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Australian Journal of Asian Law

Abstract from Volume 12 No 2 (2010)

Provident Funds in Bangladesh: A Legal Framework for Developing Countries

Md Shamim Alam LLB (Hons), LLM (Dhaka University) and LLM (University of Canberra). The author is currently an SJD candidate at the University of Canberra. He practises as a barrister and solicitor in the ACT Supreme Court and High Court of Australia, including pro bono work for the Legal Advice Bureau of the Law Society of the ACT. He is an advocate member of the Bangladesh Bar Council and maintains a practice in Bangladesh.

This article highlights major problems confronting Bangladesh in establishing and administering a more universally accessible provident fund. Some of these problems have been identified by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors in their reports on Bangladesh. In addition, however, this article identifies weaknesses in trust law and investment management that remain central to the development of such a fund. It also explores a possible legal framework within which advances might occur. The article briefly contrasts the well-established pension and superannuation fund systems in Australia and Singapore before considering the experience of India and Pakistan in developing a framework for the administration of pension funds. After returning to consider some specific problems in Bangladesh, it makes suggestions for establishing an appropriate framework in Bangladesh and broadening the scope for savings and investment through pension funds in the future.

(2010) 12(2) Asian Law 214

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