Banks asked to help flood-hit people
Bangladesh Bank on Wednesday requested all banks and non-bank financial institutions to extend their assistance for rehabilitation of the flood affected people under the corporate social responsibility programme. The BB issued a circular to managing directors and chief executive officers of all banks and NBFIs requesting them to extend their help to flood affected people in northern zone and other parts of the country under the CSR programme. The BB asked the banks and NBFIs to provide food, cloths, drinkable water and emergency drugs for the flood affected people. The central bank also advised the banks to distribute improved cooking stoves, portable solar lanterns and small solar home systems under 20 watt among the flood affected people.
BB may raise pvt sector growth target in MPS
Bangladesh Bank may increase the private sector growth target slightly in the coming monetary policy statement (MPS) for July-December of 2017 with a view to achieving the GDP growth of 7.40 per cent set by the government for this fiscal year.The central bank will unveil the MPS on July 25, a BB official told New Age on Wednesday. The central bank, however, feared that the country would face an inflationary pressure due to higher amount of money supply than that of the January-June period of this year.He said that the recent flood in different parts of the country had already damaged the crops that would increase the price of food commodities in the local market. Besides, the food and non-food inflation is now maintaining an upward trend in the global market which would also fuel the inflationary pressure in the months to come, he said. The government, on the other hand, would make hefty amount of borrowing from the banking sources this fiscal year to implement its large mega projects ahead of national election which is scheduled to be held in the beginning period of 2019, he said. ‘Against the backdrop, the BB is facing a tough situation to draft the monetary policy targeting to contain the inflation while ensuring an uninterrupted credit flow to the government’, he said.He said the BB would not increase the ceiling of the private sector credit growth much even it might keep unchanged the target of 16.50 per cent, which was set for the January-June period of FY17. The central bank may increase maximum 0.50 per cent credit growth in the private sector for the July-December period of FY18.
BB takes initiative to make DIBOR vibrant
Bangladesh Bank has taken an initiative to make vibrant the Dhaka Interbank Offered Rate (DIBOR) to fix a uniform interbank interest rate for short-term loan within this year. Like London Interbank Offered Rate, which is popularly known as LIBOR, a benchmark rate that some of the world’s leading banks charge each other for short-term loans, the BB wants to activate the DIBOR. The BB hopes that once the DIBOR is established full-fledged, the country’s commercial banks and businesspeople will be able to use the rate as a benchmark to set the interest rate for short-term loans, a BB official told New Age on Wednesday. The central bank issued a letter to managing directors and chief executive officers of 15 commercial banks including 12 primary dealers on June 14 asking them to place their opinion before the BB in the shortest possible time on how to make the DIBOR vibrant. The official said that the central bank had recently taken a number of measures to activate the DIBOR with a view to establishing a uniform rate for the banks, corporate bodies and individuals. The central bank asked Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers Association, an organisation of the country’s scheduled banks, in June 2016 to draw up a code of conduct over the DIBOR after which the BFEDA has recently placed a draft proposal in this regard.
Southeast Bank donates Tk 1.5m to DMP Shikkhabritti
Southeast Bank Limited has donated Tk. 1.5 million to “DMP Shikkhabritti 2017” fund of Dhaka Metropolitan Police. Md. Asaduzzaman Mia BPM (Bar), PPM, Commissioner, Dhaka Metropolitan Police received the cheque from M. Kamal Hossain, Managing Director of Southeast Bank Limited at a ceremony held at DMP Headquarters, Dhaka Wednesday as a part of Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. Other high officials of Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Southeast Bank were also present at the ceremony .This scholarship amount will be helpful for meritorious students of insolvent Dhaka Metropolitan Police members for continue their education.
Govt’s net bank borrowing turns negative last fiscal
The government borrowing from the banking system turned negative in net terms during the just concluded fiscal year (FY17) as the repayments of loans were more than what it borrowed.Higher sales of savings instruments and slow implementation of development projects had helped the government refrain from borrowing much from the banks, according to officials. The government paid back Tk 180.29 billion to the banks in the FY 2016-17 as against its borrowing of Tk 48.07 billion in the FY 2015-16, according to provisional data of Bangladesh Bank obtained by the FE Tuesday. The government’s borrowing from the banking system stood at Tk 906.60 billion at the end of June 30 this year, declining from Tk 1,086.89 billion on the same day of the previous year, showing a negative balance in net terms.
WB to assess progress in VAT digitization
A World Bank mission is expected to visit Dhaka next week to assess the progress in digitisation and modernisation of the VAT system in light of the government move to shelve the implementation of the new law for two years. The team will also assess the implications for deferred implementation of the much-talked-about law that seeks to impose a uniform 15 percent VAT across the board, doing away with the multiple VAT rates under the existing VAT Act 1991.The mission led by Raul Felix Junquera Varela, the Washington-based lender’s lead public sector specialist and global lead on domestic revenue mobilisation, is expected to meet with the senior officials of the National Board of Revenue and the economic relations division. The team will hold meetings between July 16 and July 20 to assess the situation. Officials said the appraisal by the mission would be instrumental in the WB’s future financing for the VAT Online Project, which was taken by the government to improve revenue mobilisation and transparency in the VAT administration.The multilateral lender in May 2014 approved $60 million interest-free credit to help modernise Bangladesh’s VAT administration system and increase tax revenue. The project aims to increase the VAT-GDP ratio to 4.7 percent by June 30, 2020 from 3.7 percent in March 2014.
Rupali issues show-cause notice to 3 CBA leaders
State-owned Rupali Bank has issued a show-cause notice to its three CBA leaders on charge of physically assaulting the general manager, deputy and assistant general managers of the bank’s local office. Rupali authorities asked the CBA leaders to explain why they would not be sacked from their job due to the charge. Rupali Bank managing director on Tuesday issued the notice to the three employees — CBA president Mustak Ahmed, general secretary Md Kabil Hossain Kazi and Md Arman Mollah. A Rupali Bank official told New Age on Wednesday that the three CBA leaders assaulted the local office’s GM, DGM and AGM on December 5, 2016.The bank also sent one employee into forced retirement and demoted four staff and transferred them outside Dhaka due to their connection with the case.
12 DMDs appointed at 7 state-owned banks
The government has appointed 12 deputy managing directors at seven state-run banks and Investment Corporation of Bangladesh. The finance ministry issued a circular on Tuesday in this regard giving promotion to the 12 officials from their earlier posts of general manager. According to the circular, the ministry gave promotion to Abdul Mazid Sheikh and Bishnu Pada Choudhury for the DMD post of Rupali Bank, Syed Ashraful Alam, Yusuf Ali, Shawkat Islam for Sonali Bank, Foroz Ali for Janata Bank while Tazrina Ferdous and Nruzzaman for Bangladesh Krishi Bank, Kazi Alamgir for Karmasangsthan Bank, Mosaddek-ul- Alam for ICB, and Pankaj Roy Chowdhury and AKM Hamidur Rahman were appointed for BDBL. The newly appointed five DMDs were posted at their same banks and seven were re-assigned to other banks.
World Bank (WB) to assess progress in VAT digitization
A World Bank mission is expected to visit Dhaka next week to assess the progress in digitization and modernization of the VAT system in light of the government move to shelve the implementation of the new law for two years. The team will also assess the implications for deferred implementation of the much-talked-about law that seeks to impose a uniform 15% VAT across the board, doing away with the multiple VAT rates under the existing VAT Act 1991. The mission led by Raul Felix Junquera Varela, the Washington-based lender’s lead public sector specialist and global lead on domestic revenue mobilization, is expected to meet with the senior officials of the National Board of Revenue and the economic relations division.
FinMin allocates Tk 100 crore to Energy Division
The finance ministry has allocated Tk 100 crore from the Gas Development Fund to the Energy Division on three conditions, officials said. Finance minister AMA Muhith, who recently approved the allocation, asked the Energy Division to implement only development projects with the fund. The Energy Division was asked to monitor and audit of the projects as per the rule. It was also asked to prepare an act on the Gas Development Fund after reviewing the Oil Industry (Development) Act 1974 in next three months. The fund was constituted in 2009 with the additional money collected from consumers following price hike of gas by 10 to 15 per cent. At present, the fund stands at Tk 4,208.38 crore. The Energy Division collected the fund from additional 55 per cent value-added tax and supplementary duties on gas prices. Total number of projects under the fund is 29. Of them, 18 development projects under the Energy Division have already been completed. Another five projects will be taken under the fund at an estimated cost of Tk 1,280.88 crore. The government created the fund to strengthen production capacity of state-owned BAPEX, officials concerned told New Age on Wednesday. But many projects under the fund have been taken outside BAPEX.
2,000 industries wait for gas connection: Minister
At least 2,000 industrial units waiting for going to production would have to wait further until April 2018 for want of gas connection, state minister for power, energy and mineral resources Nasrul Hamid said on Wednesday. The country is now running short of gas supplies to meet current demand, he said at the closing ceremony of the twoday Bangladesh Power Summit–2017 at a city hotel. In April 2018, the government would be able to increase gas supplies by 500 million cubic feet per day from imported liquefied natural gas and another 500 mmcfd in next few months, he said.It is very crucial for the country’s economy to ensure gas supplies as well as power supply to the industrial units, he said,adding that the government would be ready to meet the power demand by next year.Three large coal-fired power plants — Matarbari, Rampal and Payra — with about 3,500MW combined capacity would be commissioned in three years, adding that another 5,000MW-6,000MW power generation capacity would be added by 2023.Petrobangla — the state-run Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources Corporation — supplies approximately 2,750 mmcfd gas against the demand for more than 3,500 mmcfd. The shortage of gas supplies interrupts power generation, industrial productions and household cooking while their expansion has been stuck for the past one decade.
FedEx adds security levy to shipments from B’desh
FedEx Trade Networks will add a surcharge on shipments from Bangladesh to the European Union (EU) after stricter security standards were introduced. FedEx’s forwarding arm said that as a result of the EU adding Bangladesh to its list of high-risk countries shipments will need to go through new screening measures in addition to those already applied, reports Air Cargo News. As a result, the company will apply additional re-screening charges of $0.15 per kg on shipments heading from Bangladesh to EU destinations and there will be an additional one day transit time until further notice.
Telenor’s Q2 Grameenphone EBITDA jumps to NOK 2.1 (BDT 20.7) billion
Telenor’s Grameenphone q2 ebitda before items nok 2.1 (BDT 20.7) billion versus 1.6 (BDT 15.9) billion. Telenor’s Grameenphone q2 revenue nok 3.4 (BDT 33.5) billion versus 3.0 (BDT 29.6) billion. Telenor’s Grameenphone: adjusted for positive one-time adjustment of accruals in q2 2017, normalized ebitda margin would be 58.0%. Telenor’s Grameenphone: during quarter number of subscriptions increased by 1.713 million to 61.6 million. Subscription base was 8.0% higher than at end of q2 last year.
Bangladesh’s July-May FDI inflow ticks up
The inflow of foreign direct investment or FDI into Bangladesh, particularly in energy, telecom and stock market has increased, reports bdnews24.com. Bangladesh received USD 2.65 billion in the form of gross FDI inflow during the period of July-May of the fiscal year 2016-17 against USD 2.33 billion in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year. The net inflow of FDI jumped 27.75% to USD 1.62 billion in the July-May period, according to data released by the Bangladesh Bank on its website. Portfolio investment in the stock market jumped about six times to USD 324 million.
Volatile euro, dollar to blame for flat exports
The volatile exchange rate of the euro and the US dollar has eaten up a substantial amount of export receipts of Bangladesh in the last fiscal year. The country logged in USD 34.8 billion as export receipts for fiscal 2016-17, up 1.7% year-on-year, according to data from the Export Promotion Bureau. Had there been favourable exchange rates, the earnings could have been at least USD 3.0 billion more as the volume of the shipments from the country increased, but the receipts belied it.
Government may slash source tax on RMG exports
The government is going to reduce the tax at source on garment exports following persistent demand by the industry leaders since the rate was raised. Officials said the government has decided in principle to cut down the rate to 0.7% from the 1.0% levied in the new budget on the country’s main export product. The government has raised the tax at source to 1.0% in the budget for the current fiscal year 2017-2018 from 0.70% in the just-concluded fiscal.
Parliament watchdog wants cut in workers’ migration cost
The parliamentary standing committee on Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Wednesday suggested taking effective steps to reduce migration cost of the workers. The committee recommended taking steps to create awareness so that the workers do not want to go abroad illegally. It said that the officials of foreign ministry and labour wing of the expatriates’ welfare ministry should discharge their duties more responsibly for ensuring the interest of the country.
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