Taka will not be devalued, says Kamal


He vows to take action against rumor- mongers 

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal yesterday said the government would not devalue the Taka against US dollar.

“There are rumors at the stock market that the government will devalue the Taka against US dollar. We will not devalue the Taka against the dollar for any sector,” he told reporters after a meeting with the directors of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) at Agargaon in the capital.

He said the government would take steps against those who were influencing the stock market through spreading various rumors.

Kamal’s comments came after a meeting with the DSE leaders as stock market plunged to 42 months record low. The rumor of the Taka depreciation dampened the mood of foreign investors in the last few months, market operators said.

The finance minister said the stock market could not make a turn around as the market was now rumor driven. Enforcing the existing laws was necessary to stop the rumors, he added.

“I am in favour of stringent rules, if needed.”

AHM Mustafa Kamal said: “The DSE submitted some proposals at the meeting. The DSE members believe the market lacks good governance.”

On listing the state-owned companies, Kamal said he assured them that he was working on it, although it required more time.

“We will consider reducing the advance income tax (AIT) and the tax at source on share transactions,” he added.

Minhaz Mannan Emon director of DSE told reporters after the meeting, “We submitted 11-point proposals to the finance minister for capital market development. Finance minister is positive about implementing the proposals, he added.

“Hopefully, the market will make a turnaround soon,” Emon hoped.

The DSE proposals include creating a long time investment scope for the market, addressing liquidity crisis in the country’s financial sector, resolving the ongoing tussle between  Grameenphone and the telecom regulator BTRC and listing the  state-owned and multinational companies on the bourses.

The stock exchange also urged the government to reduce the corporation tax for publicly listed companies to 15%, from the current 25%. 

At present, publicly listed companies have to pay a minimum   25% and maximum 40% corporate tax depending on their business categories.

DSE also proposed reducing the tax at source on share transactions to 0.015% from the existing 0.05%, considering the volatility of the market.

Financial Institutions Division Senior Secretary Md Ashadul Islam, Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) Chairman M Khairul Hossain, BSEC commissioners, DSE directors and top officials were also present at the meeting.