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Rice market turns volatile as govt stock runs all time low

Business Report
 
The rice market has run short of supply at a time when stocks in government godowns have come all time low at 1.85 lakh tones. Boro production suffered the worst this year from flash flood in Boro growing districts of Sumangonj, Moulovi Bazar, Sylhet, Habigonj and Kishoregonj to aggravate the supply crisis. 
Meanwhile high import duty at 28 percent from 2015 has also discouraged private importers. Over the past three years the government also sold rice at low cost of Tk 10 per KG to the ultra-poor in a bid to price support to low income people when the production cost was reported at Tk 37 per kg. 
The programme was largely politically motivated and party middle-men looted most supply ending the stocks in the government hand. It showed a total mismanagement to of the food market surrendering it to the market operators – like hoarders and private stockists. Rice price has shot up by Tk 5 to 10 per KG in the market over the past one month when the government is trying to import to stabilize the market. 
It has also lowered the import duty to 10 percent last week but the delay in the action has led to the supply crisis in the market. 
Media report said the government has decided to reduce the duty on rice imports by more than half the existing rate to encourage the private sector to import the staple and thus help stabilise the volatile rice market.
The import duty will be 10 percent, down from 28 percent, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed told reporters at his office yesterday afternoon. A gazette will be issued soon in this regard. 
The move comes at a time when prices of coarse rice, mostly consumed by the poor 
and lower middle-income people, have shot up to Tk 48 a kilogram at the retail level — a record 47 percent increase from the market price in June last year.
Crop loss due to flashfloods in haor regions and fungi attacks in Boro fields in as many as 19 districts this year were the backdrop to the rice price going up from early April.
With the rice stock in public granaries hitting a 10-year low — only 1.85 lakh tonnes — the government is substantially incapable of intervening in the market situation, while importers have little interest in importing rice since with 28 percent tariff the business is less cost-effective.
Now in a rather delayed move, the government has gone for 3.5 lakh tonnes of rice import under public sector initiative. At the same time it has come up with a package of policy supports to encourage the private sector to import rice, which would in turn subdue the unusual hike in rice price.
The decision to slash the import duty came just a day after Bangladesh Bank issued a circular advising banks to allow rice importers to open LCs (letters of credit) with zero margin, meaning the importers will not have to make advance payments to import rice.
The high import duty was slapped in 2015 and 2016 in efforts to give a cushion to local growers against cheap Indian rice flooding the markets.
The government has made a move to cut the duty when the private sector rice import dropped to a four-year low with traders blaming the high duty.
Speaking at a programme in the capital, the World Bank chief economist in Bangladesh, Zahid Hossain emphasised the need for the right decision about the import duty to check the rice price hike.
Importers have already stockpiled rice across the border and are eagerly waiting for duty relief, he added.

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Business Report
 
The rice market has run short of supply at a time when stocks in government godowns have come all time low at 1.85 lakh tones. Boro production suffered the worst this year from flash flood in Boro growing districts of Sumangonj, Moulovi Bazar, Sylhet, Habigonj and Kishoregonj to aggravate the supply crisis. 
Meanwhile high import duty at 28 percent from 2015 has also discouraged private importers. Over the past three years the government also sold rice at low cost of Tk 10 per KG to the ultra-poor in a bid to price support to low income people when the production cost was reported at Tk 37 per kg. 
The programme was largely politically motivated and party middle-men looted most supply ending the stocks in the government hand. It showed a total mismanagement to of the food market surrendering it to the market operators – like hoarders and private stockists. Rice price has shot up by Tk 5 to 10 per KG in the market over the past one month when the government is trying to import to stabilize the market. 
It has also lowered the import duty to 10 percent last week but the delay in the action has led to the supply crisis in the market. 
Media report said the government has decided to reduce the duty on rice imports by more than half the existing rate to encourage the private sector to import the staple and thus help stabilise the volatile rice market.
The import duty will be 10 percent, down from 28 percent, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed told reporters at his office yesterday afternoon. A gazette will be issued soon in this regard. 
The move comes at a time when prices of coarse rice, mostly consumed by the poor 
and lower middle-income people, have shot up to Tk 48 a kilogram at the retail level — a record 47 percent increase from the market price in June last year.
Crop loss due to flashfloods in haor regions and fungi attacks in Boro fields in as many as 19 districts this year were the backdrop to the rice price going up from early April.
With the rice stock in public granaries hitting a 10-year low — only 1.85 lakh tonnes — the government is substantially incapable of intervening in the market situation, while importers have little interest in importing rice since with 28 percent tariff the business is less cost-effective.
Now in a rather delayed move, the government has gone for 3.5 lakh tonnes of rice import under public sector initiative. At the same time it has come up with a package of policy supports to encourage the private sector to import rice, which would in turn subdue the unusual hike in rice price.
The decision to slash the import duty came just a day after Bangladesh Bank issued a circular advising banks to allow rice importers to open LCs (letters of credit) with zero margin, meaning the importers will not have to make advance payments to import rice.
The high import duty was slapped in 2015 and 2016 in efforts to give a cushion to local growers against cheap Indian rice flooding the markets.
The government has made a move to cut the duty when the private sector rice import dropped to a four-year low with traders blaming the high duty.
Speaking at a programme in the capital, the World Bank chief economist in Bangladesh, Zahid Hossain emphasised the need for the right decision about the import duty to check the rice price hike.
Importers have already stockpiled rice across the border and are eagerly waiting for duty relief, he added.

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EBL Salary Shield  scheme launches for Payroll Customers

Business Report
 
Ali Reza Iftekhar Managing Director and CEO of EBL and Md. Nurul Islam, Chairman- Bangladesh, Nepal & Myanmar of Metlife exchanging documents for EBL Pay-roll banking customers in Dhaka. Senior management officials from both sides were present.
Eastern Bank Ltd. (EBL), in association with Metlife, has launched an income protection plan for its payroll banking customers. Named as “EBL Salary Shield” it will provide 6 months’ salary in case of natural death of a payroll banking accountholder to the nominees. 
The amount will be for 12 months if the death is accidental in nature. In addition to this, an accountholder can get hospital expenses reimbursement including daily hospital cash up to a specified amount. All EBL Payroll Banking customers will be eligible to take this coverage from EBL.
Ali Reza Iftekhar Managing Director and CEO of EBL and Md. Nurul Islam, Chairman- Bangladesh, Nepal & Myanmar of Metlife signed the agreement on behalf of the respective organizations in Dhaka recently. Senior management from both the companies were present on the occasion.

 

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Business Report
 
Ali Reza Iftekhar Managing Director and CEO of EBL and Md. Nurul Islam, Chairman- Bangladesh, Nepal & Myanmar of Metlife exchanging documents for EBL Pay-roll banking customers in Dhaka. Senior management officials from both sides were present.
Eastern Bank Ltd. (EBL), in association with Metlife, has launched an income protection plan for its payroll banking customers. Named as “EBL Salary Shield” it will provide 6 months’ salary in case of natural death of a payroll banking accountholder to the nominees. 
The amount will be for 12 months if the death is accidental in nature. In addition to this, an accountholder can get hospital expenses reimbursement including daily hospital cash up to a specified amount. All EBL Payroll Banking customers will be eligible to take this coverage from EBL.
Ali Reza Iftekhar Managing Director and CEO of EBL and Md. Nurul Islam, Chairman- Bangladesh, Nepal & Myanmar of Metlife signed the agreement on behalf of the respective organizations in Dhaka recently. Senior management from both the companies were present on the occasion.

 


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IBBL Head Office and IBTRA hold Iftar Mahfil

Business Report
 
Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited and Islami Bank Training & Research Academy-IBTRA jointly organized discussion tilted “Role of Ramadan in attaining Taqwah” and then held Iftar Mahfil at the auditorium of Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh on June 18.
Md. Abdul Hamid Miah, Managing Director & CEO of the bank attended it as  chief guest. Presided over by Md. Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan, FCA, Deputy Managing Director, the program was attended by senior officials of the bank. 
Md. Mahbub-ul-Alam, Abdus Sadeque Bhuiyan, Md. Shamsuzzaman, Mohammad Monirul Moula, Mohd. Mohon Miah, Mohammad Ali, Abu Reza Md. Yeahia and Taher Ahmed Chowdhury, Deputy Managing Directors were among others present, said a press release.

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Business Report
 
Islami Bank Bangladesh Limited and Islami Bank Training & Research Academy-IBTRA jointly organized discussion tilted “Role of Ramadan in attaining Taqwah” and then held Iftar Mahfil at the auditorium of Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh on June 18.
Md. Abdul Hamid Miah, Managing Director & CEO of the bank attended it as  chief guest. Presided over by Md. Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan, FCA, Deputy Managing Director, the program was attended by senior officials of the bank. 
Md. Mahbub-ul-Alam, Abdus Sadeque Bhuiyan, Md. Shamsuzzaman, Mohammad Monirul Moula, Mohd. Mohon Miah, Mohammad Ali, Abu Reza Md. Yeahia and Taher Ahmed Chowdhury, Deputy Managing Directors were among others present, said a press release.

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New Addl MD joins Shahjalal Islami Bank

Business Report
 
Noted banker M. Shahidul Islam joined at Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited (SJIBL) as Additional Managing Director on June 20. Earlier he was Additional Managing Director of United Commercial Bank Limited.
M. Shahidul Islam started his banking career as ‘Probationary Officer’ at National Bank Limited in the year of 1984. He holds a post graduate degree in Management from University of Chittagong.
He served in National Bank Ltd. for 14 years prior to joined Prime Bank Limited in 1997 to serve there 11 years in different higher positions. He is highly skilled in all branches of banking including Corporate Credit, SME Credit, Foreign Trade, Consumer Banking, Credit Risk Management, Foreign Investment as well as Treasury banking, said a press release.

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Business Report
 
Noted banker M. Shahidul Islam joined at Shahjalal Islami Bank Limited (SJIBL) as Additional Managing Director on June 20. Earlier he was Additional Managing Director of United Commercial Bank Limited.
M. Shahidul Islam started his banking career as ‘Probationary Officer’ at National Bank Limited in the year of 1984. He holds a post graduate degree in Management from University of Chittagong.
He served in National Bank Ltd. for 14 years prior to joined Prime Bank Limited in 1997 to serve there 11 years in different higher positions. He is highly skilled in all branches of banking including Corporate Credit, SME Credit, Foreign Trade, Consumer Banking, Credit Risk Management, Foreign Investment as well as Treasury banking, said a press release.

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BRAC Bank opens new branch in Mohadebpur  
Business Report
 
BRAC Bank Limited opened a new branch at Mohadebpur in Naogaon to provide the most modern banking services to the customers in the area. Mahbubur Rahman Bhulu, Chairman, Mohadebpur Upazila inaugurated the branch on June 21.
Businessman Abdur Razzak, Syed Abdul Momen, Head of SME Banking (Acting) BRAC Bank, local elite and a large number of customers attended the event. 
BRAC Bank always strives to reach more people and cover more areas with the modern banking services. Its best-in-the-class services will bring in new opportunity for business and customers in the locality.   
The total number of branches including SME/Krishi Branches and SME Service Centers of BRAC Bank now stands at 186 making it one of the largest online banking networks in Bangladesh, said a press release.   

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Business Report
 
BRAC Bank Limited opened a new branch at Mohadebpur in Naogaon to provide the most modern banking services to the customers in the area. Mahbubur Rahman Bhulu, Chairman, Mohadebpur Upazila inaugurated the branch on June 21.
Businessman Abdur Razzak, Syed Abdul Momen, Head of SME Banking (Acting) BRAC Bank, local elite and a large number of customers attended the event. 
BRAC Bank always strives to reach more people and cover more areas with the modern banking services. Its best-in-the-class services will bring in new opportunity for business and customers in the locality.   
The total number of branches including SME/Krishi Branches and SME Service Centers of BRAC Bank now stands at 186 making it one of the largest online banking networks in Bangladesh, said a press release.   

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MTB, NEC signs money transfer deal

Business Report
 
Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTB) recently signed an agreement with NEC Money Transfer Limited (NEC) at MTB Centre in Gulshan 1. Under the agreement, the receivers of foreign remittance will receive the funds through Remittance Disbursement Service. This allows the beneficiaries to receive cash from the cash counters of MTB branches or directly on their mobile phones.
Ikram Farazy, Managing Director & CEO, NEC Money Transfer Limited and Anis A. Khan, Managing Director & CEO of Mutual Trust Bank Limited signed the agreement for their respective organizations. 
Md. Monir H Farazy, Director, Shamim Ahamed, Country Manager of NEC Money Transfer Limited, Md. Hashem Chowdhury, Additional Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer (COO), Syed Rafiqul Haq, Deputy Managing Director & Chief Business Officer (CBO), Mohammad Zahidul Ahasan were present.
Head of NRB Division, Azam Khan, Group Chief Communications Officer of MTB along with other senior officials from bothorganizations were also present, said a press release. 

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Business Report
 
Mutual Trust Bank Limited (MTB) recently signed an agreement with NEC Money Transfer Limited (NEC) at MTB Centre in Gulshan 1. Under the agreement, the receivers of foreign remittance will receive the funds through Remittance Disbursement Service. This allows the beneficiaries to receive cash from the cash counters of MTB branches or directly on their mobile phones.
Ikram Farazy, Managing Director & CEO, NEC Money Transfer Limited and Anis A. Khan, Managing Director & CEO of Mutual Trust Bank Limited signed the agreement for their respective organizations. 
Md. Monir H Farazy, Director, Shamim Ahamed, Country Manager of NEC Money Transfer Limited, Md. Hashem Chowdhury, Additional Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer (COO), Syed Rafiqul Haq, Deputy Managing Director & Chief Business Officer (CBO), Mohammad Zahidul Ahasan were present.
Head of NRB Division, Azam Khan, Group Chief Communications Officer of MTB along with other senior officials from bothorganizations were also present, said a press release. 

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