Credit disbursement to the agriculture sector shot up by 24.82 per cent in the first quarter (July-September) of the current fiscal year 2013-14 compared to the same corresponding period of the previous FY 2012-13. According to the data of Agricultural Credit and Financial Inclusion Department of Bangladesh Bank, both the public and private commercial banks have disbursed Tk 2,861.58 crore in the period of July-September of FY 2013-14 while they credited Tk 2,292.52 crore in that period of the previous fiscal year, a 24.82 per cent more than the first three-month of the FY 2012-13.
The BB data also shows that the loan disbursement to the agriculture sector in the Q1 of FY 2013-14 was 19.61 per cent of the credit target of Tk 14,595 crore for the agriculture sector.
Besides, the rate of credit realisation in the agriculture sector was also higher in the July-Sept of 2013-14 than the same corresponding period of the previous fiscal year 2012-13.
As per the central bank’s data, the banks have realised Tk 11,000 crore credit from the agriculture sector in the first three-month of FY
2013-14 while the amount of credit realisation in this sector was Tk 9290.56 crore in the same corresponding period of FY 2012-13.
Provash Chandra Mallick, general manager of Agricultural Credit and Financial Inclusion Department of BB, said the amount of agriculture loan has been increased in recent time due to mainly strong supervision and keeping an eye to the agriculture development by the central bank.
Moreover, at the outset of the current fiscal year the demand for agriculture loan was high during ‘aman season,’ he said.
“The risk in the agriculture loan is very low as most of the agro-loan is small in size. Thus, the loan recovery rate is very sound,” Mallick said.
Analysing the central bank’s data, it has been found that in the July-September period of 2013-14, the state-owned commercial banks have distributed Tk 1,699.43 crore agro-loan among farmers and the private commercial banks along with foreign banks disbursed Tk 1162.15 crore credit to the agriculture sector.
Among them, Bangladesh Krishi Bank have allowed highest amount of agriculture loan to the farmers which was Tk 110.24 crore.
And, the Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan bank disbursed Tk 237.77 crore agro-loan securing second position in terms of agro-loan disbursement.
Among the state-owned commercial banks, Sonali Bank has disbursed Tk 113.12 crore agro-loan.
DHAKA, SEPt 23: Bangladeshis living and working abroad sent home $2.25 billion in the first two months of the current fiscal, the country's central bank data showed Monday.
According to Bangladesh Bank (BB) data, the flow of inward remittances plunged over 14.46 percent year-on-year to $1,008.20 million in the last month, Xinhua reported. Remittances, one of the key sources of foreign exchange for the impoverished nation, in July were $1,238.96 million, it showed.
The inflow of remittances from nearly nine million Bangladeshis in the 2012-13 fiscal, which concluded in June, reached a record high of nearly $15 billion, about 13 per cent higher than a year ago, the BB data showed.
Most of the remittances came from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Kuwait,
Britain, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Singapore, Bahrain, Italy and Australia, acording to the bank.
The country witnessed the record high remittance inflow in the just-ended fiscal year (2012-2013) of $14460.52 million.
“It’s the highest amount of remittance that the country ever received in a year,” Bangladesh Bank official said.
He said Bangladesh had received $ 12,843.43 million remittance in 2011-2012 fiscal year, which was $ 11,650.31 million in 2010-2011 fiscal year.
240.36 million remittance received the country from state-owned commercial bank’s channel, 8.82 million from specialised bank’s, 455.52 million from the private commercial bank’s (PCB) chanel and 9.90 million from the foreign commercial bank’s chanel.
Among the PCB channel, Islami bank received the highest remittance worth of $ 165.75 million.
Bangladesh Bank permits banks in Bangladesh to establish drawing arrangements with Foreign banks and Exchange houses for facilitating remittance by Bangladeshi nationals living abroad.
Persons willing to remit their earnings through official channels can buy either Taka draft or US dollar draft from these Foreign banks and Exchange houses having drawing arrangements with different banks in Bangladesh.
Bangladeshi nationals living abroad can send Foreign Exchange very easily and directly to their own bank accounts maintained in Bangladesh or to their nominated person's / relative's bank accounts in Bangladesh.
News:The Independent Bangladesh/24-Sep-2013
Furthermore, recently banks have taken some major steps towards crediting the proceeds of remittances to the beneficiary's account promptly, maximum by 3(three) days.
Financial sector entities and energy companies dominate the list of top 10 taxpaying firms that would be receiving “tax cards” from the National Board of Revenue next week.
The cards, to remain valid for one year, will be given for fiscal 2010-11 and fiscal 2011-12.
“We are providing the tax cards to encourage people to become tax compliant and help the government increase the amount of direct tax needed to finance the annual budget,” an NBR official said.
Of the 10 firms to receive the tax cards for fiscal 2011-12, five are from the financial sector — three banks, one life insurance company and one linked with the stockmarket — three from the energy sector and two from the manufacturing sector.
The financial sector entities had dominated the award list for fiscal 2010-11 as well: the list consists of six firms from the banking and finance sector, to be rounded off by firms from the energy and manufacturing sectors.
Well-known conglomerates, however, remained out of the lists, largely because of tax-related disputes, the official added.
From the companies, chairman and managing director of a firm will get the tax cards.
Together with the corporates, the revenue authority is set to honour 10 individuals with tax cards as well for their contributions to the state coffer, at the ceremony on September 15 marking the Income Tax Day.
The NBR has been observing the Income Tax Day since 2008 to motivate the people of a country rife with tax-dodging and non-compliance into paying taxes regularly.
At present, less than 1 percent of the 15.36 crore population pay taxes. The revenue authority thinks the number should be higher, given that the country has been experiencing steady economic growth, rising income and growing middle-class.
Also, the tax authority will honour taxpayers from district and city corporation levels in two categories — Longtime and Top taxpayers. Two longtime and three top taxpayers in each district or city corporation would be awarded for fiscal 2012-13.
The official said the companies were selected due to not having any default loan, income tax and VAT (value-added tax) related disputes in court. The firms paid taxes upwards of Tk 100 crore in each of the two years, he said.
Tax card winners will get some privileges including priority to reserve seats in the state-run airline, trains and water transport. The tax card holders will also be able to use the Commercially Important Person lounge at airports, according to the policy framed in 2011.
News:Thy Daily Star/14-Sep-2013
The central bank of Bangladesh projected the payment obligation in the dollar currency against imports in the power sector at $1.0 billion for the four-month period from November last, official sources said.
The payment obligation has been set against import of capital machinery, and petroleum oil and the purchase of electricity from rental power plants, which are joint ventures with foreign companies.
Experts fear a negative impact of it on the dollar rate in the local money market, if such big payments coincide with other payments in the greenback.
The government has to pay $1.014 billion for a period of four months, as is projected by the import monitoring section of Bangladesh Bank's (BB) Foreign Exchange Policy Department (FEPD).
The expected payment obligation for the months of November, December, January and February is as follows: $ 124.18 million for importing capital machinery, $ 743.31 million for importing petroleum oil and $ 147.12 million for purchasing electricity from rental power plants run on joint venture with foreign companies, according to the BB statistics.
The annual import costs in the power sector are equivalent to about one-third of the hard-earned remittances expatriate Bangladeshis send home, official sources said.
The total remittance inflows stood at $12.85 billion in the last financial year (2011-12) against $11.65 billion received in the 2010-2011 fiscal year. But a large portion of it or about one-third was spent on imports in the power sector, especially for the rental power plants, they also said.
The government needs more or less $ 5 billion a year against the payment obligation for imports in the power sector to generate electricity, a BB official said.
But the power supply in the country did not improve to any significant level, though the government raised power tariff several times in the country.
A former BB official said the higher payment obligation or import payments might push up the demand for dollar widening its gap with the greenback's supply and thus it might raise the dollar price in the local money market.
News: The Daily Financial Express/Bangladesh/15th-Dec-12
Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said many from outside the Sonali Bank were involved in the much-talked-about Hall-Mark swindle.
Without mentioning any names, he said those linked to the scandal had been identified following much investigation. And cases would be filed in this regard “very soon”.
Muhith added it was a mistake on his part to say that crores of taka swindled out of a Sonali Bank branch was a petty sum.
“I have acknowledged my mistake, and those who don't admit mistakes lack moral strength”, he told reporters at his secretariat office hours before leaving for China last night on a 10-day tour to join the World Economic Forum meeting.
The minister replied to journalists' queries on a number of issues, including Padma bridge funding, Grameen Bank and Mashiur Rahman's and his resignation.
Recently, a Bangladesh Bank probe found serious anomalies in the lending of Tk 3,606 crore to the Hall-Mark Group and five other companies.
Half of the loans, granted by the Sonali Bank's Ruposhi Bangla Hotel branch, were based on forged documents.
Muhith yesterday said it was quite impossible that such a grave offence was being committed and yet nobody in Sonali Bank had noticed it.
Replying to a query about extending the tenure of the Sonali Bank chairman and directors for another two years, the finance minister said a three-member board led by the chairman would remain in office.
Muhith said a government official and a chartered accountant had been kept as board members and the tenure of no other director had been extended.
A board is necessary for taking decisions on a number of matters, including cases regarding the scam, he added.
The minister said the Sonali Bank board would be reconstituted and a decision in this regard taken on his return from China.
About the demand for his resignation, he said, “There are many demands like this …. But I have not taken any decision.”
The minister also spoke on the bridge project. “We have been in talks with the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) in this regard. I will speak about this after the talks conclude.”
Muhith declined to comment on the WB condition relating to the removal of the Prime Minister's Economic Affairs Adviser Mashiur Rahman for the funding of the project.
“Talks are also going on with the World Bank about this matter. I cannot say anything about this at this point.”
Also yesterday, Muhith defended a recent change in the Grameen Bank Ordinance, saying the government had brought in the amendment to appoint a full-time managing director.
The appointment “must be done”; it had long been pending owing to objections apparently from directors, he said.
The world-renowned microcredit organisation has been run by an acting chief executive since its founder, Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus, stepped down in May last year.
Grameen Bank supporters both at home and abroad and also the nine elected women borrower-directors say the change has been introduced to curb the authority of the majority of the board in choosing the managing director and give more powers to the government-picked chairman.
The minister also said the law did not permit the powers exercised over the last 27 years in appointing the managing director.
"The government allowed this to let a good thing continue. But there are two sides of the coin -- one is flexibility and the other is unaccountability,” he added.
News: The Daily Star/Bangladesh/10-Sep-12