BB relaxes payment rules for availing foreign services
Bangladesh Bank yesterday relaxed rules for businesses to remit money in order to avail services from foreign companies. Businesses will be able to send up to 1 per cent of their annual sales as declared in their previous year’s income tax return or $100,000, whichever is higher, according to a central bank notice. Previously a maximum of 1 per cent of annual sales or $100,000 could be remitted without prior approval from the central bank. However, prior permission had to be taken if that 1 per cent amounted to over $100,000 as per the previous rules of the BB. The central bank has recently taken a set of measures to relax the foreign exchange rules as part of its effort to bring ease to doing business.
BB asks banks to comply with order over enlistment of insurers
The central bank of Bangladesh on Monday issued two key separate circulars on enlistment of non-life private insurance firms with commercial banks by maintaining credit ratings and submission of audited financial reports by enterprises to banks while renewing loans. The Banking Regulation and Policy Department (BPRD) of the Bangladesh Bank said many banks have been violating orders relating to the enlistment of insurance firms issued sometime in 2011. The BB in its earlier circular on the enlistment of non-life firms stated that credit ratings of general insurance firms should be considered while enlisting such insurers for business purposes. The BB in its circular also asked the banks to list those non-life firms having good credit ratings. But many banks are not complying with it now. On the other hand, the BPRD in another circular asked the banks to consider audited financial reports of the enterprises while renewing loans.
New executive chairman of BEPZA
Major General Md Nazrul Islam took over as the executive chairman of Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) on Monday, says a press release. He replaced Major General SM Salahuddin Islam who has joined as military secretary to the president of Bangladesh recently.
Revenue earnings from DSE soar 87pc month-on-month in December
The government revenue earnings from the Dhaka bourse almost doubled in July-December period of the current fiscal year compared to the same period of the previous fiscal as trading volume was on the rise riding on regulatory measures. Market operators attributed the rise to the growing confidence of investors. The government bagged revenue worth about Tk 1,451 million in the first half (H1) of the fiscal year (FY) 2020-21, which was Tk727 million in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to statistics available with the DSE. The DSE, on behalf of the government, collects tax as TREC holders’ commission and share sales by sponsor-directors and placement holders at the rate of 0.05 per cent and 5.0 per cent respectively and deposits the amount to the government exchequer. Of the total earnings in July-December, 2020, Tk 1,029 million came from the TREC holders’ commission, popularly known as brokerage commission, while Tk 422 million came from the share sales by sponsor-directors and placement holders, the DSE data shows. The government’s earnings from the DSE also soared 87 per cent month-on-month in December as the government earned Tk 343 million in December which was Tk 183 million in November, 2020, the data showed. The government’s revenue earnings from the DSE hit more than 10 years low to Tk 1.04 billion in the last FY 2019-20 due to bearish market trend and suspension of trading activities for more than two months due to Covid-19 outbreak. The DSE paid tax worth Tk 2.72 billion in FY 2011-12, Tk 1.27 billion in FY 2012-13, Tk 1.54 billion in FY 2013-14, Tk 1.74 billion in FY 2014-15, Tk 1.58 billion in FY 2015-16, Tk 2.46 billion in FY 2016-17, Tk 2.33 billion in FY 2017-18 and Tk 2.51 billion in FY 2018-2019 on TREC holders’ commission and share sales by sponsor-directors and placement holders.
PPPA yet to drop unviable projects
The Public-Private Partnership Authority (PPPA) is yet to drop non-progressive projects from its pipeline for a lack of initiatives by the agencies concerned. A second review meeting at PPPA office on Monday found that no agencies have taken steps to place projects to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs to follow the non-listing procedure. The PPPA includes projects in its pipeline after the approval from the committee. It reviewed some 27 projects and found six projects problematic with almost no progress. Since the PPPA was formed under a 2015 law, it has been working on 77 approved projects of road transport, bridges, power, tourism and health under the PPP model. But only two health-sector development projects are in operation and six at the construction stage. But the agencies also faced setbacks after opening tenders several times and even some projects after contract signing could not be started for problems at local level. Shaibal motel of the Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation has remained stuck for years due to non-cooperation from local influential people.