Sep 28, 2011

DSE General Index goes up down in last 2 months

DSE General Index from August to September, 2011
DSE General Index from August 1 to September 28, 2011
After the share market manipulation in the first quarter of 2011, it is not coming back in a normal state until now. DSE General Index trends roughly up and down in the recent past. In August and September, 2011, the general index of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) was moving from 5600 to 6400 which was 8918.51 on December 5, 2010.

According to DSE statistics, DSE general index 6,400 on August 3, 2011 is the highest value of last two months. On September 28, index is 5851 at the end of day. The trend of increasing in share prices continued to February 28, 2011, individuals investors rose to 3.5 million. A large number of people borrowed money from the private banks to invest in the share market with a hope of making good profit. These investors lost their money as a result of suddenly dropped share prices.

Security and Exchange Commission, Bangladesh Bank are trying to build stability in the market. But, it is not influenced enough for getting a better price than present. If the index increases today, that is going down for the next few days. As a evidence of the fact, you can read two contrary reports on The Daily Star:
September 26, 2011: Stocks claw back ground
Dhaka stocks gained 2.34 percent yesterday due to a heavy buying pressure of investors to benefit from low-priced shares, as the bourse returned from deep losses last week. The benchmark General Index -- DGEN -- of Dhaka Stock Exchange closed on 5,784, after gaining 132 points. Ahmed Rashid, director of DSE, said institutional portfolios must be more active to make the market stable for a long term, adding that the price level is attractive for institutional investors.

Indian investment remain low level continue

Indian investment to Bangladesh stands at a penurious amount of US$ 590 million since 1971 though two neighbours have initiated a number of steps both at governmental and private levels to help boost its inflow. Even the latest visit and return-visit by the Prime Minister of two countries have failed to woo any major Indian investor to Bangladesh.

 The Board of Investment (BOI) sources said a total of 62 fully-owned Indian companies have invested $ 210 million in Bangladesh while Indian entrepreneurs invested $380 million in 168 joint venture companies. Besides, Indian businessmen are found to be more interested in service sectors where rate of return on investment is very high.

IMF to suggest change in monetary and fiscal policies

From the Financial Express: IMF for regular oil price-hikes, changes in monetary, fiscal policies
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has suggested regular oil price hikes to cut energy subsidy, an increase in bond and Treasury bill rates and changes in the country's fiscal, monetary and exchange rate policies in an effort to stave off "intensifying" macro-economic and financial risks

An IMF team made the suggestions in a report to the government of Bangladesh this week after reviewing the country's overall economic condition during a 12-day visit early this month. The Washington-based global monetary watchdog asked the government to adopt a package of near-term policy actions to preserve the country's economic stability, cautioning that lack of reforms could adversely affect growth potentials.

"Bangladesh's economy continues to expand at a strong pace. However, macroeconomic and financial risks are intensifying," said the report based on a visit of the IMF Aricle-4 mission, which visited the country from September 05 to 15. The Fund also called for tax reforms, strengthening public financial management, additional monetary tightening, increasing interest rate flexibility, allowing greater exchange rate flexibility, reforms in financial sector, boosting equity market oversight and improving bank governance and performance.

Arithmetic of coal-fired power plants

From the Financial Express: Arithmetic of coal-fired power plants
The government is, apparently, putting the cart before the horse as far as coal-fired power plants are concerned. The ministry of power, energy and mineral resources has prepared a massive plan to generate 7450 megawatt (mw) of power using coal, which is now regarded as the new gold, by the year 2019.

However, with its own coal policy remaining in limbo, the ministry should do its own arithmetic as to how and wherefrom it would make available a huge quantity of coal -- an estimated 34 million tonnes -- to feed 14 power plants, including a couple each with a generating capacity of 1300 mw, every year.

This is all the more necessary in the backdrop of a great rush to acquire coalmines across the world and resurgence in coal prices after lots of fluctuations in recent years. The price of a tonne of thermal coal (Australian), used in power generation, in 2006 was little over US$47. It peaked to $193 in July 2008 and thereafter dropped to $65 in March 2009. And now it costs around $130. The coking or metallurgical coal has now reached the record high of $300 a tonne.

Sep 27, 2011

Current account to fall into deficit

Current Account Balance
From The Daily Star: Current account heading for deficit
The current account may fall into deficit at $884 million for the first time in seven years due to a wider trade gap and slow remittance growth. Earlier such deficit was recorded at $557 million in fiscal 2004-05, according to Bangladesh Bank data.

The government presented the information in a report on the country's overall economic situation at a meeting with Standard and Poor's on the sidelines of the annual IMF meeting in Washington on September 25. Government high officials led by Finance Minister AMA Muhith attended the meeting.

Except for balance of payments (BoP), the state of the economy is good and the credit rating agency is satisfied with it, Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman told The Daily Star by phone from Washington. The BB governor said they are hopeful that the rating of Bangladesh will improve further next time.

1 tcf gas reserve boost to energy sector

Rashidpur Gas Field
From Financial Express: 1.0tcf gas found in Rashidpur field
The government Monday announced discovery of new reserve of an estimated 1.0 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas in Rashidpur gas field in northern region in a major boost to the country's ailing energy sector. Petrobangla chairman Dr. Hussain Monsur declared the new discovery of gas in state-owned Rashidpur gas field at a press briefing at Petrocentre in the city Monday evening.

He said the newly discovered structure -- eastern flank -- of Rashidpur gas field has 967.2 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas reserve under low to medium risk category. The probability of finding gas from it is 80-90 per cent, he said. Besides, there are potential gas reserves of around 2.41 tcf in high risk category in the same 'eastern flank' of the Rashidpur gas field and the probability of finding gas is below 50 per cent, he said.

Petrobangla announced the fresh discovery of gas following a 3D seismic survey conducted by Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Ltd (Bapex) in Rashidpur gas field spanning over an area of 325 square kilometres. During the press briefing, Petrobangla also lowered its previous estimation of gas reserves in western flank of Rashidpur gas field by 129.7 bcf to 1.87 tcf.

PM reviewed political status of Bangladesh (update-6)

About the visit of PM Seikh Hasina to attend 66th UNGA, check out: Update-1, Update-2, Update-3Update-4, Update-5

After attending conference, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is looking back at Bangladesh politics. She has ruled out the necessity of sitting for talks with the opposition leader about 'different problems' existing in the country. Speaking at a 'Meet the Press' programme with journalists at Bangladesh's Permanent Mission at the United Nations here on 24 September, the Prime Minister said the main demands of the BNP leader are releasing her 'corrupt sons', stopping trial of war criminals and withdrawing the money laundering cases filed against her sons.

On 25 September, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina co-chaired of Bangladesh Caucus in the US Congress Josheph Crowley made a courtesy call on her at her hotel suite. She said the present government has allocated the opposition party more seats than they deserved in the parliamentary standing committees to ensure their adequate representation in the House.

Sep 25, 2011

IMF projected forex reserves fall for fuel spending

Fuel Importing Bill
From The Daily Star: Higher spending on oil weighs on forex reserves: IMF
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that Bangladesh's foreign currency reserves may fall by $1 billion by the end of the current fiscal year mainly because of increased spending on oil import. Recently an IMF team after a two-week visit to Bangladesh sent a report to the government on the country's current economic situation.

The delegation led by David Cowen, who visited Dhaka and Chittagong during September 5-15, also made a number of recommendations for the government. The report of the Washington-based lender said the pressure on the balance of payments will continue to intensify due to increased demand for oil and capital imports.

Faruk to leave for Germany on invitation of BGCCI leaders

Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan
Commerce Minister  Faruk Khan
Commerce Minister Lt Col (retd) Faruk Khan will leave here for Germany to invite Berlin's business leaders to avail themselves of Dhaka's investment opportunities. His visit, on an invitation of leaders of Bangladesh- German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI), is also aimed at boosting Bangladesh's export to the county of central Europe.

A commerce ministry handout issued today read that the main objective of the visit is to project the country's image before the German people. During the visit, Khan will meet the high government officials, business leaders and chiefs of different business conglomerates.

PM places her new peace model in UN (Update-5)

About the visit of PM Seikh Hasina to attend 66th UNGA, check out: Update-1, Update-2, Update-3 Update-4
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressing the 66th annual session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA)
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressing
the 66th annual session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA)

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina endowed the on 24 September world with her new peace model based on people's empowerment, saying that cherished global peace can prevail under a multidimensional democratic approach with six mutually reinforcing multipliers.

The multipliers, she said, are: eradication of poverty and hunger, reduction of inequality, mitigation of deprivation, inclusion of excluded people, acceleration of human development and elimination of terrorism. The Prime Minister introduced her peace model while addressing the 66th annual session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), the main policymaking organ of the United Nations, in Bangla here.

"In fact, my lifetime experience has inspired me to come up with the new peace model based on people's empowerment... I call it the 'people's empowerment and a peace-centric development model' that reaffirms that all people should be treated equally and emphasizes the scope of human capabilities which can be realized through peace," she said. Sheikh Hasina said prosperity is achievable in an environment of peace which is possible by individual nations by sincere implementation of what is right, or sometimes under the guidance of the United Nations.

Sep 24, 2011

TIB to track climate Fund use

Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), speaks at a press conference at the Cirdap auditorium.
Dr. Iftekharuzzaman, Chairman of TIB
From The Daily Star: TIB to track climate fund use
Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) will track the use of the climate change fund to ensure that the money is being used properly. Dr Iftekharuzzaman, executive director of TIB, said on Saturday the organisation has taken up the new initiative to “trace the money” used under the fund.

“We will try to trace the use of the money to ensure transparency and accountability,” he said at a press conference at the Cirdap auditorium in the city. “It is still in the early stage as the country has received some money for the fund but it has not been used yet,” Dr Iftekharuzzaman said.

Responding to queries about anomalies in the use of the fund as reported by some newspapers, he said the TIB would look into the issue. Though the TIB could not give the exact figure of the amount the country has received so far from development partners for climate changes issues, Iftekharuzzaman believes it would be more than Tk 700 crore.

The government has set up an annual climate change trust fund of $100 million. It has also received assurances from development partners of funds to tackle the impacts of climate changes.

NSI strongly refuted investment claim by Zee News

United Liberation Front of Assam - ULFA
From the Weekly BLiTZ: Bangladeshi intelligence blasts Zee News
National Security Intelligence [NSI], a Bangladeshi internal security agency, in a very strong statement has refuted the report of Zee News, where the Indian television channel quoted a report from NSI describing investment of United Liberation Front of Assam [ULFA] in various commercial projects in Bangladesh. In a statement released on September 23, 2011 to the local media, NSI termed the news content about ULFA's investment in Bangladesh, as "local and international conspiracy of defaming the image of the country."

It may be mentioned here that, a number of Bangladeshi newspapers and news sites quoted a news content of Zee News, where the later claimed, ULFA has invested US$ 20 million in various business ventures in Bangladesh. In the report, Zee News also claimed to have received a copy of the 'Secret Report' of Bangladeshi intelligence agency, National Security Intelligence [NSI].

Refuting the news, NSI said, "The news is totally baseless and is an attempt of serving the ulterior purpose of any vested interest quarters in Bangladesh."

Grameen Bank in film from Bangladesh to U.S.

Muhammad Yunus
Muhammad Yunus
From the Washington Post: Film tells how bank for the poor brought lessons from Bangladesh to New York
Just before the global financial crisis struck in 2008, Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus came to the U.S. to do just about the last thing any mainstream economist would have advised — he set up a bank for the poor.

Helped by its Bangladeshi know-how, Grameen America has replicated the kind of micro-lending to the poor that helped millions of women set up small businesses in the largely rural and cyclone-prone South Asian country about as far removed from New York as you could imagine.

Three years on, Grameen America has succeeded — albeit on a modest scale. That story is told in a documentary film, “To Catch a Dollar: Muhammad Yunus Banks on America,” by New York and Boston-based filmmaker Gayle Ferraro that has its New York premiere Friday.

BD PM unfazed by problem at home: NY Times (Update-4)

About the visit of PM Seikh Hasina to attend 66th UNGA, check out: Update-1, Update-2, Update-3
Sheikh Hasina Wazed with Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations headquarters on 23 September, 2001
Sheikh Hasina Wazed with Secretary-General
Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations
headquarters on 23 September, 2001

New York Times reports: Grandmotherly Bangladesh Leader Unfazed by Problems at Home

While Bangladesh’s prime minister has been attending the United Nations this week, stock market investors back home rioted over steep losses, the police arrested hundreds of Islamist protesters and the main political opposition party threatened a general strike for Saturday, when it is her turn to speak at the annual General Assembly.

The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina Wazed, appeared unfazed. A stern grandmother figure with a calm voice and cool gray eyes, Mrs. Hasina, who turns 64 this month, has survived far worse in her rollercoaster political career in Bangladesh, one of the world’s most impoverished countries, with a history of political chaos and military interventions over much of the 40 years since it won independence from Pakistan.

Citizens without green card in us facing deportion

Nadia and her mom
Nadia and her mom
A Bangladeshi student and her mother got a letter from immigration and customs enforcement stating that they are being deported from U.S. on 29 September. Nadia Habib, 19 years old go to U.S. from Bangladesh 18 months ago. Their family consists of six members, her parents and three siblings. Her father have a green card and her siblings are citizens of U.S. as they were born in U.S. So, only she and her mother are facing this challenge.

CBS News reports: Queens Mother & Daughter Hoping To Avoid Deportation To Bangladesh
University student says she is scared and worried about her impending deportation, along with her mother, to Bangladesh. Nadia Habib, a 19-year-old psychology major, was 18 months old when she and her mother, Nazmin, moved from Bangladesh to the United States. Her father had a Green Card and the family settled in Queens.

BPC faces severe funding problem

From Financial Express: Govt seeks deferred payment facilities from oil suppliers

The government is now looking forward to deferred payment facilities from the overseas suppliers to cope with the current fund shortage problem and to foot the mounting oil import bills, top officials have said Friday. The deferred payment arrangement is being sought to ease the pressure on the government's budgetary resources for provision of subsidy to the cash-strapped Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) for its payments against oil imports, the sources said.

The BPC is struggling to meet its regular oil import bills to the fuel suppliers due to severe fund constraints as its imports of petroleum products are on a substantial rise mainly to run new diesel- and furnace oil-fired power plants.

Tax fair end on a happy note

The government collected Tk 414.39 crore in income taxes at the 'Income Tax Fair 2011' that ended yesterday. As of yesterday, 62,272 people submitted their income tax returns, while 10,041 people obtained tax identification numbers at the six-day event, said MA Kader Sarker, president of the fair organising committee, at a press meet in Officer's Club, Dhaka.

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) organised the fair to encourage people to voluntarily pay income taxes, plug the gap between tax officials and general people and create a an environment of trust. The fair took place simultaneously in seven divisional cities.

Sarker said they are overwhelmed by the response. “We are now planning to organise such fairs at district levels and in tax circles from July to September next year so that people can enjoy the services without any hassles.” Last year, when NBR organised the fair for the first time on a test basis, the tax administration collected Tk 113 crore in income taxes and 52,544 people submitted their tax returns.

Local Government Division Secretary Abu Alam Md Shahid Khan, Information Secretary Hedayet Ullah Al Mamun, Liberation War Affairs Secretary Mizanur Rahman, Cultural Affairs Secretary Suraiya Begum and NBR Member Syed Md Aminul Karim were also present.

US to disallow GSP on sleeping bag export from BD

From The Daily Star: Sleeping bag exports to US face hurdles
Hopes for duty-free exports of sleeping bags to the US market slip away from Bangladesh as the revival of the generalised system of preferences seems far off, said exporters yesterday. The Obama administration is now refusing to give foreigners the facility as Exxel Outdoors Inc, a sleeping bag maker in the US, objected to allowing duty-free import of the item.

The US government blocked preferential access to goods from least developed countries (LDCs) in January. The facility had been in place since 1974. The tenure of the old GSP scheme expired on December 31 and the US plans to announce a comprehensive new GSP later, said an official of the commerce ministry in Dhaka.

PM visit to attend 66th UNGA (update-3)

PM's 11 day visit to attend 66th UNGA : update-1, update-2
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will address the 66th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) at UN headquarters on 24 September morning. The Prime Minister is expected to address the General Assembly in Bangla. In her speech, the Prime Minister will reiterate her appeal to declare Bangla as one of the official languages of the UN.

Hasina is expected to seek support of the global community to Bangladesh's annual flagship resolution - "A Culture of Peace," which she had launched for the first time in 2000 as the Prime Minister. Besides, the Prime Minister is likely to focus on empowerment of women, attainment of MDGs, equality, poverty alleviation, human development and elimination of terrorism. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who arrived here on Sunday last to attend UN General Assembly, passed a busy day today with bilateral meetings with dignitaries of different countries.

Sep 22, 2011

Export growth highest in South and South-West Asia

Bangladesh's exports are forecast to grow by 15 percent annually in 2011 and 2012, higher than any country in South and South-West Asia, said the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) 2011.

Exports of South and South-West Asia will increase by 9.5 percent in 2011 and 9.7 percent in 2012, while least developed countries (LDCs) are projected to grow by 8.7 percent this year and 14 percent next year, according to the report.

The report hailed Bangladesh's booming performance of services exports, which grew by 24 percent in 2010 after a slow growth of 4 percent in 2009.Bangladesh's exports of goods and services are growing, the FDI and intra-regional trade are not. Bangladesh received only $4 billion in FDI in five years (2005-09), lower than many LDCs.

Bangladesh co-sponsors ministerial meeting on MDG

Bangladesh co-sponsored a ministerial meeting on "Commitment to accelerate progress on the MDGs" as a side event on the margins of the 66th UN General Assembly. Japan, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Vietnam and Zambia were the other co-sponsors of the meeting along with UNDP, UNICEF and World Bank held on 21 September, said a press release received here today.

The participating countries noted that the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) have helped unite countries, engage citizens and inspire policies which have eventually put their people at the centre. Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni MP made a statement at the event on "Priorities in the Remaining Period".

She mentioned that the meeting gave an opportunity to the countries to reiterate resolve and redouble their efforts to attain the MDGs in the remaining four years. The foreign minister also shared Bangladesh's unique experiences in attaining MDGs and targets.

SME product to display center to open Sept 24

SME Foundation has set up a centre dubbed 'SME Product Display and Information Centre' aimed at displaying quality products of local SME entrepreneurs. A source in the foundation told BSS today that an array of goods of 100 small and medium enterprises would be displayed in the centre, first of its kind in the country.

The SME products especially electrical, electronics, light engineering, agriculture, leather, plastic, design and fashion would be put on display. The source said SME products would be displayed before local and foreign buyers attuning to the country's latest development of the SME industry.

ICCB teams leaves to join ICC-G20 Regional Consultation

BSS report: ICCB team leaves for Hong Kong to join ICC-G20 Regional Consultation
A four-member ICC Bangladesh delegation headed by its President Mahbubur Rahman left Dhaka for Hong Kong today to attend a two-day ICC-G20 Regional Consultation for Asia and the Pacific. The consultation will conclude on September 23, says a press release.

The business leaders will deliver on the recommendations to be submitted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and G20 Advisory Group to the G20 Summit due to be held in Canne, France in November 2011. It may be mentioned that with a view to ensuring balance and substance behind its recommendations, ICC already organized three consultative sessions with regional business leaders in Mexico City, Doha and Zurich.

Topics to be covered in the Hong Kong Consultation will include trade, investment and development , strengthening financial regulations and ensuring the availability of trade finance , reforming the international monetary system, mitigating the adverse impacts of commodity price volatility, fighting corruption and encouraging green growth.

The other members of the ICC Bangladesh delegation are Latifur Rahman, Vice President of ICC Bangladesh and Chairman & Managing Director, Transcom Limited, Syed Manzur Elahi, Chairman, Apex Adelchi Footwear Limited and Maj Gen Amjad Khan Chowdhury (Retd), President, Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MCCI), Dhaka & CEO of PRAN-RFL Group.

Jute exports gains but farmers face price crisis

Jute is the 'Golden Fibre' of Bangladesh, it was said earlier. Now the question is it really worth that title on the present occasion?  Government encourages the farmers to produce more jute, but the farmers are in trouble with their produced jute. They are not getting the price of jute which they paid production costs in this year.

The jute farmers got a reasonable price in the previous year. So, they produce more in this year. In last week, they could not sell it for less price than production costs. Meanwhile, media reports that jute export gains momentum in this year. Other reports have shown a hope for the jute farmers that North Bengal Paper Mills in Pabna plans to make paper from jute mould.

Expert to master plan to save Dhaka from flooding

A comprehensive master plan is needed to address ‘urban flooding’ in Dhaka as it will be a major challenge for the mega city in the coming days, experts told a workshop here on Wednesday. They said flooding will become a tremendous challenge for the city due to rapid but unplanned urbanisation.

The Institute of Water Modelling (IWM) organised the workshop on Dhaka Case Study for the research project ‘Collaborative Research on Flood Resilience in Urban areas (CORFU)’ at BRAC Centre Inn in the city. Water Resources secretary Shaikh Md Wahid-uz-Zaman, BWDB Director General M Habibur Rahman and Chairman of Dhaka Wasa Dr Gholam Mostofa, among others, addressed the workshop held with IWM executive director Prof Dr M Monowar Hossain in the chair.

WFP to raise assistance for Bangladesh

Update from UNBConnect: WFP to raise assistance to Bangladesh
The World Food Programme (WFP) will increase its assistance to Bangladesh to help ensure food security in the country. The assurance came when a seven-member delegation of WFP's executive board met Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Abdur Razzaque on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Dr Razzaque said around 31 percent of the country's population has been living bellow the poverty line, a figure which is bigger than the total population of many countries. He said the government is working sincerely to ensure food security for the country's people and it has already strengthened the social safety net programmes to achieve the target.

The Food Minister said world leaders need to give attention to global food security issue and bring changes in their policies, or else, the global food security would be at stake. Delegation leader France Ambassador Berengere Quincy said the WFP is working to bring a significant change in the global food security issue and assured the minister of WFP’s assistance to Bangladesh to face natural disasters in the days to come.

The other members of the delegation are Indian Minister Counselor for Agriculture Shoban K Pattanayak, Counselor of Burkina Paso Laurent D Coulidati, Carl Benny Raymond, Maj Hessel, Arsen Vartanyan and Erika Jorgensen.

Sep 21, 2011

India retracted ban on onion export

Faced with protests from farmers, the Indian government yesterday decided to lift a ban on onion exports. The decision was taken at a meeting by an empowered group of ministers on food, headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi.

“The ban on onion exports has been lifted,” Union Minister for Science and Technology Vilasrao Deshmukh told reporters after the meeting. The government had imposed a ban on onion exports on September 9 to check its spiralling prices on the domestic market which touched Rs 25 a kg at retail level.

The minimum export price on onions has been fixed at $475 a tonne, the same level when the government decided to prohibit the shipment of onion, Deshmukh said. "The situation will be reviewed after a fortnight," he said.

While the ban on exports had an instant impact on bringing down the wholesale prices of onions by Rs 2-5 a kg in Delhi, the decision triggered protests from farmers in key producing regions of Maharashtra and Karnataka states. Farmers in the two states refused to bring their produce to markets protesting the drop in their profits due to the ban.

Dollar exchange rate to go up

Monthly Dollar Exchange Rate
Update from The Daily Star: Dollar gets costlier
The price of the US dollar has gone up both in formal and informal (kerb) markets, riding on a jump in demand from Hajj pilgrims and a slowdown in inflow of remittance. The dollar was selling at Tk 78.40 yesterday at different exchange houses and in the kerb market.

The inter-bank rate crossed Tk 75, up from Tk 74 just two weeks ago. “We are facing a scarcity of dollars. An absence of travellers' cheque has also created pressure on the cash dollar,” said the head of treasury of a private bank.

A slowdown in the inflow of remittance, which is common during the post-Eid period, has also pushed up the greenback price, he said. Hajj season always increases the demand for the dollar. About 110,000 Bangladeshis will perform Hajj this year and if they spend $1,000 each, the total demand for the dollar will stand at $110 million.

Updating poverty maps of Bangladesh [Infographic]

Updating poverty maps of Bangladesh Infographic

2nd day of PM visit for 66th UNGA (update-2)

PM's 11 day visit to attend 66th UNGA : update-1 
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived U.S. at 2-45 pm (local time) on 19 September to attend the 66th UN General Assembly session. On the 2nd day of her visit, she attended a meeting organized by US Chamber of Commerce and Asia Society at the Asia, addressed a dialogue on 'climate' jointly convened by Mexico and South Africa at Sheraton Hotel in New York, awarded the South-South Award, sent a message to Dhaka on the occasion of International Day of Peace, meet Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, reports BSS.

PM calls for duty-free RMG access to US market
United States to allow duty-free access of Bangladeshi readymade garments to its market and sought a positive role of the 'Friend Congressmen' in this regard, urged PM. If the current high tariff on apparel and textile products is waived, it will contribute to our economic development, social transformation , particularly in the empowerment of women, and sustain democratic ideals and shared values on which relations of the both countries are founded, she said. The Prime Minister was addressing on 'prospects of trade and investment cooperation between Bangladesh and the US' a luncheon meeting organized by US Chamber of Commerce and Asia Society at the Asia Society auditorium here.

Start-up delays major reason for low fund utilization: ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) observed that project start-up delays have become the major reason for low utilization of funds, causing increase in project cost. "Start-up delays are serious concern, a major reason for the low utilization of funds is start-up delay", Stefan Ekelund, Portfolio Management Unit Head of ADB's Bangladesh resident Mission, said at a seminar in Dhaka on 20 September.

The ADB arranged the seminar on 'Sharing Good Practices in project Implementation' in its conference room. Stefan said preparations in advance, early engagement of consultants and performance auditing are vital to successful project implementation. Member (infrastructure) of the Planning Commission Masud Ahmed and officials of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Water Development Board (WDB) and Roads and Highways Department also spoke.

Sep 20, 2011

Bangladesh in World Development Report 2012 [Infographic]

Bangladesh in World Development Report 2012 Infographic

Vehicle fare raise with fuel price [Infographic]

The government has raised the prices of diesel, kerosene, petrol and octane by Tk 5 a litre and furnace oil by Tk 8 which executed at 18 September midnight. Less than 24 hours into the hike in fuel prices, the government yesterday increased bus and auto-rickshaw fares, and the price of compressed natural gas.
Infographic of Fuel Price and Vehicle Fares

BB acts to help share market

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has taken an important move to help revitalise the stock market with extending the timelimit for the merchant banks and brokerage houses to adjust their single borrower exposure. The central bank in a circular today said the merchant banks and brokerage houses would be allowed to adjust their excess single borrowers' credit by December 31, 2012 in place of the current timelimit of December 31, 2011.

From bdnes24.com: BB acts to help market
Executive director S K Shur Chowdhury told bdnews24.com around Monday noon that the banks with marchant banking operations will now have until Dec 31, 2012 to bring down their exposure to the allowable limit. The extension came amid calls by the bankers that the deadline should be extended to 2014 as the capital market is struggling for acute liquidity crisis.

Sep 18, 2011

Income Tax Fair - 2011 [infographic]

This year, the fair is being held in all divisional cities thanks to the huge response that the NBR received in the maiden fair where thousands of prospective taxpayers got TINs instantly.

From The Daily Star: Income tax fair kicks off on cheery note
The tax official took a moment to find out the tax zone for the prospective taxpayer, Salma Begum, a resident from Haricharan Roy Road in Old Dhaka. The official typed the address on computer, marked the tax zone and got a printout containing the name of Salma, address of the tax office, tax circle, zone and other information. Salma took the printed copy and headed for stalls that provide tax identification number (TIN). That was a scene at the Income Tax Fair that began yesterday at Officers' Club in Dhaka where many prospective and present taxpayers gathered either to get TINs, submit tax return forms or to seek help to clear confusion about forms and paying tax.

Information graphics or infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge. These graphics present complex information quickly and clearly, such as in signs, maps, journalism, technical writing, and education. With an information graphic, computer scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians develop and communicate concepts using a single symbol to process information, according to Wikipedia

Famous blogger Holy Kaw posted with a single image which give a lot of data: Working from home [infographic]

About Infographic, Problogger posted: Blogosphere Trends + Using Infographics

Information graphics, or infographics as they are more often called, are a great way to convey complex information clearly and concisely. Infographics can be anything from annotated maps, timelines, flowcharts, graphs, Venn diagrams, size comparisons, charts, or data presented with snazzy typography to a gorgeous amalgamation of several of these techniques. They add visual interest to your blog and are passed around more often than ordinary images or text.

If you have a design background or are fortunate enough to have some artistic skill, you can create your own infographics from scratch. If you’re like most of us, you’ll need a bit of assistance; fortunately, there are plenty of helpful resources online.

Sep 17, 2011

CPI and Inflation rate show higher trend

Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Inflation rate showed even a higher trend in August, 2011. The rate of the monthly average inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index in August went up by 0.33 percentage point to 11.29 per cent, according to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) published on 15 September. In August, food inflation dropped .70 percentage from July to 12.70 per cent and non-food inflation raised by 2.30 percentage from July to 8.76 per cent.

Annual inflation rate 8.80 in 2010-11, 7.31 in 2009-10 and 6.6 in 2008-09 as BBS's statistics. In last 3 years inflation trends in rural areas more higher than urban.
Annual Inflation Rate

Bangladesh ineligible to apply DV-2013

For DV-2013, natives of Bangladesh are not eligible to apply because the country sent a total of more than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the previous five years, said in the instructions for the DV-2013 program. Native of the other six countries in Asia region shows ineligible for this year's diversity program are China, India, Pakistan, South Korea, Philippines and Vietnam.

The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State and conducted based on United States law, specifically Section 203(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This law provides for a class of immigrants known as ―diversity immigrants, with visas made available to persons from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. For fiscal year 2013, 50,000 diversity visas will be available.

The online registration period for the 2013 Diversity Visa Program (DV-2013) will begin on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, at noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4), and conclude on Saturday, November 5, 2011, at noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) (GMT-4).

But, a good news for the immigrated who are not officially US citizen that a group of 48 aspiring Americans received their certification. In this 48 people received their certificates of citizenship from 29 different countries, including also Bangladesh.

From wtvr : Newly-minted Americans walk in history's footsteps
The grounds at Scotchtown bear only a slight resemblance to what things must have looked like some 230 years ago, when Patrick Henry roamed the estate. But the ideals that Henry stood for -- liberty, personal freedom, equal opportunity -- still resonate today.

PDB to face huge deficit for oil-based power

As the government has turned to generating power using costly imported fuel oil, the Power Development Board is set to incur an extra loss of around Tk 8,000 crore until June next, reports the Daily Star. As the election manifesto, power is a main agenda of present ruling party.

Based upon this preliminary study of Power System Master Plan (PSMP) -2010 study the anticipated peak demand would be about 10,283 MW in FY2015, 17,304 MW in FY2020 and 25,199 MW in 2025. According to PSMP- 2010 Study, 2011 peak demand forecast is 6765 MW.

Total installed capacity 6760 MW and generation capability 6208 MW as March, 2011 and maximum demand served so far 4936 MW on 18 July, 2011, according to statics of Power Development Board. Generation plant uses natural gas 76.14%, diesel 10.29%, furnace oil 6.46%, coal 3.70% and hydro based 3.40% of total installed capacity 6760 MW.
Power Plant type as Fuel

Garments makers grabbed $75m export order from trade show in US

Bangladesh Garment and knitwear manufacturers and exporters have grabbed export orders worth US$75 million from the Magic Sourcing Show-2011 held in the United States (US), a source in the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB)said on 16 September. Akhtaruz Zaman Khan Kabir, Director (fair) of EPB, told BSS that Bangladeshi exhibitors enjoyed a great attention from visitors during the event, making the export promotion initiative a huge success.

Kabir said the export order is US$18 million more than last year's. The four-day 'Men's Apparel Guild in California (MAGIC) show eoncluded in Las Vegas, the biggest city of the State of Nevada, USA on August 24, 2011. Under the auspices of Export Promotion Bureau (EPB), a total of 21 garment manufacturers including the state-run EPB participated in the trade show, the largest trade show in the North America.

PPP best option to achieve 8-10 p growth: Muhith

Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives could be the best option for huge investment to achieve 8 to 10 percent economic growth in future, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith while addressing the concluding ceremony of two-day workshop on 'Project Identification and Feasibility Study' at a hotel in Dhaka on 16 September.

 He said, "Unless investment is raised from the present level of 25 percent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), how we do expect 8 to 10 percent economic growth". Prime Minister's Office (PMO) and Bangladesh Bank (BB) jointly organized the workshop as a part of a two-day capacity building programme for senior government officials to enable them to effectively kick-start the country's PPP programme. A total 100 government officials were trained during the event. BB governor Atiur Rahman addressed it as special guest. 

He said,
For achieving the target of growth, there is a need for creating assets where the PPP models can play an import role. PPP is not new in Bangladesh.there was an Independent Power Producer (IPP) project under PPP initiative in 1997.
The finance minister said he is enthusiastic about the PPP because there were a lot of success stories of PPP initiatives in India, Philippines and Malaysia.

Sep 15, 2011

ADB signed loan agreement to improve Primary Education

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh signed an agreement on 15 September for $320 million in soft loan to improve the quality and reach of the primary education system, reports BSS. Secretary of Economic Relations Division (ERD) M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and Country Director of ADB's Bangladesh Resident Mission Thevakumar Kandiah signed the agreement on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB respectively at a ceremony at ERD, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar here, said an ADB statement on 15 September.

The assistance for the Third Primary Education Development Project (PEDP-III) will support textbook and curriculum improvements, a teacher development plan and a class assessment system that will result in a more effective, relevant and child-friendly learning environment. To reduce current access and participation gaps, targeted assistance will be given to disadvantaged groups such as tribal children, ethnic minorities and children living with disabilities.

Pleiades to invest US$3.015m in Mongla EPZ

Mongla EPZ
A company, Pleiades Industries Limited will invest about $3.015 million for setting up a knitwear industry in Mongla Export Processing Zone. signed an agreement with Bangladesh Export Procession Zones Authority (BEPZA) today to this effect, reports BSS.

Md. Moyjuddin Ahmed of BEPZA's investment promotion and Aya Nakajima, chairman of Pleiades Industries, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective sides. The industry will manufacture all kind of knitwear items and create employment opportunity for 380 people. BEPZA Executive Chairman Major General ATM Shahidul Islam, Secretary Md. Shawkat Nabi and General Manager AZM Azizur Rahman were present on the occasion.

Mongla port area, Bagerhat. 105 kms from Jessore Airport and 397 kms from Dhaka and 664 kms from Chittagong port.

PM leaves to attend 66th UNGA for 11-day visit (update-1)

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leaves Dhaka on 18 September for USA to attend the 66th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) at UN headquarters in New York, Foreign Ministry sources said to BSS. During her 11-day official visit to the USA, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will also attend a number of events to be organized by UN Secretary General on counter terrorism, communicable disease, women empowerment and food security other than a series of bilateral meetings.

Before leave Dhaka calls for intensified campaign for Ozone awareness for UN Ozone Day and asks secretaries to be innovative in resolving public demands in a meetings on 15 September. She called for intensified campaign to create social awareness for preservation of the Ozone layer as Bangladesh joins the UN Ozone Day celebrations. She also gave directives in her first meeting with secretaries of different ministries at the onset of current fiscal year in the cabinet room of Bangladesh Secretariat. In the PM's busy day, BSS reports three different news.

NBR to expect 1 lakh new income taxpayers in tax fair

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) celebrates National Income Tax Day-2011 on 15 September 2011 and also will organize a six day income tax fair from 17-22 September 2011 in all divisional headquarters to provide one-stop service and aiming to net over one lakh fresh taxpayers.

President M Zillur Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina wished success of National Income Tax Day 2011 on September 14, observing in the country today. In separate messages on the eve of the day, they greeted the taxpayers, income tax officials and employees and all concerned.

From BSS: NBR eyes one lakh new taxpayers as income tax fair begins in divisional HQ Sept 17
"We are going to organize the fair in eight divisional headquarters for the second time with an expectation of enrolling one lakh more taxpayers," said NBR chairman Dr Nasiruddin Ahmed at a press conference here today. The NBR will also observe National Income Tax Day tomorrow (Thursday) across the country to inspire people to pay income tax.

BB board to allow new private banks

The board of the Bangladesh Bank (BB), central bank will invite fresh applications for setting up of new private commercial banks (PCBs) within the next ten working days. Its board of directors approved a proposal on 14 September on issuing licences for new PCBs.

The central bank published a 'Draft GuidelinesTo Establish A Banking Company in Bangladesh' on 15 August, 2011 to grant licenses after considering the demand and strategy to effective monetary and financial sector policy for the country. To open a new banking company, must be a limited company incorporated in Bangladesh, paid up capital shall not less than money equivalent to Taka 400 crore and share capital will be formed with ordinary shares only, according to the guidelines of Bangladesh Bank.

BSS reports on 14 September: BB to allow new banks with conditions
The board of Bangladesh Bank (BB) today decided to allow establishment of new banks with a series of pre- conditions including a minimum of taka 400 crore as paid up capital. Besides, the new banks should raise fund equal to their paid up capital from the capital market within three years of their commencement.

The central bank's Deputy General Manager (protocol), A F M Asaduzzaman told BSS that the number of licenses had not been decided as yet. Apart from that the minimum shareholding stake of each sponsor director will be taka 100 crore instead of the existing taka 25 crore and the maximum will be 10 per cent of the proposed bank's total share- capital.

"This ceiling of 10 per cent applies to an individual, company or family member, either personally or jointly or both," he added. Asaduzzaman said the central bank will publish an advertisement inviting fresh applications from the interested entrepreneurs to establish new banks. The new guidelines have restricted the number of directors on the board at 13, he said adding that the Chief executive Officer(CEO) of the proposed bank shall have at least 15 years' experience in the banking profession.

Relating to the branch expansion policy, the guidelines said the ratio of urban and rural bank branches has to be 1:1 or as per instruction that may be issued by the BB from time to time. "The new bank has to ensure financing at least 5.0 per cent of its total lending to agricultural sector or as per instruction that may be issued by the central bank from time to time," it added.
The commercial banks, especially the private ones, make a big amount of profit every year, creating interest among influential persons to get licence for setting up new banks. So, the process to give licenses for a new bank may influenced by politics, it will be dangerous for the monetary market and this prominent business.

Sep 14, 2011

Export revenue show uptrend in starting 2011-12

The export revenue has display a outstanding uptrend in the first two months of 2011-12. During July-August of the fiscal 2011-12, export earnings have changed 7.34 percent of export performance over export target in two months of 2011-12 and increased 30.44 percent than in the corresponding months of the previous fiscal 2010-2011,According to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) statistics released on 13 September.

The export revenue was US$ 2376.74 million in the month of August, while it was US$ 2339.52 million in the month of July. In July-August of current fiscal total export earning was US$ 4716.26 million, while it was US$ 3615.72 million in corresponding months of 2010-11.

Export Performance for the month of July-August, 2011-12
(in Millions US$)
ProductsExport of Jul-Aug, 2010-11Target for Jul-Aug 2011-12Export of Jul-Aug, 2011-12% change over previous year%Change over Target
All Products
Primary Commodities
Manufactured Commodities
Source: Export Promotion Bureau of( EPB)

JICA urges govt for final route of Metro Rail

The official of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) asked the government to give a final decision on  the route within three or four days if Bangladesh wants Japan's loan for the Metro Rail Project. Otherwise the loan will be delayed by a year. It was said at a meeting o 13 September with ministers, experts, Chief of Bangladesh Air Force and officials of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica).

Jica, which has already accepted a route modification in February this year, is keen on providing 80 percent of the $1.8 billion project cost as soft loan. It was the government who first delayed the progress of the project by modifying the route on February 1 this year as it conflicted with Gulistan-Jatrabari flyover project.

In the face of pressure from Bangladesh Air Force, the government has decided to change the course of the much-talked-about metro rail, and take it through the parliament complex. Experts said about 55 metres of land on the eastern side of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban will be required for setting up of some pillars of the metro rail, which will seriously damage the aesthetic view of Louis I Kahn's masterpiece.

Sep 13, 2011

Financial, Investment, Assistance update

From BSS (Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha): $3.69m FAO grant for boosting agro productivity
United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will provide Bangladesh 3.69 million US dollars for boosting its agricultural productivity. The assistant will be disbursed to the Integrated Agricultural Productivity Project (IAPP) under the technical assistance and capacity building component by FAO within four years. A project document to this effect was signed between Economics Relations Division (ERD) and FAO today at ERD at Agargaon here. Economic Relation Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and FAO Representative in Bangladesh Dominique Burgeon inked the document for their respective sides.

After the signing, Bhuiyan hoped that the assistance of the FAO will help the Bangladesh government in increasing agriculture productivity to ensure food security for its huge population. Burgeon expressed FAO's full commitment to supporting Dhaka's efforts in attaining sustainable food security in general and capacity building in particular. IAPP is the umbrella project, which resulted from the US 52 million dollar grant awarded to Bangladesh by the Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) in 2010.

Japan will provide Taka 42 crore aid for primary education development. BSS reports: Tk 42 crore Japanese grants for reducing dropouts
Japan will provide nearly Taka 42 crore (500 million Yen) to Bangladesh as grants for development of the country's primary education aiming at reducing the droop out rate. Japan government will give the assistance during the current fiscal under its "Japanese Grant Aid for Poverty Reduction Strategy' to the ongoing government project- 'Third Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP3)' being implementing by the Primary and Mass Education Ministry.

Transit fee to be fixed following Int'l standard:PM Adviser

Bangladesh government will decide the transit fee with India in line with the international practices, foreign affairs adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Gowher Rizvi said on 12 September. It was scheduled to sign transit agreement on Manmohan Dhaka visit. But it was not signed.

Bangladesh government was declared that details of transit agreement not announce for security reason. Mr. Rizvi told to media men about this agreement and The Financial Express reported as ' Transit fee to be fixed as per int'l practices : Gowher':
"We will look at the best international practices while determining the transit fee with India. The chart on transit fee will be followed as per international practices," he said while speaking at a discussion on 'Indo-Bangladesh Relations- Opening up Trade and Investment Opportunities" at a city hotel on the day. Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BGCCI) organised the event. Dr Rizvi said that giving transit to India and other South Asian (SA) nations will boost the country's investment and increase the regional trade.

24 percent revenue growth in 2010-11

The revenue growth in the third year in a row is a remarkable indication of vibrant economic growth of the country while in the fiscal year 2010-2011 the country has achieved over 24 percent revenue growth, told from a high level government meeting on subsidy and inflation on 13 September in Dhaka, reports BSS. The meeting was held at Prime Minister's Office (PMO) with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

The meeting discussed country's overall economic situation including the issue of giving subsidies and current situation of inflation in the country, PM's press secretary Abul Kalam Azad said after the meeting. The meeting expressed satisfaction over robust growth in revenue sector in the third year in a row and overall economic situation of the country.

 The meeting was also told that remittance sent by expatriate citizens also marked increase despite global economic meltdown, the press secretary said. Later, the search committee on selecting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the office of Public Private Partnership (PPP) submitted report to the Prime Minister.

Sep 12, 2011

Responses of duty-free access of 46 products to India

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh concluded visit to Bangladesh on 7 September of his two day visit. After the visit of Manmohan Singh, responses and reactions from business communities of both Bangladesh and  India are encouraging and fear the worst also. Reason for granted duty-free access of 46 garments products by India from its neighbor.

Before and after of the visit are different from the context of discussing of both nations people. Before the visit, Indian main expectation was the agreement on transit and Bangladesh's main expectation was sharing water agreement. But India failed to sign agreement on Teesta river water sharing agreement due to absent of Mamata Banerjee. Interestingly, the opposition of both countries resisted to their government to give their neighbor's demand. Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) don't want to give transit India and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) opposed to signing agreement on sharing water of Teesta river.

India and Bangladesh signed a deal on 6 September that demarcates the 4,000 kilometer border between their two nations, helping to settle a long-running border dispute. India provided duty-free market access to Indian market for Bangladesh’s 46 different garment products on 7 September. Bangladeshi businesses see it as a step forward towards expansion of trade relations with India. But the decision ran into angry responses from the Indian garment industry.

Sep 11, 2011

Economic update on 9/11 in 2011

Past week for Bangladesh was the busiest time in recent. Dr. Manmohan Singh visit and Argentina vs Nigeria football match at Bangabandhu International Stadium in Dhaka, both events at same time. After Manmohan return, analysis of bilateral and regional relations turn into different way which was the hot topic of Bangladesh and Indian media.

Bangladesh most expected from aspect of environment protect in the visit of Manmohan Singh that agreement on sharing water of Teesta River will be signed and Indian government expected from Bangladesh that transit agreement will be signed from aspects of economic development.

Oh yeah, I have wrote 9/11 in the title of this post, today is 9/11 10th anniversary. In 2011, the anniversary is different from the previous ones because US declared that Osama bin Laden is died in Pakistan in 2011.

Income Tax at a glance in Bangladesh

Among direct taxes, income tax is one of the main sources of revenue for Bangladesh government. It is a progressive tax system. Income tax is imposed on the basis of ability to pay. 'The more a taxpayer earns the more he should pay' - is the basic principle of charging income tax in Bangladesh and aims at ensuring equity and social justice.

National Board of Revenue (NBR) organizes tax fair from 17-22 September 2011 in all divisional headquarters to provide one-stop service for submission of return and getting TIN certificate and payment of tax. NBR also celebrate National Income Tax Day-2011 on 15 September 2011.

Income tax authorities in Bangladesh are National Board of Revenue, Director-General of Inspection (Tax), Commissioner of Taxes, Director General (Training), Director General of Central Intelligence Cell (CIC) and additional employees of taxes.

For the purpose of computation of total income and charging tax thereon, sources of income is classified into 7 categories of the population. These are salaries, interest on securities, income from house property, income from agriculture, income from business or profession, capital gains and income from other sources.

For individuals other than female, senior taxpayers of 65 years above related taxpayers, tax payable for the

Level of IncomeTax rate
up to taka 1,80000%
Taka 1,80,001 - 4,80,00010%
Taka 4,80,001 - 8,80,00015%
Taka 8,80,001 - 11,80,00020%
Above 11,80,000 taka25%

For female taxpayers and senior taxpayers of age 65 years and above tax payable for the income up to Taka 2,00,000 and retarded taxpayers be tax payable for the income up to Taka 2,50,000. Minimum tax for any individual assessee is Taka 2,000. Non-resident individual pay tax at 25%, other than non-resident Bangladeshi.

For the companies tax imposed at as following:
Company TypesTax rate
Publicly traded company 27.5% (condition applies)
Non-publicly traded company37.5%
Bank, Insurance and Financial Company42.5%
Cigarette production company 42.5%
Mobile Phone Operator Company 45%

To impose a reduced rate of 5 per cent tax on the income from fisheries, poultries etc. irrespective of individual and company taxpayers. Small farmers, having no other source of income, need not have to pay tax on such income not exceeding taka 1,80,000.

To ensure environment-friendly industrialisation, to resolve problems relating to energy, electricity and population explosion, tax holiday incentive is proposed up to June, 2013. These 17 types of companies are:

  1. Active pharmaceuticals ingredient industry and radio pharmaceuticals industry 
  2. Barrier contraceptive and rubber latex 
  3. Basic chemicals or dyes and chemicals 
  4. Basic ingredients of electronic industry 
  5. Bio-fertilizer 
  6. Biotechnology 
  7. Boilers 
  8. Compressors 
  9. Computer hardware 
  10. Energy efficient appliances 
  11. Insecticide or pesticide 
  12. Petro-chemicals 
  13. Pharmaceuticals 
  14. Processing of locally produced fruits and vegetables 
  15. Radio-active (diffusion) application industry 
  16. Textile machinery 
  17. Tissue grafting.
Prominent sectors of the Infrastructure eligible for tax holiday are mentioned below:
  1. Rapid transit 
  2. Toll road 
  3. Elevated expressway
  4. Deep sea port
  5. IT parks
  6. Hi-tech park
  7. Renewable energy (energy savings bulb, solar energy panel, windmill)
  8. ICT village or software technology zone.
The return shall be accompanied by a statement of deduction or collection of tax along with copy of treasury challans or payment orders. Tax shall be deposited to respective account code according to the following:
Name of the ZoneIncome tax-CompaniesIncome tax-other than Company
Taxes Zone-1, Dhaka 1-1141-0001-0101 1-1141-0001-0111
Taxes Zone-2, Dhaka1-1141-0005-01011-1141-0005-0111
Taxes Zone-3, Dhaka1-1141-0010-01011-1141-0010-0111
Taxes Zone-4, Dhaka1-1141-0015-01011-1141-0015-0111
Taxes Zone-5, Dhaka1-1141-0020-01011-1141-0020-0111
Taxes Zone-6, Dhaka1-1141-0025-01011-1141-0025-0111
Taxes Zone-7, Dhaka1-1141-0030-01011-1141-0030-0111
Taxes Zone-8, Dhaka1-1141-0035-01011-1141-0035-0111
Taxes Zone-1, Chittagong1-1141-0040-01011-1141-0040-0111
Taxes Zone-2, Chittagong1-1141-0045-01011-1141-0045-0111
Taxes Zone-3, Chittagong1-1141-0050-01011-1141-0050-0111
Taxes Zone-Khulna1-1141-0055-01011-1141-0055-0111
Taxes Zone-Rajshahi1-1141-0060-01011-1141-0060-0111
Taxes Zone-Rangpur1-1141-0065-01011-1141-0065-0111
Taxes Zone-Sylhet1-1141-0070-01011-1141-0070-0111
Taxes Zone-Barisal1-1141-0075-01011-1141-0075-0111
Large Taxpayer Unit1-1145-0010-01011-1145-0010-0111
Central Survey Zone1-1145-0005-01011-1145-0005-0111

Sep 10, 2011

31 BR projects to double capacity by 2015

Bangladesh Railway
Bangladesh Railway (BR) is procuring  new locomotives, passenger coaches and wagons under 31 separate development projects at a cost of Taka 14,531 crore aiming to double its capacity by 2015. Under these projects, the Railway is buying 120 new locomotives, 539 passenger coaches, 466 wagons and installing new lines and rehabilitating old ones to provide safe, reliable, cost effective and time efficient rail transport services in the country.

The cost of these projects are accumulated with the assistance from South Korean Economic Development Corporation Fund ( EDCF), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Indian Dollar Credit Line, reported BSS with the reference Md. Abu Taher, Director General of Bangladesh Railway.

Bangladesh Railway, a principle transportation agency of the country, covers a length of 2,855 route kilometers employing a total of 34,168 regular employees. It has 283 diesel locomotives, 1435 passenger carriages, 35 other coaching vehicles, 9,409 freight wagons In units and 12,326 freight wagons in terms of four-wheelers. It had 53.8 million passengers carried and 3.8 million tones goods carried capacity in 2007-08, according to statistics of Bangladesh Railway.

Sep 8, 2011

PM for concerted efforts to make poverty free South Asia

Poverty is the main barrier to the development of the South Asian region and we would have to make united efforts to eliminate it, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 7 Sep, 2011 when chief minister of four eastern Indian states called on at her official residence Ganobhabon in Dhaka. She called for undertaking concerted efforts by all South Asian countries to eliminate poverty as she describes it as the main enemy of the region.

The chief ministers are Tarun Gogoi of Assam, Mukul Sangma of Meghalaya, Lal Thanhawla of Mizoram, and Manik Sarkar of Tripura. Briefing newsmen after the meeting, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Abul Kalam Azad said during the call on, they discussed matters of bilateral and regional interests.

The Prime Minister laid emphasis on the joint initiative by Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan for promotion of the tourism sector in the region. "The joint initiative would bring immense benefit for all the countries of the region," she observed. Sheikh Hasina said her government has been working relentlessly with honesty and sincerity for changing the lot of the people. "Our main aim is to ensure the economic emancipation of people by changing their lot," she said.

Sep 6, 2011

BB guidelines on Mobile Financial Services for the banks

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has released guidelines on Mobile Financial Services for the commercial and private banks to include vast segment of the population, especially the underprivileged sections and rural people into fold of basic banking services.

The banking industry of Bangladesh has shown tremendous growth in volume and complexity over the recent years. On the other hand, rapid growth of mobile phone users and wider range of the coverage of Mobile Network Operators (MNO) has made their delivery channel an important tool-of-the-trade for extending banking service to the unbanked and banked population.

The purpose of these Guidelines is to provide regulatory framework for the Mobile Financial Services [MFSs] which will create an enabling environment for innovations in financial services and minimize the usage of cash and its associated costs. Ensure compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) standards set by the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and promote accessibility to formal financial services especially to the poor and unbanked population at an affordable cost are other purposes of this guidelines.

BB's draft guidelines to establish a new bank in Bangladesh

No company shall carry out banking business in Bangladesh without obtaining a license from Bangladesh Bank, according to Section 31 of the Banking Companies Act, 1991, said in a draft released on 15 Aug, 2011 by Bangladesh Bank titled as 'Draft Guidelines To Establish A Banking Company in Bangladesh'. Bangladesh Bank will decide to grant licenses after considering the demand and strategy to effective monetary and financial sector policy for the country.

To open a new banking company, must be a limited company incorporated in Bangladesh, paid up capital shall not less than money equivalent to Taka 400 crore and share capital will be formed with ordinary shares only, according to the guidelines of Bangladesh Bank.

For a banking company incorporated in Bangladesh, the capital contribution made by the sponsors and subscribers of the proposed bank shall be in a liquid, unencumbered form, held in a bank account that has been verified by Bangladesh Bank, and under a Bangladesh Bank lien.

Sep 5, 2011

Water sharing deal of Teesta hangs in balance

Barely 24 hours before the high-profile visit by the Indian prime minister, the fate of the much-hyped deal on sharing of the common river Teesta now hangs in the balance, according to a breaking news from New Delhi by bdnews24.com.

Indian foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai has said any agreement between New Delhi and Dhaka on sharing of Teesta water would have to be acceptable to the West Bengal government headed by chief minister Mamata Banerjee as well as to Bangladesh.

He confirmed that the proposed deal on sharing of water of river Feni between Bangladesh and India were on track. He, however, remained non-committal on the deal on Teesta.

"Water is a very sensitive issue. Nothing is done or will be done without the consent of the State Government," Mathai told journalists, in response to a query if the deal on Teesta would be signed during prime minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Dhaka beginning Tuesday.

Mamata is believed to be unhappy over the draft of the deal on Teesta and conveyed to Singh on Sunday that she would not be able to accompany him to Dhaka.

Spain keen to invest in Bangladesh

Spain is keen to invest more in the county's potential sectors as well as to import more Bangladeshi products for increasing trade and commerce relations between Dhaka and Madrid. This was revealed today while newly appointed Spanish Ambassador to Bangladesh Luis Tejada Chacon presented his credentials to him at Bangabhaban in Dhaka.

Welcoming the new envoy at Bangabhaban, the President expressed his satisfaction over the existing friendly and cordial relations between the two countries and said Bangladesh attaches great importance on its relations with Spain. President Rahman expressed his gratitude to the Spanish government for their interest to make more investment as well as import goods from here.

Further, he laid emphasis on enhancing trade and economic cooperation with Spain as the country is carrying bright prospects of much higher volume of trade as one of the largest nation of the European Union.

Dhaka, Delhi to open a 'new chapter': Manmohan Sing

Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has said Bangladesh and India now got an historic opportunity to open a 'new chapter' in their relations and his visit to Dhaka demonstrates New Delhi's readiness to use it. He said it in an exclusive interview with BSS Chief Editor at his official residence in New Delhi on 5 Sep ahead of his visit.

he said India is ready to offer whatever assistance it could within its resources to enable Bangladesh to realize its enormous development potentials.The 79-year-old premier, regarded as the architect of India's economic reforms synchronizing his country's integration with globalizing world, said Delhi would also leave no stone unturned to promote balanced, sustainable and inclusive development of the South Asian region.

Singh widely touched upon the crucial bilateral issues including transit and said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government showed the political will and desire not only to resolve longstanding issues but also to broaden the horizons of bilateral cooperation.

Sep 2, 2011

Govt to repair 5000 km roads by March, 2012

The communications ministry has set a target to reconstruct and rehabilitate about 5000 kilometres roads across the country at a cost of Tk 3600 crore by March next year. Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain along with other high officials of the ministry and Roads and Highways Department (RHD) revealed the plan to BSS Friday after a sudden visit at reconstruction sites of Dhaka-Mymensingh road at Gazipur.

Abul Hossain said the emergency road reconstruction drive is almost complete by which the ministry is confident that the holiday makers for Eid-ul-Fitr will be able to return to the capital city safely and more comfortably."We will launch the periodic maintenance work for all damaged roads and highways across the country by September 15 and the planned work will be completed within six months from its inauguration," the minister said.

Md. Mozammel Haque Khan, Communications Secretary, RHD said the ministry has estimated that it would require about Tk 3600 crore to complete all the emergency maintenance and periodic permanent maintenance for about 5000 km roads. The Communications Secretary said the ministry has so far received Tk 800 crore from the government promised Tk 2100 crore fund for road reconstruction.

Manmohan's Dhaka visit to solve bilateral problems

Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh is sheduled to arrive in Bangladesh on Sept 6 on a two day bilateral visit. Both governments expected to seal accords on two long-pending issues of land boundaries and sharing water of the Teesta. But the opposition parties of both countries dispute over these is with their own government.

Bangladesh government lead by Sheikh Hasina's Bangladesh Awami League has a good relationship with India. It was started from the beginning of Independent War against Pakistan. Then, Indra Gandhi was the Prime Minister of India and Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was the leader of Bangladesh. Now, the same parties are directed the government of two countries. Obviously, we expect a positive results for present relationship between Bangladesh and India.

From a positive perspective, the media of both countries published huge topics on Manmohan Sing's Dhaka visit. ISN a newspaper has published a article titled as 'Manmohan Singh's Dhaka visit will galvanize bilateral ties' and wrote:
The land boundary agreement will not only change the map of India, it will be the first resolved boundary that India has with any of its neighbours. Removing snags created by the Partition in 1947 when the British left the Subcontinent, the agreement will essentially formalize the status quo on enclaves and areas under adverse possession -- that is, there will be no transfer of territory or people. The 53,000 people residing in the enclaves, who have just been counted in the first ever census there, will get the citizenship of the country they reside in. If they want to change later, they would have to go by normal channels.

Sep 1, 2011

PM revive pledge to building Digital Bangladesh by 2021

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina revived her government's commitment to building poverty and hunger-free happy and prosperous Digital Bangladesh by 2021 while talking on 31 August to journalists after exchanging Eid greetings at her Ganobhaban official residence in Dhaka.

"As per its election pledges, the government is working relentlessly with honesty and sincerity to establish happy and prosperous Bangladesh free from poverty and hunger by 2021," she said. She mentioned that her government is very much aware about different problems of the people.

She said her government has been providing subsidy on fuel, electricity and foodgrains so that people can lead a better life. "We are providing subsidy to ensure that the prices of essentials remain under the commoners' reach," she said. In this connection, the Prime Minister said her government is providing foodgrains to the poor people through VGF, VGD and fair price cards so that they do not suffer.


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