Dhaka, Bangladesh
Tk 50,000cr transactions expected

Economy takes fillip from Eid binge

Tk 50,000cr transactions expected

Mazharul Islam Mitchel Bangladesh's economy is expected to take a fillip from Eid-shipping binge ahead of the biggest Muslim festival to be celebrated on completion of the month of Ramadan. Business leaders, people in trade and commerce, and market experts predicted that a wide range of business transactions marked by production and selling of different varieties of wear might exceed a turnover of Tk 50,000 crore in the capital city, Dhaka, the port city of Chattogram and other areas in the whole country on the occasion. A senior official of Bangladesh Bank, focussing the overall scenario, told The News Today that in terms of previous experience they deem there might be more than ten times transactions centering the Eid celebration. Portraying the factual position he informed that per day Tk 3,000 crore to Tk 3500 crore is normally transected in the call-money market by the banks centering the holy occasion of Eid. "According to bank's record, more than Tk 5,000 crore is normally transacted every day after the 15th Ramadan", he added. There are no such statistical figures available with the government and non-government institutions about Eid-market economy, but Bangladesh Shop Owners Association (BSOA) prepares an approximate estimate of Eid sales in the country every year, the official maintained. While talking to BSOA representative, this correspondent gathered that about Tk 3,800 crore will be transacted in readymade garment (RMG) market across the country including Dhaka city. Detailing further he said about Tk 800 crore will be transacted in RMG footpath shopping in different areas. Over and above, about Tk 3,000 crore will also be transacted in many other associated sectors, BSOA General Secretary Jahirul Haque Bhuiyan informed. A leader of Bangladesh Super Market Owners Association said Eid ul-Fitr has an impact on the country's economy, as products like clothes, footwear, food, cosmetics, jewelry and electronic gadgets are traded for billions of taka every year. "This year is no exception." Islampur Cloth Marchant Association General Secretary Naser Uddin Mollah said during the current Ramadan, sales have multiplied many times over average monthly volume, though verifiable data were not available to support the claim. Officials of the related sector said there are no statistics available with the government and non-government institutions about Eid economy, he added. Zaid Bakht, Chairman of Agrani Bank Ltd and an economist, said that the country will receive a lot of remittance from abroad in the run up to the Eid-ul-Fitr festival. "Besides", he said, "the garments workers will get about Tk 2,000 crore in bonus in Eid and government employees will get more than Tk 700 crore as bonus. This amount will be expended for Eid-shopping purposes. Beyond this, huge amount of money would be expended under non-government and private heads." According to World Bank sources, retail sales in the country amounted to more than Tk 90,000 crore during the last two Eid festivals (Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azaha), leading to strong domestic demand and consumption. So, the international lending agency estimates more than Tk 50,000 crore will be transacted in the coming Eid-ul-Fitr alone. Dr Muhammad Abdul Mazid, former chairman of the National Board of Revenue (NBR), said that people put on new clothes, children are given gifts and money, and everyone visits relatives and friends. "The effect of Eid-ul-Fitr continues couple of weeks, with an impact of festivity in the socio-economic arena. Markets for clothes, footwear, cosmetics, jewelry and electronic gadgets witness bumper sales worth billions of Taka in this festive period," he said. Bangladesh Bank sources said call-money rate is rising on the eve of Eid. Commercial banks last Sunday witnessed a heavy rush for money transaction as a huge number of clients withdrew from and deposited cash with the banks, said officials of the commercial banks. They said banks and non-bank financial institutions made a record transaction on the call money market on July 2, borrowing collectively 6.5 per cent from the market on the day. Eid was not celebrated with the same enthusiasm in the long past, because of absence of government patronage, poverty and ignorance about its importance. The festival was mainly about the arrangement of special food and wearing new dresses. Gone are days, they observed. But with gradual improvement of people's economic conditions, now they celebrate Eid with much pomp and grandeur along with religious rites. So they also spend much more on making the Eid a grand event of the year.

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