Tk 848cr project approved to widen road to boost Indo-Bangla trade
The government yesterday took up a Tk 848.3 crore project to widen a road that would broaden bilateral trade between India and Bangladesh. It came as the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) approved seven projects involving Tk 3,461 crore.The widening of the 38km Baraiyerhat-Hiako-Ramgarh road from 5.5 metres now to 7.3 metres in Ramgarhupazila under Khagrachhari district would be performed by the Roads and Highways Department between January 2020 and June 2022. India would provide Tk 581.2 crore for the project from its third line of credit extended to Bangladesh, which would bear the rest of the cost.The Chattogram Custom House collected seven types of tariffs on Indian goods at the time. The charges include Tk 30 for document processing per consignment, Tk 20 per tonne of goods for transshipment, Tk 100 per tonne as security charge, Tk 50 per tonne as escort charge, Tk 100 for other administrative charges and Tk 254 per container for scanning at the time. Two rest houses were supposed to be built at Tk 8 crore under the project. But the prime minister dropped the rest house component, saying they should not be part of a road project. Ecnec also approved the Emergency Multi-sector Rohingya Crisis Response Project (First revision). The disaster management and relief ministry are implementing the Tk 599 crore-project, which is bankrolled by the World Bank. The project aims at engaging Rohingyas displaced from Myanmar in productive activities, improving service quality at camps and boosting their resilience. Under the project, 110,000 Rohingyas, mainly women, minor children, old and disabled would be employed in providing community services. This would increase the resiliency of 550,000 people, project documents showed. Another 75,000 Rohingyas would be directly employed at community works and this will expand basic services among 375,000 people.In another project, the Roads and Highways Department would spend Tk 530.3 crore to build 49 concrete bridges, replacing 24 old and risky concrete bridges and 25 bailey bridges in the Khulna Road Zone. The project is scheduled to complete by December 2022.Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) would execute a project to safeguard the banks of the Tentuliariver and carry out dredging from the Dhulia Launch terminal under Bauphalupazila in Patuakhali to Durgapasha in Bakerganj under Barishal. The Tk 712.2 crore-project is aimed at protecting the area from river erosion. The project would be completed by June 2022.
Banks ordered to return to normal working hours
The central bank yesterday ordered banks to run their branches like in normal times to give a boost to the economy although the COVID-19 caseload is showing no sign of coming down. The Bangladesh Bank lifted the curtailed roster arrangement that was put in place on 22 March to protect employees from the deadly virus. Now, lenders were asked to operate banking operations from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm like they did before the pandemic hit the country.Some 3,200 people tested positive for COVID-19, according to a press release of the Directorate General of Health Services yesterday. This took the caseload to 282,344. As many as 46 people died from the disease in the last 24 hours, the DGHS said. The total number of deaths has now reached 3,740.
Investors of economic zones seek PMO’s help to clear hurdles
The Bangladesh Economic Zones Investors Association (BEZIA) has sought intervention from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to help address some of the obstacles for investment in the country’s economic zones. A letter was sent to the PMO on 30 June in this regard, according to SafwanSobhanTasvir, association chairman and vice-chairman of Bashundhara Group. Potential investors were recently blindsided by the implementation of a 15 per cent value-added tax (VAT) charge for a land lease at any of the various economic zones. Besides, investors are unable to attain bank loans against rented land due to the unfavourable conditions of leasing policies, BEZIA said in a statement.BEZA was created by law and is responsible for protecting investor interests, said BEZIA Vice-President AshrafulHaq Chowdhury. However, BEZA’s frequent policy changes discourage investors while other organisations, such as the National Board of Revenue and various banks, do not follow the Bangladesh Economic Zone Act-2010. If BEZA does not ensure benefits for investors, it will fail to attract both domestic and foreign investment for the economic zones.As of July, BEZA received investment proposals totalling $21.5 billion from 154 local and foreign business entities. Of the amount, about $3 billion has already been invested in different special economic zones. A further $6 billion will come as foreign direct investment from companies originating in China, South Korea, Japan, India, Singapore, the UK, Australia, Malaysia and the US. The remaining $12.1 billion will be invested by 60 local companies, including TK Group, Karmo Foam Industry, Mango Teleservices, BDCOM Online, Bashundhara Group, Siraj Cycle Industries, Abdul Monem, Star Consortium and Ayesha Clothing Co. The domestic companies want to pour their allotted funds into the pharmaceutical, steel, garment, bicycle, automobile, tyre and tube, electronics and ceramic industries, according to BEZA.
Adil Chowdhury new DMD of Bank Asia
Adil Chowdhury has joined the senior management team at Bank Asia Ltd as deputy managing director recently. Mr. Chowdhury has over two decades of successful banking experience with more than 15 years international exposure, most recently serving as Director of The Bank of Nova Scotia (Canada) in Singapore. He brings with him his international banking, group treasury, regulatory laws and comprehensive enterprise-wide operations experiences to Bank Asia Ltd.He has a Bachelor’s Degree with Honours in Electrical Engineering in VLSI Design from University of Texas at Austin, USA and a MBA Degree from Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario, Canada.
SBAC Bank approves 10pc stock dividend
The 7th Annual General Meeting of South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce (SBAC) Bank Limited was held online on Tuesday. S.M. AmzadHossian, Chairman of SBAC Bank, presided over the meeting. The AGM approved 10 per cent stock dividend for the year ended on December 31, 2019.