NBR likely to slash tax exemptions in next budget
The authorities are planning to scale back tax exemptions for sectors like ICT, power, charity and fisheries in the upcoming budget after flagrant abuse. The National Board of Revenue, or NBR, has uncovered the evidence of abuse in the blanket tax waiver facility offered to a number of “priority” sectors. The Bangladesh Bank policy analysis unit conducted a study in 2006 on tax expenditure. The tax expenditure refers to the opportunity cost of taxing at concessional rates, or the opportunity cost of giving exemptions, deductions, rebates, referral credits etc., to the taxpayers. An IMF mission will conduct ‘Bangladesh tax expenditure assessment’ during its visit in the country from March 8 to 19. The IMF delegation will also hold a workshop on ‘tax expenditures’ for the tax officials on March 9, 2020. To take preparations for the IMF meeting, the NBR has already asked its field offices to furnish data of the volume of tax exemptions in their respective tax zones. The actual rate of taxes for many corporate sectors, except for banks, is less than 4.0 per cent, although applicable tax rate is 35 per cent to 40 per cent. However, those sectors have higher contribution to gross domestic product, or GDP, not to the tax revenue. An analysis of income tax wing has found some 34 statutory regulatory orders were issued during FY 2018-19, after passage of the budget to offer tax waivers. Of the tax exemptions, some 20 regulatory orders offered tax exemptions to charities. Businesses having less than Tk 5.0 million annual turnover are exempted from the payment of VAT under the new law.
Dhaka Bank to deliver customer service through WhatsApp
WhatsApp has become a non-negotiable part of the modern life. Which is why banks in many countries have embraced it to deliver their customer service very effectively. And from this month, customers of Dhaka Bank would be able to get real-time banking service through the messaging platform, in a first for Bangladesh. The lender is set to roll out the novel digital banking model for its registered 2.5 lakh clients from the second week of March as part of its push towards digitisation in order to attract tech-savvy customers. The WhatsApp banking platform will offer mini statements to customers and credit card-related transaction record. Customers can take the service both through messages and voice calls on the WhatsApp platform. For instance, any customer can make calls to the customer service centre of Dhaka Bank through WhatsApp if he/she faces any problem while at home and abroad through WhatsApp. This will help reduce the cost of customers as WhatsApp is a free internet-based communication application. Besides, Dhaka Bank will not impose any change on clients for enjoying banking services through WhatsApp, Huq said. The lender is hoping more than 50,000 of its customers will embrace the service within the next 2-3 months. Dhaka Bank’s retail and SME financing stand at 12.5 percent of its total outstanding loans of Tk 19,563 crore as of December last year. They have set a target to enhance the financing to the segment at 35 per cent of our outstanding loans within 2024.
From catkin field to the model economic zone
The Meghna Industrial Economic Zone (MIEZ) located beside the Dhaka-Chattogram highway was just a catkin field five years ago but it has since turned into an industrial hub. Situated on 110 acres of land at Tipordi under the Sonargaon upazila of Narayanganj, the MIEZ was established by Meghna Group of Industries (MGI) as the most modern economic zone of Bangladesh. And yesterday, the local business giant flagged off nine new industrial units set up at a cost of Tk 4,000 crore at MIEZ in a bid to meet the country’s growing demand for consumer products and industrial raw materials. The units, which were inaugurated by Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, have created more than 10,000 employment opportunities. The MIEZ is an example of how an economic zone should be developed, said Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA). In 2015, the area was just a catkin field with banana trees strewn about but BEZA helped MGI build up the industrial hub with their cooperation and by providing land. In his speech, he said 13 of his industrial units located in the zone did not get gas supply for a long time even though he had deposited the Tk 220 crore as security to Titas Gas. MGI has 48 operational industrial units located in different areas. Of that total, 24 factories, which include six foreign companies, are found at economic zones.
Uttara Motors launches two new models of Suzuki
Uttara Motors Ltd, country’s one of the leading automobile distributors on Saturday launched two new models of Japanese brand Suzuki in the local market. The models SUZUKI’s new ALTO and brand new WagonR, which the distributors believe will meet up expectations of the local buyers regarding their demand for cost-effective and energy-efficient four wheelers. Chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) Dr Md Kamrul Ahsan and Chairman and Managing Director of Uttara Group of Companies Matiur Rahman unveiled the new Suzuki Alto and Suzuki WagonR.
First Nat’l Insurance Day today
The first-ever National Insurance Day will be observed across the country today (Sunday), aiming at creating and increasing awareness on the sector. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the day’s programmes at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city at 10:00 am. The events at BICC will include seminars, fair and cultural programmes. Districts and upazilla offices concerned will also observe the day simultaneously. The IDRA, the national day implementing agency, organised a large rally on Manik Mia Avenue in the city on Saturday. Around 5,000 people attended it. Senior Secretary to the Financial Institutions Division Md. Ashadul Islam, and the IDRA Chairman Md.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
|Index Name||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|DSEX||4,480.22879||↓ 68.88||↓ 1.51 %|
|↓ 357.28||↓ 1.39 %|
|FTSE100||6,580.61||↓ 215.79||↓ 3.18 %|
|Nikkei 225||21,142.96||↓ 805.27||↓ 3.67 %|
World Commodities *
|Commodity||Close Value||Value Change||Percentage Change|
|Crude Oil (WTI)||$ 44.76||↓ 2.33||↓ 4.95 %|
|Crude Oil (Brent)||$ 49.67||↓ 2.06||↓ 3.98 %|
|Gold Spot||$ 1,585.69||↓ 59.32||↓ 3.61 %|
Major Currencies Exchange Rates Movement in Last Seven Days *
|USD 1||BDT 83.1729|
|GBP 1||BDT 106.566|
|EUR 1||BDT 91.6790|
|INR 1||BDT 1.14802|
*CURRENCIES AND COMMODITIES ARE TAKEN FROM BLOOMBERG.<