The exchange rate of Bangladesh Taka (BDT) depreciated significantly against the US dollar at the customers’ level on Tuesday, mainly in case of clearing import payment obligations, according to the market operators. The local currency depreciated by 0.37 per cent or 30 paisa against the US currency as the average Bill for Collection (BC) rate of the greenback stood at Tk 82.0892 on the day from Tk 81.7889 on the previous working day, according to Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers Association (BAFEDA). Other than the seasonal variations, the rate normally fluctuates within a range between zero and three paisa, said a senior treasury official of a private commercial bank. The substantial depreciation of BDT took place in nearly two weeks after it witnessed an appreciation of 30 paisa on September 14.
Graft bar to private investment in infrastructure dev: analysts
The private sector invests little in the country’s infrastructure with their reluctance mainly stemming from the prevalence of corruption and a lack of governance, said speakers at a roundtable in Dhaka yesterday. Other factors include high project costs, implementation delays and slow returns, Mirza Azizul Islam, former adviser to a caretaker government, told the event jointly organised by Bangla daily Prothom Alo and Keystone Business Support Company at the CA Bhaban. Infrastructure development projects are implemented very slowly, said Humayun Rashid, a director of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “The government will have to act properly to improve its project development process,” he said. Rashid, also the managing director of Energypac, suggested that the government form an infrastructure regulatory authority to monitor management of relevant projects. Before searching for the financing, the issues holding it back should be addressed, said Faisal Ahmed, chief economist of the Bangladesh Bank. He said the present environment is favourable for investment in Bangladesh compared to that in other developing countries because of high national savings and reasonable inflation.
Women entrepreneurs urge govt to provide bank loan at 5.0pc interest
Information Minister Hasanul Huq Inu on Tuesday called for fixing the loan interest rate at 5 per cent for women entrepreneurs to help them get uplifted from micro level to institutional level. He, however, called upon women entrepreneurs to build their capacity in business management and ICT and maintain product quality for competing globally. The minister was addressing an award giving ceremony titled “BWCCI Progressive Award 2015 and 2016” organised by Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) at Institution of Diploma Engineers Bangladesh.
Dhaka Bank Limited sponsored the construction of ‘Children Play Zone’
Dhaka Bank Limited sponsored the construction of ‘Children Play Zone’ – a play zone for children with all modern amenities at Gulshan Lake Park. In this connection, the foundation stone was formally unveiled recently on the park premises. Dr. ATM Shamsul Huda, President, Gulshan Society and Syed Mahbubur Rahman, Managing Director & CEO of Dhaka Bank Limited unveiled the foundation stone.
BRAC Bank Limited organised a seminar on “Foreign Exchange Market Development: The Way Forward”. Mr. Selim R. F. Hussain, Managing Director & CEO, BRAC Bank Limited, inaugurated the seminar at a city hotel in Dhaka. Mr.Chowdhury Akhtar Asif, Deputy Managing Director & CRO, Mr.Md. Shaheen Iqbal, Head of Treasury & Financial Institutions, BRAC Bank, were present along with Head of Treasury of different banks. Mr. Arvind Narayanan, ED & Head of Sales, Treasury & Markets, DBS Bank Ltd., India, was the key resource person in the seminar. The seminar discussed current global and local foreign exchange market dynamics, various FX products, risk management and scope for market development.
Southeast Bank Limited has donated fund to Chittagong Metropolitan Police
Southeast Bank Limited has donated fund to Chittagong Metropolitan Police for purchasing a wrecker for its Traffic Department. M Kamal Hossain, Managing Director of Southeast Bank Limited handed over the cheque to Md Iqbal Bahar BPM, PPM, Commissioner of Chittagong Metropolitan Police at a ceremony held Tuesday.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) scaled down Bangladesh’s economic growth to 6.9 per cent from the government-projected 7.4 per cent in the current fiscal. Slower income growth in agriculture and wage employment and also sluggish improvement in remittances are cited as reasons for the lower economic growth forecast by the Asian development financier. “The growth forecast for Bangladesh in FY2018 is maintained at 6.9 per cent, slightly below the official estimate for the previous fiscal year, as income growth in agriculture and wage employment slows and as improvement in worker remittances remains slow,” the Bank said in its Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2017 update, released Tuesday. The ADB noted that the country’s estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth in FY2017, which ended on June 30, exceeded last forecasts banking on robust manufacturing and services and on revived agriculture.
Bangladesh and the World Bank (WB) are set to sign a US$ 65 million (about Tk 5.19 billion) loan agreement soon to enhance the capacity of the insurance regulator and state-owned insurance corporations, officials said. Besides, the global lender is set to deliver a final report on Islamic Banking Supervisory and Regulatory Frameworks Technical Assistance project, they said. A WB mission is supposed to visit Bangladesh from September 30 to October 06. The main objective of the mission is to work with the Bangladesh Bank on delivery report for the Islamic Banking Supervisory and Regulatory Frameworks Technical Assistance and follow up on the approval by the authorities of the Bangladesh Insurance Sector Development project that was approved by the board of directors of WB in March this year, according to a WB document.
Exim Bank of India is set to relax one of the major conditions for the projects under the $4.5 billion line of credit extended to Bangladesh for smooth implementation of the projects. The final round of negotiations concluded on Monday. Shahidul Islam, additional secretary of the Economic Relations Division, led the Bangladesh side and Amit Kumar, joint secretary of the foreign affairs ministry, the Indian side. An agreement may be signed on October 4, by the ERD and Indian Exim in the presence of the finance ministers of both the countries. Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is due to visit Dhaka next week. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi committed to give fresh $4.5 billion line of credit to Bangladesh during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s visit to India in April, to take the neighbouring country’s total commitment since 2010 to $7.5 billion. As many as 17 projects have been identified for funding with the new line of credit, all of which got the green light from the Indian Exim Bank.
Revenue authorities made a decisive move to realise Tk 1.1 billion in back taxes from eight large insurance companies who have defaulted on the payment for long, officials said. The value-added tax (VAT) wing of the NBR demands the unpaid amount on account of at-source VAT on insurance agents’ commission and re-insurance commission. The large taxpayers unit (LTU) under the VAT wing claimed the tax arrears for the period from 2013 to 2016 of calendar year. To push through this claim LTU commissioner Matiur Rahman issued letters to the eight insurance kingpins Monday, asking the insures to explain in next 15 days the reasons for non-payment of VAT. The insurance companies are: Progoti, Green Delta, Sadharan Bima Corporation, Reliance, Pioneer, Phoenix, Eastland, and Pubali.
Taxmen should act as friend, not enemy, to taxpayers to promote tax culture, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said Tuesday as he stressed enhancing revenue receipts for bigger budget ahead. He told his audience at a city tax camp that Bangladesh graduated to a middle-income country in 2016 on the basis of per- capita income although the government had set the target for 2021. “We hope to increase our budget size above Tk 4.5 trillion next fiscal year. Revenue is the main source of earning in our budget,” he said while listing different measures for revenue boosting. The finance minister noted that there is a provision of punishment for the taxmen who are not following the right way while reward for the complaint ones.
Bangladesh’s primary textile sector, an essential cog in the garment export wheel, has been witnessing a dearth of fresh investment for the last few years due to gas crisis and scarcity of bigger industrial land. Only five new spinning, three weaving and two dyeing mills with an investment of about Tk 1,300 crore were set up in the last four years, according to data from the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association. The textile sector needs heavy investment and bigger industrial plots to set up the plants. The primary textile sector indicates the strength of a country’s garment sector as the millers and spinners supply the yarns and fabrics to the apparel manufacturers, who cater to the international clothing retailers. A more developed primary textile sector means shorter lead-time in the garment business as the apparel makers can purchase the raw materials from the local market.
Low price disappoints jute cultivators in Rangpur zone
The jute cultivators across Rangpur agriculture region are disappointed due to falling price of the crop during this season. According to sources although the jute growers under the region witnessed a good yield of the produce this season, they have become disheartened owing to its plummeting price which has been prevailing in markets. They are counting huge losses as jute is now being sold at Tk 1,250 to Tk 1,500 per maund, depending on quality while its price was Tk 1400 to 1650 in the local markets at the beginning of harvesting season, farmers alleged. Expressing frustration over low price of the cash crop Ojiar Rahman 55, a jute grower of Char Thakurdas village at Kawnia upazila of Rangpur told The Financial Express that he sold jute at Tk 1,500 per maund this week while it was sold at Tk 2,000 per maund last year, he further said. Motahar Hossain (50), another jute grower at Nabdiganj village under Pirgachha upazila in Rangpur district said that he cultivated jute on 3 bighas of land this year spending additional money for irrigation and high labour cost. But now he has to incur massive losses on account of low price of the crop, he further said.
Runner Group in partnership with Indian Oil on Tuesday launched SERVO lubricants with an expectation of expanding its automotive business in the country. SERVO products were launched at a programme, where prime minister’s energy adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury was present as chief guest, at Sonargaon Hotel in the evening. Officials of Runner Lube and Energy Limited, an associate organisation of Runner Group, earlier made the announcement of the SERVO launching at a press conference held at the same hotel. Runner Lube and Energy chairman Hafizur Rahman Khan said, ‘Industries need good quality of lubricants to operate their machineries smoothly.’ ‘Runner with the partnership of Indian Oil will bring the world standard lubricant products of SERVO in the market to meet the demand of quality lubricant in the country,’ he said.
Dhaka is finally set to get new automated traffic-signal system for managing booming and chaotic traffic, with four busy intersections coming first for piloting. Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) has taken up a pilot project to introduce the digital traffic signals, against the backdrop of the existing signalling systems having failed to work, somehow. Officials said the new signal system has been planned first for Gulshan-1, Mohakhali, Paltan and Fulbaria intersections. The machines will replace men at other crossings following successful implementation at the four. These signal lights will be operated through control system from where the lights will be changed with fixed time counting vehicles of all lanes. DTCA has already signed contracts with four firms to carry out necessary civil works and install equipment and infrastructures, including camera, with grants from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
Bahon looks to give Uber, Pathao a run for their money
Get Bahon Limited, a new IT start-up company is set to launch a car and bike ride sharing service in capital Dhaka on Wednesday. As an e-hailing service, Bahon hopes to compete with other services like Uber, the US-based ride sharing service, which has already grabbed a fair amount of market in the city. Following Uber’s success, a significant number of local start-ups have infiltrated the ride-hailing business in the last couple of years, such as Chalo, Amarbike, Pathao, SAM – share a motorcycle and Taxiwala. Last month, Innovadeous Pvt Ltd, an e-commerce consultant firm, also developed an app called “Ezzyr” to provide car and bike reservation services. Get Bahon Ltd has already launched their website (www.getbahon.com) and their app, Bahon, is also available on app stores for both iOS and Android users. It will, however, provide services only in Dhaka city area for now.
Major Currency Exchange Rate Movement in Last Seven Days
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