BB begins special probe: Alleged ‘misreporting’ on forex rate to central bank by some banks
The central bank has started carrying out a special inspection to detect irregularities relating to foreign exchange reporting by the commercial banks, officials said. Three inspection teams of Bangladesh Bank (BB) started on-site inspection Sunday to find out alleged ‘misreporting’ on foreign exchange rate to the central bank by some banks. Besides, overall inflow and outflow of the foreign exchange of the banks concerned have also been probed to assess the actual position on the foreign exchange of the banks. The teams have been assigned to conduct such allegation against six banks initially, according to the BB officials. The officials, however, said the name of some other banks will be included into the probe list after completing the first phase of inspection. “We’ve decided to probe into such allegations against 18 banks phase by phase,” a BB senior official told the FE. He also said the central bank will take next course of actions against the banks after receiving the inspection reports. The BB’s latest move came against the backdrop of allegations that some banks are trying to mislead the central bank with ‘untrue information’ about foreign exchange rates offered particularly to the importers.
Bangladesh banks asked to find counterfeit notes before feeding ATMs
Bangladesh Bank on Sunday asked all the scheduled banks to check currency notes by counterfeit note detecting machine before feeding money to their automated teller machines. The central bank issued the instruction as a group of people becomes active in counterfeiting currency notes before Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha, two biggest religious festivals for the Muslims, and during Ramadan, the fasting month for the Muslims. Besides, the BB asked banks to check currency notes by the fake note detecting machine before receiving money from their customers. The central bank’s circular instructed banks to ensure display of BB-provided videos, containing different security specification of currency notes, in public places.
State banks on a loan rescheduling spree
State-run banks are fervently rescheduling loans with a view to flattering their true financial health. In 2017, Sonali, Janata, Agrani, Rupali and BASIC rescheduled loans amounting to about Tk 5,000 crore, in contrast to Tk 3,300 crore a year earlier, according to data from the central bank.
Govt. borrow BDT 10bn issuing T-bills Sunday
The government is set to borrow BDT 10 billion though holding of auctions of its treasury bills (T-bills) on Sunday, officials said. As per revised auction calendar, the government may borrow BDT 5.0 billion with 91-Day T-bills and the rest of BDT 5.0 billion with 364-Day T-bills on the day. The ministry of finance had already revised its auction calendar for the month of May to borrow more from the banking system to finance budget deficit partly for the current fiscal year, a senior official of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told the BBN.
Banks’ VAT collection from overseas ads under scrutiny
The VAT authorities have made an initiative to scrutinise major commercial banks’ VAT collection from overseas payment of advertisement bills on Facebook, YouTube and other online networks. To this end, the Large Taxpayers’ Unit (LTU) under the Value Added Tax (VAT) wing recently wrote to the managing directors of 17 large commercial banks. They have asked the banks concerned to furnish the details of VAT collection from the advertisement bills that were paid beyond the geographical boundary of Bangladesh. As per the VAT Law 1991, banks will have to collect VAT at a rate of 15 per cent from advertising firms providing overseas ads using internet service like Facebook, YouTube and also from their royalty. All the banks are liable to deduct VAT from overseas advertisements, the LTU letter said. The ad firms pay service charges against overseas advertisement through Bangladesh Bank and other banks. An LTU official said initially the unit has given the banks seven days’ time to furnish information, but it may be extended upon applications of the banks.
Pubali Bank gets new vice-chairmen
Eminent industrialists and social workers Moniruddin Ahmed and Syed Moazzem Hussain have been elected as vice-chairmen of the board of directors of Pubali Bank Ltd in its 1162nd board meeting, according to a statement. Mr Moazzem has also been elected as chairman of Executive Committee of the board. Mr Moniruddin is a renowned businessman and engaged with various social activities. He has been working relentlessly to upgrade the education in Sylhet. He is the founder chairman of Monir Ahmed Academy. He is the chairman of Pubali Bank Securities Limited. Mr Moazzem is a renowned businessman and engaged with various social activities. He is the chairman of Prince Corporation Ltd. and Moazzem Knit & Dyeing Industries Ltd. He was the chairman of the board of directors of Delta Life Insurance Company Ltd. He is the chairman of executive committee of Pubali Bank Ltd.
bKash Eid discount up to 25pc
bKash is offering customers up to 25 percent cash back on shopping across over 1,500 outlets of 107 brands in fashion, e-commerce, electronics and restaurants marking Eid-ul-Fitr. The customer account will get instant cash back following payments either through a newly launched “bKash app” or dialing *247#. The mobile financial service provider in a statement yesterday said to be also offering discounts at select hotels.
Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) signs deal with DSE to help improve listed companies’ reporting standard
GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), Netherlands, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) to provide training to local stakeholders so that listed companies follow the standards of sustainability reporting. The MoU was signed at a city hotel on Sunday in presence of the representatives of the premier bourse, GRI, and Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC). GRI is an independent international organisation that has pioneered sustainability reporting since 1997. GRI was founded in Boston in 1997. The GRI Sustainability Reporting Standards (GRI Standards) are the first and most widely adopted global standards for sustainability reporting.
‘Micro-merchants’ have limited access to finance: They need $6.0b worth of credit annually: UNCDF study
Bangladesh has over 1.1 million ‘micro-merchants’ engaged in fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) trade with estimated annual sales of over US$ 18.35 billion a year, according to a study conducted by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). According to the National Industrial Policy 2016, micro-enterprises will be those which employ maximum 15 persons and/or have assets worth less than Tk 1.00 million, excluding land and buildings. However, they have the credit demand for over $ 6.0 billion a year despite the fact that they have a very limited access to finance, the study said. The demography is that 49.3 per cent youths are ‘micro-merchants’ with 65 per cent of them having secondary level education or above. The merchant market consists of 1.7 per cent females with a total of 1.9 million people involved. The research which was completed in March last said throughout all sub-groups of merchant markets, adequate access to finance is the biggest challenge — over 90 per cent. It said 30 per cent of all micro-merchants (MMs) have mobile financial services accounts. Even among the poorest MMs, 25 per cent have MFS accounts.
Nonprofits trim operations, facing funding headwinds
Stories of Bangladesh’s growth and prosperity have swayed the donor community to commit less aid for legions of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the country, forcing the nonprofits to trim operations. “We’re seeing the impact at the field level,” said Asif Saleh, a senior director for strategy, communications and empowerment at BRAC. “NGOs are now compelled to scale back operations.”
Khulna 800MW power project awaits ECNEC nod
The government has undertaken a move to set up an 800-megawatt (MW) combined cycle power plant in Khulna to meet the growing demand of power in the country, reports BSS. The 800 MW plant will be built on the abandoned land of Khulna Newsprint Mills Limited (KNM).
Industries to get 2,000 new gas connections
The textile factory owners see an increase in their productivity, as the government has finally decided to allocate 2,000 new industrial gas connections and supply adequate gas to the existing units. The move to allow new industrial gas connections after a seven-year pause comes in light of the recent import of liquefied natural gas from Qatar. The government has already approved 196 new gas connections last month for members of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, the platform for spinners, weavers, dyeing mill owners and other allied industries. The BTMA members are one of the major gas consumers as the running of spinning mills requires a lot of gas, said Mohammad Ali Khokon, vice president of the association. The primary textile sector will be immensely benefitted as many of the factories could not begin production in the absence of gas connections, while the other mills were running below capacity for want of adequate gas pressure.
Asian Paints to set up 2nd plant at Mirsharai EZ
Asian Paints, a multinational paint manufacturer, is planning to set up a modern paint manufacturing facility at Mirsharai Economic Zone in Chittagong, its Country Head in Bangladesh Ritesh Doshi has revealed. The construction of the state-of-the-art plant will start by December this year and once completed, this will be Asian Paint’s second manufacturing facility in Bangladesh, Doshi said in an exclusive interview with the FE. “We have already signed a lease agreement with Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority in this regard and the construction of the plant will start by December,” he said. “We are committed to investing around US$25 million to $30 million in phase one of this scheme,” Doshi added. Bangladesh’s paint market has seen exponential growth in recent decades due to the boom in real estate business and infrastructure development. The total market size for paints in the country is estimated to be around Tk 35 billion, which is growing at an annual rate of 8.0 to 10 per cent. Asian Paints, which currently has the second largest share in this growing market, usually supply its products from its sole manufacturing plant in the country located in Gazipur.
BD, Russia to work on cyber security
Bangladesh expects further Russian cooperation in the field of information technology and cyber security. IT experts at a daylong Russia-Bangladesh IT Summit 2018 in the capital on Sunday hoped that Moscow would cooperate with Dhaka in ensuring cyber security, says a statement. The event was organised in the auditorium of ICT Tower in Dhaka city. Hosne Ara Begum, managing director of Bangladesh High-Tech Park Authority, gave an address of welcome at the programme and highlighted the prospects of investment in the country’s fast-growing IT sector. She said Bangladesh High-Tech Park Authority is building 28 hi-tech/software technology parks across the country. Of them, Janata Tower Software Technology Park in Dhaka and Sheikh Hasina Software Technology Park in Jashore have already started operations. “Bangladesh and Russia have both the potential and scope to pair up in order to create skilled workforce in the domestic IT sector,” Hosne Ara mentioned.
Compensation may increase in Bangladesh labour law
The government and representatives of factory owners and workers have reached a consensus on raising compensation for workplace death and injury in the labour law. ‘The members of the tripartite committee on preparing draft amendments to the labour law discussed the issue in most of the meetings held by the committee and agreed that the existing compensation amount is poor and it should be increased,’ one of the members of the tripartite committee told New Age on Sunday. He said that the issue was also discussed in a committee meeting held on Sunday at the Labour Department office in the capital but the amount of the compensation was yet to be settled due to an absence of proper representatives of factory owners in the meeting.
Canada expresses keen interest to invest in EPZ
Canada has expresses its keen interest to invest in EPZs in Bangladesh. Canada has lauded investment friendly climate, workers right, overall safety and security and existing working atmosphere of the EPZs of Bangladesh. Canadian Ambassador to Bangladesh Benoit Prefontaine made these remarks during visiting BEPZA executive office, recently. The ambassador expressed keen interest to increase more Canadian investment in the EPZs. Major General Mohd Habibur Rahman Khan, BSP, ndc, psc, executive chairman of Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) informed the overall scenario of BEPZA to the Canadian Ambassador. Currently, 37 countries have set up industries in the EPZs.
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