• Thursday, August 28, 2014

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World Bank

World Bank and rights of indigenous people

THE World Bank's neglect of human rights of the poor and disadvantaged in general and that of the indigenous people in particular has been as well-known as disturbing. However, it is appalling that instead of making any serious effort to improve, it is reportedly moving further down the road to worsen its own records. As a part of an exercise to review the Bank's Safeguard Policies and Environment and Social Framework, meant to prevent adverse implications on people and environment...

IFC launches $2.5b bonds for India projects

The World Bank's private-sector financing arm on Wednesday launched $2.5 billion, rupee-denominated, bonds in the Indian market to fund infrastructure projects, after raising $1 billion in offshore bonds for the sector last year. The International Finance Corporation's (IFC's) bond programme comes at a time when both the Indian government and the Reserve Bank of India are stepping up measures to attract global investors to deepen the local bond market. "Bonds offered under IFC's rupee financing programme offer a safe investment alternative...

Current account surplus erodes

Current account surplus erodes

The current account surplus eroded 35 percent year-on-year in fiscal 2013-14 despite the narrowing of trade deficit. Last fiscal year, the current account, which reflects the country's net income, stood at $1.55 billion in the surplus in contrast to $2.39 billion the previous year. The trade deficit shrank 2.89 percent to $6.8 billion on the...

Chinese firm hid info in Padma bid

Chinese company Sinohydro, which might bag the contract for $780 million Padma river training, has admitted to the government that it is under temporary suspension by the World Bank over an accusation of fraud. The company held back this information while placing its financial bid for the river training work of the Padma Bridge Project on June 19. Backed by an influential political lobby, Sinohydro offered a price of around Tk 8,778 crore, about Tk 4,000 crore less than the sums...

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...

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