BD working age population rises to 62.7 per cent


MNA Business Desk: The significant rise in the country’s working age population – from 49 per cent in 1994 to 62.7 per cent in 2018 –provides a demographic dividend to the economy. This was pointed out by “The State of World Population Report 2019” launched by the UNFPA Bangladesh on Wednesday. However, the report also revealed that Youth unemployment rate has increased from 6.0 per cent in 1994 to 11 per cent in 2017 showing a doubling of unemployment among the youth aged between 15 – 29 years. Young population of Bangladesh constitutes 30 per cent of the total population- ...

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NBR to scan TIN holders skirting tax returns


MNA Business Desk: The National Board of Revenue (NBR) will find out the TIN (tax-payers’ identification number) holders who are not submitting tax returns despite having taxable income, its chairman said. Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said some people use TIN for different purposes, including for house purchase, but do not submit tax returns. “We will see whether the TIN holders are submitting tax returns,” he said. He made the announcement at a pre-budget meeting on Monday. The NBR chairman, however, said the tax authority will not take any steps that would hurt business. NBR member (income tax policy) Kanon Kumar Roy ...

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Bangladesh among top five fastest growing economies: WB


MNA Business Desk: The World Bank in a report has put Bangladesh among the five fastest growing economies in the world. The outlook was reflected in the report titled ‘The Bangladesh Development Update April 2019: Towards Regulatory Predictability’ released on Thursday morning. The report attributed this astounding growth, despite insufficient private investment, to stable macro and export-oriented industry-focused growth. “Overall, the economy is moving forward, growing at a decent pace by Bangladesh’s own historical as well as international standards. Growth on the supply side in FY17 was driven by services and industry which accounted for 3.4 percentage point out of ...

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‘Made in Bangladesh’ trade fair in Qatar later this year


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh will hold a single country trade fair, ‘Made in Bangladesh’, in Doha, the capital of Qatar, in October 2019. “The preparations are underway to hold the fair,” Qatar’s The Peninsula, reported quoting Ashud Ahmed, the ambassador of Bangladesh to the Arab country, on Tuesday. A large number of Bangladeshi companies are expected to showcase their products and services in the event to be held in collaboration with Bangladesh Forum Qatar, Qatar Chamber, and Qatar Financial Center, he said. Replying to a query, the ambassador said Qatar and Bangladesh were working on a number of bilateral agreements ...

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Sylhet Hi-Tech Park likely to be costlier


MNA Business Desk: The land development cost of the under-construction Sylhet Hi-Tech Park project is going to be increased by about Tk 171 million (Tk 17.15 crore). According to official sources at the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division, a proposal was forwarded by the Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority (BHTPA) to raise the cost of the work by 12.88 per cent over the contract amount. The BHTPA undertook the project to develop it on an area of 162.82 acres of land at Companyganj upazila in Sylhet and moved to develop the land of the area, reports UNB. Bangladesh Navy-run Dockyard ...

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ICAB suggests 2.0pc cut in corporate tax


MNA Business Desk: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bangladesh (ICAB) Sunday suggested 2.0 per cent cut in the corporate tax in the budget for the next financial year (FY). Investors would be encouraged to invest more funds following such cut and help generate additional employment opportunities. Corporate tax rate in Bangladesh is one of the highest in this region, contributing to flight of capital abroad. The apex body of chartered accountants shared its thoughts on the National Budget 2019-20 at a press conference on its premises. ICAB president AF Nesaruddin delivered opening remarks while taxation and corporate laws committee ...

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Commerce minister urges US to restore GSP facilities to Bangladesh


MNA Business Desk: In contrast to his predecessor, new Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi has urged the United States to give the GSP privilege back to Bangladesh. Inaugurating the US Trade Show 2019 on Thursday, he said it became an “image issue” and once the GSP scheme is restored, “this will give us a new image”. US Ambassador Earl Miller was also present at the event in Dhaka. The US revoked the GSP facilities on June 27, 2013, following two major industrial accidents in Bangladesh – Tazreen Fashion fire in 2012 and Rana Plaza collapse in 2013. Under the GSP programme, ...

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Nakshipalli project, five others get ECNEC approval


MNA Business Desk: The government has decided to initiate a project with the aim to enhance facilities for Nakshi entrepreneurs, handloom and handicraft workers. To this end, the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved a project titled ‘Sheikh Hasina Nakshipalli, Jamalpur (1st phase)’. The approval for the approximately Tk 7.22 billion project came at the weekly meeting of the council held at the NEC conference room with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The day’s meeting cleared a total of six projects involving an estimated cost of around Tk 26.51 billion, said Planning Minister MA ...

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‘Skilled manpower necessary to boost remittance volume’: Foreign Minister


MNA Business Desk: Foreign Minister Dr A K Abdul Momen has said the concerned ministries and institutions should provide necessary skill training to the workforce intending to go abroad for giving a boost to the country’s remittance volume. The minister mentioned that that Bangladesh has more than five million expatriate workers and they are sending about 16 billion US Dollars as remittance every year, reports BSS. “This amount (remittance) could have been much more had we been able to build them as skilled manpower. But the opportunity is not gone yet,” the minister said. “I firmly believe with the sincerity ...

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July-Jan marks drop in trade deficit


MNA Business Desk: Country’s merchandise trade deficit with the rest of the world declined slightly in the first seven months of the current fiscal year compare to the same period of the past fiscal year. Central bank statistics, released this afternoon, showed that trade deficit stood at $9.68 billion in July-January period of FY19 which was $10.07 billion in the same period of FY18. Thus, trade gap declined by 3.88 per cent in the first seven months of the current fiscal. Bangladesh Bank data also showed that deficit in service trade dropped to $1.95 billion during the period under review ...

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BD to enjoy post-Brexit duty-free market access to UK: Envoy


MNA Business Desk: Outgoing British High Commissioner Alison Blake has reassured Bangladesh of post-Brexit duty-free market access to the United Kingdom. She made a farewell call on Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Wednesday at the foreign ministry. “Bangladesh would continue to enjoy EU’s everything but arms like trade preferences until an even better deal is being worked out between the two countries after the Brexit,” Blake said. She said the upcoming Third Strategic Dialogue between Bangladesh and the UK, to be held in April in Dhaka an in-depth review of ...

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Facebook, YouTube ads to be taxed


MNA Business Desk: The government has decided to collect 15 per cent value added tax (VAT) from the advertisements on internet platforms like Facebook and YouTube. The authorities have not been collecting any tax from the Bangladeshi advertisers of the virtual world until now. The government moved recently to collect the taxes following a High Court order. The court on April 12 last year ordered the authorities to tax the transactions on Bangladeshi advertisements posted on Google, Facebook, YouTube and other similar websites. In a letter to the Bangladesh Bank on January 22, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) asked ...

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BD team to sit with defendants of reserve heist case


MNA Business Desk: A team of Bangladesh Bank officials and lawyers will sit with the Filipino defendants of a case over the central bank cyber-heist to recover the stolen funds. The delegation will depart for the Philippines next week as part of the government’s continued efforts to recover the stolen reserves, said the central bank’s chief counsel Ajmalul Hossain QC. He too would be a part of the team, the lawyer told reporters in Dhaka on Monday, reports Their visit to the Philippines will aim to “recover the stolen funds through a settlement after discussion”, according to Hossain. “We ...

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AIDA agrees $5.0b for 5.0GW solar power in Bangladesh


MNA Business Desk: Arab Investment Development Authority (AIDA) has committed an investment of $5.0 billion to develop 5.0 gigawatts (GW) of solar power plants in Bangladesh. The project will be developed by AIDA in cooperation with UAE-based Almaden Emirates Fortune Power (AEFP) and Bangladesh-based Intraco Solar Power, reports Gulf News. To this effect, an agreement was signed earlier this week during UAE, Bangladesh summit in Abu Dhabi, according to a statement issued by the entities involved in the project on Thursday. UAE Minister of Economy Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri and Bangladesh foreign minister AK Abdul Momen were present during ...

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Banks in DSCC, DNCC to remain closed Thursday


MNA Business Desk: All the branches of scheduled banks will remain closed tomorrow (Thursday) in the election areas across the country, said a circular issued by Bangladesh Bank (BB). The branches of the commercial banks at Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) areas will remain closed to enable bank officials and employees to cast their votes. The other areas where banks will remain closed are Amtali municipality area of Barguna district, Kaliganj municipality area of Jhenaidah district, Azimpur, Farrukhabad and Biral unions of the Biral Upazila under Dinajpur district, Bhir Betagoir and Char Betagoir ...

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New policy of BB to police offshore banking operations


MNA Business Desk: The central bank has issued a new policy asking banks to comply with cash reserve requirement (CRR) and statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) rules for their Offshore Banking Operations. Under the new policy, three-fourths of total outstanding offshore operations’ funds will have to be invested in Bangladesh. All the banks will have to maintain capital requirements under Basel-III framework along with the implementation of Asset Liability Management (ALM) guidelines for their offshore banking operations, according to the new policy issued by the Bangladesh Bank (BB) on Monday. The banks have been asked to renew the approvals of OBUs ...

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Inclining commercial credit in dollar account posing risks


MNA Business Desk: Buyer’s credit in dollar account from foreign sources through off-shore banking by the country’s commercial banks stood at $10.16 billion. It is up by 29.92 percent at the end of 2018 on year-on-year basis creating a big risk on overall reserves, as per Bangladesh Bank data. Such credit gives boost to the private sector business for quick mobilization of fund to pay for imports of machineries and raw materials. But for being a short term loan to be repaid within a year unlike other import bills payment that may go for several years, short term commercial credit ...

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BD chemical import posts double-digit growth


MNA Business Desk: The combined import of chemicals has been on the rise for the last couple of years, with the annual average import posting a double-digit growth. During the past fiscal year, 2017-18 (FY18), the import of chemicals crossed a record $2.0 billion level, according to the central bank statistics. The data showed import of chemicals stood at $1.26 billion during the first half of the current fiscal year (FY19), registering 10.66 per cent growth over the same period last year. Chemicals are considered intermediate goods as these are used in different industries as inputs for the production of ...

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Govt to cut 15pc project aid due to poor utilization


MNA Business Desk: The government is set to cut development project aid by 15 per cent to Tk 510 billion for lower-than-expected utilization of the same in the first half of the current fiscal year (FY). Economic Relations Division (ERD) officials said on Wednesday they recommended slashing some Tk 90 billion in the revised annual development programme (RADP) from the current Tk 600 billion project aid allocation. “Since ministries and divisions sought lower funds than their current allocations in the budget, we’ve cut the project aid outlay for the upcoming RADP,” said a senior official. “We’ve already sent it to ...

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FY ’16 set for new GDP base year


MNA Business Desk: The local statistical agency has said it will adopt a new base year for calculating the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) effective from July 2020 and it is expected to raise the size of the economy by at least 10 per cent. Under the rebasing procedure, the fiscal year 2015-16 (FY ’16) will be the new base year replacing the existing FY ’06. Statistical agencies across the globe usually adopt the base year actually including new products and services. So, the size of the economy changes. Bangladesh last did it in 2013 by replacing the FY 1995-96 as ...

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UAE to consider manpower export, investment demands of BD: Crown Prince


MNA Business Desk: Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Nahyan on Monday assured Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that his country will give due consideration to Bangladesh’s demands, including manpower export and increasing investment. He made the assurance during a meeting with the Prime Minister at his Royal Palace. After the meeting, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque briefed reporters where PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim was present. He said there will be a foreign office consultation on Tuesday between the two countries. “This is very much unusual as normally a foreign office ...

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Finance minister for approval of three new banks


MNA Business Desk: Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has defended the central bank’s approval of three more private banks even though economists and bankers have long been opposing the move. “The central bank has approved the new banks because it thinks that it is necessary,” the minister told reporters at the Secretariat on Monday. The minister said he will not concerned about the number of banks if quality of service remains good. In 2012, twelve private banks were given licences based on ‘political considerations’ by the Awami League, which drew criticism from different quarters. Over the last few years, the ...

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Deal inked to prepare Payra port master plan


MNA Business Desk: The Payra Port Authority (PPA) has appointed a joint team of Dutch company Royal Haskoning DHV and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) to prepare the detailed master plan for the overall development of the third seaport of the country. A tripartite agreement titled ‘Consultancy Services for Preparation of Payra Port Detailed Master Plan’ was signed on Thursday at the seminar hall of the Shipping Ministry in presence of its Secretary Abdus Samad and Netherlands Ambassador to Bangladesh Harry Verweij. Commodore M Jahangir Alam, chairman of PPA, Prof Shamsul Haq, of BUET’s Bureau of Research, Testing ...

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BD and UAE to sign two investment-related deals


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will sign two investment-related deals during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s three-day visit to the Middle Eastern nation, starting on Feb 17. “This will speed up our economic diplomacy,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said on Wednesday, referring to the new foreign policy priority of the government. Trade and investment would be the key focus, the minister told reporters. UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum who is also the ruler of Dubai invited the prime minister for the visit. Hasina will attend the inauguration of the International Defence ...

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Proposed Kishoreganj Economic Zone set to get license


MNA Business Desk: The proposed Kishoreganj Economic Zone (KEZ), a venture of Nitol Niloy Group, is set to obtain license from the authorities concerned, officials related with the development have said. The zone would be established on 91.63 acres of land in Pakundia Upazilla, next to Bhairab-Kishoreganj highway, they added. It received the pre-qualification licence from the BEZA in July 2017. “The KEZ is now getting prepared to receive the final nod,” Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) Paban Chowdhury told the FE. He said the zone will host heavy industries like car and steel manufacturing plants by ...

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Survey on harmful elements in cow milk, HC orders


MNA Business Desk: The High Court on Monday directed the authorities to conduct a survey to determine how much cow milk, dairy products and cow fodder containing bacteria, antibiotic, lead and pesticides are supplied across the country. The High Court bench of justice Nazrul Islam Talukder and justice K M Hafizul Alam came up with the order following a report published on different national dailies on adulterated milk. The HC also asked the authorities to submit a report over this within 15 days. Food, agriculture, fisheries and livestock and health secretaries, cabinet secretaries, all members of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority, ...

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BD to lower foreign trade cost and time


MNA Business Desk: The government targets to lower time and cost of overseas trading taking into consideration Singapore’s success in this case, sources said. In the World Bank’s latest ‘ease of doing business’ index, Singapore stood second and Bangladesh 176th. The target was set at a recent meeting with prime minister’s principal secretary Nojibur Rahman in the chair. Officials said the government wants to raise capacity of customs department and ports in handling cross-border trade to improve business environment in Bangladesh. According to the index, Bangladeshi exporters need to spend 168 hours for obtaining, preparing and submitting documents during port ...

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