Private investment to rise 22.0% next year: Finance Minister
Private sector investment will increase 21.8% year-on-year to BDT 4.6 trillion next fiscal year owing to political stability and full implementation of the new pay scale for government staff, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith. In the outgoing fiscal year, private sector investment was about BDT 3.8 trillion, up from previous year’s BDT 3.3 trillion, he said in his closing speech in parliament on the proposed budget for fiscal 2016-17 yesterday. He also ruled out any doubts about not being able to achieve next fiscal year’s gross domestic product growth target of 7.2%.The trend of positive change that is visible in various indicators related to private sector investment indicates that the growth target will be achieved in the next fiscal year, Muhith said. The increase in public investment in infrastructure and the rise in consumption due to full implementation of the new pay scale will push up investment. Also, the rise in the number of expatriates will increase remittance, while low inflation will hike real wage, which will increase both consumption and investment, according to the finance minister. The existing political stability will also help increase the confidence of investors.
Nonbank line in deficit financing fuels public debt burden
The use of nonbank sources for deficit financing by the government fuels public debt burden as it involves higher interest payments that imply a fiscal risk too, experts at a programme said Wednesday. They said the government is borrowing at least 5.0%age points higher rates from the nonbanking sources like savings certificates while it can borrow from banking sources at 6.0%.Some of the participants at the programme expressed their surprise at the claim that 90% of the annual development programme has been executed in the outgoing financial year despite the pace having been too slow until few months back. Their observations came at an open discussion on the State of Bangladesh Economy: Budget FY 2017 and Looming Challenges, organized by the Board of Investment (BoI) at its headquarters in the city. BoI executive chairman Dr SA Samad moderated the discussions. Chief economist at the Bangladesh Bank Dr Biru Paksha Paul presented the keynote while former secretary Waliul Islam joined the programme as chief guest. While presenting the keynote paper, Dr Paul said there is need for increasing the use of banking resources for deficit financing and reducing the nonbank line of deficit financing. He noted that the government has no extensive pension plan for the poor and it (nonbank borrowing) is helping them. But he said he was not sure whether only the poor or elderly people held the savings certificates as a protection. On the globally-discussed issue like Brexit, the BB chief economist was of the opinion that the outcome of the referendum on Britain’s exit from the European Union wouldn’t affect the Bangladesh economy as it is sound now.
Government cuts source tax on exports
The parliament yesterday gave the nod to the tax measures for fiscal 2016-17, bringing in some changes to Finance Minister AMA Muhith’s original proposal made on June 2.For instance, the source tax rate on exports has been cut to 0.7% from the proposed 1.5% and the investment limit for individual taxpayers has been increased from the proposed ceiling. Taxpayers will also get one more month to prepare their income tax returns from next fiscal year. The new deadline is November 30, instead of existing October 30.The parliament brought further cheer to taxpayers by raising the investment limit to 25.0% of total annual income instead of proposed 20.0%.The rise in investment limit will allow taxpayers to have more disposable income, said a senior tax official at the National Board of Revenue. Even after the change, the amount of tax benefit will not be equal to the outgoing fiscal year’s, when taxpayers got 15.0% tax rebate by investing 30.0% of their total yearly income. The tax rebate benefit will reduce gradually for those who earn above BDT 1.0 million a year. Depending on the level of income and the amount of investments, the tax discount will be applicable in three slabs – 10.0%, 12.0% and 15.0% for the next fiscal year. There is also relief for exporters, who will have to pay 0.7% source tax on their export proceeds from next fiscal year, instead of proposed 1.5%.
NBR tax revenue collection in FY ’16 surpasses revised target
The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has surpassed the revised tax revenue collection target by BDT 47.8 billion in the outgoing fiscal year (FY) 2015-16, according to provisional data. NBR collected BDT 1.54 trillion tax revenue in the FY ’16, achieving a 14% growth over that of the previous fiscal year. Customs department achieved the highest growth of 17.0% in revenue collection, followed by VAT 14.0%, and income tax 12.0%. The original tax revenue collection target for the fiscal was BDT 1.8 trillion. But the government later revised it to BDT 1.5 trillion, following slow growth in tax revenue collection. NBR in a press release said the revenue collection would have surpassed the original target, had the Petrobangla paid BDT 132.8 billion in arrear VAT. In the press release, NBR chairman Md Nojibur Rahman expressed optimism over achieving the revenue collection target of BDT 2.03 trillion, set for the FY 2016-17. Officials said the figures of FY 16 have been finalized on the basis of collection up to June 28, two days ahead of the conclusion of the fiscal year. VAT collection from domestic sources stands at BDT 556.8 billion in FY 2015-16 against the target of BDT 540.6 billion. Income tax wing collected BDT 542.4 billion against the target of BDT 534.4 billion. Customs duty collection was BDT 448.5 billion against the target of BDT 425.0 billion. NBR has surpassed its revised target for two consecutive years. Last year, the organization collected BDT 1.4 trillion tax revenue.
BDT 7.9 billion loan scam: Bangladesh Bank set to remove Agrani Bank MD
The central bank is set to issue an order for removal of Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Agrani Bank Limited Syed Abdul Hamid over his alleged involvement in a number of loan irregularities involving BDT 7.9 billion. “We’re working on the issue,” a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the FE on Wednesday. He also said the central bank may issue an order in this regard today (Thursday) after completing all formal procedures. The process of issuing the removal order is underway just 10 days before expiry of Mr. Hamid’s contract.
Foreign aid pledges mark 68.0% rise in first 11 months of this fiscal year
Foreign donors have committed to Bangladesh a total of USD 4.8 billion as assistance in the first 11 months of outgoing fiscal year, a figure which is more than 68.0% higher than that received a year earlier, official data shows. In the same period last fiscal year, the country received USD 2.8 billion aid pledge from its development partners. Economic Relations Division (ERD) data released yesterday showed that out of figure pledged during the July-May of FY2015-16, development partners committed USD 4.2 billion as concessional loans and USD 529.4 million as grants. In the FY2014-15, the amount of loans was USD 2.4 billion and grants USD 393.4 million. During the July-May period of this fiscal year, foreign loan disbursement also increased over 9.0% to USD 2.9 billion from USD 2.6 billion last year. Of the total credit disbursement, the development partners had disbursed concessional loans worth USD 2.5 billion and grants worth USD 423.0 million. In FY2015-16, the country set a target of getting loans and grants worth USD 4.4 billion from development partners. The target was USD 3.3 billion in the last fiscal year. Of the targeted loans and grants, the government estimated USD 4.3 billion worth of funds as project aid and USD 50.0 million as food aid. However, aid utilization has still remained a challenge for the government agencies as they fail to utilize the external assistance timely.
Former banker Majedur appointed DSE MD
The Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday approved a Dhaka Stock Exchange proposal to appoint former banker KAM Majedur Rahman as managing director of the bourse. The post of managing director of DSE fell vacant in April after the completion of three-year tenure of Swapan Kumar Bala at the bourse. The market regulator gave the approval at a commission meeting presided over by its chairman M Khairul Hossain. Majedur, currently a director and chief consultant of Financial Excellence Limited (FinExcel), a financial consultancy firm, has around 35 years experience in banking sector. He started his banking career as a management trainee with India-based Grindlays Bank Limited in 1981. Majedur served the bank in various capacities in Bangladesh and abroad, according to FinExcel website information. He worked as managing director and chief executive officer of Premier Bank Limited from February 2012 to January 2015. Majedur also worked at Dhaka Bank, AB Bank, Bank Alfalah and Industrial Promotion and Development Company of Bangladesh.
Number of IPOs drop in FY 16
Some 10 companies and one mutual fund (MF) have raised an aggregate amount of above BDT 8.6 billion through IPOs in the outgoing fiscal year (FY), 2015-16, as against above BDT 13.1 billion raised by 15 companies and one MF in the previous FY, 2014-15.The issue managers said the number of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) declined in FY 16 compared to the previous FY due to sluggish market trend as well as revision in public issue rules.According to the information of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), a total of 10 companies and one MF have raised capital worth above BDT 8.6 billion by floating IPOs in FY 2015-16.Of the total fund, raised by the 10 companies, above BDT 5.1 billion came as premium of only five companies. “I think the number of IPOs declined in FY 16 due to the regulator’s cautious attitude, adopted considering the investors’ interest,” said Md. Moniruzzaman, managing director of IDLC Investment. He said the companies having good fundamentals should be allowed to enter into the market to increase its depth. Another issue manager said the revised public issue rules compelled many issuer companies to revise their IPO proposals. That is why the number of IPOs came down in FY 16.
GP seeks to continue Jan-Dec as income year
Grameenphone has sought exemption from following July-June as the ‘uniform’ income year, set by the stockmarket regulator. The lone listed mobile phone operator made the plea as its parent company Telenor has 11 other operations globally that follow January-December as their income year. The change in one company’s income year may create problems to others, especially in the case of financial disclosures, officials said. The company has already placed the issue before Finance Minister AMA Muhith and requested him to allow the operator to continue the income year that it follows now. Mahmud Hossain, chief corporate affairs officer at Grameenphone said that he expects that they will get a positive response from the authorities and can continue to follow January-December as their income year. All taxpaying companies other than banks, non-bank financial institutions and insurance will have to follow the uniform income year from July to June from this July, according to a regulatory directive.
World Stock and Commodities
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)*||$49.46||(0.42)||(0.84%)|
|Crude Oil (Brent)*||$50.06||(0.55)||(1.09%)|
|Dow Jones Industrial Average||17,694.68||+284.96||+1.64%|
|USD 1||BDT 78.60*|
|GBP 1||BDT 105.32*|
|EUR 1||BDT 87.25*|
|INR 1||BDT 1.16*|
*Currencies and Commodities are taken from Bloomberg.