[Dhaka Correspondent] Grameen Bank will be able to extend its programmes throughout the country, rather than being limited only to rural areas. The council of advisers Saturday approved a proposal for an amendment to the Grameen Bank Ordinance 1983. The decision was taken at a regular council meeting, chaired by chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed at the Chief Adviser’s Office.
The 25 percent government stake in the micro-credit bank was brought down to 15 percent in line with the amendment to the ordinance. The number of government-nominated board members has been reduced to two from three. The board of directors, rather than the government, is to appoint a chairman from among the directors, the government said in a statement.
The meeting also okayed the amendment proposal to the Income Tax Ordinance 1984. Returns of up to Taka 1.5 lakh on savings certificates are exempt from tax at source (at the rate of 10 percent), up from the previous exemption ceiling of Taka 25,000. Persons within the tax free income limit, or those who earn less than Taka 1.5 lakh a year, remain free from the responsibility of paying tax at source on returns on savings certificates. Persons earning more than Taka 1.5 lakh must submit a personal return and pay taxes at the scheduled rate.
The council of advisers also approved the Acid Control (Amendment) Ordinance 2007, which included the law secretary, social welfare secretary and IGP on the Acid Control Council. The amendment gives the council power to induct new members.
The meeting reviewed the progress of turning the BTTB into a public limited company. The related ministry was directed to complete the formalities quickly.
The cabinet secretary and the secretaries of the ministries concerned were also present at the meeting of the council of advisers.