The government aims to collect total revenue amounting to 11.2 percent of GDP by the end of the 2025-26 fiscal, according to the Medium Term Macroeconomic Policy Statement (2023-24 to 2025-26) of the Finance Division under the Finance Ministry. It said that Bangladesh has consistently maintained an expansionary fiscal stance keeping a moderate budget deficit—usually around 5 percent of GDP—to foster economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve social outcomes. However, the tax-GDP ratio in Bangladesh is significantly lower than its peers and hence, the government has taken several initiatives to improve revenue collection. Yet, it said, the fast pace of GDP growth has made it challenging to increase the ratio. No tax fair, NBR will organise tax support service to smooth returns submission The measures that have been undertaken are expected to gradually improve revenue collection by increasing both the tax volume and the number of taxpayers. The Statement said that the foremost objectives of the public expenditure policy are to stimulate private investment through building infrastructures and improving the business climate, creating employment opportunities, supporting low-income population through social safety net programs, and reducing poverty through ensuring efficient redistribution of wealth and thus ensuring inclusive development. With the advent of the Covid-19 outbreak, the government started to focus on saving lives while keeping the living standards from falling. To do this, it mentioned, the Government emphasised on retaining jobs, providing income support, keeping supply chains active, reviving the rural economy, and ensuring food supply. Public pension is considered tax-free, notification soon: Finance Ministry For this, the government increased spending and implemented comprehensive recovery programs consisting of twenty-eight stimulus packages. The stimulus efforts worked well and as a result the economy returned to a high growth trajectory fast while other countries continued to struggle. However, the Russia-Ukraine war has again posed considerable risks and to mitigate the risks the Government has been pursuing a policy to rationalise public expenditure to stimulate economic growth by inducing domestic productivity growth. While managing the economy to maximise welfare and development, the government is expected to maintain a budget deficit of around 5 percent of GDP over the medium term. Historically, the size of public expenditure has been low relative to GDP in Bangladesh because of various limitations in the process of revenue collection and budget implementation. Land Development Tax Bill 2023 passed in JS To improve the situation, the government has undertaken certain strategies to increase public expenditure. The target of increasing public expenditure has been set to around 16.2 percent of GDP in FY 2025-26. Moreover, the government is pursuing the Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms process to achieve this target. To improve overall public service delivery, financial control of budget allocations, real-time monitoring of budget execution, and integration of recurrent and capital spending, implementation of the PFM Action Plan (2018-23) is ongoing, and revised PFM Reform Action Plan (2024-2028) has recently been formulated. Under the PFM reforms, pension automation and E-challan automation systems have been introduced with the help of iBAS++ software. This system continues to play a significant role in simplifying the budget management process. At the same time, all beneficiary programs are being brought under the Government to Person (G2P) payment system with the help of the iBAS++ software, which brings greater transparency in government expenditure management. In addition, all government allocations from government institutions as well as all semi-government, autonomous, and state-owned enterprises, are being brought under the Treasury Single Account (TSA) through the iBAS++ system in the medium term. How to Deactivate TIN in Bangladesh: A Comprehensive Guide
The Dhaka Elevated Expressway has been witnessing higher traffic than targeted, allowing the authorities to collect tolls more than Tk 5 crore in tolls since it was opened to the public on September 3. Till 6am on Sunday (September 24), a total of 621,152 vehicles, mostly private cars, used the Dhaka Elevated Expressway and total revenue collection amounted to over Tk 5.03 crore, said project director of the Dhaka Elevated Expressway AHMS Akhtar. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on September 2 inaugurated the Airport-Farmgate segment of Dhaka Elevated Expressway after paying a Tk 2,000 toll for 25 vehicles in her motorcade. Each vehicle is charged Tk 80. Authorities opened the section from the airport to Farmgate of Dhaka Elevated Expressway for vehicular movement at 6am on September 3. It takes only 10-12 minutes to reach Farmgate from the Airport via the expressway. Read: BRTC launches bus service on Dhaka Elevated Expressway “We assumed earlier that on average around 20,000 vehicles would use the expressway daily but now the number has increased to around 30,000 vehicles,” said the project director AHMS Akhtar. When fully completed, the Dhaka Elevated Expressway will run from the capital’s Kawla to Kutubkhali area of Dhaka-Chattogram highway via Kuril-Banani-Mohakhali-Tejgaon-Moghbazar-Kamalapur-Sayedabad-Jatrabari. “We hope when it is completed, about 80,000 vehicles will be able to use Dhaka Elevated Expressway every day,” Akhtar told UNB. Replying to a question, the Project Director said vehicles can run at a speed of up to 80 km/h according to the design of the expressway but they have limited it up to 60 km/h, and 40 km/h on the ramp. They are yet to start enforcing law against violators of speed limit, although CCTV cameras and other equipment have already been installed on the expressways. Read: Elevated expressway a big step towards Smart Bangladesh: Korean Ambassador Meanwhile, Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) has been running buses on the Dhaka Elevated Expressway starting from September 18. Passengers are now crossing the Dhaka Elevated Expressway for just Tk35. Earlier on September 15 , BRTC Chairman Tajul Islam announced the new bus route from Khejur Bagan to Jashimuddin Road on the Elevated Expressway. He said initially a total of eight buses were supposed to operate from three depots. Commuters can board the buses from both ends of the expressway, he added. But the number of BRTC buses, plying on the express highway, has raised to 12. “A total of 12 buses are now running on the expressway route. Passengers are satisfied with the service, we are satisfied too that the number of passengers is increasing,” said Bishwajit, BRTC bus counter staff working at the Farmgate bus counter of Uttara-Farmgate BRTC bus route. Read: Traffic jam at landing points as Dhaka Elevated Expressway opens Eight double-decker buses started plying the expressway initially from September 18, he added. Bishwajit informed that a bus is running every 10 minutes from the farmgate bus counter to Uttara. Buses are sometimes late because of the traffic jams on either end of the expressway, he said. “We are working day and night to make the service better for the passengers. The number of buses has been increased on the route for increasing the number of passengers, soon the bus schedules can be maintained tightly,” he further said. Tanjila Rahman, a commuter, was buying a ticket from the Farmgate BRTC expressway bus counter to go to Uttara on Sunday afternoon. When asked, she said that she had come for a job interview in the morning and that she had reached Indira Road from the airport in just 10-15 minutes. “I liked the service very much. It took much less time than usual to reach from airport to here. I am going back through the same route,” she added. Another commuter, Md Rayhan, said that previously he had to travel for at least 1.5 hours to reach his office in Karwanbazar from home. He stated that it is a fantastic experience for him that he is able to reach his office using the expressway in just 20 to 30 minutes. Read: Another dream comes true: PM Hasina opens country’s first elevated expressway Another passenger Rafiujjaman Riyon opined that local buses have too many stoppages, take too much time and they often charge higher fares. “BRTC expressway route uses e-ticketing system, so the fee stays fair. BRTC could make the bus seats more comfortable. Also, if the route had a few more stops, it would help a greater number of passengers,” he suggested. UNB correspondent Taufiq Hossain Mobin took a ride on an expressway bus. It set off at 1.10pm from Farmgate for Uttara. The bus was slow at first because of the traffic jam on Bijoy Sarani, taking 23 minutes to get on the expressway. After that, the bus took only 17 minutes to reach the end of the expressway but slowed down again due to the traffic jam at the other end and he got off from the bus at 1.51pm at the airport.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have been navigating a rapidly changing landscape. Traditional revenue generation methods may no longer be as effective, and companies are looking for innovative approaches to drive growth. One such powerful yet often overlooked strategy is leveraging social capital. By effectively utilizing social capital, businesses can enhance revenue generation and gain a competitive edge. Let's take a look into the concept and methods of social capital building. What is Social Capital? Social capital refers to the value embedded within the relationships and networks a company has built with various stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, and the wider community. It encompasses trust, shared norms, and mutual obligations. Social capital can manifest in various forms, such as strong customer relationships, influential industry connections, and a supportive network of partners. It represents an intangible asset that companies can leverage to gain a competitive advantage and stimulate revenue growth. Read more: How to Build a Successful Company? Significance of Social Capital in Business Social capital holds immense significance in the business realm. It enables companies to access resources, knowledge, and opportunities that might otherwise be unavailable. By fostering strong relationships with customers, companies can enhance customer loyalty, drive repeat business, and benefit from positive word-of-mouth referrals. Additionally, social capital facilitates collaboration and knowledge-sharing among employees, leading to increased productivity and innovation. Companies with robust social capital often enjoy favorable partnerships, joint ventures, and business opportunities that arise from a strong network. Ways to Build Social Capital for the Growth of Your Business The following strategies can help you develop social capital and generate more revenues for your business or company. Building A Strong Network Building a strong network involves actively connecting with individuals and organizations within your industry and related fields. It would be helpful if you attend conferences, industry events, and trade shows to meet potential customers, partners, and influencers. Read more: Silent Partner vs Investor in Business: Know the Difference, Pros and Cons You may engage in networking activities both online (LinkedIn can be a great option) and offline, such as joining professional associations or participating in industry-specific forums. Attempt to actively seek opportunities to establish relationships and build rapport with key individuals. Cultivating Relationships Once you have established connections, it would be better to focus on cultivating meaningful relationships. It is essential to invest time and effort in nurturing these relationships by providing value, offering assistance, and sharing relevant insights. You can develop yourself as a resource by sharing industry knowledge, providing support, and connecting individuals who can benefit from each other. By consistently demonstrating your willingness to help and contribute, you can strengthen your social capital and increase the likelihood of receiving support and referrals. Read more: What to Consider Before Investing in a Startup or Company? Growing Strong Customer Relationships Try to focus on building meaningful connections with your customers. Building and nurturing strong relationships with customers is essential for utilizing social capital. Companies can focus on providing exceptional customer experiences, personalized services, and addressing their needs effectively. By going the extra mile to foster trust and loyalty, businesses can benefit from positive customer testimonials, repeat business, and increased referrals.
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a think tank, in its traditional post-budget review on Friday (June 2, 2023) said the proposed national budget of Bangladesh for FY 2023-24 projected ambitious targets for both GDP growth and inflation, without putting forth any realistic measures to achieve them in light of global and domestic crises. The CPD said budget focused on increasing tax-GDP ratio, but the revenue growth target is not realistic, so the volume of deficit financing will ultimately widen. CPD Executive Director Dr Fahmida Khatun led the post-budget review, held at a hotel in Gulshan, and televised live on some tv channels. She said the budget has been placed at a time when the macroeconomic stability of Bangladesh has weakened significantly. REad: Proposed budget targets are challenging: FICCI “The macroeconomic stress is visible on lowering growth of revenue mobilisation and shrinking of fiscal space of current fiscal year (FY 2022-23), soaring borrowing from banks, higher price of daily essentials and decreasing foreign exchange reserve,” she added. The private credit growth projected to 15 percent in FY 2023-24 that was 14.1 percent in 2022-23. As of April 2023, private sector credit growth was 11.3 percent, she said. Replying to a query, CPD’s distinguished fellow professor Dr Mustafizur Rahman said the revenue growth projection in 2023-24, compared with actual revenue achievement of FY2022-23, wpi;d be a massive 39 percent, which is "absolutely ambitious" - perhaps even overambitious. The budget’s growth projection occurred based on a wrong concept, so multi sectoral problems would arrive in the implementing stage of the proposed budget. Read more: Budget 2023-24: Govt allocates Tk88,162 crore in education sector, up 8.2% Mustafiz expected a monetary policy reflecting fiscal policy in light of the budget and controlling measures of higher inflation. Khondaker Golam Moazzem, research director of CPD said the budget technically avoided the capital market development policy, which is very essential for such a developing economy. “Without establishing a realistic and sustainable capital market, investment financing cannot grow, the government incentive based capital market cannot play a role in new investment in the capital market,” he added. Towfiqul Islam Khan, Senior Research Fellow in CPD said curiously, no mention was found regarding the accumulation of external payments arrears or new forex reserve. REad: Finance minister unveils the country’s largest ever budget in Parliament Details about critical reforms, including shifting towards market-based dollar exchange rate and interest rate and adoption of periodic formula-based petroleum product prices, have not been explained in the budget speech, he said. The CPD projection said Bangladesh's proposed national budget of FY 2023-24 targets 15.5 percent growth will be around 39.7 percent growth target compared to the current budget achievement and Tk1.42 lakh crore is needed to be mobilized.
Inflation, revenue shortfall, dollar crisis the major challenges for economy ahead of election-year budget
Preparations for Bangladesh's national budget for the 2023-24 fiscal must balance expectations in an election year with the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and tackle inflation, foreign exchange crisis and revenue shortfall. Balancing public satisfaction and protecting the economy is a major issue. Economists say it has been seen in the past that election year budgets often prioritise public satisfaction over the improvement of the economy. As such, the opportunity to deliver a budget that is satisfactory is very limited, said macroeconomist and public policy analyst Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, who is also a Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD). Read more: Safeguards are needed to protect vulnerable people under IMF-backed reforms: Debapriya He told UNB, "Before the election, all governments want to give a budget that satisfies the people. But due to the financial situation, fiscal deficit, and trade deficit, the opportunity is very limited for the government. If such a big effort is made, it will have a negative impact on the overall economy." "It is important to remember that this budget will be implemented by two governments. In this budget, flexibility must also be preserved. Because, if the government makes any big promises, there is doubt as to how much they can implement," he pointed out. Dr Debapriya said that the budget is coming at a time of political uncertainty in the country. Plus exit from LDC, and the Covid-19 response revival are issues hanging over the budget. Also read: 11pc of Bangladesh budget allocated for disaster risk reduction: State Minister “Compared to any other year, this year's budget has to be prepared in a very complicated situation. Because earlier, there would be a deficit in terms of income and expenditure in the country, but there would be comparative relief in terms of foreign transactions. But this time it is not,” he opined. Dr Debapriya said, "There has been a major disruption in the growth rate. It is going down further because there is no money, no dollar. There is a huge deficit in both areas to be dealt with together.” So the government has to control imports and limit its investment program. As a result, next year's growth target should also be moderated. Read more: Despite many challenges, Bangladesh remains one of the fastest growing economies in Asia-Pacific: Visiting IMF team "The financial structure has actually weakened," he said. Executive Director of the South Asian Network on Economic Modeling (SANEM) Salim Raihan, also a professor of economics at Dhaka University (DU), said that in the previous election years, the economy was not in such a crisis as this time. "As a result, no new major pressure was created in the economy despite budgeting for public satisfaction at that time. But this time, if the budget is made considering only public satisfaction in view of the election, it will create new pressure on the economy," Professor Raihan said. Read more: Bangladesh’s GDP growth rate will overtake China’s in current fiscal year, IMF predicts
At least seven of the 18 jetties remained vacant in the Chittagong Seaport at the start of the new year due to a decline in container throughput. Port officials said on Monday vessels can currently enter the jetty without waiting at the outer anchorage. Earlier, vessels had to wait for several days. They say it could cause revenue losses for the port authorities and the National Board of Revenue (NBR). The decline is due to a decrease in import cargo flow. Although port users are reaping some short-term benefits because vessel congestion used to be a major impediment to container unloading. As the jetties have remained nearly empty, the average waiting time and cost of transportation of export goods have decreased. However, shipping agents are worried that this can eventually lead to a crisis in the long run. Port users are also worried about an impending problem. Also Read: Master operator of Ctg Port in ACC's scanner Port officials said that a decrease in vessel arrivals over the last few days was mostly caused by the use of new machinery. Chattogram Port Director (Transport) Enamul Karim said, the main reason for the decreased waiting time is the port's increased efficiency. “Container handling has sped up. So, we have to wait at least a month to determine if vessel unloading has decreased.” he said. Captain Tanveer Hossain, Chief Operating Officer of Saif Powertec, the terminal operator of Chittagong Seaport, told UNB that container handling has sped up due to the addition of modern machinery. “Even a year ago, vessels had to wait for days. Now, vessels can depart faster.” He did, however, also point out a decline in vessel arrivals as a result of the ongoing world economic crisis. Syed Mohammad Arif, Chairman of Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association, told UNB that port users' hassle has lessened due to the addition of modern machinery. “However, if the current situation continues, there is a high risk of future decline.” he concluded. The port faced negative growth in container throughput in 2022 due to the decline in container handling. Some 31.42 lakh TEUs of containers were unloaded at the port last year, which was over 72,000 TEUs less in 2021. A dramatic fall in imports due to the global economic crisis caused the decrease.
Bangladesh's National Board of Revenue (NBR) has collected Tk 90901.99 crore in the July-October period of the current fiscal year (2022-23), against the target of Tk 97306.86 crore. According to NBR’s latest data, revenue collection has grown by 14.17 percent on average so far in October, compared to last fiscal year (FY 22). In the fiscal year 2021-2022, the revenue collected in July-October was Tk 79622.66 crore. Read more: Payra Port has so far earned revenues worth over Tk 600cr: PM Hasina Though the revenue collection target saw a shortfall of Tk 6404.87 crore, the overall revenue collected in the July-October period is encouraging for the revenue board, said an NBR member today. He said that the negative impact of the global economy has also hit Bangladesh. Despite various crises, NBR’s revenue collection has been satisfactory so far, the official said. In the current fiscal year of Bangladesh (July 2022 - June 2023), NBR’s revenue collection target has been set at Tk 3.70 lakh crore. Read more: Revenue collection down by 13% in Q1, reaching target a challenge
Mobile financial services provider (MFS) Nagad handed over nearly Tk4.5 crore to the postal department as revenue share in the fiscal year (FY) 2021-22. Posts and Telecommunications Secretary Md Khalilur Rahman received a cheque from Nagad Executive Director Md Shafayet Alam Wednesday in Dhaka. Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar, Director General of the postal department Md Harunur Rashid, and Nagad Founder and Managing Director Tanvir A Mishuk were also present. As per an agreement, the postal department is entitled to 51 percent of the total revenue earned by Nagad and the remaining 49 percent goes to the MFS. Read more: Nagad holds 'Distributors Meet 2022' Nagad gave the postal department Tk3.31 crore in FY21 and Tk1.12 crore in FY20. Jabbar said: "Nagad has saved the country thousand crores of taka. From the very beginning, we were with Nagad. We are and will be with them." "There is a huge difference between Nagad and Bkash's cash out charge, and that is thousand crores of taka. We thank Nagad for this. The country needs Nagad." Tanvir said: "Every year we share our revenue shares with the postal department. According to the agreement between the department and Nagad, today we shared 51 percent of revenues with it."
Chattogram Customs in a recent investigation found out that a company has tried to evade Tk 7 .11 crore revenue by importing cigarettes behind dates from Dubai. The consignment had 55,52,400 sticks of Mound cigarettes worth Tk 1.19 Crore, said MD Sharfuddin Mia, Deputy Commissioner of Chattogram Customs House. He said the information was revealed on Sunday during a physical examination at Ispahani Summit Alliance Terminals Limited at Sagarika. Also read: Customs officials recover firearms, ammo hidden in household goods at Ctg port According to customs, a 40 feet container supposed to be filled with dates was shipped on December 27, last year from Jebel Ali port in Dubai and it reached Chattogram Port on December 30. The consignment was imported by Suchona International owned by Jahangir Alam from Boktopur in Fatikchhari upazila in Chattogram. After the importer did not submit a bill of entry for four months and the container was lying at the yard, Customs officials conducted a physical test Sunday which revealed the irregularity. Among the 2,772 cartons in the container 1,983 had cigarettes which were hidden behind 789 cartons of dates. Also read: Customs hotline starts test operation for ASYCUDA related service MD Sharfuddin Mia said, “In fear of detective surveillance the importer could not release the consignment of cigarettes from the port. Strict legal actions will be taken against importer Suchona International for trying to evade revenue.”
Travel sector revenues decreased by about Tk 26.75 crore in 2021 through Benapole Land Port as the Omicron surge had reduced passenger traffic between Bangladesh and India. In 2021, only 1,63,974 went to India through Benapole whereas 6,99,107 people traveled to India in 2020. As a result, the passenger traffic on this route has decreased by 5,35, 133 passengers in 2021 as compared to 2020. About 18 to 20 lakh passengers travel to India every year on medical, business, education and travel visas through Benapole International Checkpost due to the ease of communication. READ: Benapole customs report growth in revenue despite pandemic Md Raju, officer-in-charge of Benapole Immigration, said 8,000 to 10,000 passengers used to travel through this route every day before the pandemic. Currently, passenger traffic has been reduced due to restrictions. The Covid Negative Certificate through the RT-PCR test within 72 hours is needed for returning to and from India. The government earns about Tk 6,000 crore from the trade sector while the government's revenue from the travel sector is about Tk 100 crore. On March 13, 2020, India imposed restrictions on travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic and suspended trade through land ports on March 26. However, it allowed domestic flights from May, 2020, and the entry of foreigners except tourists from October. Later, when the situation became somewhat normal, after four months, the ban on trade through Benapole port was lifted and trade gradually became normal. But, travel on tourist visas is still closed. Ayub Hossain, a passenger returning to India, said, "We cannot rely on medical services. Most physicians cannot diagnose the disease." If the medical system improves in the country, they would not have to go to India risking their lives during the covid pandemic. As a result, the country's money would remain in the country, he said. Passengers coming from India on business visas said that they are applying for visas by road but they are getting visas by air at present. Again, those who have road visas before are also being barred from traveling by Indian immigration on various pretexts. "Although it is very urgent, I cannot go to India as I need," the passenger added. Benapole Immigration's Health Department Monitoring Officer Dr Mejbaul Hasan said the India returnees were being tested for rapid antigen to prevent covid infection. READ: Export-Import through Benapole land port suspended In the last two months, after testing the samples of 140 people, nine people have tested positive. The infected were tested positive in India. The covid patients were kept in the red zone of Corona Unit of Jashore Sadar Hospital, the officer added. Abdul Jalil, deputy director (Traffic) of Benapole Port, said the import-export between the two countries is slowly getting stable amid this pandemic. However, due to the ban on travel, passenger traffic has decreased.