• Thursday, July 24, 2014

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World Bank

Will the BRICS Bank and Fund boost Global South?

THE 6th Summit of the BRICS took place last week in Fortaleza, Brazil with two landmark decisions, viz., to form a BRICS Bank and a Contingency Reserve Arrangement (CRA or the BRICS Fund) and bring them into operation by 2016.Initiated in mid-2009, BRIC became BRICS in 2010 when South Africa joined Brazil, Russia, India and China to form a grouping of 5 large emerging economies.  The key objective of the grouping was to have a bigger say in the...

Procurement reforms off to a good start

Procurement reforms supported by the World Bank have made an encouraging start as online bid invitations by government agencies went up by a staggering 571 times since its inception two years ago. The number of electronic bid invitations for public procurement grew to over 8,000 in May 2014 from only 14 in June 2012, the WB said in a statement yesterday.   Similarly, the number of registered bidders for the electronic government procurement (e-GP) grew by 30 times to 8,900 in...

Not a large budget: WB

Not a large budget: WB

The budget for fiscal 2014-15 is not large if the country's vast development needs are taken into account, the World Bank said yesterday. Zahid Hussain, lead economist of the multilateral lender's Dhaka office, said Tk 250,506 crore-budget is consistent with countries that are in similar stages of development. “There are also the vast development needs,”...

WB's growth forecast falls below govt target

WB's growth forecast falls below govt target

The World Bank has projected 5.9 percent growth for the country in fiscal 2014-15, far below the government's target of 7.3 percent. The forecast is in line with potential growth, the multilateral lender said in the Global Economic Prospects report released yesterday. The figure is higher than that forecast for its South Asian neighbours save...

GDP growth may cross 6pc

GDP growth may cross 6pc

Economic growth is likely to cross the 6 percent-mark this fiscal year despite the incapacitating political turmoil in the first half, according to a draft estimate by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics. If the new base year of 2005-06 is considered, the GDP growth for fiscal 2013-14 is likely to be around 6.2 percent, down from its earlier estimation of 6.5 percent, according to a planning ministry official. Using the same base year, the World Bank computed the GDP growth to be 5.4 percent and Bangladesh Bank 5.7 percent to 6.1 percent. BBS officials said the GDP growth rate will be published using the new base year this year to reflect the...

World Bank approves $60m for VAT reforms

The World Bank yesterday approved $60 million (about Tk 470 crore) in interest-free credit to help modernise Bangladesh's value added tax (VAT) administration and increase tax revenue. The credit has been offered under a VAT improvement programme that will increase the number of active registered VAT-payers to 85,000 within the next five years compared to around 35,000 now, the WB said in a statement. The project will introduce automation, including online VAT taxpayer services, and improve transparency in the VAT administration...

Amnesty for black money: a no-go

Amnesty for black money: a no-go

The government is once again looking inclined towards giving amnesty to black money in the upcoming fiscal year, a concession which did not yield desired results in the past. At a pre-budget meeting with the Economic Reporters Forum last week, Ghulam Hussain, chairman of the National Board of Revenue, spoke favourably of the provision...

Eight steel silos by 2017 to boost food security

The government will build eight modern steel silos to boost grains storage capacity of public warehouses. The warehouses store buffer stocks to ensure adequate food supply after disasters, keep rice prices stable and ensure fair prices to growers. The silos, which are expected to complete by 2017, will increase the government's total grains storage capacity by 5.35 lakh tonnes to 24.36 lakh tonnes. "We are advancing to achieve our goal of building 30 lakh tonnes of food storage capacity by 2021,” Food...

Govt's bank borrowing yet to pick up steam

The government has taken out only 19 percent of its borrowing target from the banking system in the nine and a half months of the fiscal year, due to low implementation of development programmes and low spending on subsidy. Between July 1 last year and April 15, some Tk 4,898 crore was borrowed from banks against the target of Tk 25,993 crore. The figure is 36 percent lower than in the same period of the previous year. Low utilisation of the...

Govt sought $8b from WB: Muhith

Bangladesh has sought $8 billion from the $52 billion pot that the World Bank is set to dispatch over the next three years, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday. The disclosure came at the press conference called in at his secretariat office about his recent official visits to Washington DC and Mexico City for the WB-IMF spring meetings and Global Partnership and Economic Development Cooperation (GPEDC) respectively. In the last cycle, the country received around $6.5 billion, and Muhith said a...

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