Bangladesh received its highest remittances from the United Arab Emirates in the first 10 months of the outgoing fiscal year, well ahead of traditional powerhouses such as Saudi Arabia and the United States, central bank figures showed. The second-highest volume came from the United Kingdom, with the US at third and Saudi Arabia at fourth. The spike in the funds remitted from the UAE has been good news for Bangladesh since it gave a much-needed fillip to an economy reeling under the foreign currency reserves crisis for the past two years.

Experts, however, have raised questions about whether the smuggled money is returning in the form of remittance to enjoy incentives and legalise it. UAE-based remitters sent $3.65 billion in July-April of 2023-24, which was 52 percent higher than the receipts of $2.41 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year. The flow from the UAE constituted 19 percent of the $19.11 billion migrant workers transferred during the period, according to Bangladesh Bank data.

Bangladesh is going to sign agreements with India and Myanmar for importing essential commodities round the year to sell those among local consumers at affordable prices, according to State Minister for Commerce Ahasanul Islam Titu. The agreements might be signed by next month, Titu said at a discussion with the members of the Bangladesh Secretariat Reporters Forum held at the Secretariat in Dhaka. The commodities will be brought in from Myanmar and India, as they produce a lot of agricultural products, the state minister also said.

Titu also said his government has been working to increase the number of border haats along the border of Bangladesh and India so that the consumers of remote areas of the two nations can do trade easily. The government has also been working to improve trade with Thailand. A business delegation from Thailand is scheduled to visit Bangladesh in July and another delegation is scheduled to come to the country in August led by the Thai commerce minister.

Spending under the annual development programme (ADP) hit a four-year low in the first 11 months of the current fiscal, owing to a slower implementation rate centring the national elections. Development spending dropped 4.19 percent in the July-May period of FY24 compared to the same period of the year prior. The government managed to spend Tk 146,375 crore from the ADP in the 11-month period, according to data of the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED).

The development spending amounted to Tk 146,021 crore, or 61.73 percent of the ADP, in the same period of the previous fiscal year. In the first 11 months of FY24, the implementation rate reflected 57.54 percent of the total ADP allocation of Tk 254,391 crore. During the 11-month period over the past five years, the lowest ADP implementation rate was seen in FY20, when it hit 57.37 percent.

Two Supreme Court lawyers filed a petition with the High Court challenging a Dhaka court order that framed charges against Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus and 13 others in a case filed over misappropriation of about Tk 25.22 crore of Grameen Telecom Workers' Profit Participation Fund. Lawyers Barrister Md Yousuf Ali and Advocate Jafrul Hasan Sharif, who are part of the 13 accused, submitted the petition to the HC on Tuesday (Jun.25).

The entire amount of Tk 25.22 core was the part of the entitlement of the listed 164 individual employees of Grameen Telecom, who contributed to their trade union to pay the expenses including lawyers' fees. The trade union representative paid the fees to them (lawyers Yousuf and Jafrul) out of that amount and the same does not constitute any offence and therefore, the instant proceedings are liable to be quashed to ensure the ends of justice, the petitioners stated in the petition.

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