Govt moves to speed up ADB-funded projects
The government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) have agreed on short and medium-term roadmaps for 2021-2022 to further accelerate the implementation of ADB-assisted projects.Around 300 senior government officials, project directors, and ADB staff members participated in the event, which was the first such review of 2021.The meeting reviewed the progress of actions agreed on in late 2020 and the readiness status of 2021 pipeline projects. Meanwhile, specific actions were agreed upon for slow-moving projects to utilise project funds expeditiously. The ADB’s current sovereign portfolio comprises 52 projects of $11.26 billion.The cumulative lending of loans and grants to Bangladesh, including co-financing, stands at around $39 billion.
BB again extends loan repayment relaxation
The central bank on Wednesday extended again the policy relaxation involving loan repayments to the country’s scheduled banks by their borrowers. The borrowers would get three more months’ time to repay their due loan instalments on the basis of banker-customer relationship because of the resurgence of the Covid-19. Since January last year banks have stopped classifying loans in the event of failure to repay of loan instalments under instructions from the Bangladesh Bank (BB). Borrowers will be able to clear their instalments on continuous, demand and term loans by June 30 instead of March 2021 on the basis of banker-customer relationship. Such loans would not be considered as classified, if the borrowers would repay their instalments within June 30, 2021 instead of March this year. The BB’s latest move came against the backdrop of the fresh surge in Covid-19 infections in different countries, including Bangladesh.Under the policy of relaxation, unpaid interest for 2020 on continuous loans would have to be cleared in six quarterly instalments from March 2021 to June 2022. Such continuous loans would not be considered as classified until June 2022, if the borrowers would clear unpaid interest on the loans with quarterly instalments. On the other hand, the borrowers were allowed to repay their demand loans covering both interest and principal amount within eight quarterly instalments from March 2021 to December 2022. Under the relaxation, the borrowers might choose one of the two options: a maximum of two years in the repayment period or 50 per cent extension of the remaining payback time, whichever was higher. The central bank had offered a deferral loan classification facility from January 2020 to December 2020, considering the adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on people and businesses.
ShahjalalIslami Bank launches e-account service
ShahjalalIslami Bank Limited officially launched e-account banking on Wednesday with the aim of providing fast banking services to its clients. From now a customer can open an e-account easily and securely by staying home in the fastest time. In this regard a customer only needs to have a valid National Identity Card (NID). Customers with e-accounts will be able to conduct all types of banking activities from home.
Digital device and innovation expo to begin on April 1
The three-day Digital Device and Innovation Expo 2021 will begin on April 1, aiming to promote IT products and services developed by local companies. The event, to be organised both virtually and physically at the auditorium of Bangladesh Film Archive in the city’s Agargaon area, is expected to create greater interactions among the stakeholders. State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak made the announcement at a press conference at the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) auditorium in the city on Wednesday. HosneAra Begum, managing director (MD) of the Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (BHTPA), and Shahid-Ul-Munir, president of the Bangladesh Computer Samity (BCS).
Govt to import 50,000 tonnes of rice from India
The government yesterday approved the import of 50,000 tonnes of rice from India in order to increase the country’s food stock and control spiralling prices. The cabinet committee on government purchase approved the food department’s proposal to import 50,000 tonnes of non-basmati boiled rice from M/s PK Agri Link Private Limited for about Tk 177 crore through an international tender.The price of rice bought from PK Agri Link would be around $ 430 per tonne, she added. With the latest approval, the government has so far taken steps to import a total of 13 lakh tonnes of rice. On March 10, the government approved three proposals to import a total of 3.5 lakh tonnes of rice from India, Thailand and Vietnam under state-to-state arrangements.