SK Sur set to advise BB
S. K. Sur Chowdhury is going to be appointed Banking Reform Advisor of Bangladesh Bank on completion of his tenure as a deputy governor. According to Bangladesh Bank, the decision to appoint Sur Chowdhury in the new post was made at the governing body meeting of the central bank on Tuesday. However, the decision will come into effect soon after the approval of the government. Informing about the coming appointment, Bangladesh Bank said that in his new responsibilities, Sur Chowdhury will advise in the formulation of reforms policies for banks and financial Institutions. He will also advise Bangladesh Bank and other authorities in implementing the banking sector reform programmes and in formulating future banking sector reform strategies, it added.
Inflationary pressure likely to mar MPS effectiveness, says UO
The Unnayan Onneshan, an independent think tank, on Wednesday cautioned that inflationary pressure together with higher target of credit growth in absence of business enabling environment was likely to challenge the effectiveness of the recently announced monetary policy statement. Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday announced the MPS for the second half of this fiscal year (2017-18). The UO, in a rapid assessment of the MPS, feared that without increasing quality and regulatory oversight, merely increasing the target of private sector credit growth to 16.8 per cent for the period might prove ineffective in facilitating investment-led employment generation and economic expansion. The organisation conducted the assessment as part of its Bangladesh Economic Update for the January 2018 issue.
Net foreign funds in stocks jump 200pc in January
Net foreign investment in stocks marked a 200 per cent rise month-on-month in January 2018 as overseas investors poured fresh funds into the Bangladesh capital market. Analysts said the net portfolio investment in the country’s capital market increased as the market offers discounted rate of many fundamental stocks. They said the steadily growing economy and matured market behaviour after the demutualisation of bourses encouraged foreign investors to pour their money into Bangladesh’s stocks. The overseas investors bought shares worth Tk 6.67 billion while they sold stocks worth Tk 4.80 billion to take their net investment to Tk 1.87 billion in the first month of 2018, according to statistics from the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE).
BUILD gets new chairman
Mahbubul Alam, President of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) has taken over the charge as the Chairman of the Trustee Board of Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) for the year 2018-19. Mr. Alam succeeds Nihad Kabir, President of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI). MCCI held the Chairmanship of BUILD in 2016 & 2017 after taking over the responsibility from Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) on a rotational basis.
Customs intelligence fears rise in false declarations
The Customs Intelligence and Investigation Directorate (CIID) warned of an increase in false declarations due to an order of the National Board of Revenue on the assessment of duty of imported packaged goods like cosmetics and perfumes. The NBR at the end of last year directed field offices of customs to calculate the duty of imported items by adding the duty for the containers if the cost of the packing materials, for example bottles or containers, is not included in the import prices. For ease of valuation, the revenue collector said duty could be calculated by determining the prices of the packaging materials based on weight per kilogramme. The CIID said customs stations were assessing duties differently from one another as the directive has created ambiguity in the field offices. As a result of the order, various interpretations and practices in duty assessment of products has emerged among customs offices, said the CIID in a letter to the NBR chairman earlier this week. The letter, signed by CIID Director General Moinul Khan, said duties were calculated by taking the gross weight of imported goods as net weight.
Chinese fabrics, dyeing millers shifting business to Bangladesh
Chinese woven fabric maker Changzhou Edelweiss Printing & Dyeing Co Ltd has been making good business in Bangladesh riding on growing demand from apparel industries, a top official of the company said yesterday. “Bangladesh is a very promising country for us as our business has been growing at over 100 percent in the last three years,” says Md Ibrahim Khalil, assistant general manager of the company. “We sell five million yards of fabrics worth $12 million a month in Bangladesh,” he said. Khalil was talking to The Daily Star in his stall at the “13th Dhaka International Yarn & Fabrics Show 2018 — Winter Edition” at International Convention City Bashundhara in the capital. Two other exhibitions—“Second Dhaka Int’l Denim Show 2018 – Winter Edition” and “30th Dye+Chem Bangladesh 2018 International Expo – Winter Edition”—are taking place on the premises. The four-day fair started yesterday.
Six-day halt at Benapole port causes Tk 600m revenue loss
A six-day suspension of export-import activities at Benapole land port caused a revenue collection shortfall of nearly Tk 600 million, customs sources said. Trade transactions remained suspended from January 24 to 29 at Benapole following agitation by Petrapole clearing agents’ staff welfare association across the border, said Benapole customs commissioner Belal Hossain Chowdhury. He said that the revenue collection fell drastically, as a result. However, the shortfall could be partially covered as port activities resumed on January 30, he added. A substantial quantity of perishable Indian goods comes through the port. The Benapole customs house, on January 29, sent a report following an instruction by the customs intelligence wing, explaining the reason behind the revenue shortfall. According to the report, a row between the Indian customs and, clearing and forwarding (C&F) agents at Petrapole caused the suspension of activities at the Benapole port.
Confidence Cement to invest in power plant projects
The board of directors of Confidence Cement has agreed to invest in the new power plant projects located at Bogra, Rangpur and Chittagong under Confidence Power Holdings Limited. The capacity of Bogra power plants will be 226 MW, Rangpur 113 MW and Chittagong 54.363 MW, according to the disclosure posted on the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) website on Wednesday. Confidence Cement has 41 per cent shareholding in Confidence Power Holdings. The Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between Confidence Power Holdings with Bangladesh Power Development Board and Implementation Agreement (IA) between Confidence Power Holdings with Power Division has been completed for 2 power plant projects located at Bogra and Rangpur respectively.
Slumping oil price hits international migrants’ income: RMMRU study
The poverty rate of migrant households has remained unchanged in the last three years as their income has not grown, a new survey. About 9.0 per cent of international migrants’ households lived below the poverty line between 2014 and 2017, said the study, conducted by the Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU). Tasneem Siddiqui, founding chair of RMMRU, said after oil prices dropped on the international market, the income of the migrant workers remained almost static in Middle Eastern countries. Many workers are also jobless and can’t get desired jobs there, which has had a negative impact on the overall poverty reduction in the country’s international migrant households, she added. The income of male migrant workers has increased only 3.0 per cent in the last three years, while women workers’ income remained unchanged, she said. That means the income that the women workers earned in the beginning of their jobs abroad remained same even after three years, said the RMMRU chair.
EC warns BD again of improving labour situation before GSP goes
The European Commission has reiterated its concern over the labour rights situation mainly in respect of freedom of association and successful implementation of the ‘Compact’ in the readymade garment sector of Bangladesh. It also warned of taking steps, including launching investigation, to improve the situation ahead of withdrawal of the existing trade facility under the Generalised System of Preference (GSP).
Modern insulin to be made locally
Novo Nordisk, the world’s biggest insulin maker, has teamed up with local Eskayef Pharmaceuticals to set up a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in what can be viewed as a pat on the back to Bangladesh’s pharmaceutical sector. The Danish pharmaceutical giant has six such production facilities outside of its home country but this is the first time that it has partnered with a foreign company to set up a plant.
Govt to stop cattle import from neighbouring countries
Fisheries and Livestock Minister Narayan Chandra Chanda on Wednesday said the ministry was holding meetings with Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) to stop cattle smuggling from neighbouring countries. The minister said this while responding to query placed by treasury bench member M Israfil Alam of Naogoan-6 at the house.
18% of people use net in Bangladesh: International Telecommunication Union
A report of Switzerland-based International Telecommunication Union titled ‘achieving universal and affordable internet in the least developed countries’ stated that only 18% people of the country use the internet, much below the government’s estimate. ITU, a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for issues concerning information and communication technologies, prepared the report on data from itself and from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. In stark contrast to the ITU figure is the latest government data that claimed that more than 50% of the country’s people use the internet including internet use through mobile phone and fixed broadband. Bangladesh in December’ showed that the total number of internet subscribers has reached 80.4 million. From this, 75.0 million use mobile internet and remaining 5.4 million people use internet through WiMAX, fixed broadband and PSTN services. When asked about the difference between the ITU and Bangladesh government information, posts, telecommunications and information technology minister Mustafa Zabbar said that the differences may have occurred due to the difference in criterion between ITU and Bangladesh in determining the internet users.
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