WB to give $6 billion credit in 3 years

Posted by BankInfo on Sat, Apr 22 2017 09:34 am

The World Bank has pledged to extend $6 billion in credit to Bangladesh over next three years, report agencies.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith made the disclosure after a meeting  with the global lender’s Vice President for South Asia Region Annette Dixon at its headquarters in Washington DC on Thursday on the sidelines of the Spring Meeting of the World Bank Group - IMF.

Muhith said the World Bank would provide the money in three instalments of $2 billion each in every fiscal year from 2017-18 to 2019-20, quoting Dixon as saying.  

He said the WB’s previous three-year loan package is ending in June.

It had pledged to give $4 billion from 2014-15 to 2016-17 financial year, he said.
“But we’ve got more.”

“We want to give an ambitious budget again like before. We raised the past eight budgets by 10-11 percent each and we will do so again,” he said.

He apprised the WB Vice President of Bangladesh government’s highest priority on human resources development.

“We will take up many new projects keeping this objective in sight,” Muhith said.

He informed Dixon that the government is not cutting the allocation for the Annual Development Programme of the current fiscal year.

The finance minister said the World Bank also pledged funds, as part of a global programme, to help Bangladesh rehabilitate the refugees from Myanmar. “(But) they did not say how much they will provide,” he added.

According to him, the World Bank vice president was happy with Bangladesh’s economic progress.

He said following Bangladesh’s unwillingness to take loans from the World Bank for the banking sector, the global lender decided to give the same amount of credit to two other projects.

Asked how it reacted to the rejection, he said, “They didn’t say much, neither did we.”

Muhith also told the World Bank official that a banking commission would be formed in the next budget. The finance minister has been speaking about constituting the commission since 2014-15 to bring order to the banking sector.

“But this time we will surely do it,” he said.

The Bangladesh delegation in the IMF and World Bank’s 2017 Annual Spring Meetings also includes Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir, Finance Secretary Hedayetullah Al Mamoon, Economic Relations Division Secretary Kazi Shofiqul Azam, and Alternate Executive Director to the World Bank Muhammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan.

news:daily sun/22-apr-2017

Worries over Trump policies cloud start of IMF, World Bank meetings

Posted by BankInfo on Fri, Apr 21 2017 07:15 pm

World finance leaders are gathering on US President Donald Trump's home turf on Thursday to try to nudge his still-evolving policies away from protectionism and show broad support for open trade and global integration.

The International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings bring the two multilateral institutions' 189 members face-to-face with Trump's "America First" agenda for the first time, just two blocks from the White House.

"These meetings will all be about Trump and the implications of his policies for the international agenda," said Domenico Lombardi, a former IMF board official who is now with the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a Canadian think-tank.

He added that IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde is aiming to "socialize" the new administration to the IMF's agenda and influence its policy choices.

The IMF in particular has sounded warnings against Trump's plans to shrink US trade deficits with potential measures to restrict imports, arguing in its latest economic forecasts that protectionist policies would crimp global growth that is starting to gain traction.

Trump administration officials are now pushing back against such warnings by arguing that other countries are more protectionist than the United States.

Trump launched the week by signing an executive order to review "Buy American" public procurement rules that have long offered some exemptions under free trade agreements, and by lashing out at Canadian dairy restrictions.

In addition to warnings on trade, the IMF on Wednesday unveiled two studies pointing out dangers from fiscal proposals that Trump is considering. These included warnings that his tax reform ideas could fuel financial risk-taking and raise public debt enough to hurt growth. Making tax reforms "in a way that does not increase the deficit is better for growth," added IMF fiscal affairs director Vitor Gaspar.

The advice may simply be ignored, especially after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin last month insisted that an anti-protectionism pledge be dropped from a Group of 20 communique issued in Baden-Baden, Germany, said Eswar Prasad, former head of the IMF's China department

"The IMF has little leverage since its limited toolkit of analysis-based advice, persuasion, and peer pressure is unlikely to have much of an impact on this administration's policies," said Prasad, now an international trade professor at Cornell University. Mnuchin's decision against naming China a currency manipulator last week removed one concern for the IMF ahead of the meeting.

Lagarde also noted on Wednesday that the IMF would listen to all of its members, and work for "free and fair" trade. Lagarde is set to interview Mnuchin on stage during the meetings.

news: daily star/21-apr-2017

NRBC Bank can hold AGM on Apr 23: court

Posted by BankInfo on Fri, Apr 21 2017 06:49 pm

Star Business Report

The High Court yesterday cleared the way for the authorities concerned to hold the annual general meeting of NRB Commercial (NRBC) Bank on April 23.

The court said NRBC Bank Chairman Farasath Ali will preside over the meeting where Bangladesh Bank's observer Masud Biswas will remain present.

The HC also directed the board of NRBC Bank to allow its three directors -- Adnan Imam, SM Tamal and Rafiqul Islam Arzu --and its former director AM Tushar Iqbal Rahman to attend the meeting.

In response to a petition jointly filed by Adnan, Tamal, Rafiqul and Tushar, the court asked the authorities to include the names of Adnan, Tamal and Rafiqul in the directors' report of NRBC Bank.

The authorities have been directed to strictly follow the relevant rules of law in holding the meeting and not to take any decision at the meeting beyond its circulated agenda.

The HC asked them to hold voting in the secret ballot if it is necessary for recruiting its directors through election at the annual general meeting and to record the whole proceedings of the meeting in video.  

The vacation bench of Justice AFM Abdur Rahman came up with the order following a petition filed by Adnan, Tamal, Rafiqul and Tushar seeking necessary orders for smoothly holding the meeting and so that the petitioners can attend the function.

Petitioners' lawyer Barrister Mehedi Hasan Chowdhury told The Daily Star that his clients filed the petition under Banking Companies Act, apprehending that the meeting of NRBC Bank will not be held smoothly, as there are allegations of irregularities against its Chairman Farasath Ali and Managing Director Dewan Mujibur Rahman. The NRBC Bank authorities on April 6 issued a notice for holding its AGM on April 23 excluding the names of the writ petitioners, he said.

The lawyer said the HC passed the directives on the consents of the lawyers of the petitioners and the NRBC Bank. Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and Deputy Attorney General SM Moniruzzaman appeared for the bank, while Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh and Barrister Mehedi represented the petitioners.

news:daily star/21-apr-2017

Banks asked to pay nominees after depositors’ death

Posted by BankInfo on Thu, Apr 20 2017 11:12 am

Bangladesh Bank directed the scheduled banks to pay deposited money to nominees after depositors’ death Dhaka Tribune

The directive was issued to managing directors or chief executive officers of all the scheduled banks

Bangladesh Bank on Wednesday directed all scheduled banks to pay deposited money to nominee or nominees after death of account holder.

The directive was issued to managing directors or chief executive officers of all the scheduled banks.

“It has been noticed that some of the scheduled banks have taken affidavit from nominees of depositors saying that the nominees may not be eligible as the recipients of the deposited money after the death of the account holders,” the circular said.

Taking affidavit from the nominees is violation of article 103 of Bank Company Act 1991, said the circular signed by Abu Farah Md Naser, general manager of Bangladesh Bank.

The scheduled banks are directed to follow the article 103 of Bank Company Act 1991 in paying the deposited money to the nominees mentioned in the account documents.

According to section 103 (3) of the Bank Company Act, 1991, the nominee shall get priority over any person and all other persons shall get deprived of such property after the death of the depositor or investor.

According to sources at the central bank, the scheduled banks are taking affidavit taking the advantage of a court verdict, which delivered a historical judgement in establishing right of the legal heirs as against that of the nominees.

A High Court ruling in 2016 disallowed a second wife from inheriting deceased husband’s full money in bank account as the nominee until the trial court determines his legal heirs.

A bench of Justice Naima Haider and Justice Khizir Ahmed Choudhury gave the ruling overturning the trial court’s decision that the  nominee alone had the right to inherit the money in the bank following death of the account holder.

Monjurul Haq Chowdhury and his two sisters moved the High Court seeking review of the lower court’s rejection of their application seeking succession certificates and favouring their step mother Bilkis Ara Begum as the lone inheritor of Tk30 lakh in the bank account of their late father Md Shahidul Haq Chowdhury.

On September 23, 2013,  Bangladesh Bank deputy director Shahidul died.

He made his second wife Bilkis, the nominee of his account with the Bangladesh Bank’s Motijheel office in which he had deposited savings certificates worth Tk30 lakh.

The High Court directed the Bangladesh Bank to distribute the money of the deceased among his legal heirs on the basis of the succession certificates to be issued by the lower court.

news:dhaka tribune/20-apr-2017

NBR asks banks to freeze accounts of an Otobi unit

Posted by BankInfo on Thu, Apr 20 2017 10:29 am

The National Board of Revenue has asked banks to freeze all accounts of a unit of furniture maker and retailer Otobi for non-payment of value added tax worth Tk 60.55 lakh, a senior official said yesterday.

The Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate of Dhaka West has recently issued the directive asking all banks to freeze the bank accounts of M/S Otobi Ltd (Unit-5). The directive also asked banks to deduct the amount unless the VAT is paid to the exchequer within 15 days.

“We have already frozen the accounts after detection of the evasion in an audit into the records of the firm,” said Md Shahidul Islam, commissioner of Customs, Excise and VAT Commi-ssionerate.

This unit 5 of Otobi is located at Savar, Dhaka's northwest, according to Mahbubul Alam, chief taxation officer of Otobi Ltd.

Alam denied the allegation of evasion but said the firm could not pay the VAT in time.

“We could not pay because of financial crisis caused by a fire at the factory earlier,” he said,

He said the company has raised dispute of Tk 15 lakh out of the total claim by NBR's field office.  “But we were not given any clarification,” he claimed.

Freezing of bank accounts was not the right move and Otobi vows to fight the case legally, Alam said.  

news:daily star/20-apr-2017


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