SunMay282017

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Business

Finance Minister Muhith says uniform VAT rate will remain unchanged at 15%

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Photo: mostafigur rahman

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith in a dramatic reversal of his earlier stance has said the uniform VAT rate will remain unchanged at 15 percent.

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Govt to forfeit Tk 10,000cr for rise in turnover ceilings: NBR

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The government will lose up to Tk 10,000 crore for raising the VAT-free turnover limit and the highest threshold for turnover tax for businesses, according to an estimate of the National Board of Revenue. The increase in threshold and withdrawal of restriction of items to avail the benefit of turnover tax will cause the loss, said Jahangir Hossain, member of VAT Policy of the NBR, at a roundtable on the new VAT law yesterday.

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Strong bond market needed to finance infrastructure: analysts

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Strong bond market needed to finance infrastructure: analysts

Bangladesh needs to develop a strong bond market to meet the financing demands of large infrastructure projects, speakers said at a seminar yesterday. “We need to work together to establish a financial system that will provide various avenues for financing the large infrastructure projects,” said MA Mannan, state minister for finance and planning, at the event held at the capital's Radisson Blu Water Garden hotel.

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Islami Bank in dire straits

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Islami Bank, the largest and most profitable bank in Bangladesh, has plunged into a bout of infighting within just five months of wholesale restructuring of the board of directors and top management. The feud is over loan irregularities, lower dividend declaration and interference of a Chittagong-based business group in the affairs of the bank's board.

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No plans to interfere with Islami Bank's affairs: Muhith

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No plans to interfere with Islami Bank's affairs: Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the government has no plans to meddle into the affairs of Islami Bank, which has plunged into a bout of infighting. “We will intervene if we get any complaint from the Islamic Development Bank,” Muhith told reporters at his secretariat office.

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Islami Bank: Conflict between chairman and vice-chairman peaks

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The fight between two top board members of Islami Bank Bangladesh, known as the financial backbone of Jamaat-e-Islami, has been flung out into the public. The government recently appointed them in wanting to establish its control over the country’s largest private bank. But their dispute threatens to strengthen the Jamaat supporters’ clout and halt the government's unofficial endeavour in its tracks.

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EPZ Labour Law: US urges BD to adopt ILO’s proposal

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EPZ Labour Law: US urges BD to adopt ILO’s proposal

The United States has urged the government to adopt the ILO’s recommendation to remove the portions of the draft EPZ labour law referring to freedom of association and adopt instead the existing Bangladesh Labour Act. “We firmly believe that this proposal from the ILO is a reasonable and practical suggestion, and represents an improvement on the current draft,” said US Ambassador in Dhaka Marcia Bernicat on Thursday.

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Default loans rise to 10.53pc

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Default loans rise to 10.53pc

The nonperforming loans in the banking sector increased by Tk 11,237 crore in the first three months of 2017 -- a development that has been attributed to seasonality by bankers. “It is a common trend that default loans soars in the first quarter of a year due to slower recovery drives by banks,” said Nurul Amin, managing director of Meghna Bank. The reason being, the bankers expend all their energy in enhancing the end-of-year figures that they take it easy when the new year rolls in.

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Govt boosts development spending by 39% for FY18

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The government has approved a Tk 1.53 trillion outlay for the annual development programme or ADP for the year starting July 1, a 39 percent increase from the current year. The transportation sector has been allocated the largest chunk of funds for mega projects such as Padma bridge, metro rail and the Karnaphuli tunnel.

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Bangladesh heading for fastest economic growth in FY17

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The government believes economic growth will hit 7.24 percent, the fastest in the history of Bangladesh, surpassing the expectations of the budget. The estimates by Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics or BBS are based on information from the first ten months of 2016-17 (July-April). BBS has estimated that Bangladesh’s per capita income will rise to $1,602 by the end of the current fiscal year, up from $1,465 in FY16.

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NEC set to clear Tk 1,53,331cr ADP for next FY Sunday

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NEC set to clear Tk 1,53,331cr ADP for next FY Sunday

The National Economic Council (NEC) is likely to approve a Tk 1,53,331 crore Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the next fiscal year (FY18) on Sunday, giving the highest priority to transport sector infrastructures, particularly the Padma Bridge and Padma Bridge Rail Link projects. "The transport sector is likely to get 26.77 percent of the original ADP size in the next year," said an official at the Planning Commission preferring anonymity.

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Muhith says new budget will put pressure on people for 30 percent revenue rise

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Finance Minister AMA Muhith understands that the government will not be able to pressurise the people for revenue in the budget before the election, so he plans to do this in the upcoming one. Speaking at a pre-budget discussion with newspaper editors and top executives of TV stations on Thursday, he said a 30 percent rise in revenue target would be proposed in the budget for 2017-18 fiscal year. The 11th parliamentary election is set to be held in early 2019. The current Awami League government will give its last budget for 2018-19 fiscal year.

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VAT rate may be cut to flat 12pc

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VAT rate may be cut to flat 12pc

The government is likely to set a flat 12 percent VAT rate by amending the new VAT law in the face of demands from various quarters, according to finance ministry officials. Businesses have been reasoning that the proposal of a uniform 15 percent VAT would be too high for consumers.

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Nine-month trade deficit trumps entire previous year

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Trade deficit in the first nine months of the current fiscal year has crossed the deficit for the entire previous year. Economist Zaid Bakht sees it as result of rising oil prices and heavy imports of capital machinery. Trade deficit swelled 46.76 percent year-on-year to $7.03 billion in July-March, data from Bangladesh Bank shows

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Budget to have measures to stop money outflow: Muhith

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Budget to have measures to stop money outflow: Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith, who is now here to attend the 50th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of ADB, on Friday said there will be measures in the next national budget for tackling outflow of money from Bangladesh. "We've found some loopholes and I think there’ll be some steps in the next budget to check such outflow of money (from Bangladesh)," he told reporters at the Pacifico Yokohama Conference Center.

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Remittance rises slightly in April

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Remittance rises slightly in April

Remittance flow to Bangladesh grew marginally in April from a month earlier as low oil prices, weak global economic growth and fiscal tightening in the Middle East continue to hurt the key source of foreign exchange. Some $1.09 billion flew in as remittance, up 1.9 percent from March but down 8.4 percent year-on-year, according to Bangladesh Bank statistics.

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Corporate tax may see cuts

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Corporate tax may see cuts

Businesses are likely to see cuts in corporate tax rate in the upcoming fiscal year, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday. “My proposal will be to rationalise the rate,” he said at a consultative meeting of the National Board of Revenue at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.

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