Role of SME sector in employment generation is undeniable: President



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

President Md. Sahabuddin said, the role of small and medium entrepreneurs in creating massive employment with little capital is undeniable, in addition to poverty alleviation and improvement of living standards of a large population of the country.

The President said all this in a speech given on the occasion of 'National SME Product Fair-2024' to be held on May 19.

Welcoming the initiative of the Small and Medium Entrepreneur Foundation (SME Foundation) to organize the 11th National SME Product Fair 2024, the President said, he extended his best wishes and congratulations to all those involved in the small and medium entrepreneur, including entrepreneurs and institutions participating in the fair.

He said that small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are an important sector in the socio-economic context of Bangladesh. The role of this sector in creating massive employment with little capital is undeniable, in addition to poverty alleviation and improvement of living standards of the country's large population.

Appreciating Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's initiative, President Md. Sahabuddin said that under the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the government has formulated the SME Policy-2019 to ensure the development of the SME sector and sustainable industrialization.

The National Industrial Policy lays emphasis on creating an enabling environment for the development of SME industries as key drivers of industrialization. As a result of the successful implementation of Vision 2021, Bangladesh has become a middle-income digital Bangladesh today. Through the proper implementation of the National Industrial Policy and SME Policy, everyone should continue to make earnest efforts to increase the contribution of the SME sector to the GDP from the existing 25 percent to 32 percent.

He said, I hope that the National SME Product Fair-2024 will play an important role in increasing the mutual connection of entrepreneurs as well as improving the quality of products, expanding the market of manufactured products and increasing the export of SME products.

The President called on all concerned including government, private institutions and entrepreneurs to play a positive role in ensuring the proper development of the SME sector with the aim of creating a developed and prosperous 'Smart Bangladesh' by 2041.

   

"The country's economy is weaker than ever"



Special Correspondent, Barta24.com
"The country's economy is weaker than ever"

"The country's economy is weaker than ever"

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

Barrister Anisul Islam Mahmud, deputy leader of the opposition party in the Jatiya Sangsad, has claimed that the country's economy is currently in the weakest position than at any time in the past.

He said, "As far as I know, having played a role in politics and as a member of parliament for a long time, there has never been a weaker situation in the past than this time."

Barrister Anisul Islam said all these things in an event titled 'Budget Dialogue 2024' organized at a hotel in the capital on Wednesday (June 12).

He said, on the eve of the transition from the list of least developed countries, the weakness was evident at the time when the country's economy needed to have the capacity to ensure a major adjustment.

Because of the crisis, the key question now is not whether macroeconomic stability will return or not. Rather, the question today is whether the economy will sustain under this pressure or not.

CPD's Board of Trustee Treasurer Syed Manzoor Elahi presided over the event, former Planning Minister MA Mannan, research institute Power and Participation Research Center (PPRC) Executive Chairman Economist Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, experts from politics, economy and private sector also spoke.

Executive Director of CPD Dr. Fahmida Khatun presented the keynote at the event. Dr. Fahmida Khatun claimed in the program that there is inconsistency in the target of macroeconomic indicators in the proposed budget.

Criticizing the decision to whiten black money with only 15 percent tax, Fahmida said it would encourage corrupt people. Honest taxpayers will be discouraged.

Identifying this opportunity to whiten black money as 'state sponsorship of cheating', Barrister Anisul Islam said that the money earned by theft, robbery and murder is also being given an opportunity to whiten.

Earlier, the ACC was given the opportunity to question the matter, but this power has been taken away. He asked in whose interest it was done.

Will the economy be strong by encouraging theft? Those who steal will bring money for the development of the country? In that case, I will take the opportunity to pay 15 percent tax next year instead of paying tax this time, he said.

Former Planning Minister MA Mannan commented that there is a need for a bold judgment analysis about how much this allocation is needed or how much benefit the people will get before allocating to various sectors in the budget.

He said that under the Annual Development Program (ADP) many projects had to be approved which I personally did not agree with. Again, I don't think these projects will be very useful.

Commenting that inflation in the country is mainly due to GDP growth, the former minister said that if growth is sacrificed, the standard of living of people will decrease. He also commented that many big economies have also followed the same path.

He said that at least 30 percent of the people are being helped through the government's social security program including providing food at an affordable price through cards, food in exchange for work, and if it were not for all these initiatives of the government, inflation could have been reduced by 15 percent.

But at the same time, the inequality in the country is also increasing, he said, historically, some sectors and groups have been fed and nourished since the British period and the Pakistan period. He also commented that there is a need to pay close attention to these aspects.

Dewan Hanif Mahmud, Editor of Banik Barta, believes that if efficiency can be ensured by controlling rent seeking, government expenditure, especially subsidy pressure, will be reduced.

He said that due to the efficiency of power management in India, the price of wholesale electricity per unit is a little more than five rupees. However, due to inefficiency, a large part of the subsidy in Bangladesh is going to this sector.

He also commented that the cost of implementing infrastructure sector projects is higher here than in many neighboring countries due to rent seeking.

Urging to determine the size of the unexibited part of the economy, he said, according to the estimate of the Ministry of Finance, 40 percent of the economy was unexhibited in 2012. He suggested that by redefining this size, it should be brought into the main channel of the economy as well as eliminates the inconsistencies of various agencies of the government.

;

Economy stuck in inefficiency trap: Hussain Zillur



Special Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

Economist Dr. Hossain Zillur Rahman, the Executive Chairman of the research institute Power and Participation Research Center (PPRC) believes that the potential of Bangladesh's economy and development is caught in the trap of inefficiency.

On Wednesday (June 12) at a hotel in the capital, he said in an event titled 'Budget Dialogue 2024', this trap is made by us. It is not imposed from outside.

While speaking on the key-note paper presented by Executive Director of CPD Dr. Famida Khatun, Hossain Zillur said that investment decisions in education and health in Bangladesh are not coming from integrated thinking, infrastructure and services are not being coordinated.

He said that a large part of the allocation in education is going to the infrastructure sector. Again 500 bed hospital is being built and service is being given to 50 bed hospital.

Claiming that the government's money is being wasted due to inefficiency in project selection, he said that many projects are being abandoned midway. He commented that this inefficiency is equivalent to an epidemic.

This economist also said that many ministries take large allocations at the beginning of the year and return the allocations at the end of the year due to inefficiency in implementation. He urged to address the problems of implementation efficiency, governance and development strategy to ensure freedom from such inefficiency trap.

Commenting that the country has been moving forward based on the garment industry and remittances for the last four to five decades, he said, new growth drivers should be searched for the future.

Dr. Hossain Zillur called the country's entrepreneurial class and workers as ducks that lay golden eggs, and said that they are trying to slaughter those golden ducks every year without nurturing them.

Urging to improve the investment environment to sustain growth, he said, entrepreneurs need business environment more than credit facilities. He said that bureaucratic complexity is still a big obstacle in business.

He said that 100 special economic zones have been formed, but in reality only four or five have been launched.

Claiming that there is no solution to all these problems in the economy, he further said that such problems should be solved through political economy.

Commenting that the entire potential of the country is stuck in the iron triangle of political economy, he said, this triangle of lack of accountability, lack of strategic skills and overall institutionalization of corruption should be broken.

;

Chevron Bangladesh hosts Cattle and Product basket handover



Special Correspondent, Barta24.com-Dhaka
Photo-Collected

Photo-Collected

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

Chevron Bangladesh, in collaboration with iDE as a part of the Uddokta Phase-II intervention, recently hosted a Cattle and Product Basket Handover event near the Bibiyana Gas Plant, Habiganj.

During the event, product baskets were handed over to 60 female sales agents, making relevant health and hygiene products available at their doorsteps.

In addition, 223 cattle were handed over to 22 VDO cooperatives, supporting the sustainability of these cooperatives under a new business model. The introduction of cattle insurance was a new addition to make this business model more effective and captivating for the long run.

Beneficiaries exhibited their stalls with products such as fresh vegetables, livestock, agriculture inputs, machineries and mini garments products. The private sector also showcased their services and products to facilitate market linkage and chain development.

The event was attended by Member of Parliament Amatul Kibria Keya Chowdhury (Habiganj-1), Dr. Md. Abdul Kader, District Livestock Officer and Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni, Upazila Agriculture Officer.

They appreciated Chevron Bangladesh & iDE for such an impactful social investment project for the community. The event was attended by Director, Corporate Affairs Muhammad Imrul Kabir, Bibiyana Gasplant Superintendent Koyes Chowdhury, Community Engagement and Social Investment Manager Khondoker Tusherujjaman along with other Chevron team members.

In her speech, Amatul Kibria Keya Chowdhury, MP, mentioned how Chevron Bangladesh has contributed to the economy not only through providing affordable, reliable natural gas but also by being there for the community through various social investment initiatives.

Chevron is one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, involved in virtually every aspect of the energy industry. Chevron Bangladesh Block Twelve, Ltd. and Chevron Bangladesh Blocks Thirteen & Fourteen, Ltd. (Chevron Bangladesh) is the largest producer of natural gas in Bangladesh, accounting for about 60% of total domestic natural gas production and over 80% of the domestic condensate production.

Chevron Bangladesh operates three gas fields in the northeast of the country. Chevron Bangladesh works with communities across its operations, building long-term partnerships that foster economic development and lasting benefits to them.

;

New time schedule of bank transactions



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

  • Font increase
  • Font Decrease

Bangladesh Bank has announced a new time schedule of bank transactions. Bank transactions and office activities will continue on the new schedule after Eid.

A circular in this regard has been issued from the Department of Offsite Supervision of Bangladesh Bank on Sunday (June 9).

It is said in the circular, from June 19, the transactions of the banks will start at 10 am, which will continue till 4 pm. And the offices of the banks will be open from 10 am to 6 pm. There will be weekend holidays on Friday and Saturday.

Now bank transactions are open from 10 am to 3:30 pm and bank offices are open from 10 am to 5 pm. As such, bank transactions will last for half an hour and offices will last for an hour longer.

According to the instructions, bank activities will be conducted according to the new schedule from June 19 until further instructions in accordance with the office schedule announced by the government. The Central Bank has issued this directive under the authority of Section 45 of the Bank Companies Act, 1991.

;