Banks allowed to open FC accounts for shipping cos, airlines
The Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday allowed banks to open foreign currency accounts in the names of shipping companies, airlines and freight forwarders to support their global operations. The BB issued a circular in this regard on the day. The decision came amid the growing trend of global operations by Bangladeshi shipping companies and airlines, according to the notice. So, authorised dealers are allowed to open FC accounts in the names of such companies with global operations, it said. Up to 75 per cent of the inward remittances received by these companies can be kept as deposits in FC accounts, with the remaining amount to be encashed in the local currency. The BB also allowed outward remittances from these FC accounts, which can be disbursed in connection with the management of ships or aircraft. In addition, banks are also permitted to open FC accounts in the names of Bangladeshi shipping companies and airlines renting ships, containers or aircraft to operators abroad. In such accounts, 50 per cent of the inward remittances can be credited, while the rest must be encashed. The balances held in these accounts can be used to meet bonafide expenditures abroad related to the respective ships, containers, or aircraft, the notice said.
Bangladesh’s GDP to grow at 5.5% this year, 6.5% next year: IMF
The International Monetary Fund has kept Bangladesh’s gross domestic product growth forecast for the current fiscal year (FY23) unchanged at 5.5%, lower than the government’s target of 6.5%. Yet, Bangladesh is expected to remain one of the fastest-growing economies globally, with only seven countries projected to grow at a higher rate, the global lender says in its latest outlook. Earlier in January this year, the IMF set Bangladesh’s growth forecast at 5.5%. The IMF’s projection is slightly higher than that of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, which predicted 5.2% and 5.3% growth respectively for Bangladesh in the current fiscal. In the latest version of its World Economic Outlook released on Tuesday, the IMF said Bangladesh’s GDP will grow at 6.5% in the next fiscal (FY24). The Washington-based lending agency forecasts inflation may stand at 8.6% for the current fiscal year, down from its January projection at 8.9%. It expects Bangladesh’s inflation to cool down to 6.5% next fiscal year.
Women’s domestic work to be added to GDP from next FY
The government will include women’s household work in its GDP calculation from the next financial year and an action plan in this regard will be prepared very soon, said Planning Minister MA Mannan on Tuesday. “The prime minister has stressed the importance of including the value of women’s domestic work, which has traditionally been undervalued, in the calculation of GDP. She had previously instructed the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council [Ecnec] on 4 March to take action in this regard,” he told reporters at a press conference after an Ecnec meeting. The minister said the prime minister has defined women’s domestic work as a job that involves no fixed working hours, no breaks, no vacations, no wages, and no retirement benefits. State Minister for Planning Shamsul Alam said the calculation of GDP in our country follows the international model, using the national system of accounts of the United Nations Statistical Commission. Although this system is used worldwide, it does not account for the value of women’s household work. “Women’s household work is not valued financially even though it is productive work. This is because it is not exchanged in the market. If there is no market exchange, its value cannot be calculated.”