Budget for next fiscal projected 4.20 lakh crore: Muhith

lakh crore

MNA Business Desk: AMA Muhith, Finance Minister, yesterday said the possible outlay of the budget for the coming 2017-2018 fiscal year could be as high as Taka 4.20 lakh crore. “We projected that the next budget outlay Taka 4 lakh crore but I want to take it Taka 4.20 lakh crore,” he told journalists after a pre-budget meeting with leading financial watchdogs at the State Guest House Padma here. Economists and representatives of Economic Research Group (ERG), Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS), Policy Research Institute (PRI) and Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) took part in the discussion. The think tanks ...

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$2m export deal signed between PRAN and Netherlands


MNA Business Desk: PRAN, a leading food processor in Bangladesh, will export $2 million worth of products to the Netherlands. An agreement was signed between PRAN and Engel Foreign Food Group in this connection at PRAN-RFL Center on Wednesday, said a press release sent by the company. Under the deal, PRAN will export its noodles, juice and confectionery items to the European country. Eleash Mridha, Managing Director of PRAN and Wim Engel, CEO of Engel Foreign Food Group signed the deal on behalf of their respective organizations for a year. Eleash Mridha said the demand of PRAN’s products is gradually ...

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Shopping malls, Industries to be listed for energy audit

Shopping malls

MNA Business Desk: About 100 shopping malls and industries, which are regarded as large power and energy consumers, are likely to be listed by the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) for conducting energy audit, reported news agency. The consumers will mainly be selected from textile, garment, fertilizer, chemical, paper, food processing, steel and re-rolling mills, and cement industries for the proposed energy audit. Some commercial ventures like Bashundhara Shopping Mall and Jamuna Future Park are going to be taken up to conduct energy audit under the SREDA Act. Professional qualified energy auditors will be awarded certificate by SREDA ...

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Top fashion brands to refuse Dhaka Apparel Summit

fashion brands

MNA Business Desk: Leading fashion brands including H&M and Zara will boycott a key industry conference in Bangladesh in support of garment workers who have been sacked, hunted or jailed for participating in wage strikes, the companies said on Wednesday. H&M, C&A, Tchibo and Inditex which owns Zara — all top clients of Bangladesh’s $30-billion garment industry — have pulled out of the Dhaka Apparel Summit, the signature annual event in the global textile hub, scheduled for Saturday. The move follows strikes in December when tens of thousands of garment workers in the industrial town of Ashualia staged mass protests ...

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China firm in agreement to buy Chevron’s Bangladesh gas fields

gas fields

MNA Business Desk: China’s state-run Zhenhua Oil has signed a preliminary deal with Chevron to buy the U.S. oil major’s natural gas fields in Bangladesh that are worth about $2 billion, two Beijing-based Chinese oil executives said. Zhenhua is a subsidiary of China’s defence industry conglomerate NORINCO. A completed deal would mark China’s first major energy investment in the South Asian country, where Beijing is competing with New Delhi and Tokyo for influence. Bangladesh, though, holds the right of first refusal on the assets and could block the transaction. The country, via its national oil company Petrobangla, is keen to ...

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56 entrepreneurs get CIP cards for 2015


MNA Business Desk: A total of 56 entrepreneurs have been given CIP (commercially important persons) awards for 2015 for their outstanding contributions to their respective fields, reported news agency. Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu distributed the CIP cards among the recipients at a programme in Dhaka on Sunday, said a press release. Of the awardees, 25 received awards in the heavy industry category while 15 in medium industry, five in small industry and two each in micro industry and cottage industry categories. A CIP card will remain valid for one year and the cardholders will get privileged entrance to ministries, ...

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Dhaka’s meat traders resume selling as strike ends

meat traders

MNA Business Desk: Dhaka city’s meat traders will resume selling red meat on Sunday as their six-day strike, seeking implementation of their four demands, including cancellation of the present lease of Gabtoli Cattle Market, ended on Saturday. Bangladesh Meat Sellers Association (BMSA) and Dhaka Metropolitan Meat Sellers’ Association enforced the strike in the capital on Monday to press for their demands. Their other demands include relocation of tanneries from the city’s Hazaribagh area to Savar, providing permission for the import of cattle from neighbouring countries and withdrawal the DNCC chief executive officer and chief estate officer. The traders also threatened ...

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First Indian container ship arrives at Pangaon terminal


MNA Business Desk: First container ship ‘MV Nou Kolla’ directly from Kolkata arrived at the Pangaon Inland Container Terminal in Keraniganj under the Coastal Shipping Agreement between Bangladesh and India which India termed a “welcome development” The agreement, signed during the visit of India Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in 2015, allows direct sea movement of ships between the two countries. “Container services have been formally introduced between Bangladesh and India through arrival of the container ship Sonar Tori Nou Kallyan at the Pangaon terminal,” shipping minister Shajahan Khan told a function at the Pangaon terminal. Shajahan also said, ...

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Govt to set industrial park in Munshiganj: Amu


MNA Business Desk: Industries minister Amir Hossain Amu on Wednesday said the government has taken an initiative to set up an industrial park, spreading over 50 acres, at Sirajdikhan in Munshiganj district with a cost of Tk 133 crore. The work on developing a plastic industrial estate is likely to be completed by June 2018 to ensure an environment-friendly plastic industry in the country, he added. The minister was speaking as the chief guest during the inaugural session of the four-day-long 12th International Plastic Fair-2017 at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) in the city. The Bangladesh Plastic Goods Manufacturers’ ...

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Better fishing can generate extra $83bn per year: WB

better fishing

MNA Business Desk: Less and better fishing can help generate an additional $83 billion each year for the fisheries sector, creating a much-needed revenue stream in developing countries and improving global food security, according to a new World Bank Group report. The Sunken Billions Revisited, an update on a 2009 study, shows that reducing the global fishing effort would allow fish stocks to recover from over exploitation and lead to increases in the weight, value and price of fish landed, boosting the profitability of the fisheries sector from an estimated $3 billion a year to $86 billion. It will also ...

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Balance of Payment deficit increases

Balance of Payments

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh’s Balance of Payments (BOP) deficit is up at the end of the first quarter of the current fiscal year. It had $ 793 billion at the end of the July-December quarter of 2016-17 fiscal. At the end of the first quarter of the last fiscal (July Dec 2015-16), the BOP deficit stood at $ 504 million. Bangladesh had ended fiscal 2015-16 with a BOP surplus. The trend continued until September 2016 after which the deficit started to mount. Another significant cause for the rising BOP deficit is spending on equipment for the construction of Padma Bridge ...

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Flower business booms on Pahela Falgun, Valentine’s Day

Pahela Falgun

MNA Business Desk: Flower farmers of Jhikargacha in Jessore district, one of the largest flower markets of the country, expect to sell flowers worth over Tk 20 crore ahead of Pahela Falgun, Valentine’s Day and International Mother Language Day. As ever, there has been a surge in sales of flowers at Godkhali in Jhikargacha upazila, the flower hub of the district, said farmers and traders. Market insiders said flower sale has already hit Tk8 crore and they expect several crores of taka in sale during the two festivals. Godkhali flower wholesale market is one of the country’s largest, which accounts ...

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Deal approved with Posco Daewoo for sea gas exploration

Posco Daewoo

MNA Business Desk: The Cabinet Economic Affairs Committee on Wednesday in principle approved the Energy Division’s proposal to sign the final deal with South Korean Posco Daewoo International Corporation for oil and gas exploration in the deep sea block DS-12. The Cabinet body approved the proposal along with four others in a meeting held with Finance Minister AMA Muhith in the chair. The other proposals include awarding contract to develop Chinese Economic and Industrial Zone with Chinese government’s financing, awarding contract to PowerPac East West-GasMin Consortium to develop and operate Mirsarai Economic Zone, and construction of Khanjahan Ali Airport Construction ...

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ECNEC approved Osmani Airport modernization project


MNA Business Desk: The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday approved the increasing strength of existing runway and taxiway of Sylhet Osmani International Airport project involving an expected cost of Tk 451.98 crore in a bid to modernize the airport. The sanction came from the 18th ECNEC meeting of the current fiscal year held at the NEC Conference room in the city’s Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area with ECNEC Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said that a total of eight projects were approved today involving an estimated cost of ...

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e-TIN holders stand at 27 lakh across the country


MNA Business Desk: The number of total e-TIN (electronic Tax Identification Number) holders in the country has stood at 27 lakh. “NBR has registered a total of 27 lakh e-TINs till February 1 this year, which is a record in NBR’s lifetime,” National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman Md Nojibur Rahman told news agency. “It is really a milestone. We have a target of bringing three lakh fresh people under tax net in the current fiscal year and NBR have already achieved this target,” he added. He said NBR is hopeful of increasing the number of e-TIN holders to 30 ...

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Bkash offers 10% cash back on book purchase


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh’s mobile financial services provider Bkash customers plan to purchase books at the month long ‘Amar Ekushey Grontho Mela 2017’ will get 10 percent cash back if they purchase the books through Bkash at the select publishers’ outlets. A total of 112 leading publishing houses will accept Bkash payment at the book fair which began on February 1, 2017 at the Bangla Academy premises, the company said in a press release. The cash back offer remains available for the customers till February 28, the last day of the fair. Bkash customers have to dial *247# to access ...

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NRBs permitted to open foreign currency deposit account

Community Bank

MNA Business Desk: All non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs) are permitted to open non-resident foreign currency deposit (NFCD) accounts with authorised dealers (ADs), according to a Bangladesh Bank circular issued on Monday. Such NRBs include persons of Bangladesh origin including those who have dual nationality or are residing abroad, reported news agency. The circular said account-holders can maintain the accounts as long as they desire and the eligible persons are also allowed to open such accounts at any time after their return to Bangladesh. “This is to clarify that NRBs may, after their return to Bangladesh, open NFCD accounts with ADs to ...

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Bangladesh Bank to publish monetary policy today

Community Bank

MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh Bank (BB) governor Fazle Kabir will unveil the monetary policy statement for the second half of the financial year 2016-17 on Sunday, reported news agency. The governor would also brief journalists at the central bank headquarters in the city, about the focus areas of the policy, said a central bank release. A BB senior official earlier told BSS that the monetary policy has been prepared to give special importance to various sectors, including investment, Small and medium enterprise (SME) and idle money in the banking system, to help accelerate growth and investment. On 26 July 2016, ...

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Muhith backs 15pc VAT on goods and services again


MNA Business Desk: Finance minister AMA Muhith yesterday reiterated his opinion regarding imposition of 15 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on goods and services in the next budget in line with the new VAT law. “15 percent VAT will be introduced on goods and services in the next budget. I am strict to my opinion,” said the minister while talking to journalists at his secretariat office here. About the demand of business community for imposition of VAT at different rates on various sectors, Muhith said this demand will be considered in future but initially one rate is good. More or ...

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Bangladesh’s WEF participation will help positive branding


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh’s strongest ever participation under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the just-concluded WEF (World Economic Forum) Annual Meeting 2017 has successfully contributed to making “positive branding” of the country, further brightening its image on the world stage. “The strongest ever participation of Bangladesh under the stewardship of honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the WEF proved to be ‘very significant’ to make positive branding of the country and highlight its achievements and successes in various sectors in the global arena,” members of the Bangladesh delegation and leading economists of the country have observed. State ...

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Bangladesh to start glorious journey in motorcycle export: Tofail


MNA Business Desk: Bangladesh has started a glorious journey in its industrialization by stepping into the global market through exporting motorcycle to Nepal, commerce minister Tofail Ahmed said on Saturday. “For encouraging local two-wheeler manufacturers, the government would announce cash incentives for them in the coming budget and would slap higher duty on import of bikes to accelerate the growth of the local automobiles industry,” he said while launching export of Runner brand motorcycle to Nepal. The minister inaugurated the export programme of the bikes of local manufacturer Runner Automobiles Limited at a ceremony on its factory premises at Bhaluka ...

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Government committed to ensure labour rights: PM


MNA Business Desk: Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said her government is highly committed to ensuring compliance with regard to the readymade garment (RMG) industry, reported news agency. “The contribution of apparel and textile industry to our economy is immense. We are highly committed to ensure compliance with regard to labour rights, workplace safety and environmental standard in the industry,” she said. She also said Bangladesh’s RMG industry has achieved higher compliance standards in terms of wages, workplace safety, norms, practices and harmonious industrial relations. “There has been a 77% increase in basic wage. Assessment of all the 3,780 ...

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S Korea’s prosecutor seeks arrest of Samsung chief


MNA Business Desk: South Korea’s special prosecutor office said it will seek a warrant to arrest the head of Samsung Group, the country’s biggest conglomerate, accusing him of paying multi-million dollar bribes to a friend of President Park Geun-hye. Investigators had grilled Samsung Group chief Jay Y. Lee for 22 straight hours last week as a suspect in a corruption scandal, which last month led to parliament impeaching Park. The special prosecutor’s office accused Lee of paying bribes total 43 billion won ($36.42 million) to organizations linked to Choi Soon-sil, a friend of the president who is at the center ...

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More commodities to get duty-free access under APTA


MNA Business Desk: Tofail Ahmed, commerce minister, said about 10,677 commodities would get duty-free access instead of the existing 4,648 items under the 4th round Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) negotiation meeting being held in Thailand. “The duty-free access will enhance further the mutual relations, employment and assistance for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among the APTA countries,” he told in the Thailand’s capital of Bangkok. Tofail Ahmed called for rushing the future activities of APTA to improve trade among the member countries. Commerce ministers of six member countries took part in the meeting. Tofail Ahmed chaired the council. He ...

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Australia plans to tax all online transactions

online transactions

MNA Business Desk: The Australian government plans to tax all online transactions, treasurer Scott Morrison said on Wednesday, as part of a so-called ‘tax strike’ on the rapidly-growing digital economy. Presently, the government is unable to tax all of Australia’s approximately $7.37 billion annual online transactions, news agency reported. However, Morrison said on Wednesday that as Australia moves towards a modern, cashless economy, the government must keep up to ensure the tax system remains “modern”. He said after imposing the “Google” and “Netflix” taxes, which ensure multinational corporations and online services were properly taxed for all sales in Australia. “You’ve ...

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Bangladesh to send about 800,000 workers abroad in 2017

workers abroad

MNA Business Desk: Expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister Nurul Islam on Sunday said Bangladesh will send about 800,000 workers abroad this year, reported news agency. “The main objective of sending workers abroad is to continue the present trend of overseas employment as well as attaining the government’s target of sustainable development goals (SDGs),” he said. The minister was briefing media on his ministry’s last year’s achievements and successes at the ministry’s conference room. In 2016, a total of 756,000 Bangladeshi workers went abroad for work. Of them, the highest number of 189,000 workers went to Oman followed by 144,000 ...

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Government to form Probashi Kalyan Board soon

Probashi Kalyan

MNA Business Desk: The government would form the Probashi Kalyan (Expatriates’ Welfare) Board soon as a draft law has already been made to set up a statutory organization for providing welfare services for migrant workers and their family members, reported news agency. The draft Probashi Kalyan Board Act-2017 has put on the expatriate welfare and overseas employment ministry’s website for opinion. Additional secretary to the ministry Azharul Haq said that the concerned ministry will sit on 12 January next on the draft law after taking opinion. According to the draft law, a 15-member body of the board will be formed ...

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