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

WB ready with $1b funding

The World Bank could lend more than $1 billion to implement a number of regional connectivity projects for boosting trade and investment among Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan. A transport team of the global lender presented its detailed plan to bankroll the connectivity projects to Finance Minister AMA Muhith at the WB headquarters in Washington in April. “By promoting the regional integration, Bangladesh can become the central hub in the region providing connectivity to the neighbouring countries,” said the presentation.

Bangladesh’s forex reserve crosses $24bn-mark again
Bangladesh’s foreign exchange (forex) reserve crossed the US$24 billion-mark further on Tuesday following steady growth of both export earnings and the flow of inward remittances. The reserve rose to $24.10 billion on the day from $23.96 billion of the previous working day. It was $23.09 billion on April 29 last. “Our forex reserve has crossed the $24 billion-mark again due mainly to steady growth of both export earnings and inward remittance,” Kazi Sayedur Rahman, general manager of the Forex Reserve and Treasury Management Department of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) told BBN in Dhaka.

Excise duty on bank deposits, air tickets hiked

The government has increased excise duty on domestic and international air ticket prices and deposits in banks and financial institutions by up to 67 per cent for the next fiscal year.
The government in the budget for FY 2015-16 proposed to increase the excise duty amending the Excises and Salt Act-1944. The increased excise duty rates have been effective from June 4.
According to the National Board of Revenue, domestic air travelers will have to pay Tk 500 per ticket for single journey instead of the current Tk 300. For travelling in the countries of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, passengers will have to pay Tk 500 per seat which was Tk 300.

NBR expects to mobilise large additional revenue through strategic plan
Government’s revenue authorities have now weaved a web of strategies to collect an additional Tk 111.64 billion in taxes during the upcoming financial year (2015-16). Tax officials are hopeful that the National Board of Revenue (NBR) would be able to mobilise this amount by banking on the proposed and amended fiscal measures in the budget for fiscal year (FY) 2015-16. Three of its wings–income tax, Value Added Tax (VAT) and customs department-expect to exact the additional amount of tax revenue in FY 2015-16 through innovative utilisation of the budgetary measures proposed in the Finance Bill 2015.

Pioneer Insurance barred from teaming up with India’s LIC
The insurance regulator has barred Pioneer Insurance from teaming up with the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India to launch a joint venture in life insurance business in Bangladesh. The issue has angered the local general insurer so much that the company threatened to go to court. “This is an injustice to us,” said QAFM Serajul Islam, managing director of Pioneer Insurance.

Bangladesh’s trade deficit widens by 54.18% in July-April
Bangladesh’s overall trade deficit widened by 54.18 per cent in the first ten months of the current fiscal (FY), 2014-15, due to higher import payments and lower export receipts, officials said.
The deficit rose to $8.49 billion during the July-April period of FY 15 from $5.51 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal, according to the Bangladesh Bank (BB)’s latest statistics, released on Tuesday. “The overall trade deficit increased significantly during the period under review because of higher import payment pleasures than export earnings,” a BB senior told BBN in Dhaka. He also said such deficit may widen further in the coming months mainly due to higher import payment pressure ahead of the holy Ramadan.

JBC sinking for excess expenditures
The state-owned Jiban Bima Corporation (JBC) is now on the brink of collapse due to the devastatingly increased management expenditure against the lower income from the premiums. The management expenditure of JBC has been exceeding its expense limit while income from premium has been witnessing a declining trend for the last six years. Apart from that, some other problems including lack of management skills, a limited number of agents and branches have gripped the JBC to wane the corporation. The lone public life insurance company spent around Tk232 crore exceeding its allowable limit in between 2009 and 2014, according to a report on management expenditure of JBC prepared by Insurance Development Regulatory and Authority (IDRA).

Bangladesh’s stocks end lower amid see-saw
Bangladesh’s stocks ended lower for the second running sessions on Tuesday after witnessing volatility despite a set of budgetary incentives announced for the capital market. The market moved between positive and negative territory throughout the session, scaring away investors from fresh investments despite ‘market-friendly’ budget announcement. DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), went down by 28.29 points or 0.62 percent to finish at 4,513.97 points.

BBN/SSR/AD