Japan provides $1.27b to develop Matarbari port, highway and train line
Japan will provide $1.27 billion for the tranche of the Matarbari Port Development Project, Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar highway improvement project, and for the construction of a dual gauge double line (railway) between Joydebpur-Ishwardi sections. In this regard, loan agreements for the projects were signed between Bangladesh and Japan at the Economic Relations Division (ERD), reports UNB. Sharifa Khan, Secretary, ERD, and IWAMA Kiminori, the Ambassador of Japan in Bangladesh signed the ‘Exchange of Notes’ agreement on behalf respective sides. ICHIGUCHI Tomohide, Chief Representative, JICA Bangladesh Office, Dhaka signed the ‘Loan Agreements on behalf of Japan. The signing ceremony was held at the NEC-2 Conference Room of ERD, Sher-E-Bangla Nagar on Wednesday.
Unemployment rate comes down to 3.6pc in Bangladesh
The total labour force in the country is over 73.40 million while there are 2.63 million people who do not have jobs. The figure came in the “Labour Force Survey 2022” released by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) on Wednesday. Out of the total force, men are 47.40 million and women 25.90 million while among the jobless people men are 1.69 million and women are 0.94 million, reports UNB. The figures came as the BBS organised a discussion meeting at Statistics Bhawan in Agargaon where Planning Minister MA Mannan was present as the chief guest. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the unemployed population means those who do not get a chance to work even for an hour in a week. The data showed the unemployment rate decreased in fiscal year 2021-22 compared to fiscal year 2016-17. Previously the unemployment rate was 4.2 per cent but now it has come down to 3.6 per cent. Meanwhile, the number of people aged 15 years and above who are outside the work force is 46.90 million. On the other hand, the number of people who are engaged in work is 77.80 million. The BBS revealed the data based on Housing Census-2022, in which information was collected from 1284 primary record areas across the country.
Next budget may be 13.5pc bigger
The government is likely to place a 13.5-percent bigger budget for the next fiscal year (FY 2023-24), with higher subsidies and debt-servicing costs. Such a higher outlay would be due to a 35-percent increase in subsidies and incentives, coupled with 27-percent rise in allocation for debt servicing, and 6.0-percent rise in annual development programme (ADP). Finance Division officials said the FY 24 budget size might stand at Tk 7.698 trillion, against the current outlay of Tk 6.78 trillion, which saw 12-percent rise compared to the previous fiscal. They also said despite the recent rise in electricity and gas prices, the government’s total subsidy in the new budget would see a robust rise. The subsidy allocation for food, agriculture, fertiliser, and open market sale of food items by the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB) would rise in the new fiscal, when the upcoming national election is scheduled to be held. The allocation for incentives to promote export-oriented industries and to attract remittance might also rise in FY 24. Thus, the total additional allocation might rise by 35 per cent, they added. In the current fiscal, the total allocation for subsidy and incentives was Tk 827.45 billion, which in the next FY might reach Tk 1.11 trillion.