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Bangladesh Development Forum meeting held in city

Bss, Dhaka

Hasina seeks SDG funds from donors ] Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks at the inaugural ceremony of Bangladesh Development Forum 2018, at the Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka Wednesday. Photo: PMO

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the developed countries to stand beside Bangladesh in its journey towards prosperity.
Ensuring the supply of finance is a big challenge to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs), she said on opening Bangladesh Development Forum 2018 at the Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka.
“For this, the developed countries will have to come forward with financial and technical assistance.”
The premier said Bangladesh also needs global support in dealing with challenges posed by environmental and climate change, and the international community must give more attention to the impending problem.
“In our journey to prosperity, we consider private partnerships including international countries and organisations as our important development partners.”
Hasina also urged the developed countries to be more courteous about a flexible world trade regime to help the developing countries like Bangladesh to achieve their overall development in poverty alleviation and employment generation.
Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) is a high level meeting where the government and its development partners work to explore further partnerships to foster inclusive economic growth.
It brings together ministers, government policymakers, multilateral, regional and bilateral development institutions from the north and the south, think tanks, universities and civil society organisations to discuss how to foster partnerships to take the national and international agendas forward.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Director-General and CEO of OPEC Fund for International Development Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, World Bank Vice President for South Asia Annette Dixon and Vice President of Asian Development Bank Wencai Zhang spoke at the event. Deputy Director General of Japan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Minoru Masujima and Ambassador of the Delegation of European Union to Bangladesh Rensje Teerink also spoke.
Economic Relations Division’s Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam gave the welcome address at the event.
Cabinet members, lawmakers, diplomats of different countries and representatives of international development partners also attended the inaugural function.
Terming Bangladesh a country with a lot of potential, Hasina said, “We have the confidence and resources to demonstrate ourselves as a dynamic economy before the world.”
Bangladesh is ready to stand with the developing countries after coming out from the least developed country category and “a strategic preparation has been taken to face the impact”, she said.
“Our all-out efforts for sustainable economic and social development have been continuing.”
Hasina said Bangladesh has embarked on a five-year development plan designed on “Vision 2021” and United Nations SDGs, aimed at becoming a middle-income country by 2021 and developed one by 2041.
She recalled that Bangladesh was on the road of preparing its seventh five-year national development plan when the UN agenda for SDGs was in its initial stage.
As a result, Bangladesh was able to contribute in making the world development agenda, she said.
“The SDGs are very much supplementary to Bangladesh’s national development priority and we are expecting to achieve the goals within the period of our eighth and ninth five-year plans.”
She sought development partners’ advice and opinion on Bangladesh’s development plans.
“We need cooperation from development partners, civil society, intellectual and private sectors to implement the development goals and programmes.”
Highlighting Bangladesh’s economic progress over the last few years, she said the poverty rate was 56.7 percent in 1991 which now stands at 22.4 percent.
Poverty will come down to 14 percent by 2021, she said. In the last decade, she said, average GDP growth rate of Bangladesh was 6.26 percent, which has increased to 7.28 percent in the last fiscal year.
In the period, Bangladesh’s export and remittance figures tripled whereas the foreign exchange reserve increased by almost nine times.
Hasina said Bangladesh was now the 44th largest economy in the world on the basis of GDP and its position on the basis of purchasing power is 32nd.
According to international financial analysts, Bangladesh will become the world’s 28th and 23rd largest economy based on GDP and purchasing capacity by 2030 and 2050, she said.
Pointing out the digital advancement of Bangladesh over the years, the prime minister said over 13 million mobile SIMs are being used while 80 million people have access to the internet.
Digital centres have been established in each union. From there, people get 200 types of services. Per capita income is now $1,610, she said.
Hasina said Bangladesh could attract foreign direct investment equivalent to about $3 billion in the current fiscal year.
Electricity production capacity has risen to 16,350MW, bringing 83 percent of households under its coverage. Average life expectancy of people has increased to 72 years.
She said the government has now taken initiatives to establish 100 economic zones in different areas of the country for foreign direct investment.
The government is working for infrastructure development and for necessary reforms to create an investment-friendly environment for foreigners.
To serve the purpose, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority has been formed by merging the Board of Investment and the Privatisation Commission, she said.
Hasina hoped that the development forum would play an important role in determining collective action strategies and formulating necessary recommendations for building a poverty and hunger-free prosperous Bangladesh.
Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star News App. Click here to download it for your device.

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Bss, Dhaka

Hasina seeks SDG funds from donors ] Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina speaks at the inaugural ceremony of Bangladesh Development Forum 2018, at the Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka Wednesday. Photo: PMO

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the developed countries to stand beside Bangladesh in its journey towards prosperity.
Ensuring the supply of finance is a big challenge to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs), she said on opening Bangladesh Development Forum 2018 at the Sonargaon hotel in Dhaka.
“For this, the developed countries will have to come forward with financial and technical assistance.”
The premier said Bangladesh also needs global support in dealing with challenges posed by environmental and climate change, and the international community must give more attention to the impending problem.
“In our journey to prosperity, we consider private partnerships including international countries and organisations as our important development partners.”
Hasina also urged the developed countries to be more courteous about a flexible world trade regime to help the developing countries like Bangladesh to achieve their overall development in poverty alleviation and employment generation.
Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) is a high level meeting where the government and its development partners work to explore further partnerships to foster inclusive economic growth.
It brings together ministers, government policymakers, multilateral, regional and bilateral development institutions from the north and the south, think tanks, universities and civil society organisations to discuss how to foster partnerships to take the national and international agendas forward.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, Director-General and CEO of OPEC Fund for International Development Suleiman Jasir Al-Herbish, World Bank Vice President for South Asia Annette Dixon and Vice President of Asian Development Bank Wencai Zhang spoke at the event. Deputy Director General of Japan’s Foreign Affairs Ministry Minoru Masujima and Ambassador of the Delegation of European Union to Bangladesh Rensje Teerink also spoke.
Economic Relations Division’s Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam gave the welcome address at the event.
Cabinet members, lawmakers, diplomats of different countries and representatives of international development partners also attended the inaugural function.
Terming Bangladesh a country with a lot of potential, Hasina said, “We have the confidence and resources to demonstrate ourselves as a dynamic economy before the world.”
Bangladesh is ready to stand with the developing countries after coming out from the least developed country category and “a strategic preparation has been taken to face the impact”, she said.
“Our all-out efforts for sustainable economic and social development have been continuing.”
Hasina said Bangladesh has embarked on a five-year development plan designed on “Vision 2021” and United Nations SDGs, aimed at becoming a middle-income country by 2021 and developed one by 2041.
She recalled that Bangladesh was on the road of preparing its seventh five-year national development plan when the UN agenda for SDGs was in its initial stage.
As a result, Bangladesh was able to contribute in making the world development agenda, she said.
“The SDGs are very much supplementary to Bangladesh’s national development priority and we are expecting to achieve the goals within the period of our eighth and ninth five-year plans.”
She sought development partners’ advice and opinion on Bangladesh’s development plans.
“We need cooperation from development partners, civil society, intellectual and private sectors to implement the development goals and programmes.”
Highlighting Bangladesh’s economic progress over the last few years, she said the poverty rate was 56.7 percent in 1991 which now stands at 22.4 percent.
Poverty will come down to 14 percent by 2021, she said. In the last decade, she said, average GDP growth rate of Bangladesh was 6.26 percent, which has increased to 7.28 percent in the last fiscal year.
In the period, Bangladesh’s export and remittance figures tripled whereas the foreign exchange reserve increased by almost nine times.
Hasina said Bangladesh was now the 44th largest economy in the world on the basis of GDP and its position on the basis of purchasing power is 32nd.
According to international financial analysts, Bangladesh will become the world’s 28th and 23rd largest economy based on GDP and purchasing capacity by 2030 and 2050, she said.
Pointing out the digital advancement of Bangladesh over the years, the prime minister said over 13 million mobile SIMs are being used while 80 million people have access to the internet.
Digital centres have been established in each union. From there, people get 200 types of services. Per capita income is now $1,610, she said.
Hasina said Bangladesh could attract foreign direct investment equivalent to about $3 billion in the current fiscal year.
Electricity production capacity has risen to 16,350MW, bringing 83 percent of households under its coverage. Average life expectancy of people has increased to 72 years.
She said the government has now taken initiatives to establish 100 economic zones in different areas of the country for foreign direct investment.
The government is working for infrastructure development and for necessary reforms to create an investment-friendly environment for foreigners.
To serve the purpose, Bangladesh Investment Development Authority has been formed by merging the Board of Investment and the Privatisation Commission, she said.
Hasina hoped that the development forum would play an important role in determining collective action strategies and formulating necessary recommendations for building a poverty and hunger-free prosperous Bangladesh.
Stay updated on the go with The Daily Star News App. Click here to download it for your device.


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‘CPD doesn’t see dev of the country’
Muhith, Tofail blast the think-tank; CPD says its review objective

Staff Correspondent

CPD’s observation in the annual economic performance blaming wrong policies and poor governance has drew sharp reaction from the government leaders last week.  Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed came out heavily against the think tank’s remarks saying it is unfortunate the research organisation has underestimated the government’s development efforts.
Muhith said the government has done many development works that the CPD does not recognize. Their remark is unrealistic and devoid of real situation in the ground.
“They [the CPD] have found all the policies [of the government] wrong.”
He said the government policies have lifted the country to a new high but the CDP does not see it.  “The CPD is bent on bringing Bangladesh down. That’s all,” he mentioned.
Facing a volley of questions from journalists, a visibly annoyed Muhith termed the CPD findings “all rubbish”. In its survey published yesterday, the CPD said the economy has come under pressure due to the banking sector crisis, inflation and soaring import.
The banking sector is suffering from cronyism, the think tank said, adding that irregularities and embezzlement of public funds are taking place with influential people involved in it, but the government could do little to improve the situation.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said the CPD disappointed people of the country.
“The CPD does not see development in the country,” the minister said at a press briefing at his secretariat office after the publication of the CPD findings.
Tofail said the World Bank, noted economists, and globally renowned research organisations have all been praising the government’s development activities.
Poverty rate in the country declined to 22.4 percent last year from 43 percent in 2006. At the same time, the ultra-poverty rate also dropped to 11.9 percent from 17.6 percent, he mentioned.
The CPD has eventually helped the opposition by publishing the report, Tofail said. “There is no difference between the statements of the BNP and the CPD.” Those who used to criticise Bangladesh as a “bottomless basket” now identify the country as a model of development, he added.
CPD Distinguished Fellow Mustafizur Rahman however said there is not any specific purpose and time in mind while releasing the report. CPD is publishing the Independent Review of Bangladesh’s Development [IRBD] periodically since 1995, he said.

Comment

Staff Correspondent

CPD’s observation in the annual economic performance blaming wrong policies and poor governance has drew sharp reaction from the government leaders last week.  Finance Minister AMA Muhith and Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed came out heavily against the think tank’s remarks saying it is unfortunate the research organisation has underestimated the government’s development efforts.
Muhith said the government has done many development works that the CPD does not recognize. Their remark is unrealistic and devoid of real situation in the ground.
“They [the CPD] have found all the policies [of the government] wrong.”
He said the government policies have lifted the country to a new high but the CDP does not see it.  “The CPD is bent on bringing Bangladesh down. That’s all,” he mentioned.
Facing a volley of questions from journalists, a visibly annoyed Muhith termed the CPD findings “all rubbish”. In its survey published yesterday, the CPD said the economy has come under pressure due to the banking sector crisis, inflation and soaring import.
The banking sector is suffering from cronyism, the think tank said, adding that irregularities and embezzlement of public funds are taking place with influential people involved in it, but the government could do little to improve the situation.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said the CPD disappointed people of the country.
“The CPD does not see development in the country,” the minister said at a press briefing at his secretariat office after the publication of the CPD findings.
Tofail said the World Bank, noted economists, and globally renowned research organisations have all been praising the government’s development activities.
Poverty rate in the country declined to 22.4 percent last year from 43 percent in 2006. At the same time, the ultra-poverty rate also dropped to 11.9 percent from 17.6 percent, he mentioned.
The CPD has eventually helped the opposition by publishing the report, Tofail said. “There is no difference between the statements of the BNP and the CPD.” Those who used to criticise Bangladesh as a “bottomless basket” now identify the country as a model of development, he added.
CPD Distinguished Fellow Mustafizur Rahman however said there is not any specific purpose and time in mind while releasing the report. CPD is publishing the Independent Review of Bangladesh’s Development [IRBD] periodically since 1995, he said.


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CABINET APPROVES RIDESHARING GUIDELINES
Operating co, driver to pay Tk 1 lakh each for enlistment

Business Report

The cabinet last Monday approved “Ride-sharing Service Guidelines 2017” validating the operations of app-based transport services like Uber and Pathao. There is a provision in the guidelines that the service providing company and its drivers would have to take permission through an enlistment certificate from the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).
Moreover the service provider company and the driver will have to pay Tk 1,000 each and a biker Tk 500 as annual enlistment fee. They will have to renew the “enlistment certificates” every three years, the guidelines mentioned
The cabinet approval came at the regular cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office. Later, Cabinet Secretary Shafiul Alam briefed the media.
The app-based service providers welcomed the government move, saying it would benefit all stakeholders.
Shafiul said the guidelines had been formulated to regulate the app-based transport services with cars, motorcycles and ambulances. According to the guidelines, the fare of the ride-sharing vehicles cannot exceed the fare mentioned in the Taxicab Service Guideline-2010.
Any company, which seeks the BRTA permission, must have at least 100 vehicles in its fleet for operating in Dhaka, 50 for Chittagong and 20 for other cities, the guidelines mentioned.
The cabinet secretary added that there are 11 conditions in the guidelines.
The guidelines came at a time when around a dozen app-based transport service providers, including Uber, Pathao, Cholo, Amarbike, Ezzyr and Taxiwala, are already in service in the capital.
When the app-based service providers started the journey in 2016, the BRTA termed it illegal. Later, Uber and other such service providers had urged the government to formulate a guideline. The BRTA then prepared a draft guideline, which was sent to the cabinet through the road transport and bridges ministry for approval.
As per the guidelines, a company will have to pay Tk 1 lakh and submit other relevant documents, including trade license, to the BRTA to get “enlistment certificate”.
On the other hand, a driver will have to pay Tk 1,000 and a biker Tk 500 as yearly enlistment fee, and they have to renew the “enlistment certificates” every three years, the guidelines mentioned.
The apps used by the service providers must have facilities so that both passengers and drivers can contact the police control room in case of emergency, the guidelines added.

Comment

Business Report

The cabinet last Monday approved “Ride-sharing Service Guidelines 2017” validating the operations of app-based transport services like Uber and Pathao. There is a provision in the guidelines that the service providing company and its drivers would have to take permission through an enlistment certificate from the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).
Moreover the service provider company and the driver will have to pay Tk 1,000 each and a biker Tk 500 as annual enlistment fee. They will have to renew the “enlistment certificates” every three years, the guidelines mentioned
The cabinet approval came at the regular cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office. Later, Cabinet Secretary Shafiul Alam briefed the media.
The app-based service providers welcomed the government move, saying it would benefit all stakeholders.
Shafiul said the guidelines had been formulated to regulate the app-based transport services with cars, motorcycles and ambulances. According to the guidelines, the fare of the ride-sharing vehicles cannot exceed the fare mentioned in the Taxicab Service Guideline-2010.
Any company, which seeks the BRTA permission, must have at least 100 vehicles in its fleet for operating in Dhaka, 50 for Chittagong and 20 for other cities, the guidelines mentioned.
The cabinet secretary added that there are 11 conditions in the guidelines.
The guidelines came at a time when around a dozen app-based transport service providers, including Uber, Pathao, Cholo, Amarbike, Ezzyr and Taxiwala, are already in service in the capital.
When the app-based service providers started the journey in 2016, the BRTA termed it illegal. Later, Uber and other such service providers had urged the government to formulate a guideline. The BRTA then prepared a draft guideline, which was sent to the cabinet through the road transport and bridges ministry for approval.
As per the guidelines, a company will have to pay Tk 1 lakh and submit other relevant documents, including trade license, to the BRTA to get “enlistment certificate”.
On the other hand, a driver will have to pay Tk 1,000 and a biker Tk 500 as yearly enlistment fee, and they have to renew the “enlistment certificates” every three years, the guidelines mentioned.
The apps used by the service providers must have facilities so that both passengers and drivers can contact the police control room in case of emergency, the guidelines added.


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2017 was a year of banking scam, poor economic management: CPD

Business Report

The annual Bangladesh Economic Review published by the Center for Policy Dialogue early last week in the city depicted a poor state of economic management despite the country achieved significant progress. It has mainly criticized the year 2017 as the year of banking scam spilled over from the past few years.  
The review said the year 2017 began with signs of an increase in private investment but it did not end with the same level of enthusiasm. As a result, private investment did not rise as expected despite growth of credit flow and capital machinery import. The year 2018 entered as an election year with many challenges for the economy when crisis in banking sector may further aggravate with accelerated capital flight from the country.
Meanwhile, inflation and soaring imports amid inadequate export earnings and slow down in remittance inflows have been identified as the major areas where the economy suffers big setback.
The CPD report released by Dr Debapriya Bhattacharia, Dr Mustafizur Rahman and other functionaries in the city mainly criticized the deteriorating condition of the banking sector blaming widespread cronyism and other irregularities that includes embezzlement of public funds by influential people.
They also came out heavily on higher income and wealth inequality, falling pace of poverty reduction, sluggish reforms, weakness in economic management and lack of erform initiative in the economy and system of governance.
“We do not see any prospect of a turnaround in this sector in the next couple of months as the appetite for reforms remains low during the year ahead of elections,” CPD Executive Director Fahmida Khatun told a press briefing after the release of the report in the city.
The CPD said stealing of public money by a handful of corrupt people and the rise in financial crimes in the country indicate that the banking sector is in dire straits. Fahmida said economies of countries such as Indonesia and Argentina also suffered due to problems in financial sector.
The CPD’s views come at a time when non-performing loans in the banking sector rose to Tk 80,307 crore between January and September last year, up from Tk 62,172 crore in December 2016, mainly due to irregularities in lending, political influence in loan sanctioning and weak corporate governance.

Comment

Business Report

The annual Bangladesh Economic Review published by the Center for Policy Dialogue early last week in the city depicted a poor state of economic management despite the country achieved significant progress. It has mainly criticized the year 2017 as the year of banking scam spilled over from the past few years.  
The review said the year 2017 began with signs of an increase in private investment but it did not end with the same level of enthusiasm. As a result, private investment did not rise as expected despite growth of credit flow and capital machinery import. The year 2018 entered as an election year with many challenges for the economy when crisis in banking sector may further aggravate with accelerated capital flight from the country.
Meanwhile, inflation and soaring imports amid inadequate export earnings and slow down in remittance inflows have been identified as the major areas where the economy suffers big setback.
The CPD report released by Dr Debapriya Bhattacharia, Dr Mustafizur Rahman and other functionaries in the city mainly criticized the deteriorating condition of the banking sector blaming widespread cronyism and other irregularities that includes embezzlement of public funds by influential people.
They also came out heavily on higher income and wealth inequality, falling pace of poverty reduction, sluggish reforms, weakness in economic management and lack of erform initiative in the economy and system of governance.
“We do not see any prospect of a turnaround in this sector in the next couple of months as the appetite for reforms remains low during the year ahead of elections,” CPD Executive Director Fahmida Khatun told a press briefing after the release of the report in the city.
The CPD said stealing of public money by a handful of corrupt people and the rise in financial crimes in the country indicate that the banking sector is in dire straits. Fahmida said economies of countries such as Indonesia and Argentina also suffered due to problems in financial sector.
The CPD’s views come at a time when non-performing loans in the banking sector rose to Tk 80,307 crore between January and September last year, up from Tk 62,172 crore in December 2016, mainly due to irregularities in lending, political influence in loan sanctioning and weak corporate governance.


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Pubali Bank signed agreement with Bangladesh Bank

Business Report

Pubali Bank Limited signed a participatory agreement with Bangladesh Bank (BB) on Second Small & Medium Sized Enterprise Development Project (SMEDP2) at the conference room of BB recently in city.
With the financial support of Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh, the agreement was signed under the refinance scheme of US$ 240 million to expand financial services for the development of Cottage, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (CMSME).
Md. Abdul Halim Chowdhury, Managing Director & CEO of Pubali Bank Limited and Md. Abul Bashar, General Manager of Financial Inclusion Department of Bangladesh Bank signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.
K. Sur Chowdhury, Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank was present in the ceremony as chief guest while Cai Li, Deputy Country Director of ADB and Pradip Kumar Datta, General Manager of Credit Division of Pubali Bank Limited along with other senior officials of both the organizations were also present on the occasion, said a press release.

Comment

Business Report

Pubali Bank Limited signed a participatory agreement with Bangladesh Bank (BB) on Second Small & Medium Sized Enterprise Development Project (SMEDP2) at the conference room of BB recently in city.
With the financial support of Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of Bangladesh, the agreement was signed under the refinance scheme of US$ 240 million to expand financial services for the development of Cottage, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (CMSME).
Md. Abdul Halim Chowdhury, Managing Director & CEO of Pubali Bank Limited and Md. Abul Bashar, General Manager of Financial Inclusion Department of Bangladesh Bank signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organizations.
K. Sur Chowdhury, Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank was present in the ceremony as chief guest while Cai Li, Deputy Country Director of ADB and Pradip Kumar Datta, General Manager of Credit Division of Pubali Bank Limited along with other senior officials of both the organizations were also present on the occasion, said a press release.


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BRAC Bank organizes Branch Managers Convention

Business Report

BRAC Bank Limited organized Branch Managers Convention 2017 recently at Grand Sultan Tea Resort in Sreemongal. The two-day convention focused on Branch Banking strategy for capitalizing market opportunities and providing a delightful banking experience to the valued customers.  Selim R. F. Hussain, Managing Director & CEO,  A. K. Joaddar, Deputy Managing Director & CFO,  Chowdhury Akhtar Asif, Deputy Managing Director & CRO, were present along with all the Branch Managers, Business Heads and the senior officials of the bank, said a press release.

Comment

Business Report

BRAC Bank Limited organized Branch Managers Convention 2017 recently at Grand Sultan Tea Resort in Sreemongal. The two-day convention focused on Branch Banking strategy for capitalizing market opportunities and providing a delightful banking experience to the valued customers.  Selim R. F. Hussain, Managing Director & CEO,  A. K. Joaddar, Deputy Managing Director & CFO,  Chowdhury Akhtar Asif, Deputy Managing Director & CRO, were present along with all the Branch Managers, Business Heads and the senior officials of the bank, said a press release.


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