BB asks banks to install auto-lock in all branches
Bangladesh Bank on Sunday asked scheduled banks to install auto-lock system at all of their branches to strengthen security. The BB issued a circular to managing directors and chief executive officers of all banks asking them to set up the auto-lock attaching with the auto-alarm system. The gates of the branches will be closed automatically when the alarm will ring pushing the lock system to act if there is unauthorised intrusion in the bank, said the circular. The banks will have to set up the alarm system in a secure place so that the system can not be tempered. The alarm system must have laser beam so that the branches remain secured during the night time. The BB also asked the banks to use machine detector closed-circuit camera with the alarm system at the branches.
Mohammad Shoeb has recently been elected as the chairman of City Bank. The Board of Directors of the bank also elected Tabassum Kaiser as vice chairperson. Shoeb joined the board of the private commercial bank in 1990 as a director. He has also served the bank as vice chairman, the bank said in a statement yesterday. He is a director of Rangdhanu Spinning Mills Ltd, Phoenix Spinning Mills and Phoenix Textiles Mills. Tabassum Kaiser joined the board in 2002. She is also a director of PartexStar Group and Fairhope Housing Ltd. She is also the chairman of Partex Agro Ltd, according to the statement.
6 regulators to discuss Dhaka Mercantile Co-operative’s ‘illegal’ banking today
Six financial market regulators today will discuss how to stop ‘illegal’ banking activities of The Dhaka Mercantile Co-operative Bank Ltd which has no banking licence from Bangladesh Bank. The Department of Cooperatives has already taken an initiative to liquidate the DMCBL which has collected more than Tk 981.05 crore from depositors and disbursed Tk 1,079.55 crore in loans violating rules. Against the backdrop, top officials of six financial regulators — BB, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission, Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority, Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms, Microcredit Regulatory Authority and Department of Cooperatives — will discuss the issue at a quarterly coordination meeting at the central bank’s headquarters in the capital. BB governor Fazle Kabir will preside over the meeting. A BB official told New Age on Sunday that the central bank and the Department of Cooperatives had earlier taken a number of initiatives to stop the ‘illegal’ banking activities of the DMCBL, but the organisation filed four writ petitions with the High Court against their moves.
South Asian countries should tap various avenues of local and international resources to bankroll development projects, experts said yesterday. “Domestic resource mobilisation should be determined by national governments, and it should not be taken as a pretext by the developed countries to reduce the relevance of official development assistance,” said Salehuddin Ahmed, a former governor of the Bangladesh Bank. He spoke at a discussion on financing development at the ninth South Asia Economic Summit held at the Le Méridien hotel in Dhaka. The framework for financing development in poor countries has to be formulated with a strong political commitment, he said. The South-South and the Triangular cooperation are needed to encourage global partnership and transform the conditions of the least-developed countries. The South-South Cooperation can be defined as an exchange of knowledge and resources between governments, organisations and individuals in developing nations.
China to invest USD 5.3 billion in Bangladesh power, energy sector
Chinese investments in Bangladesh’s power and energy sector would be over USD 5.3 billion, as the country has inked four agreements and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with different local power sector entities during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. A senior energy ministry official said of the total investments, a 1,320-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant at Paira, to be implemented by the state-run North West Power Generation Company Ltd (NWPGCL), would fetch USD 2.0 billion. Improvement of electricity distribution system through underground line along with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), to be implemented by the state-run Dhaka Power Distribution Company Ltd (DPDC), would bring USD 1.4 billion. Besides, reliable and uninterrupted electricity transmission system expansion and automation, to be implemented by Power Grid Company Bangladesh Ltd (PGCB), would fetch USD 1.1 billion. Single point mooring (SPM) project with double pipeline to carry crude and refined petroleum products from deep sea to onshore storage facility would get USD 550.0 million from China. The Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources inked a MoU with China on cooperation in energy and renewable energy sector.
The government intends to initiate discussions with US-based oil major Chevron this week to buy its Bangladesh assets, reports UNB. The company has been asking for $2.0 billion from the international buyers, according Bloomberg report. “I have personally talked to Chevron’s Bangladesh president over the issue. We’re hopeful of commencing the talks within this week,” State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid told the news agencies. He however informed that there has been no formal communication between Energy Division and Chevron Corp., on the sale and buy of the US oil company’s interests in Bangladesh.
Radiant Shipyard — the manufacturer of the country’s first liquefied petroleum gas carrier, Omera Princess — has won a contract to construct a second vessel for Omera Petroleum. The keel laying ceremony, which marks the beginning of construction of the vessel, Omera King, took place last week at the premises of Radiant Shipyard in Rupganj, Narayanganj. The ship will be designed by Radiant Marine Design and built by Radiant Shipyard in about a year’s time, at a cost of BDT 320.0 million. It would have cost Omera Petroleum BDT 700.0 million if it were to source the vessel from abroad, according to Radiant Shipyard. Omera King will have a higher LPG carrying capacity than Omera Princess — of 350 tones. It will also be longer and wider in dimension than Omera Princess, 63 metres long and 10 metre in width. The vessel’s maximum speed will be 12 knots, which will be achieved by two Japanese Yanmar engines. Three Swedish Volvo Penta generators will be fitted to power the ship. The LPG control systems along with special safety features will be sourced from Belgium and France. Omera Petroleum, a subsidiary of MJL Bangladesh, is the largest operator in the LPG sector of Bangladesh, with a combined capacity of 100,000 tons per year. Radiant Shipyard is also constructing three LPG-bottle carrying vessels, with 3,000 cylinder capacity each, for Energypac Power Generation. They are expected to be delivered in January next year.
Kathmandu, Dhaka ‘agree’ to set up 1,500MW hydropower plant in Nepal
Bangladesh and Nepal have agreed to set up a hydropower plant in Nepal with a capacity of 1,500 megawatt, agreement for which would be signed soon, said commerce minister Tofail Ahmed on Sunday. He said that the electricity from Nepal would be transmitted to Bangladesh via India as the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal) economic corridor was signed by the countries to facilitate regional trade and business. Tofail said that once the BBIN, which was on implementation stage, came into full force, business between Bangladesh and Nepal would be increased and export-import would be possible directly through land route. Commerce minister hoped that after establishing Mongla-Khulna railway connectivity, the route would be connected with Nepal and rail communication between the two countries would be established by 2018. Nepal considers Bangladesh as important business partner in the region and we are interested to increase business between the two countries, said Nepal’s minister Romi. He requested Bangladesh to make investment in hydropower, tourism and agriculture sectors in Nepal. Romi said that Nepal was the important place for generating hydropower and Bangladesh could take the opportunity to meet its growing demand for electricity. According to the commerce ministry data, the trade volume of Bangladesh and Nepal was USD 27.3 million in the financial year 2015-16.
Government’s revenue authority is conducting mock execution of a new VAT law that provides for controversial online payment of the tax at a flat rate of 15.0% for all — be they big or small. Officials said a set of pilot tests, as prelude to enforcement of the VAT and Supplementary Duty Act 2012 from next year, had been run to see impact of the law on businesses and field-level tax officials. The new law is scheduled to take effect from July 01, 2017 by replacing the existing VAT law-1991. The VAT Online Project (VOP) under the National Board of Revenue (NBR) recently carried out load test of the new law by creating 60,000 virtual users. The provisions of the new law have been enforced on the users to monitor its impact on them. Two Users acceptance Tests (UTs) were also done to see whether the VAT online system is developing as per law. In the first phase, 18 VAT officials of joint commissioner and assistant commissioner levels and 12 taxpayers attended the UT.
The government has set December 30, 2016 as the fresh deadline for relocating the tannery units in Dhaka’s Hazaribagh area to the under-construction Savar Tannery Estate. Industry Minister Amir Hossain Amu came up with the fresh deadline on Sunday after a meeting with the tanners and project officials at the newly-developed industrial zone at Savar, outskirts of the capital city. He, however, warned that the errant tannery units would face stern action like disconnection of water, power and gas supply lines from the first day of 2017. On an apparent note of frustration, the Minister said that they had given ultimatum on several occasions for shifting the environmentally-hazardous industries from the capital’s densely-populated Hazaribagh area which is situated on the bank of Buriganga river. Those ultimatums went into vein because of the apathetic response on the part of the tanners although the government completed necessary tasks as far as the environment-friendly relocation process was concerned, he noted.
Countries in South Asia should create equal opportunities for the poor in order to cut inequality that poses threats to societies, analysts said yesterday. Inequality is a serious danger to societies and a threat to smooth performances of trade and industrial activity, said MA Jabbar, a board member of Pakistan’s Sustainable Development Policy. “So, countries have to cut it,” he said at a discussion on inequality at the ninth South Asia Economic Summit at the Le Méridien hotel in Dhaka. The two-day summit on regional economies ended yesterday.
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