WedJan172018

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Business

‘Losing GSP will send negative message to world market’

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DHAKA, MAR 23: US Ambassador in Dhaka Dan W Mozena once again expressed his concern over possible cancellation of Generalised System of Preference (GSP) facilities provided by USA to Bangladesh. He said the loss of GSP privileges would send a strong negative message to the markets around the world. Mozena said loss of GSP facility could disqualify Bangladesh from having duty-free quota- free access in to the American market.
“If Bangladesh’s GSP privileges are removed, I fear getting them restored would be lengthy and arguable process.”
Mozena was speaking as the chief guest at the inaugural session of the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) at a city hotel.

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Gas supply from Shrikail field begins

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News - Gas supply from Shrikail field beginsComilla, Mar 23 (UNB) – Gas supply from Shrikail gas field in Muklishpur of Muradnagar upazila of the district to the Ashuganj-Bakhrabad grid line has begun.Martuza Ahmed Faruk, managing director of Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (Bapex), said about 18 million cubic meters of gas was added to the national grid with the new supply on Friday evening and that further rose to about 25 million cubic meters at about 9:30 am.

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Repeated hartals disruptive to Indo-Bangla trade

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Benapole, Mar 22 (UNB)– Export-import activities on the India-Bangladesh border have been facing serious disruption for the last several months against the backdrop of the country’s ongoing political turmoil.

There has been a big slump in the revenue income of the Benapole land due to frequent hartal and strike enforced by the trade union.

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ADR in 32 banks drops in January

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The advance-deposit ratio in 32 banks went down significantly in January as credit demand in the market declined due to an unfriendly business environment amid political violence, said officials of Bangladesh Bank and commercial banks.
According to the latest BB data, the overall ADR in the banking sector also declined to 76.08 per cent as of January 31, 2013 from 76.59 per cent as of December 31, 2012.
The ADR was 80.33 per cent as of June 7, 2012.
A lower loan disbursement by the banks pushed down the advance or credit-deposit ratio in the banking sector significantly from the permissible limit of 85 per cent, a BB official told New Age on Thursday.

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Border trade facilitation - Kolkata mission wants banks at LCS

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The office of Deputy High Commission of Bangladesh in Kolkata has requested the central bank to permit opening of branches of commercial banks in the border points of Bangladesh and Assam to facilitate cross border trade, officials said.
The Deputy High Commissioner wrote a letter recently to the governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) seeking his initiative in this regard.
"The central bank should take initiative to open branches of Bangladeshi banks at the Sheola-Saturkandi Land Customs Sites (LCS) in Bangladesh for smooth operating of export-import business between Bangladesh and Assam," he said.

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Despite odds, US garment retailer hikes orders by 25pc

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When foreign buyers of Bangladeshi garments are concerned about the country’s growing political unrest, a US-based retailer has decided to increase its orders by 25 percent to $375 million this year, an official said.
Jay Burdett, vice president and managing director of the retailer — Sears Holdings Global Sourcing, said this to The Daily Star in an interview on Wednesday.
Burdett left Dhaka yesterday after a five-day visit at a time when foreign buyers and their local suppliers are worried about the confrontational politics and frequent shutdowns in Bangladesh.

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86 dev projects under ADP see no expenditure in 2011-12 FY

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DHAKA, MAR 22: Eighty-six development projects did not witness any expenditure in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the last fiscal year (2011-12) although the implementation rate notched up 93 per cent last year. The expenditure of the Revised ADP of the last fiscal reached Tk 38,022.76 crore out of the RADP allocation of Tk 41,080.00 crore, according to the recently released ADP Implementation Progress Report (2011-12) by the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED). The actual ADP outlay of the last year was Tk 46,000 crore.

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WB to urge other financers to provide support to PMB

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DHAKA, MAR 22: The World Bank (WB) is likely to urge other financers to provide support to Bangladesh in implementing its Padma Multipurpose Bridge (PMB) project. Though the WB has suspended its financing of the PMB project, it may divert its cancelled USD 1.2 billion fund earmarked  for the PMB to other development projects under the WB country assistance strategy (CAS) for Bangladesh. This assurance was made by WB vice president (south Asia) Isabel Guerrero to finance minister AMA Muhith at a luncheon hosted by WB executive director MN Prasad in Washington on February 28. International affairs adviser to the Prime Minister, Dr Gowher Rizvi, World Bank managing director Mulyani Indrawati and senior officials of the WB were present at the lunch. The WB vice president also raised queries about the plan of self-financing for the PMB project.

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86 dev projects under ADP see no expenditure in 2011-12 FY

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News - 86 dev projects under ADP see no expenditure in 2011-12 FYDhaka, Mar 22 (UNB) – Eighty-six development projects did not witness any expenditure in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the last fiscal year (2011-12) although the implementation rate notched up 93 percent last year.

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Despite odds, US garment retailer hikes orders by 25pc

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Jay Burdett

When foreign buyers of Bangladeshi garments are concerned about the country’s growing political unrest, a US-based retailer has decided to increase its orders by 25 percent to $375 million this year, an official said.Jay Burdett, vice president and managing director of the retailer — Sears Holdings Global Sourcing, said this to The Daily Star in an interview on Wednesday

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Change of Rampal power plant site stressed

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DHAKA, Mar 21: Environ-mental activists on Thursday demanded that the government relocate all power plants, including the Rampal Thermal Power Plant, close to the Sunderbans, to protect the mangrove forest from adverse impact. They were addressing a gathering in front of the National Press club. The Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (BAPA), Save the Sunderbans, Centre for Human Rights Movement, Committee for Agricultural Land Protection, Nagorik Uddyog, Nirapod Development Foundation and Nature Campaign Bangladesh organised the programme.

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India’s FTA with Europe to erode Bangladesh exports

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From left, GM Quader, commerce minister; Rokia Afzal Rahman, president of Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and Fazlul Hoque, president of Bangladesh Employers' Federation, attend a discussion on the imminent India-EU FTA, organised by the MCCI and Bangladesh Foreign Trade Institute, in the capital yesterday. Photo: StarThe imminent bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) between India and European Union (EU) is likely to hurt Bangladesh’s exports, trade analysts and a leading chamber said yesterday.The negotiations — that started in June 2007 — are being fast-tracked, with the chief negotiators of India and EU due to meet next week in Brussels ahead of the ministerial level talks in April, according to media reports.

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Chinese offer $1.95bn plan to bridge Padma

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A Chinese consortium, backed by a government-owned bank, has officially proposed to channel $1.95 billion to bridge the Padma without interest and a payback period of 20 years.

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Transit deal with Bhutan almost done

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The commerce ministry has finalised the action plan for signing the transit agreement with landlocked Bhutan, said commerce secretary yesterday.
“Officials of both the countries will disclose the action plan to the press at a briefing at the ministry today,” said Mahbub Ahmed, who is fronting Bangladesh’s side in the negotiations.
The breakthrough comes after two days of meetings at the secretary level with the eight-member delegation from Bhutan, led by Dasho Sonam Tshering, secretary of the ministry of economic affairs.
The transit deal with Bhutan might be signed in July, Commerce Minister GM Quader said on Tuesday after a meeting with Tshering.

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Kuwait to reduce expats by one million: minister

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Kuwait, where expats make up 68 per cent of the population, plans to reduce the number of foreigners living in the Gulf state by one million over the next decade, a minister said on Tuesday.
‘The ministry will take decisions and measures... aimed at reducing the number of expatriate workers by 100,000 every year for 10 years to reach one million,’ Social Affairs and Labour Minister Thekra al-Rasheedi told the official KUNA news agency.
The measures were to be taken to ‘eliminate the phenomenon of a marginal workforce,’ she said, without specifying.

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Governor for regulating MFIs to safeguard people's money

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Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman today said a regulatory environment is imperative for the Micro-finance Institutions (MFIs) for safeguarding people's money and ensuring their flexibilities to develop financial products to suit poor people's needs.
"There should be a regulatory environment which safeguards people's money while ensuring that micro-finance institutions have the flexibility to develop financial products to suit poor people's needs and ideally strengthen corporate governance arrangements in parallel," said the governor while presenting the keynote at a workshop held in Nepal
Nepal Rastra Bank organised the workshop "Regulation and Supervision of Micro-finance Institutions (MFIs) in SAARC Region," with its Governor Yuba Raj Khatiwada in the cair.
Highlighting the role of MIFs in reducing poverty, Atiur Rahman said it is clear that microfinance can protect households from shocks, contribute to changing societal norms about the role of women in society and lead to some households moving out of poverty.

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Revised ADP of Tk 52,366 crore approved

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Prioritizing the power sector, the National Economic Council (NEC) on Wednesday approved the Revised Annual Development Program (RADP) of Tk 52,366 crore for the current fiscal (2012-13) slashing Tk 2,634 crore from the original ADP outlay of Tk 55,000 crore.
The approval came from the NEC meeting held at the NEC conference room in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar with Prime Minister and NEC chairperson Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Division Secretary Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam said that responding to the demand of different Ministries, the NEC fixed the size of the revised ADP at Tk 52,366 crore, increasing it by another Tk 2,000 crore from the proposed size of Tk 50,366 crore. 
The additional Tk 2,000 crore will be allocated to the LGRD, Roads, Power, Bridges, Home and Education sectors. Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) Secretary Mohammad Mezbahuddin was present at the briefing.

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