Expatriate income also ebbs in October



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
ছবি: সংগৃহীত

ছবি: সংগৃহীত

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The flow of remittances in the country has decreased since last May. It continued in October. In August, the expatriate income came to 181 crore dollar. It fell to 172 crore dollar in September. In October, remittances dropped further to 164.68 lakh dollar.

According to the Bangladesh Bank, the expatriate income has come down by 22 percent as compared to October last year. Expatriate income has been on a downward trend for five consecutive months.

According to a report released by Bangladesh Bank on Monday (November 1), expatriate Bangladeshis sent remittances of 164.68 crore dollar through banking channels in the just-concluded October. In Bangladeshi currency (85 rupees 70 paise per dollar) which amounts to Tk. 14113 crore which is 45.52 crore dollar, or 21.6 percent less than the same month of last year. In October 2020, the amount of expatriate income was 210 crore 21 lakh dollars.

According to the central bank, remittances fell by 9 crore dollar in September compared to August. Last August, expatriate income was 181 crore dollar, which is 6 crore dollar less than in July. In July, remittances reached 187 crore dollar, which is 69.3 crore dollar less than in June. Remittances in June came to 194 crore dollar, which is 23 crore dollar less than in May.

Meanwhile, according to the information given by Bangladesh Bank, the lowest remittance in the last 16 months came in October.

As always, the expatriates have sent the most remittances through private Islamic banks. Remittances through the bank came to 41.95 crore dollar followed by Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited. 17. 97 crore dollars came through this bank. Remittances came through Agrani Bank for 13.18 crore dollar, Sonali Bank for 10.87 crore dollar and Bank Asia for 8.26 crore dollar.

The total remittances through private sector banks this month came to 127.52 crore dollar. Remittances through foreign banks came to 70.90 lakh dollars.

Proposal in BERC to increase electricity price after gas



Serajul Islam Siraj, Special Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has submitted a proposal to increase the wholesale price of electricity without cutting off the remnants of the flawed application for increase in gas price. The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) has returned the gas as it was defective as usual.

Commission member Mohammad Bazlur Rahman confirmed this information to Barta24.com. He said BPDB has submitted a proposal to increase the wholesale price. Proper legal procedures were not followed when submitting the proposal. So they have been asked to make a full proposal. Responding to a question on what kind of deviation has taken place in the law, he said that a three-year audit report has to be submitted along with the proposal, one-year estimated income-expenditure account has to be submitted, and what kind of impact can be had on consumers if prices are increased as per the proposal. These reports have to be submitted. Some more reports have to be submitted along with these, which were not with the application. Therefore, BPDB has been asked to submit a full proposal without rejecting or accepting the application.

BPDB is the sole buyer of electricity, buying electricity from its own generation as well as from imported and privately owned power plants. It has been selling all the electricity to 5 distribution companies at wholesale prices. And they are distributing in the urban areas of Mymensingh, Sylhet and Chittagong divisions.

Saiful Hasan Chowdhury, director of BPDB's public relations directorate, told Barta24.com that electricity was being sold at a lower price than the cost of production. Due to this BPDB is going with losses. So a proposal for wholesale price adjustment has been made.

It has been proposed to increase the rate by how much. In response to such a question, he said, "We have not proposed any specific price increase." We have said in the proposal that we are already incurring some losses as we are selling at a lower price than the purchase price. The recent rise in fuel prices has pushed up production costs. If the prices are not adjusted in the current situation, the power development board will lose Tk. 30,000 crore in 2022. So price adjustment has been proposed. In addition, if the price of gas increases, the losses will increase further. BERC has also been asked to adjust the price of gas.

BERC is the legal body for finalizing prices. After receiving the application, they first check and select. If the application is appropriate, a public hearing is held by meeting the commission. Then the price is announced. When the wholesale price goes up, the distribution companies submit proposals to increase the retail price based on it. The primary consideration of the application is that the concerned institution has to prove on paper the rationale of increasing the price. If the price does not increase, the effect will have to be calculated. Many times in the past, BERC has refrained from raising prices by recommending subsidies to the government. Last March, the price per unit was increased from Tk. 4.77 to Tk. 5.17 in March 2020.

Mohammad Hossain, director general of Power Cell, a development and research institute of the power department, told Barta24.com that last year there was a wholesale loss of around Tk. 9,000 crore. This time the losses will increase further due to the increase in oil prices.

On the other hand, the gas distribution companies have submitted ridiculous proposals to the commission. In the current context, they have no chance to propose to increase the price of gas. First Petrobangla has to increase the wholesale price. Then the companies will come up with a proposal to increase the retail price to raise that money. This is what has happened in the past. Petrobangla gave a letter to increase the price of gas stating that the losses are being multiplied due to the increase in the price of LNG. The BERC rejected the proposal as the application was not appropriate. At the same time, distribution companies submitted proposals to increase prices by 117 percent. For this reason, BERC has returned the applications.

Energy expert Professor Shamsul Alam told Barta24.com that efforts are being made to fool the people. Bangladesh is importing LNG (liquefied natural gas) from long term contracts and the spot market. The price of gas bought from the spot market has increased by 5-6 percent. It is believable that the price of 100 percent gas has to be increased by 117 percent as the price has increased by 5-6 percent! They are showing calculations with manipulated accounts, these calculations are not realistic. We are in favor of not importing that amount of LNG if necessary. People's sufferings have increased after the rise in fuel prices. In this situation, an increase in gas price is not desirable in any way. At the moment, our economy is not ready for either subsidy increases or price increases. Instead, that amount of LNG import should be reduced by rationing. If the price of gas increases, the issue of increase of electricity price will also come to the fore. We think there are many options besides raising the price of gas and electricity.

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Business cost will be reduced by 5 percent if the capacity of Chattogram port is enhanced



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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If the capacity of Chattogram port is increased, it will be possible to reduce the cost of doing business in the country by at least 5 percent. At the same time, the interest of foreign entrepreneurs to invest in this country will also increase. Moreover, if production starts in full swing in Bangabandhu Industrial City and other economic zones of the country, the pressure on Chattogram port will increase several times. So now the FBCCI President Jasimuddin has called for increasing the capacity of the port.

He made the call at the first meeting of the FBCCI Standing Committee on Ports and Shipping on Thursday (January 6) at noon.

Speaking as the chief guest, Jasim Uddin said that at present the speed of cargo vehicles on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway is 40 kilometers per hour. If this speed is doubled, the competitiveness of the export sector will increase by 6 percent.

Chemicals imported through Chattogram port have to be tested separately before unloading. However, Chattogram Customs does not have adequate laboratory. It takes traders 10 to 12 days to get the test done. Quick steps should be taken to solve these port problems.

FBCCI President Md. Jasimuddin urged the standing committee to find short, medium and long term solutions by identifying the port-centric problems.

At this time, FBCCI's vice-president Md. Amin Helali said some more ports will be opened in the future. If we can work according to the plan, the progress of the country can be further accelerated by utilizing the potentials of these ports.

FBCCI vice-president Md. Habib Ullah Don alleged that importing vehicles through Chattogram port would cost double the fare as compared to Mongla port. He remarked that different fares in different ports of the same country are unreasonable.

Standing Committee Director-in-Charge A.M. Mahbub Chowdhury said the profit of Chattogram port has increased several times in the last few years. He alleged that despite being a non-profit service organization, it was taking steps to increase the tariff again to increase the amount of profit.

The chairman of the committee Md. Parvez Sajjad Akhtar called for not increasing the tariff in order to create a business-friendly environment. At the same time, he said, most tariffs have to be paid in dollars. So if the tariff increases, the cost of foreign exchange will also increase. Moreover, foreign ship owners can also increase the fare in this opportunity. In that case, there will be fear of an increase in the price of imported goods.

In the open discussion, the members of the standing committee hoped for the cooperation of the port and customs officials to speed up the import-export activities.

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TCB goods are on sale again from today



News Desk, Barta24.com
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Dhaka: Trading Corporation of Bangladesh (TCB), a government marketing agency, has started selling goods at fair prices through mobile trucks. From Monday, low-income consumers will be able to buy soybean oil, lentils, sugar and onions. The agency said in a press release on Sunday.

It is said in the notification, on the occasion of the founding anniversary of TCB, the sale of products at subsidized price has started. There was no change in the price of the product and the amount of allocation per buyer. From the truck, a buyer can buy a maximum of 2 kg of sugar, oil and lentils as before. In addition, you can buy two to five kg of onions. Sugar will be available at Tk. 55 per kg, lentils at Tk. 60, onion at Tk. 30 and soybean oil at Tk. 110 per kg.

This sale program will continue till 27th January except Friday. Every day 400 to 450 mobile trucks will be used to sell goods in all metros, districts and upazilas. 

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Record remittances received



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
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Dhaka: Due to the second wave of pandemics and various crises, the remittance income has come down to a record amount in the last year, despite the fact that the expatriate income has been low for six consecutive months. However, despite the increase in remittances in a single year, in the first six months of the current financial year (July-December) it has decreased by about 21 percent as compared to the same period of the previous financial year.

In 2021, the expatriates sent a record 2,207 crore US dollars to the country. Never before has there been so much remittance.

According to central bank sources, expatriates sent remittances worth 164.90 lakh dollars in December. As a result, remittances of 2,207 crore US dollars have come to the banking channels in the just-concluded 2021. In domestic currency the amount is more than Tk. one lakh 69 thousand 36 crore; (85 taka 80 paisa per dollar) which was the highest remittance in a single year in history. The previous highest remittance was 2,174 crore dollar in 2020 and 1,833 crore dollar in 2019.

However, despite the increase in remittances last year, the expatriate income is still in a negative position considering the financial year. In the first six months (July-December) of the current fiscal year 2021-22, remittances reached 1023 crore dollar. Which was one thousand 1294 crore dollars in the same period of last financial year. As such, remittances in the first six months of the current financial year decreased by 270 crore dollar or 20.91 percent.

Meanwhile, the government announced an incentive at the rate of 2 percent in the budget of 2019-20 fiscal year to increase the income of expatriates in a legal way. But at the end of last year, remittance inflows have been reduced for six consecutive months, which has further increased since the New Year.

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