FY19 exports rise by 10.55pc, hit $40.53b
The country’s export earnings reached an all-time high of US$ 40.53 billion in the just concluded fiscal year (FY), 2018-19, registering a 10.55 per cent growth over that of the previous fiscal, according to official data. Bangladesh fetched $ 36.66 billion in FY 2017-18. The export earnings in FY 19 also surpassed the target, set for the fiscal, by 3.94 per cent, according to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) data. The single month earnings in June 2019, however, declined by 5.27 per cent to $ 2.78 billion over that of June 2018. The June earnings also fell short of the target by 22.65 per cent, according to the data. The ready-made garment (RMG) sector contributed more than 84 per cent or $34.13 billion to the total export income in FY 19. In last fiscal, the RMG exports grew by 11.49 per cent from $ 30.61 billion of FY 18. The sector’s earnings also exceeded the respective target in FY 19 by 4.42 per cent.
Banks to deduct tax on interest against foreign currency deposits
Bangladesh Bank on Tuesday asked all the banks to deduct applicable taxes on the interest that were generated from the deposits in the non-resident foreign currency deposit (NFCD) accounts. The BB’s instruction was issued in line with a statutory regulatory order of the National Board of Revenue issued on June 23 this year. The NBR SRO withdrew its earlier instruction of 1982 when it exempted taxes on the interest income generated from the deposits in the NFCD accounts. As per the general policy of NBR, banks are supposed to deduct 10 per cent tax on the interest income generated from deposits in any account. If any accountholder does not have any Tax Identification Number, banks charge 15 per cent tax on the interest income.
Annual inflation remains within target
The government has been able to keep inflation within the limit it had set a year back for the just-concluded fiscal year, largely on the back of higher rice production. Inflation stood at 5.48 percent in fiscal 2018-19, comfortably below the target of 5.6 percent for the fiscal year. Planning Minister MA Mannan, while releasing the data at a press conference in his office in the city, attributed the achievement to a decline in prices for the higher production of crops such as paddy in comparison to demand this year. Inflation fell to 5.52 percent in June, the lowest in four months, riding on a decline in both food and non-food prices, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. It was down from 5.63 percent in May this year and 5.54 percent in June last year. Food inflation fell nine basis points from 5.49 percent in May to 5.40 percent in June while non-food inflation dropped to 5.71 percent last month, down 13 basis points from 5.84 percent a month ago.
Govt to launch insurance for migrant workers by July 31
The government will introduce insurance coverage by July 31 for migrant workers with benefits in cases of their death or disability. The Jibon Bima Corporation (JBC) will take necessary steps to introduce the insurance with one-stop service through automation. The decisions came at an inter-ministerial meeting on Sunday last, with State Minister for Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmad in the chair, officials said. They said the meeting decided to offer two insurance products as the government took this step to strengthen the protection of remittance earners and their families. Both of the policies will be for a two-year term while one will be mandatory for the workers. However, the tenure could be extended if the job contract is extended. The benefits of the compulsory package will be of Tk 200,000 with a premium of Tk 990 and the optional policy will be of Tk 500,000 with a premium of Tk 2,475.
Malaysia may start hiring BD workers next month
Malaysia may start manpower recruitment from Bangladesh in August, said Foreign Minister (FM) Dr A K Abdul Momen after a meeting with his Malaysian counterpart Saifuddin Abdullah on Sunday. Talking to the newsmen after the meeting he also said the new Malaysian government is formulating a comprehensive manpower recruitment policy, and fresh recruitment will start after that. The Malaysian Minister said Bangladeshi workers are contributing to the nation building of Malaysia, he added. On the issue of Rohingyas, Mr Abdullah said his country believes that repatriation of Rohingyas to their homes in Myanmar is the only solution of the crisis, and the process should start ‘as soon as possible’. He also assured the Bangladeshi FM that Malaysia is working with the ASEAN countries to ensure a safe and dignified return of the Rohingyas.
Liquidation of People’s Leasing: General shareholders may lose Tk 193cr
The general shareholders of People’s Leasing and Financial Service (PLFS) that is staring at liquidation are likely to lose their entire amount, further raising the stakes for the government to penalise those responsible for driving the Company into the ground. As of May 31, retail investors held 68 percent of the non-bank financial institution’s stock, according to the Dhaka Stock Exchange. If the liquidation goes through — which will be a first in Bangladesh’s financial sector — the general shareholders stand to lose about Tk 193.52 crore and institutional investors Tk 25.75 crore. In the event of liquidation external creditors are paid off first and then the depositors, debenture holders and preferential shareholders in that sequence, according to Mohammad Mohiuddin Ahmed, Executive Director of Financial Reports Monitoring Division at Financial Reporting Council. The general shareholders’ turn comes in the end, once all parties have been paid off. They get a sum if the net asset value per share is positive.
Proposed land-based LNG terminal to double BD’s regasification capacity
The government is working towards setting up a land-based LNG terminal, which will double the country’s regasification capacity to 15 million tonnes per year by June 2023. Presently, two LNG import terminals having floating, storage, regasification units (FSRUs) with a capacity of 3.75 million tonnes per year each are operating at Moheshkhali. They are regasifying around 550 million cubic feet of LNG per day (mmcfd), almost half of their total capacity of 1,000 mmcfd. A total of 12 global firms and their joint ventures are now vying to bag the contract to build the country’s first land-based LNG terminal at Matarbari, which will handle 7.5 million tonnes of LNG per year (Mtpa).
MFs see investors’ increased participation
Listed mutual funds have been witnessing investors’ increased participations amid the continuous price corrections witnessed by other major sectors. The market insiders said investors’ participations are increasing in the mutual funds amid expectation over some possible reforms in the sector.
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