Govt targets $150b remittance in 8th Five-Year Plan
The government has set an ambitious target of earning $150 billion through remittance between July 2020 and June 2025, according to a document on the 8th Five-Year Plan. To reach the target, the expatriate’s welfare and employment ministry will roll out an overseas employment market expansion roadmap developed by a new Market Expansion Task-Force. The target was revealed in a 10-point agenda on overseas employment and the well-being of migrant workers of the 8th Five-Year Plan. The document — 8th Five Year Plan: July 2020 to June 2025- Promoting Prosperity and Fostering Inclusiveness — said Bangladesh had experienced strong growth in overseas employment and migration. Currently, overseas employment is limited to about 20 countries. The market expanded from roughly 2.6 million workers in the 6th five-year period to nearly 8 million workers in the 7th plan period. In order to expand the market, the expatriate’s welfare and employment ministry aims to send at least 5 million new workers abroad, with nearly half of them being of skilled categories. The ministry will target 20 countries in four new geographic regions. The planning ministry, in association with the foreign affairs ministry and other relevant entities, will also pursue international accreditation and mutual recognition of skills from at least 20 countries by the end of the plan period. The government has introduced insurance services for migrant workers and their families, and the access to finance agenda includes increasing the coverage and duration of those services. During the plan period, the ministry will allocate resources to strengthen the institutional capacity to ensure the protection of rights and well-being of migrant workers, especially women. Non-resident Bangladeshi specialists would be engaged to support new migrants facing troubles in destination countries in terms of legal protection and mental health.
Unilever Consumer Care profit slumps
Unilever Consumer Care, formerly known as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Bangladesh, posted a 46 per cent drop in profit last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The listed multinational’s earnings per share (EPS) fell to Tk 43.94 in 2020 from Tk 81.83 a year earlier. The board, during its 300th meeting, approved the audited financial statements for 2020. It recommended a 440 per cent cash dividend for shareholders for the year. In the previous year, Unilever Consumer Care provided a 530 per cent cash dividend. The tariffs on dry mix ingredients rose to 25 per cent from 15 per cent. Shares of the multinational company dropped 2.59 per cent to Tk 3,139 on the Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday. At the year’s end, the company’s net asset value per share stood at Tk 123, while it was Tk 132 on the last day of 2019. Earlier in 2018, GSK Bangladesh, a subsidiary of British multinational company GSK Plc, shuttered its 60-year-old pharmaceuticals business in Bangladesh. The company was listed with Dhaka Stock Exchange since 1976 and has disbursed more than 500 per cent cash dividend for the past five years.
Sonali Bank-bKash enable 2-way fund transfers
Sonali Bank has recently partnered with bKash, enabling the largest state-owned commercial bank’s 2.5 crore customers to conduct banking transactions through the mobile financial service provider’s app. Funds can now be moved both ways — bank to bKash through “Add Money” option and bKash to bank through “Transfer Money” option. Digital financial services have empowered people to meet the challenges of Covid crisis. At the same time the importance and usefulness of MFS has become more vivid.
BHBFC chairman reappointed
Md Salim Uddin has been reappointed director and chairman of Bangladesh House Building Finance Corporation (BHBFC) according to gazette of Financial Institutions Division, Ministry of Finance on 23 February. He has been discharging duty as chairman of executive committee of Islami Bank Bangladesh. Before Joining BHBFC as chairman, he was an independent director of The Chittagong Stock Exchange.