Private sector can help improve infrastructure: IDB president
Islamic Development Bank President Bandar Hajjar yesterday stressed the importance of the private sector to improve the basic infrastructure in its member countries and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Fifty-seven member countries of the IDB require $1 trillion per annum to achieve the SDGs and $700 billion to meet the growing demand for basic infrastructures. He said the multilateral development banks have a financing capacity of $147 billion per annum for the IDB’s members. Bangladesh is the largest beneficiary of financing from the multilateral bank, with its total financing for the country being in excess of $21.7 billion. Of the funds, 80 percent went to the private sector. The IDB president said the volume of the global capital market has gone beyond $2 trillion and the private sector can get support from the window. The regional hub in Dhaka will cover 19 countries, including Singapore, Australia, Thailand and India.
Time to say goodbye to ATMs
ATMs or Automatic Teller Machines are probably one of the most the most cynical digital being in the face of the earth if you have spent most of your pay-cheque by the first week of the month- just like me. Their sinister demure smile will keep on breaking your heart till your next payday. Instead of ATMs, banks in Bangladesh are going for Cash Recycler Machines (CRMs). Unlike conventional ATMs, these don’t require the bank to feed notes every day. Instead, it can ‘recycle’ the notes deposited by the customers and adjust the balance sheet in customer and banks end automatically in real-time. All you have to do is confirm if the amount is correct to complete the transaction. All though on a single transaction, there is a limit on how much you can deposit and withdraw which varies from bank to bank. In Bangladesh, these machines have been making their way in Bangladesh for quite a while now. Three banks have already introduced these machines and more are introducing them soon.
Four SoCBs, ICB to invest Tk 10b
Four state-owned commercial banks (SoCB) and a financial institution will invest Tk 10 billion (1000 crore) more in the troubled Farmers Bank Limited (FBL) through subscribing subordinated bonds. Sonali Bank Limited will subscribe to bonds worth Tk 3.0 billion while the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) will invest Tk 1.0 billion in the bonds. Three other SoCBs -Janata, Agrani and Rupali – will subscribe to bonds worth Tk 2.0 billion each, according to sources both at the BB and the FBL. The process of issuing bonds worth Tk 5.0 billion has already started under phase-I that would end by the current month. The BB’s observer appointment came after detecting irregularities in sanctioning and disbursing loans and hiding information on non-performing loans amounting to around Tk 4.0 billion in the FBL. The FBL started its journey on June 03, 2013 aiming to provide efficient banking services to all levels of customers and thus contribute to socio-economic development of the country.
No VAT on computer parts at trading stage: NBR
The revenue authority has withdrawn value-added tax (VAT) on computer parts and accessories at the trading stage to help consumers enjoy low prices. The move comes three months after the imposition of a 15 percent VAT on parts and accessories of computers at the trading stage. In the past two fiscal years since 2016-17, the NBR had been offering exemptions on computer parts and accessories. Bangladesh Computer Samity, the apex trade body for ICT business in Bangladesh, has been demanding removal of such VAT. Use of laptops and computers is increasing in Bangladesh. The market for laptops is annually growing by 12 percent, driven by a growing middle and affluent class and overall income, International Data Corporation, a Singapore-based consulting firm, found in a survey. The laptop market in Bangladesh was worth $165 million in 2017, according to the IDC.
Swarming Motorbikes: Violation of rules rises, risk as well
Every day 1,035 motorbikes are registered in the country on average. Since the country’s independence, 22.70 lakh motorbikes have been registered and 15.11 lakh of those had been registered between 2011 and July this year. But only 11.32 lakh riding licences have been issued since liberation. During the last 10-day-long Traffic Week from August 5, police filed more than 83,000 cases against errant vehicles and drivers. Of them, around 44,000 cases were against motorbikes and 1,742 bikes were impounded. At least 259 people were killed and 960 injured in 237 road accidents in 13 days from August 16 during the Eid-ul-Azha rush, according to Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity. Most of the riders are young people, between 15 and 35 years of age, and they often speed and cause accidents. The BRTA data shows that since 1971, about 4.95 lakh motorbikes were registered in Dhaka alone.
Bangladesh, Brunei finalise three bilateral documents
Bangladesh and Brunei agreed on Sunday to sign three finalised bilateral documents to strengthen ties between the two countries, reports UNB. All the finalised instruments are likely to be signed during a VVIP-level visit next year. The agreed bilateral documents are memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Cultural and Arts Cooperation; MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Youth and Sports; and MoU on Scientific and Technical Cooperation in Agriculture. Brunei has also agreed for an “exchange of notes” for the exemption of visa requirements for holders of diplomatic and official passports as well as expediting the proposed draft MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Fisheries and Air Services Agreement by Bangladesh. Brunei has expressed keen interest to invest in the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) for intermediary products which will be taken to Brunei for further value addition for exporting to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and other world markets.
Why exports are under-performing
Bull Run may be over: The current state of our export performance should be a wake-up call. For two decades, 1991-2011, Bangladesh exports were on a tear, growing at double-digit average annual rate of 14 per cent. Ready-made garment (RMG) exports led the pack, averaging 18 per cent growth in this period. Economists monitoring the export performance were confident that finally Bangladesh had got a good handle on competing in global markets and our entrepreneurs were second to none. That period now looks like a bull run for exports. Since fiscal year 2012, that kind of export dynamism appears to have waned, replaced by a moderate performance of barely 7.0 per cent average growth. The latest figures for FY2018 are not flattering at all: total exports of $36.7 billion; growth of 5.8 per cent over FY2017, with RMG growing at 9.0 per cent, while non-RMG exports declining 9.0 per cent.
Green financing key to green RMG
A study titled ‘Environ-mental compliance opportunities in the ready-made garment industry: Lessons from the green high achievers’ revealed this on Sunday. Greening of factories came from advanced economies after financial crisis there in 2008. 1,700 ETPs (effluent treatment plants) are in the industry but the quality of water is still low. This is 0.46 tonne per capita in Bangladesh while this is 20 tonne in the USA, even 4.0 tonnes in neighboring India. The clothing giant procures around 44 per cent from Bangladesh, including 15 green factories. Some 67 green factories have already obtained the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the US Green Building Council. More than 300 others are waiting to be certified. A total of 250 textile factories in Bangladesh invested $39 million in saving water and energy. They are now saving 21 billion litres of water a year for adopting modern technologies.
Local and Global Stock Indices *
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