Japan proposes industrial hub in Bangladesh
Japan has proposed developing an industrial hub in Bangladesh with supply chains to the landlocked northeastern states of India, and to Nepal and Bhutan beyond by developing a port and transport in the region, officials said on Tuesday. It comes after Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s visit to India last month in which he touted the idea of a new industrial hub for the Bay of Bengal and northeast India that could bolster development in the impoverished region of 300 million people. After Kishida’s visit, his government approved $1.27 billion in funding to Bangladesh for three infrastructure projects – including a new commercial port in the Matarbari area with links to adjacent landlocked Indian states, including Tripura, and wider international markets. “It can be a win-win plan for India and Bangladesh,” Hiroshi Suzuki, Japan’s ambassador to India, said on Tuesday, citing the industrial hub proposal at a meeting of Indian, Bangladeshi and Japanese officials in Agartala, the Tripura state capital. He said the deep seaport was likely to become operational by 2027 and would be a key to building an industrial hub connecting the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka to landlocked areas of India. G Kishan Reddy, India’s federal minister for its northeast region welcomed the Japanese initiative at the meeting. Bangladeshi minister of state for foreign affairs Shahriar Alam said it would boost Indian-Bangladeshi trade and help bring in Japanese and other foreign investment.
Poverty rate drops to 18.6% with a rise in inequality
The latest household survey comes with good news that the poverty rate in Bangladesh dropped to 18.6% in the last six years – half of the period being devastated by twin global shocks. But there is a note of warning too – the improvement comes with widening income inequality. The latest Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES), conducted by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) and released on Wednesday, also shows higher poverty incidence in villages than in towns with people spending more on goods and services other than food. The HIES 2022 shows that the poverty rate has declined by 5.6 percentage points in six years from 24.3% in 2016, marking a less than 1% fall per year. While this is still a positive trend, the reduction rate has been decreasing continuously from over 1% average decline per year since 2000. Extreme poverty fell to 5.6%. Six years ago, 12.9% of the population were extremely poor, according to the survey. Bangladesh has made significant progress in economic growth and poverty reduction in the last two decades, which has been recognised globally.
Cashless land dev tax starts on Pahela Baishakh
The cashless land development tax service will come into effect from Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bengali New Year, on April 14, said an official release on Wednesday. The cashless land development tax system is being implemented in line with the announcement made by prime minister Sheikh Hasina at the inaugural function of the national land conference in the capital on March 29. In that programme, the premier announced the introduction of cashless land development tax from the beginning of the Bengali New Year on April 14, this year. A public notice has already been issued by the Ministry of Land in this regard. ‘Decision has been taken to realise the land development tax through online like mobile payment, debit or credit card payment or bank transactions from the first day of the Baishakh in order to make land development tax realization programme more people-friendly’, said the notice. All the concerned land owners have been requested to pay their land development tax regularly and timely for implementing the cashless land development tax service fully in digital form.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
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World Commodities *
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|Crude Oil (Brent)||$87.00||↓0.33||↓0.38%|
|Gold Spot||$2,019.10||↑4.17 ||↑0.21%|
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|USD 1||BDT 106.9500||BDT 107.0000|
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