Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said that her government had been working to build a strong and stable capital market giving necessary financial education and all possible protection to investors as she opened a regional seminar on investors’ promotion.
‘The present government is working on creating a strong Capital Market, which will meet long-term financing needs to the investors’, she said while inaugurating the four-day ‘Regional Seminar on Financial Literacy and Investor Protection’ in a city hotel.
The seminar is being jointly organised by Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
‘Our government is continuously extending its all out cooperation through providing policy support, law amendments and infrastructure building for creating a stronger capital market,’ the premier said.
The prime minister also vowed to ensure accountability and good governance to eradicate corruptions at different levels in the capital market.
Stressing the need for increasing the participation of retail investors in the capital market, she said ‘Our Capital Market is still being driven by retail investors. To make Capital Market vibrant, we need to increase the participation of institutional investors there.’
The premier also said ‘A country-wide programme on investment literacy has already been launched which remains continued to create a knowledge based investor community.’
Noting that reducing the risk of individual investors, BSEC is running country-wide investment literacy programme, the premier said ‘Under this program, BSEC has already arranged financial literacy program at divisional level which will gradually be extended to district level.’
By this time, Bangladesh Academy for Securities Market (BASM) has been established to this end, she said.
Calling upon the investors not to invest money in the stock market whimsically, the prime minister said ‘In fact, investors are the main driving force of the capital market. If investors take informed decision, it will, on the one hand, help reduce investment risk and on the other hand, it will also act as a supplementary element in ensuring stability of the market. ‘
‘Considering importance of this, we included this issue in our 2018 national election manifesto named ‘Bangladesh on Path to Progress and Prosperity’ or ‘Shamriddir Agrojatray Bangladesh’, she said.
‘We believe that knowledge and techniques of investment for all of the related stakeholders of Capital Market including retail investors will accelerate the process of financial inclusion,’ the prime minister said.
The premier hoped that under the auspice of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation’s Financial Regulators Training Initiative (APEC-FRTI), the seminar co-organised by the BSEC and ADB would benefit the participants from home and abroad.
This also would help them strengthen their respective stock markets through exchange of experiences, knowledge and views, she added. The objective of the seminar was to enhance the financial literacy and protection of the investors of the capital market.
The representatives of India, Japan, Philippines, Nepal, Cambodia, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Iceland are attending the seminar.
Among others, ADB country director for Bangladesh Manmohan Parkash and BSEC chairman M Khairul Hossain spoke on the occasion.
A video documentary was also screened describing the role of capital market in the country’s economic development.
Spelling out the measures taken by the government for building a strong capital market, the prime minister said ‘In 2019-20 fiscal year, limit for the tax free dividend income has been raised to 50,000 from 25,000 for the investors in the market.’
A number of different bonds including fixed income financial product have been issued at our initiative while two rules have been adopted on Short sell and Risk-based Capital Adequacy, she also said.
Noting that the government had taken initiatives for capacity building of the BSEC including adopting a new organogram, the prime minister said ‘Construction of a new building for the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission has already been completed.’
Benefits and amenities for the employees had been increased and as a whole, the institutional capacity of the Commission has been strengthened, she also said.
She said her government was implementing a promotional package successfully for protecting the small investors.
‘Inculcation of the strategic investors has been guaranteed at the Dhaka Stock Exchange,’ the prime minister said, adding that an increased number of participation of local and foreign investors was seen in order to form venture capital and impact fund.
Besides, a small capital platform had been established at Dhaka Stock Exchange as the small and medium industries could enjoy the opportunity to receive capital and this would eventually create a great scope for enlistment of the start-up companies, she said.
The prime minister referred to various measures which were being taken to protect the interest of the investors that would ensure a conducive environment for a vibrant Capital Market.
‘This vibrant Market will supplement our initiative to become a developed country by 2041 by supplying long-term financing for investment in different sectors of the economy,’ she continued.
Highlighting her government’s massive development works carried out in the last 10 years, the prime minister said ‘Our government has tirelessly been working for economic development and poverty alleviation in the country. As a result, Bangladesh has fulfilled all criteria for becoming a developing country.’
She continued that during the last decade, Bangladesh had achieved average GDP growth rate above 6 and a half per cent and in last fiscal year, it has reached 8.1 per cent.
‘We are working to achieve the GDP growth rate above 10 per cent by 2023- 24,’ she said.
‘Income and purchase power of our people have increased at present. Poverty rate has decreased to 21 per cent. Per capita income has raised to 1 thousand and 909 US dollar. Besides, inflation rate has been kept at 5.4 per cent,’ she added.
In last ten years, one and a half crore people were employed, she said, adding that status of five crore people had been upgraded into middle income class from the lower income class.
During the last decade, the present government had invested chiefly in roads and highways, bridges, metro rail, elevated expressway, rail infrastructure and communication, ports, telecommunication, electricity, nuclear power, LNG, education, health, social safety net and special economic zone, the premier said.
Referring to a recent report of IMF, she said that Bangladesh secured 43rd position based on the GDP and 32nd position based on purchase power.
According to the report of the Price Water Coopers (PwC), Bangladesh would be 28th largest Economy of the world, she said.
Mentioning that industrialisation was the key for employment generation in the country, the premier said ‘We believe that the capital market can play an important role in generating new entrepreneurs and investors through creating partnership among the common people.’
She also said ‘We adopted ‘Economic Zones Policy 2014’ and under its auspices, 100 Specialised Economic Zones will be established gradually by 2030.’
This initiative would ultimately increase our export earning an additional 40 billion US dollar and would generate employment for more 1 crore people, she added.
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