Farm and non-farm credit disbursement witnessed a massive 107.89 per cent growth in the 11 months of fiscal year 2016-17 (FY17) as banks in public and private sectors, including the specialised and foreign ones, disbursed about Tk 189 billion till May against their total target of Tk 175.5 billion during the period. Private and foreign commercial banks performance is better than the public banks in distribution of agricultural and non-farm credit during the period, reports BSS. According to Bangladesh Bank data, state-owned and specialised banks have achieved 98.38 per cent of their loan disbursement target while the foreign and private commercial banks 118.59 per cent against their target fixed by the central bank.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday categorically said the government would withdraw the proposed increase in excise duty on bank deposits amid continuous criticisms. The change would be announced before the passage of the new budget on June 29, he said. “But I am saying this in advance so people can breathe a sigh of relief,” he told reporters at the secretariat. Excise duties on all types of bank deposits, including deposits under pension schemes and fixed deposits, have been raised on average 67 percent in various slabs. The move drew huge criticism as the duty was hiked at a time when average interest rates on deposits came down to 5 percent.
The board of directors of AB Bank has decided to issue fully redeemable non-convertible 7 years variable rated subordinated bonds worth BDT 4.0 billion, said an official disclosure on Sunday. The bank will issue the bond of BDT 4.0 billion for enhancement of Tier II Capital of the Bank, where the interest will be payable semi-annually (7%-10.5% or as fixed/approved by the regulators in arreas through private placement, said the disclosure. Each share of the bank, which was listed on the Dhaka bourse in 1983, closed at BDT 17.9 on Sunday at DSE. The bank’s paid-up capital is BDT 6.73 billion and authorised capital is BDT 15.0 billion, while the total number of securities is 673.9 million.
High interest of savings tools takes toll on bonds
High interest rates on the national savings schemes are taking a toll on the transactions of treasury bills and bonds in the secondary market, Bangladesh Bank (BB) officials said. Turnover that includes purchase and sale of treasury bills and bonds in the secondary market declined to BDT 11.2 billion in May this year from BDT 17.9 billion in April, BB data shows. The market saw a turnover of BDT 26.4 billion in March and BDT 53.9 billion in February. Central bank officials said transactions may fall further unless the government adjusts interest rates of savings tools with the other market rates. The government is borrowing heavily through savings tools that offer interest rates of 11.0% to 11.8%. On the other hand, the borrowing cost stands between 2.8% and 7.1% through treasury bills and bonds. BB data shows, the government borrowed over BDT 421.0 billion through savings tools during July-April period of the outgoing fiscal year, up by nearly 59.0% from BDT 264.9 billion in the same period a year ago.
A collective effort of Bangladesh Bank (BB) and the customs authority should be taken immediately to check trade-based money laundering (TBML) in the country, senior bankers and experts have said. They also said the commercial banks need to be more serious regarding legal compliance and identifying right prices for both exportable and importable products to address TBML. The observations came during discussion at a review workshop on ‘Trade Services Operations of Banks’, held at Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management (BIBM) in the capital on Sunday with BIBM Director General Dr. Toufic Ahmed Chowdhury in the chair. Compliance is already one of the greatest concerns for the banks, and greater compliance requirements are affecting operational costs of trade financing, according to a study. It was presented by BIBM Director (Training) Professor Dr. Shah Md. Ahsan Habib at the workshop.
Government’s tax collection from DSE drops by 57.0 in May
The government revenue from Dhaka Stock Exchange dropped sharply 57.31% or BDT 201.0 million in May due to major decline in turnover on the bourse. National Board of Revenue received just BDT 149.7 million in taxes where BDT 122.5 million as tax on turnover and BDT 27.2 million as tax on sponsor-directors’ capital gain from share sales was also included. In April, the government’s tax receipt from the bourse was BDT 350.7 million including BDT 153.1 million as taxes on turnover and BDT 197.6 million as taxes on sponsor-directors’ profit from share sales. Under the Income Tax Ordinance 1984, the government set to collect 0.05% tax on turnover from brokerage houses that will be collected from investors on their daily transactions, and 5.0% tax on capital gains made by sponsor-directors and placement-shareholders. The consolidated turnover on the bourse declined 20.0% or BDT 30.6 billion to BDT 122.6 billion in May from BDT 153.8 billion in April.
The government has planned to postpone implementation of the controversial new value-added tax law from July 1 because of the negative impact on people’s life, which could affect the ruling party’s standing ahead of next general election, said finance ministry officials. Besides, there has been strong opposition from the country’s business community against implementation of the new law which imposes a flat rate of 15.0% VAT. Finance ministry sources said the decision to stop the execution of the VAT law was taken at a meeting on June 15 at the ministry auditorium with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in the chair.
Bangladesh Railways, Chinese company sign BDT 2.6 billion deal today
Bangladesh Railway (BR) has taken initiatives to upgrade the rail-track between Dhaka and Narayanganj to a dual-gauge one for facilitating movements of passengers through commuter trains. As part of the initiatives, BR is going to sign a BDT 2.6 billion package deal with a Chinese company today (Monday) to construct 12 kilometre-long dual-gauge rail-track in one and a half year. Officials said Power Construction Company of China has been awarded the work of constructing the track along with embankment and five loop lines. The company was selected among five competitors, which were short-listed earlier.
Revenue collection in the first ten months of fiscal 2016-17 soared 20.0% year-on-year, thanks to improved receipts, steady growth of domestic demand and higher imports. Another BDT 410.0 billion needs to be collected to reach fiscal 2016-17’s target of BDT 1837.9 billion. The month of April alone saw a 16.0% increase in collections. Some BDT 161.6 billion was collected during the month, according to provisional data of the National Board of Revenue.
Only 03 public sector coal-fired power projects make progress
Only three public sector coal-fired power plants are expected to be able to go into operation by 2021 while the private sector ones look to fall far behind their 2021-2022 schedule, reports UNB. Officials at the Power Division said it will not be possible for the private sector power projects to maintain schedules as these private groups are facing difficulties in mobilising necessary funds for the projects. The public sector plants are 1320 MW Rampal Coal-fired Power Plant, 1200 MW Matarbari Power Plant and 1300 MW Payra Power Plant. Of the three projects, Rampal and Payra plants are being implemented under joint venture while state-run Coal Power Generation Company Bangladesh Limited (CPGCBL) is implementing the Matarbari project funded by Japanese donor agency JICA, said sources at the Power Division.
The board of directors of Envoy Textile has decided to issue a 5-year series zero coupon bond with face value of BDT 1,500 million at a discounted value of BDT 1,224.24 million through private placement to the potential investors, said an official disclosure on Sunday. The bond issue is subject to approval of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) for capital investment in strengthening the production facilities and for settle up the existing high cost debt, said the disclosure. According to the disclosure, the said zero coupon bond shall be redeemable, non-convertible in nature with a discount rate of 7.8% and to be issued in series with maturities starting from 6 months to 5 years. An investor will have to subscribe across all 10 tenures (each semiannual periods) proportionately.
FRC plans partnering with accountants for fair auditing
Country’s maiden financial reporting council would develop partnership with accountants to upgrade the auditing practices, which are called to question more often than not. The just-appointed chairman of the FRC, C. Q. K. Mustaq Ahmed, unveiled the council’s line of action to the FE Sunday. The finance division issued Sunday a notification making him chief of the FRC. Earlier, a high-powered search committee had recommended his name as the council chairman. He will join his office on July 02 at the same venue in city’s Kakrail area where the country’s first and last Ombudsman used to sit. In his word of advice he said the auditors should work for the country, not for clients.
Mobile operators, regulator among big VAT defaulters
Government’s revenue authority served show-cause notices on nine large taxpayers, including Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) and four mobile kingpins, for non-payment of VAT worth BDT 4.12 billion. The mobile-phone companies are Robi Axiata, Grameen Phone Ltd, City Cell (Pacific Telecom) and Airtel (now merged with Robi). Among the notified defaulters, the state-owned BTRC owes the highest amount BDT 1.6 billion in arrears to the exchequer. A senior official of the Large Taxpayers Unit (LTU) under VAT (value-added tax) wing of the National Board of Revenue said the unit filed cases and issued show-cause notices to collect the undisputed sums of VAT.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission is yet to send a proposal on lowering international call termination rate to the posts and telecommunications ministry even after more than two-and-a-half months of finalising the proposal. The telecommunication regulator in March this year finalised a proposal in this regard. Although the commission had decided to forward the proposal to the posts and telecommunication ministry, the proposal remained stuck up at the commission for more than two-and-a-half months, said a senior BTRC official. As the international call termination rate remained high at 2 US cents, the international incoming calls were on the decline as well.
The dominance of clothing items imported from India, Pakistan and Thailand during Eid is gradually eroding as homegrown brands are making up ground. This year, local brands, be it for clothes or footwear, seem to be outperforming imported items at different shopping centres in the capital. A throng of customers can be found at the outlets of local brands such as Deshi Dosh, Aarong and Apex at all hours during this peak shopping season. Lower prices and a better understanding of customer tastes seemed to be doing the trick for them.
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