Feb 22
Banking & Commodity
Massive theft in banking sector: Muhith PDF Print E-mail

Massive theft in banking sector: Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Tuesday admitted in parliament that there were some irregularities in the banking sector and it was massive at times.

He made the statement while responding to a remark of independent MP Rustam Ali Farazi during the cut-motion discussion on the supplementary budget of the outgoing fiscal year.

"There were some faults, sometimes there were looting," Muhith said echoing Mr Farazi. "I want to say the irregularities were massive at times," the finance minister told the House.

Muhith sought an additional amount of Tk 2.38 billion for Bank and Financial Institution Division in the supplementary budget.

Opposing this allocation, independent MP Farazi said the incidents of theft are taking place in the banking sector. "The situation in all banks are the same by and large. An amount of Tk 8 billion has been taken away from bank (Bangladesh Bank) through an unholy alliance of its officials. These bank officials are involved in all the incidents of theft," he said.

He said a sum Tk 2.75 trillion has been siphoned off, while Tk 30,000 swindled out. "These are not only thefts, but also colossal thefts," he said.

Talking about the GDP projection, the Finance Minister said it can be changed anytime.

He mentioned about the capability of the BBS (Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics) and said its nine months' calculation of statistics projected that this time the GDP will be 7.05 per cent.

"What we've given [said] will be proved correct after three months, we have our own research...the BBS is very much skilled and international organisations are working on BBS data", according to UNB.

BHB gives microcredits to marginal weavers PDF Print E-mail

Bangladesh Handloom Board (BHB) Sunday distributed around Tk 11.4 million as microcredits to 371 marginal weavers to increase production and help their financial condition.

Textiles and Jute Minister M Emaz Uddin Pramanik distributed the loans as the chief guest at a function at Jute Diversification Promotion Centre (JDPC) auditorium in Dhaka, said a press release.

M Emaz Uddin Pramanik underscored the need for improving the living standard of weavers through rehabilitation for materialising the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

"We will provide all kinds of supports to the weaver community to ensure their standard living," he said.

State Minister for Textiles and Jute Ministry Mirza Azam and Textiles and Jute Secretary M A Quader Sarker, among others, also spoke on the occasion.

Mirza Azam said the government is providing all kinds of assistance to the weavers for increasing their living standard and making them self-reliant.

According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistic, about 1.5 million people are involved with the industry, according to BSS.

IMF prods govt to enforce shelved VAT law soon PDF Print E-mail

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggests the government to take necessary preparation to launch the shelved VAT (value added tax) law 'in the near future'.


In the face of a strong opposition from businesses, the government, willy-nilly, backtracked on its move to enforce the new VAT law in fiscal year (FY) 2016-17 alongside the new budget.


In doing so, however, it breached a pledge made to the global lender in order to get US$1.0 billion Extended Credit Facility (ECF) loan.


Finance Minister AMA Muhith in his budget speech last Thursday announced a full-fledged implementation of the new VAT law from FY 2017-18. The government's U-turn over the VAT law is believed to be because of the tough protest from the business community.


"We strongly advise the authorities to complete the necessary technical preparations for a successful launch of the VAT law in the near future," IMF Resident Representative in Dhaka Stella Kaendera told the FE in an e-mail interview when her attention was drawn regarding latest developments about the VAT law enforcement.


She argued that the launch of the new VAT law is critical to improving revenue collection in the most effective way possible while protecting the poor.


The government needs additional revenues for much-needed increases in public investment and social spending, without undermining fiscal sustainability, Ms Stella noted.


"A well-designed communications strategy will be essential to highlight the tax's features and benefits," she added.


The government framed the VAT and Supplementary Duty (SD) Act 2012 in line with the suggestion of the IMF. Enforcement of the new VAT law will introduce a uniform rate of VAT at 15 per cent for all businesses, save small ones.


It faced repeated agitation from the businesses before announcement of budget for next fiscal year as it had moved to implement the new VAT law in line with the commitment made to the Washington-based lender.


The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the apex trade body of the country, had urged the Prime Minister to intervene, as they said the new VAT law was formulated bypassing the recommendations of a joint committee.


The joint committee, comprising officials of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and the FBCCI, gave recommendations in January 2015 after examining VAT systems across the world. It placed seven-point recommendations, which still await implementation.


The recommendations include raising VAT-free turnover ceiling to Tk 3.6 million, fixing VAT rate at 3.0 per cent for turnover up to Tk 15 million, setting VAT at 4.0 per cent for traders who are unable to obtain rebate, and at 2.0 per cent for those who sell products at fixed rates.


Many of the local businesses are yet to develop automated accounting system to claim input credit, which is the main benefit of the new VAT law, according to officials.


The enforcement of new VAT act will raise cost of doing business substantially for those businesses who cannot claim tax credit, they said.
Internet banking stands at Tk217.57 billion in 2015 PDF Print E-mail

Internet banking crosses Tk200-billion mark


Bangladesh’s banking transaction through internet crossed Tk200-billion mark in the last calendar year, according to the central bank statistics.


Total value of transaction through the internet banking stood at Tk 217.57 billion in 2015 while the volume of transaction was 46.90 million.


Internet banking, also dubbed as online banking, is the banking activities through Internet.


The service offers customers almost every service traditionally available through a local branch. These include: accepting deposits (done online or through the mail), paying interest on savings and providing an online bill payment system.


Again, during the first eight months (July-February) of the current fiscal year (FY16), transaction through the internet banking stood at Tk 158.47 billion.


Azam J Chowdhury elected Prime Bank chairman PDF Print E-mail

Dhaka, May 27 (UNB) - Azam J Chowdhury has been elected chairman of
the Board of Directors of Prime Bank Ltd for two years with effect
from June 1.