Nation this week
A High Court bench refused to hold hearing on a writ petition that challenged the legality of Bangladesh Bank's decision which instructed the scheduled banks to set a maximum nine percent interest rate on all loans except credit cards. The bench of Justice Tariq ul Hakim and Justice Md Iqbal Kabir also dropped the petition from its cause-list, saying that this bench has no jurisdiction to hear such a matter involving bank related issues.
The judges, however, said the petitioner has the liberty to move the same petition before another HC bench having jurisdiction to hear the matter. Md Mahfuzur Rahman, an apprentice lawyer, submitted the writ petition to the HC challenging the legality of the BB decision, saying the central bank's decision may severely affect the already suffering banking sector and such arbitrary directive on reducing the interest rate is unlawful against establishment of financial policies and international practices of free market economy.
The Indian government is going to lift its ban on onion export on March 15, its Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said this week. "Paving the way for economic empowerment of farmers, Government will allow export of onions from March 15," he tweeted. He termed the decision as a welcome step towards the welfare of domestic producers and also ensuring additional revenue for them.
The Indian government had imposed the ban on onion exports on September 29 last year with a view to maintaining domestic supplies. Onion prices jumped by 557.8 percent in Bangladesh in the aftermath of the Indian ban. Each kg of the bulb cost about Tk 30 before the ban. Reports of India's decision to lift the ban pushed down prices of the bulb by up to Tk 30 in Bangladesh.
Robi Axiata Limited, the second largest mobile operator in Bangladesh, on Monday filed draft papers with market regulator Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission to raise Tk 523.79 crore through an initial public offering. BSEC officials said that Robi submitted its draft prospectus with various documents to the market regulator as well as the Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges for getting approval for its IPO.
The regulator and the stock exchanges would scrutinise Robi's documents and proposals to allow it to float shares in the capital market, BSEC officials said. The commission and the bourses may seek more relevant documents when required. Robi expected that it would complete the procedure by December this year. Robi would float a total of 52.38 crore shares under the move to enlist on the country's stock market.
Renowned economist and former deputy governor of Bangladesh Bank Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled has resigned from International Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (ILFSL), 25 days after he was appointed as its chairman following a High Court order. He said he had been finding it difficult to rejuvenate the company since he was 'a chairman without authority there'. Khaled resigned from his post today citing health reasons. He urged Bangladesh Bank to step in to save the bank, which he said had been looted of Tk 1600 crore by former executive PK Haldar and his associates.
Earlier on January 22 this year, the High Court removed MA Hashem from the chairmanship of the company and replaced him with Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled. The court had also imposed a ban on shareholder-directors and top executives, including PK Halder of the NBFI from leaving the country, and ordered a freeze on their bank accounts.
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