • Arbitrating and Mediating Disputes (on international and domestic commercial disputes submitted to alternative dispute resolution)

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