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Bangladesh opposition boycotts city polls DHAKA: Bangladesh's main opposition party pulled out of mayoral elections on Tuesday saying the polls were rigged, deepening a political crisis plaguing the impoverished country.The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) announced it was boycotting the elections in the two largest cities of Dhaka and Chittagong, more than four hours after voting got under way.The polls are seen as a key test of the popularity of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her centre-left ruling Awami League party, which the BNP says is becoming increasingly autocratic. "We're formally announcing that we are withdrawing from these elections. There were riggings in 98 percent of the voting booths," BNP spokesman Moudud Ahmed told reporters at the party's headquarters in the capital Dhaka. "Our polling agents were not allowed to enter voting booths. Some were kicked out while others were arrested. This is no election. Once again it was proved that there is no democracy in ...

Indian parliament kicks off debate on key tax reform NEW DELHI: India's parliament began debating a sales tax on Friday that seeks to transform the country into a common market, but experts said compromises made to enlist the support of states risked diluting the impact of the biggest tax reform in decades.The proposed goods and service tax (GST) would harmonise a mosaic of state and central levies into a national sales tax which business and policy makers hope would boost manufacturing and reduce corruption."GST ...
India's SMEs still to be convinced by business-friendly PM NEW DELHI: While Narendra Modi may be the toast of India's titans of industry, bosses of the army of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are beginning to grow impatient for change a year into his premiership.With the economy now outpacing even China, Modi has won big-name plaudits for transforming the climate with a series of reforms and pledges that have burnished his business-friendly credentials.In a paean to Modi for the latest edition of Time magazine, ...
Australia fears worst for drug traffickers in Indonesia SYDNEY: Australia has made a last-ditch appeal for Indonesian President Joko Widodo to spare the lives of two drug traffickers facing execution, but Foreign Minister Julie Bishop admitted she was fearing the worst.Indonesia has advised consular officials to head Saturday to Nusakambangan, the high-security prison island where its executions are carried out and where nine foreign drug convicts have been taken.They include two Australians, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, ringleaders of the "Bali Nine" heroin ...
Sri Lanka's ex-president faces anti-graft probe COLOMBO: Former president Mahinda Rajapakse has been summoned to appear before Sri Lanka's anti-graft body later this week over bribery allegations, parliament was told Monday.Rajapakse loyalists said the 69-year-old had been ordered to present himself on Thursday before the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption.Although the commission told AFP that it would not comment on individual cases, supporters of the former president asked the Speaker of parliament -- who is Rajapakse's eldest brother ...
India's Pachauri asks court for permission to travel NEW DELHI: Rajendra Pachauri, who stood down as head of the UN climate panel in February facing investigation for alleged sexual harassment, asked an Indian court Friday for permission to travel to Greece for a water conference.The 74-year-old was barred from leaving the country pending a police investigation after a researcher at his New Delhi research institute accused him of sexual harassment -- an allegation he denies."He has moved the court because he wants the ...
India signals won't intervene for now in foreign tax row WASHINGTON: Foreign investors should not look to the Indian government for now to provide relief from a ruling requiring them to pay taxes on years of previously untaxed capital gains, Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday.U.S. and European investor groups are upset with the Minimum Alternate Taxation (MAT) measure, which would apply levies for past years at a higher rate than they had been subject to in the past. Tax experts say the ...


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Banking Review 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-1.586 bln
Exports $1.932 bln
Imports $3.518 bln
WeeklyApril 16, 2015
Reserves $16.818 bln