Bangladesh forex slips
Bangladesh’s foreign exchange reserves edged down to USD 28.8 billion at the end of May from a record high of USD 29.1 billion in the previous month. But it was up 21.0% from a year earlier, the central bank said Wednesday. The drop was due to a rise in imports, a senior central bank official said. The reserves are enough to cover eight months of imports. Steady readymade garment exports and remittances from Bangladesh nationals working overseas, two mainstays for the country of 160 million people, have helped build reserves in recent years.
Taxation in new budget: A copycat of yesteryear
Government’s finance wing is up with an almost repeat-all type of fiscal measures in the budget for financial year (FY) 2016-17, with the new VAT law eventually jettisoned and individual income-tax ceiling unchanged at BDT 250,000 despite cry for a raise. The only major change is in duty structure — the government is likely to introduce a five-tier duty system. Corporate tax rate for bidi, smokeless tobacco companies may be increased to 45.0% from 35.0% in the next budget. The finance minister is going to place the budget proposing changes before the Jatiya Sangsad today (Thursday). Minimum tax for individual taxpayers will also remain unchanged. On customs duty structure, a new tier would be introduced at 15.0% for intermediate raw materials that are produced locally. Import of textile machinery may be required to pay 5.0% duty in a rise from the existing 3.0%. Import of hotel equipment for tourism sector will have to count double the amount of duty from the upcoming FY as import duty will be raised to 10.0% from 5.0%. The NBR is set to levy 1.0% duty on import of medical equipment and machinery by the referral hospitals. Some 24 referral hospitals have been enjoying duty-free facility on import of medical appliances since 2005. Rate of Regulatory Duty (RD) may be cut to 3.0% from 4.0% in the next budget. Duty on cigarette paper, tube pipe may go up. On VAT measures, amount of package VAT may be increased twofold on the basis of geographical location. Source tax on exporters may go up in the budget for the FY 2016-17. For the FY, the government has fixed an above-33.5%- higher tax revenue-collection target over that of the original target of BDT 1.76 trillion, giving the domestic Value Added Tax (VAT) collection highest priority. The tax-revenue target has been set at BDT 2.3152 trillion in the aggregate budget size of BDT 3.40 trillion. The VAT wing is expected to contribute 37.0% or BDT 741 billion to the aggregate revenue target. Target of income tax collection is BDT 733.0 billion or 36.0% of the tax-revenue target. Customs wing will have to fetch BDT 557.0 billion in tax-revenue or 26.0% of the aggregate target. For the current FY, original target for VAT collection was BDT 639.02 billion that has been revised to BDT 540.64 billion Income tax-collection target has been cut to BDT 534.4 billion from original one of BDT 659.32 billion. Revised target for customs wing is BDT 425.0 billion, which was BDT 465.4 billion in the original one.
Budget today with BDT 3.4 trillion recipe for ‘growth’
Economists focus their concerns over poor revenue collection and lax reforms as the government prepares to present today (Thursday) an up-raised national budget for the next fiscal. Finance Minister AMA Muhith will be placing his consecutive eighth budget at the National Parliament from 03:00 pm with power-point presentation on the crucial yearly spending plan for the nation. Many believe that meeting a BDT 2.3 trillion NBR revenue target – 35.0% up from the revised one of the current financial year (FY) – could prove a daunting task for the government as it could manage a revenue growth of only 15.91% as of March as against the projected 30.0% growth for the current fiscal year. With an outlay of more than 15.0% higher in size than the original one of the current fiscal to BDT 3.4 trillion, the finance minister will be looking for means to boost public spending for achieving higher economic growth as the private sector still grows much slower than expected.
Power sector to get BDT 43.06 billion from ECA outside ADP
The government is set to keep the allocation from the Export Credit Agency (ECA) outside the purview of the next Annual Development Programme (ADP), resulting in squeezing of the development allocation for the power sector by 20.8%, or BDT 34.32 billion, to BDT 130.52 billion in the national budget. In the current fiscal year (FY), 2015-16, the allocation in the ADP for power sector is BDT 164.85 billion. The ECA allocation for projects to be undertaken by different state-run power companies in the next FY, 2016-17, would be BDT 43.06 billion, which is almost double than that of the previous year’s BDT 21.69 billion, a senior official of the Power Division under the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources told the FE on Wednesday. Of the total allocation of around BDT 130.52 billion in the next year’s ADP for power sector BDT 62.44 billion would come from the government’s own fund, BDT 62.96 billion from project aid and BDT 5.0 billion special allocation made by the National Economic Council (NEC). The Power Division has been implementing a number of projects to generate electricity as well as to improve transmission and distribution systems to fulfil the target of taking the country’s overall electricity generation capacity to around 40,000 megawatts (MW) by 2030 and 60,000 MW by 2041. Currently, the country’s electricity generation is hovering around 8,000 MW.
Package VAT to continue in new fiscal
While finance minister presents budget in the Parliament today, the government has finally decided to continue with package value-added tax system for small traders and halt implementation of controversial new VAT law from July. The new law imposes a flat 15.0% VAT for all sectors, sparking outrage in the business community and leading to calls for change in the law. On Sunday, the businessmen protested the flat VAT rate shutting down their businesses across the country. Although the package VAT rate is to go on, the present rates, set at four categories, will increase, even double. Currently, small shops and traders in Dhaka and Chittagong city corporations are under the package VAT rate of BDT 14,000 each a year, while the small traders in other city corporations pay BDT 12,000. The rate is BDT 7,200 in municipalities and BDT 3,600 in other areas. Official sources said the tax-free individual income ceiling will remain unchanged at BDT 250,000, while there could be announcement of some stimulus for businesses in the new budget. To make the export-oriented industries compliant, the government will waive duty on imports of raw materials for construction of pre-fabricated buildings and of fire safety equipment by all export-oriented industries. The garment manufacturers are likely to be offered with income tax at a minimum rate of 15.0%. The apparel makers have enjoyed the reduced corporate tax rate at 10% from 2005 to 2014 under special consideration. The government, however, aligned the tax rate with the regular rate of 35% from FY2014-15.
State of economy 2015-16: Sagging private investment, job creation blot growth success
The government announces the national budget for the fiscal year of 2016-2017 today against the backdrop of weak budget implementation, stagnant private investment and low level of employment generation in the outgoing fiscal year despite achieving a record-high economic growth. Economists and business leaders said that the overall economic performance was relatively good and stable in the outgoing fiscal year of 2015-2016 mainly because of stability in political and economic arenas compared with that of the previous year which had experienced intense political unrest and uncertainties. Despite higher growth and stability, economy suffered due mainly to lack of businesses’ confidence, shortage in energy supply, inadequate progress in infrastructure development and good governance that resulted in stagnation in private sector investment and low level of employment generation, they said. A year-long dispute between the traders and the government over implementation of the new Value-Added Tax and Supplementary Duty Act-2012 with single VAT rate at 15.0% for all sectors also marked the outgoing fiscal year. According to the latest provisional estimation of the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, the country’s gross domestic product or GDP growth will be 7.05% in the year, the highest since the FY 2006-07, against the target of 7.0% set by the government. In contrast, the revenue collection fell short of target, implementation of the annual development programme dropped to a record low, share of private investment to the GDP declined and growth in agriculture decreased in the passing year. Remittance earnings also dipped, overall consumption slumped and import of capital machinery and raw materials slowed down during the period.
Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) allows out-of-operation United Air to issue BDT 400cr shares
The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday allowed United Airways to issue BDT 400.08 shares through private placement for purchasing aircraft and repayment of existing liabilities. The flight operation of the company has remained suspended for the last three months. The shares of United Air will be issued to three entities other than the existing shareholders, a BSEC press release said. Under the BSEC approval, the airline entity will issue 40,08,08,800 shares to Air Cargo Pte Limited, Phoenix Aircraft Leasing Pte Limited and TAC Aviation Limited at an issue price of BDT 10.0 each. Shares of Air Cargo Ptv Limited will remain locked-in for three years, and that of Phoenix Aircarft Leasing Ptv Limited and TAC Aviation Limited for one year respectively. ICB Capital Management is the issue manager for floating its placement shares. According to high officials of the aviation company, the three entities will get placement shares against the aircraft they will provide to United Airways. The operation of United Airways, however, remained suspended since May 5 this year as none of the eleven aircraft of the organization were fit for flying. In September 2014, the operation of the company was halted due to disagreement among the board members of the company and resignation of its chairman and managing director Tasbirul Ahmed Choudhury. The operation of the entity, however, resumed within couple of days when Tasbirul resumed his post.
SPCL share price manipulation: BSEC fines brokerage CEO BDT 3.0 million
The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday fined Prime Islami Securities Limited chief executive officer Abul Kalam Eajdani BDT 3.0 million for manipulating share prices of Shahjibazar Power Company Limited. The BSEC decision came from a meeting led by its chairman M Khairul Hossain, a BSEC press release said. According to a BSEC investigation, Eajdani provided false information to the commission on his beneficiary owners’ account in violation of section 18 of Securities and Exchange Ordinance, 1969. The section prohibits submission of any sort of false information to the market regulator. Besides, Eajdani directly and indirectly tempted different quarters in purchasing SPCL shares resulting in artificial demand of the scrip and subsequent share price hike. By doing such activities, the PISL CEO violated section 17 (e)(v) of Securities and Exchange Ordinance and code of conduct of rule 11 of Securities and Exchange Commission (stock broker, stock dealer and authorised representative) Rules, 2000. In June 2015, the commission had slapped fines worth BDT 48.2 million on nine entities and two individuals on the same ground.
World Stock and Commodities
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)*||$48.87||(0.14)||(0.29%)|
|Crude Oil (Brent)*||$49.75||+0.03||+0.06%|
|Dow Jones Industrial Average||17,789.67||+2.47||+0.01%|
|USD 1||BDT 78.36*|
|GBP 1||BDT 113.02*|
|EUR 1||BDT 87.82*|
|INR 1||BDT 1.16*|
*Currencies and Commodities are taken from Bloomberg.