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July 18, 2024
Economy Tag : Debt

Bangladesh’s government internal debt reached nearly 9 lakh crore taka by April, due to financial crises, lack of investment environment, and downgraded credit ratings, which reduced both domestic and foreign investments. The government’s internal borrowing rose by around 1.04 lakh crore taka over the past year, reaching 8.78 lakh crore taka in April 2024, up from 7.74 lakh crore taka in April 2023. This debt is split between bank and non-bank sectors, with 4.34 lakh crore taka from savings certificates, bills, and bonds, and 4.43 lakh crore taka from banks. Economists warn that government borrowing from banks to cover budget deficits is harming the private sector, as it limits funds available for private investment. Despite liquidity issues in banks, the government aims to borrow 1.37 lakh crore taka from banks for the 2024-25 budget, which could exacerbate economic imbalances. The focus remains on controlling inflation and reducing government borrowing to stabilize the financial sector.

July 18, 2024
Economy Tag : Debt

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will review nearly $13 billion worth of projects in Bangladesh next week due to implementation delays. A tripartite meeting involving the ADB, the Economic Relations Division (ERD), and project implementers will be held in Dhaka from July 22 to 24 to address these issues. Currently, the ADB is funding 79 ongoing public sector projects in Bangladesh, making it the country’s second-largest multilateral development partner. Some projects, such as the Dohazari-Ramu-Cox’s Bazar railway line and Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development, are facing delays due to various reasons, including under-performance of implementing agencies and complex procurement processes. The review aims to resolve these problems and streamline project execution. The ADB has previously warned that it might divert funds from slow-moving projects if progress is not improved. In the fiscal year 2023-24, the ADB disbursed $1.499 billion to Bangladesh, following $1.787 billion in FY2023.

July 18, 2024
Economy Tag : Vat & Tax

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) in Bangladesh failed to meet its revised revenue target for the fiscal year 2023-24 despite achieving a growth of 12.17% over the previous year. The deficit stood at Tk 38,157 crore, with 90% of the revised target realized. The government had initially set a budget of Tk 761,685 crore and a revenue target of Tk 430,000 crore, later revised to Tk 410,000 crore. The shortfall has forced the government to increase its borrowing, taking a loan of Tk 1,738 crore from banks in the recent financial year compared to Tk 98,000 crore the previous year. NBR collected Tk 1,378 crore from imports, Tk 140,439 crore in VAT, and Tk 131,025 crore in income tax, achieving maximum growth in income tax at 15.60%. Experts argue that unrealistic target setting and a lack of reforms in NBR are key issues. They suggest that addressing tax evasion, corruption, and improving institutional capacity are essential for better revenue collection.

July 18, 2024
Industry : Agriculture & Livestock

Urea fertiliser imports in Bangladesh are facing challenges as banks struggle to secure dollars for opening letters of credit (LCs). The Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), responsible for supplying urea, has had its LC applications frequently rejected due to a dollar shortage. Currently, four out of five BCIC-operated urea factories are shut down because of gas shortages, leaving the Ghorashal Polash factory to produce only a fraction of the annual demand. With 500,000 tonnes in stock for the Aman season, BCIC is worried about potential shortages for the upcoming Boro season. The BCIC has reached out to government bodies for assistance, emphasizing that any disruption in urea imports could severely impact agricultural production and food security. Despite past efforts to open LCs through several banks, the ongoing dollar crisis continues to impede the process. Ensuring gas supply to the closed factories could help mitigate the crisis and meet local demand without imports.

July 18, 2024
Industry : Logistics & Shipping

The transportation of goods to and from Chattogram port decreased by 20% on July 16 due to nationwide roadblocks and protests for quota reform in government jobs. Traffic congestion on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway and within the port city caused delays for vehicles carrying goods. Normally, around 6,000 vehicles enter Chattogram Port daily, but this number has reduced to about 5,000. Consequently, the freight fare from Dhaka to Chattogram port has risen from approximately Tk 15,000 to Tk 20,000. Drivers and helpers of prime movers, trucks, and covered vans are experiencing feelings of helplessness and insecurity while stuck on the road with goods.

July 18, 2024
Industry : Bank

Bangladesh Bank has decided to increase the price of commemorative gold coins by Tk 1,05,000, effective from Thursday, due to the rise in gold prices in international and domestic markets. Previously, the rate was set at Tk 1,00,000 on December 26, and last year, the price increased by Tk 25,000 in six stages. According to a press release from Bangladesh Bank, there are currently three types of commemorative gold coins, each made of 22-carat gold weighing 10 grams. The coins commemorate International Mother Language Day 2000, the Birth Centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman 1920-2020, and the Golden Jubilee of Independence 1971-2021. Additionally, there are 12 types of silver and nickel commemorative coins, along with various paper memo notes. These commemorative coins can be purchased from the Central Bank’s branch offices and the Bangladesh Bank Money Museum in Mirpur. The coins are issued to mark special days or events.

July 18, 2024

Bangladesh Bank has decided to increase the price of commemorative gold coins by Tk 1,05,000, effective from Thursday, due to the rise in gold prices in international and domestic markets. Previously, the rate was set at Tk 1,00,000 on December 26, and last year, the price increased by Tk 25,000 in six stages. According to a press release from Bangladesh Bank, there are currently three types of commemorative gold coins, each made of 22-carat gold weighing 10 grams. The coins commemorate International Mother Language Day 2000, the Birth Centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman 1920-2020, and the Golden Jubilee of Independence 1971-2021. Additionally, there are 12 types of silver and nickel commemorative coins, along with various paper memo notes. These commemorative coins can be purchased from the Central Bank’s branch offices and the Bangladesh Bank Money Museum in Mirpur. The coins are issued to mark special days or events.

July 18, 2024

Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL) has been unable to collect Tk 316 crore in dues from various companies, including Tk 79.64 crore from Teletalk, Tk 50 crore from Bangladesh Cable Shilpa, Tk 12.81 crore from government entities, and Tk 174 crore from defunct companies, falsely reporting it as “current asset” in its financial statements. The 2023 audit report by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) revealed BTCL’s lack of realistic or legal efforts to recover these amounts. Since becoming a public limited company in 2008, BTCL has failed to deposit Tk 2,258.76 crore into the state treasury due to mismanagement. Despite ongoing projects worth Tk 3,152 crore and several completed projects totaling Tk 5,200 crore since 2009, BTCL has struggled financially, only recording profits in fiscal years 2012-13, 2021-22, and 2022-23, with Tk 5 crore, Tk 6.7 crore, and Tk 14 crore respectively. The company last posted a significant profit of Tk 106.1 crore in fiscal year 2009-10.

July 18, 2024

An investment of Tk 5 crore for Bangladesh’s largest ed-tech platform, 10 Minute School, was turned down by Startup Bangladesh, a government investment fund. Agreements on confidentiality prevent us from mentioning the reason for rejection. Ayman Sadiq, the CEO of 10 Minute School, has openly backed the quota reform demonstrations, which are aligned with this choice.

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Urea Import Faces Uncertainty Due to LC Issues
July 18, 2024

Urea fertiliser imports in Bangladesh are facing challenges as banks struggle to secure dollars for opening letters of credit (LCs). The Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), responsible for supplying urea, has had its LC applications frequently rejected due to a dollar shortage.

Chattogram Port Goods Transport Drops 20% Amid Protests
July 18, 2024

The transportation of goods to and from Chattogram port decreased by 20% on July 16 due to nationwide roadblocks and protests for quota reform in government jobs. Traffic congestion on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway and within the port city caused delays for vehicles carrying goods. Normally, around 6,000 vehicles enter Chattogram Port daily, but this number has reduced to about 5,000.

Bangladesh Bank Raises Gold Coin Prices to Tk 1,05,000
July 18, 2024
Industry : Bank

Bangladesh Bank has decided to increase the price of commemorative gold coins by Tk 1,05,000, effective from Thursday, due to the rise in gold prices in international and domestic markets. Previously, the rate was set at Tk 1,00,000 on December 26, and last year, the price increased by Tk 25,000 in six stages.

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