BB eases income repatriation by foreign nationals
Bangladesh Bank has allowed foreign nationals residing in Bangladesh and having income here to send their earnings to other countries where their family members live besides the country of their domicile. The central bank in a circular issued on Wednesday eased the restriction as foreign nationals earlier were permitted to send income only to the country of their domicile out of their current savings, up to 75 per cent of their net incomes. BB officials said that the limit on the amount of remittance any foreign national can send from Bangladesh to other countries would remain same — 75 per cent of his or her net income. Earlier, the BB in April, 2013, raised the limit on remittance for foreign nationals to 75 per cent of their net incomes from 50 per cent. The central bank, in another circular issued on Wednesday, extended the deferred facility for settling of letters of credit for import of four types of raw materials for steel production to 360 days. This increase of time frame which was earlier 180 days is applicable for the import of hot rolled coil, scrap, pig iron and sponge iron which are used in manufacturing flat steel and long steel.
Bangladesh further down in wealth distribution report
The citizens of Bangladesh with some other low-income countries in Asia have slid further down the wealth distribution pyramid, reveals a study. According to the latest Credit Suisse Global Wealth Report, citizens of other low-income countries in the region include Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam. The report shows Bangladesh in the most bottom group of countries under ‘frontier wealth’ with wealth below USD 5,000, which is heavily concentrated in central Africa and South Asia. This category also includes Cambodia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka from Asia and most part of Africa. The report says that the wealthiest 0.7 per cent of the world population now owns 45.9 per cent of the world’s wealth. From the global pyramid 2017, from the below figure, only 36 million people of the world own approximately USD 128.7 trillion of wealth among USD 280.2 trillion.
BD to be leading actor in global footwear market, say experts
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, flanked by other dignitaries, poses for a photograph during the inauguration of the 36th International Footwear Conference (IFC) 2017 of the Confederation of International Footwear Associations (CIFA) in Dhaka on Wednesday. Leathergoods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) has organised the programme. — FE Photo Bangladesh will become a leading player in the global footwear market using its exclusive advantages, like – availability of raw materials, affordable labour, foreign investment-friendly policies, and priority on leather as an export sector here, experts opined on Wednesday. They also said the footwear industry contributes around 1.54 per cent of the country’s total export earning with an average yearly growth of around 29.8 per cent during the last five years. These were disclosed at the inaugural session of the 36th International Footwear Conference (IFC) 2017 of Confederation of International Footwear Associations (CIFA), arranged for the first time in the country. Leather goods and Footwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association of Bangladesh (LFMEAB) hosted this year’s conference at a city hotel. Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed attended the programme as the chief guest.
Take steps against GP over VAT claims
The Large Taxpayers Unit has requested the capital market regulator to take legal measures against Grameenphone for not keeping provision in its accounts against state’s VAT claim of Tk 2,015 crore. The move comes at a time when Grameenphone’s stock has been on an upward trajectory and even hit an all-time high of Tk 500 on Tuesday. The field office of the National Board of Revenue sent a letter to the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission on November 14, citing eight VAT-related cases pending at different courts between the government and the largest mobile phone operator. The cases include Tk 1,023 crore VAT claims by the NBR related to the issuance of SIMs. The LTU VAT earlier said the country’s largest mobile operator had sold SIMs to new customers between July 2007 and December 2011 under the guise of issuing replacement SIMs to customers with the view to evading tax on SIMs. The NBR’s field office has also claimed VAT from other operators as unpaid tax on SIM issuance. The operators, including Grameenphone, appealed to the High Court against LTU’s claims after losing battle at the VAT Appellate Tribunal in June this year. The LTU, in its letter, said the High Court earlier gave judgment in favour of the government following a writ petition filed by Grameenphone against the VAT claims on SIM replacement. There is another case of VAT evasion of Tk 378.95 crore related to issuance of replaced SIMs between July 2012 and June 2015. The LTU has issued primary demand citing that the Appellate Tribunal gave verdict in favour of the government.
Lives to change with 4G
A major digital transformation is coming up in Bangladesh with 4G changing citizens’ way of life alongside uplifting the economy, said a top official of Ericsson. Todd Ashton, president of the mobile technology provider in Bangladesh, Malaysia and Sri Lanka, said rolling out fourth generation mobile technology would further the transformation of the country into Digital Bangladesh. “Launching 4G technology in the country can contribute a lot in Bangladesh’s economy while this technological development will also help to uplift citizens’ way of life,” he told The Daily Star in an interview on Tuesday. The Swedish company launched its business in Bangladesh two decades back and is celebrating its 20th anniversary here today with a daylong programme in a city hotel showcasing cutting-edge technology. Ashton said Ericsson Bangladesh has been working to improve the skills of the local workforce to the international standards.
Smartphone sales tepid
Smartphone sales failed to hit expectations in the first nine months of the year, because of a rise in import duty, recurrent floods and heavy rains. In the period, 64.55 lakh units of smartphones were imported — almost equivalent to that in the same period last year, according to Bangladesh Mobile Phone Importers Association (BMPIA). A total of 82 lakh units were imported in 2016, up 45.72 percent from the previous year, thanks to the fast expansion of 3G services across the country. In the last two years, importers had received very good response from the market and saw huge growth but this year the sector may lose momentum, industry insiders said. “The natural disasters affected our business as sales of smartphones in rural areas have dropped drastically,” said Jakaria Shahid, managing director of Edison Group, the parent company of mobile handset brand Symphony.
Duck farming gains popularity among Rajshahi youths
In the wake of increasing demand and price, commercial farming of duck, including goose, is gradually getting popular among the farmers, specially the unemployed youth in Rajshahi region. Duck products such as eggs and meat are of a great demand in local markets. Abdur Rahim, a commercial goose farmer of Godagari upazila said he became very successful in this sector. He started his farming with 1,000 baby gooses near the pond of his house at Habashpur village of the upazila and started getting profit after a few months. Following his initiative, many unemployed youth started duck farming at Nabogram, Gogram and Habashpur villages of the upazila. Duck farming is less expensive, simple and risk free than other farming. According to the fisheries officials, mixed farming of duck and fish is also very profitable.
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