BB sets goal for 75% retail transactions digitally by 2027
The central bank has set a goal so that at least 75 per cent of retail transactions are settled through digital technologies by 2027, a move that may give Bangladesh’s digital transformation a massive fillip and turn the cash-based economy into cashless. The Bangladesh Bank will heavily rely on Bangla QR, a uniform digital payment system launched by the central bank in January, to reach its goal of cutting cash-based retail transactions significantly. On a number of occasions recently, Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder has talked about the BB plans to have at least 75 per cent of transactions settled online within four years. Md Mezbaul Haque, the spokesperson of the BB, said the central bank has set a roadmap so that at least three-quarters of retail transactions are settled through digital methods by 2027. “And an interoperable QR code will play a vital role in implementing the roadmap.” Digital transactions in Bangladesh were largely non-existent two decades ago. The scenario started to change after the present government swept to power in December 2008.
Female bankers in top positions on the rise
An increasing number of female bankers are gradually securing top positions at banks thanks to their skills, competence and dedication, according to a Bangladesh Bank report released yesterday. The ratio of women in senior positions at banks was 9.22 per cent in July-December of 2022. It was 7.57 per cent five years ago, said the BB in its Gender Equality Report of Banks and Financial Institutions. Similarly, the proportion of female bankers at the entry-level and mid-level posts increased, albeit at a slower pace. The percentage of women as board members rose to 14.22 per cent in July-December of last year from 13.7 per cent five years ago. The ratio of female bankers also increased. For example, at the end of December 2018, women accounted for 15 per cent of the total bankers at 168,192. Four years down the line, women comprised 16.29 per cent of the workforce in the banking sector at 196,102 in the second half of 2022, according to the central bank report. The ratio of women in senior positions at banks was 9.22 per cent in July-December of 2022
BSC goes for big shipping business worldwide
Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) has opted for big seaborne cargo-transportation business worldwide but partnering a new private company to make it happen raises scepticism, sources said. They say the state corporation that struggles to run its own small fleet through self-arrangement now aims to launch feeder service, short-sea service, and even a mainline-vessel service. An overriding objective is to “earn and save foreign currency” for the country — in time of global and local scramble for the greenback to navigate a dearth of the main trading currency. To aid the corporation in this stride, the corporation last week signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a recently formed company, namely, ‘Marine House-the Relief Group (MRG)’, owned by a legal firm and a consultancy house jointly, which never worked to carry out such a big task. Under the accord, MRG will help BSC start up shipping business as an NVOCC (non-vessel operating cargo carrier) or box operator, and mainline operator or vessel-operating cargo carrier. Under the flagship venture it will launch feeder service, short-sea shipping, conventional liner service, project and heavy lift carrier, inter-modal door-to-door combined transport-service provider, off- dock and container-freight station, sea-and air-cargo forwarding and handling agencies, and logistics services, among others.