Remittance soars 32pc
Migrant workers sent home $1.63 billion in October, the second largest remittance inflow in a single month, as the government’s move to incentivise remitters from this fiscal year is appearing to be doing its trick. In the budget for fiscal 2019-20, the government introduced a 2 percent cash subsidy for remitters to encourage them to send money home through the legal channel. Last month’s receipts were up 32.28 percent from a year earlier and 11.64 percent from a month earlier, according to the latest data from the central bank. Expatriate Bangladeshis sent record amounts in May: $1.70 billion. As per a central bank notice, for amounts of up to $1,500 expatriates will receive 2 percent incentive directly to their accounts without any verification. In case of remittance of more than $1,500, sources of income and other documents will have to be presented to avoid misuse of fund. The interbank exchange rate was Tk 84.75 per USD, up from Tk 83.85 a year earlier, according to the website of the BB.
Korean Cos to invest $ 500m in Economic Zones
South Korean businesses have expressed the interest to establish an industrial park in Bangladesh’s Economic Zone (EZ) to set up factories for manufacturing apparel, leather products and ornaments. A developer company of the East Asian country, Korea Industrial Complex Company Limited (KIC), has requested Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) to initially allocate 400 acres of land in an EZ. Around 100 South Korean companies will set up factories in the proposed industrial park, which will likely to fetch an investment of US$ 500 million. The 100 Korean companies became interested to invest in Bangladesh after the Myanmar authorities failed to provide them with all required infrastructure in two industrial parks (IPs) there. The KIC officials said the developer company started establishing two IPs in Bago and Moan regions of Myanmar in 2013. In response, Mr Paban Chowdhury said BEZA is determined to establish sustainable and environment-friendly industries by giving all required support to the investors. For this reason, countries like China, Japan and India are setting up EZs in Bangladesh
Tk 11.37b Project to develop Infrastructure
The ministry of shipping (MoS) will spend Tk 11.37 billion to develop infrastructure at Daulatdia and Paturia ferry ghats for facilitating movement of passenger and other water vessels. Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), which is under the MoS, has prepared a development project proposal (DPP) in this regard, officials said. The project works include protection of river banks and development of roads and eight new berthing stations in the ferry ghats. Besides, maintenance of an approach road connecting the berthing points at Daulatdia will also be done. Out of the total amount, Tk 6.80 billion will be spent on protecting eight kilometres of river banks of the ghats. The BIWTA claimed it has thrown 52,000 sand bags in the river to protect the Daulatdia ferry ghat from erosion. The government has so far spent Tk 150 million on sand bags since 2015-16 to protect the two ghats from erosion.
Banks donate to PM’s Relief Fund
Private commercial banks have provided donations of blankets and cash to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund. The banks’ chairpersons, directors and managing directors handed over the donations to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Gono Bhaban in Dhaka. Nazrul Islam Mazumder, chairman of the Bangladesh Association of Banks (BAB) and EXIM Bank, was present. The donations varied based on instructions from the BAB. For example, Al-Arafah Islami Bank provided 125,000 blankets, Brac Bank 50,000, Eastern Bank 75,000, AB Bank 50,000 and United Commercial Bank 150,000. Instead of blankets, Dutch-Bangla Bank provided Tk 10 crore in cash while Dhaka Bank Tk 2 crore.
Women’s unpaid work equivalent to 40pc of GDP
Women need recognition for their unpaid work because its monetary value was almost 40 percent of Bangladesh’s GDP in fiscal 2016-17, said the South Asian Network on Economic Modelling (Sanem). Sanem says the monetary value of unpaid domestic work is equivalent to 48.54 percent of fiscal 2016-17’s GDP and women account for 81.4 percent of the amount. Women looking for jobs have to do unpaid domestic work for 5.97 hours per day while women who never sought to join the labour force for 6.38 hours. Even employed women work for 3.08 hours that are unaccounted for. In contrast, men who are seeking jobs work 1.59 hours per day that go unaccounted for, men who never sought to join the labour force 1.68 hours and those employed 1.28 hours. The gender budget should pave the way for women to enter the labour force, said Nazneen Ahmed, senior research fellow of the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies. Md Iqbal Hussain, joint secretary to women and children affairs ministry, said the government has established 121 daycare centres.
WB Group happy over bKash’ role in Wage Digitization
Xecutive Directors (EDs) of World Bank Group (WBG) have expressed their satisfaction over the ongoing process of wage digitization in apparel sector of Bangladesh and its impact on women empowerment. The objectives of Executives Directors’ visit were to learn about the impact of WBG activities in Bangladesh, understand the challenges of a lower middle-income country that has maintained solid economic growth over the years and exchange opinions with authorities, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders on partnerships with the WBG. However, both bKash and Newage Group are in partnership with IFC which is a member of the World Bank Group. Currently, 350,000 garments workers of 280 RMG factories are getting theirsalary through bKash. This wage digitization plays a very significant role in women empowerment as the women workers are now in more control of their wages than before. They get salary in their mobile wallet, spend according to their choice and keep savings for emergency. Launched in 2011, bKash, a joint venture of BRAC Bank, US based Money in Motion, International Finance Corporation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Ant Financial, operates as a payment service provider offering broad range of digital financial services under the regulation of Bangladesh Bank.
SDGs can be inclusive thru Industrialization
Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun on Monday said Bangladesh is moving forward under the prudent policy and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and consequently it has become a role model of development in the world, reports BSS. The least developed countries (LDCs) can achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) through inclusive industrialisation. The industries minister said this while speaking at the ’18th Session of the General Conference of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO)’ at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dabhi, a press release said in Dhaka. The government is establishing planed industrial cities, export processing zones (EPZs), economic zones (EZs) and hi-tech parks for attracting more investment in the country. A total of eight EPZs are running in the country. The government is establishing 100 EZs across the country for inclusive industrialisation. For thi, investment from home and abroad in the country are increasing. The least developed countries (LDCs) can achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) through inclusive industrialisation.
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