Bangladesh PM Hasina wins UN award for leadership on climate change

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina

Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The BBN (Bangladesh Business News) has prepared the morning business round up compiling reports, published by different newspapers and news portals in Bangladesh.

PM asks Muhith to postpone enforcing new VAT law
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked Finance Minister AMA Muhith to postpone implementing the controversial new value-added tax law set to be effective from July 1, Finance Ministry officials said. The directive came at a meeting in parliament office on Monday, also attended by National Board of Revenue Chairman Nojibur Rahman and Finance Division officials.

Bangladesh to revise guidelines on credit card operations
The central bank of Bangladesh is going to revise the guidelines on credit card operations, allowing the banks to fix the interest rate on card users on the basis of any loan instead of consumer credit. The decision was taken at a meeting with leaders of Association of Bankers Bangladesh (ABB), a forum of the banks’ chief executives, held at the central bank headquarters in Dhaka on Monday.

No sign of stability in rice market
Rice import by the private sector has dropped to a four-year low at a time when its prices have shot up in the domestic market. Traders imported only 1.2 lakh tonnes of rice till mid-June in the current fiscal year against 2.56 lakh tonnes in the previous fiscal year. Its import has not dipped so low since 2012 when 29,000 tonnes of rice were imported.Importers blame the existing 28 percent tariff on rice import for the decline.

Performance deals with SOBs turn into eyewash: economists
Annual performance agreements introduced three years ago by the government has failed to improve the performance of the state-owned banks. As the overall financial condition of the state-owned commercial banks has deteriorated, economists said that the much-hyped reform initiative to improve service delivery of the government entities was nothing but eyewash.

Bangladesh’s stocks return to higher at closing
Bangladesh’s stocks returned to higher on Monday after a single-session break as pre-Eid sale pressure somewhat subdued. Only three trading sessions are left before Eid vacation. Brokers said the market finished marginally higher as pre-Eid sale pressure faded away, while recent corrections encouraged some investors to take fresh position on some large-cap stocks.

Exports to US on the decline
Shipments to the US, Bangladesh’s single largest export destination, declined 4.93 percent year-on-year to $4.82 billion in the first ten months of the fiscal year due to erosion of price competitiveness and longer lead time. The declining trend is not a good sign as exports had previously grown at a commendable rate over the years despite internal and external difficulties, said an exporter and an economist.

Planning minister: Import duty on rice to be dropped
The government is considering withdrawal of the import duty on rice aiming to mitigate the prevailing crisis in the country. Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal made the comment in a press briefing at his office in Dhaka on Monday. Mustafa Kamal said: “It is true that the price of rice has gone up. But there is a lot of rice in the market. Rice mills also have enough stock. So, the prices will drop once the import duty is reduced.”

Muhith under fire from MPs
Ruling Awami League lawmaker Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim in parliament on Monday urged finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith to talk less as some of his comments often embarrassed the party. Selim, also a presidium member of the party, claimed that Awami League was doing politics for the betterment of people. ‘But he [finance minister] proposed excise duty on bank accounts stirred confusion among people,’ he noted.