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India to launch state-backed ‘digital rupee’, tax crypto



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India will introduce a state-backed “digital rupee” and impose a 30 percent tax on profits from virtual currencies, the government announced Tuesday.

The plans are a blow to one of the world’s fastest-growing cryptocurrency markets, which has remained unregulated despite burgeoning local trading platforms and glitzy celebrity endorsements.

They make India the latest major emerging economy to rein in the sector, after China went even further in outlawing all cryptocurrency transactions last September.

“There has been a phenomenal increase in transactions in virtual digital assets,” finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman told parliament, adding that the growth necessitated a proper tax framework.


Profits made trading cryptocurrencies and other digital assets will be taxed at 30 percent, while any losses from digital transactions will not be granted offsets against other income.

A one-percent tax will be deducted at the source for all digital asset transactions above an as-yet-unspecified threshold.

Sitharaman also said the central bank would introduce a “digital rupee”, based on blockchain technology, by the end of March 2023.

“Introduction of central bank digital currency will give a big boost to (the) digital economy. Digital currency will also lead to a more efficient and cheaper currency management system,” she said.

Cryptocurrencies have been under scrutiny by Indian regulators since first entering the local market nearly a decade ago, with a surge in fraudulent transactions leading to a central bank ban in 2018. 


India’s Supreme Court lifted the ban two years later and the market has surged since, growing by nearly 650 percent in the year to June 2021 –second only to Vietnam, according to research by Chainalysis.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year warned that Bitcoin presented a risk to younger generations and could “spoil our youth” if it ended up “in the wrong hands”.

The government soon proposed banning “all private cryptocurrencies”, but ultimately held back.

Tuesday’s budget also included plans to ramp up infrastructure spending to support the economy’s post-pandemic bounceback as officials grapple with rising inflation and unemployment.

Spending will be directed to roads, railways, defence, housing and energy, as the government eyes important state polls in the coming weeks.


The most influential and award-winning tech journalist based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. President of Bangladesh Tech Journalists umbrella association name Bangladesh ICT Journalist Forum(BIJF).He works for The Daily Ittefaq and is responsible for covering news, editing posts, reviewing devices, producing video reviews, and communicating with the reader base. Journalist, editor, technology, personal technology, reviews, features, analysis, media.


Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani steps down as Reliance Jio director



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Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani has stepped down as director of Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, the conglomerate’s telecom arm said on Tuesday.

Reliance Jio said it has appointed Mukesh’s son and non-executive director Akash Ambani as the chairman of its board. Akash has been involved with the telecom unit since its launch in late 2016, where he started as a director.

India’s telecoms sector had been upended after the entry of Jio, which triggered a price war that forced some rivals out of the market and turned profits into losses.

Jio, which started out offering mobile teleservices, has been aggressively investing in services like internet broadband and forging ties with handset makers to launch low-cost smartphones and providing 5G services.


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Indian Food Festival at Amari Dhaka



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Inspired by the growing appetite of Indian culinarians in Dhaka, Amari Dhaka is going to serve the Great Indian Food Festival starting from March 25, 2022 and will be continuing till March 31, 2022. The exciting food festival aims at offering an unforgettable dining experience through an exquisite menu prepared by the Guest Chefs of India. The innovative food menu will be available across the dining outlet Amaya Food Gallery throughout the festival.

The sumptuous menu will feature different tawa and chat signature specialties such as tawa chilla, raj kachori, tawa tikki chaat, pao vaji, pani puri, papri chat, dabeli, mnissal pao, sev puri, tawa fish, tawa prones and main courses like: mutton tikka, keema kajeli, gurda kaporra, brain curry, mutton champ, mutton chapli kebab, mutton kima, rahara meat, baharra, saag meat, chicken tikka, mutton sheek kebab, chicken sheek kebab, chicken chapali kebab, chicken kima, narjasi Kofta, bhatti da murg, baher masalam. The mouthwatering deserts is going to tempt your taste buds with some amazing spreads – mawa chamcham, tawa sandesh, baked boondi, rajvogh, amrit ras, baked chamcham, malai chamcham, different verities of sandesh, anguri rasmalai, rasmadhuri and what not. The ambiance of the restaurant will reflect the colourful spirit of Indian culture. The spices and masalas mingled to create a delectable Indian’s essence throughout the festival. The food festival will witness a traditional showcase of delicacies with an elaborate menu celebrating the captivating aromatic curries, tawa specialties, chaats, flavorful biryanis, and special mithai crafted with love by the guest chefs who brings alive timeless authentic essence from the homeland. 

The price of the festival buffet is BDT 7000 NET per person, bogo will be available for selective bank cards.

This unique food festival will provide a plethora of traditional Indian dishes which are made under very hygienic conditions and presented in Indian signature style and promises an unmatched experience of delving into the gastronomic Indian delights.


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India seeks to overtake China as the fastest growing economy in the world



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India is going to step up spending to $529.7 billion in the 2022-23 fiscal year to build public infrastructure and drive economic growth to 8-8.5%, as it looks to dethrone China as the fastest growing economy. 

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the annual budget on Tuesday, said total government spending in FY23, beginning in April, will be 4.6% more than the current 2021-22 fiscal year.

But inflation poses a major risk for the country in achieving the targeted economic growth rate, according to an economic survey tabled by Sitharaman just a day ago.  

There is a threat of imported inflation from the depreciating rupee value against the US dollar and the rising global oil prices that have touched $90 a barrel last week, the survey found.


“Although the high wholesale price index inflation is partly due to base effects and will even out, India does need to be wary of imported inflation, especially from elevated global energy prices,” the survey reads.

The consumer price index (CPI) or retail inflation shot up to 5.59% in December last year from 4.91% in November.

What does high inflation in India mean for Bangladesh? 

Zahid Hussain, former lead economist at the World Bank Bangladesh office, said that even before this year’s proposed budget, India’s rising inflation was identified as one of the biggest challenges behind the country’s rapid economic growth.

“I think this inflation will continue even in the third wave of the ongoing coronavirus in the country. And if that happens, it will affect our economy as well. In particular, our import costs may increase slightly,” Hussain warned.


“Our business and economic ties with India are very old. Moreover, the import-export relationship between the two countries is quite strong. Especially our imports from India have been increasing for the last few years,” he told media.

“A recent Policy Times report predicted that Bangladesh would be the fourth largest export destination for India in the current FY22. So, Bangladesh is becoming important for them day by day. However, if this picture of import is different for us, the open market will remain,” the economist also said.

Shahidullah Azim, vice-president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA), said that Bangladesh imports yarn, fabric, cotton, and some other apparel-related raw materials from India.

“If the inflation rate rises in India, it will have an impact on the overall economic activity of the country. So naturally, there is a strong possibility that the prices of the products we import will go up,” he added.

However, he said, in this global free-market economy, there is no chance of being dependent on any particular country for both export and import.


“If the prices of Indian products go up, we have to find another market to meet our import demand,” he added.

He also said that there are many countries in the world that export RMG related raw materials.

“If the prices go out of our reach, then we have to rush to those countries to find new import sources,” he added.

A director of Savar-based Aboni Fashions Limited also said their factory imports a major portion of yarn and fabric from India.

“Being a neighbouring country, it is quite convenient to import raw materials from India as it saves costs and lead time,” he added.


But if the price of apparel-related raw materials increases due to inflation, it is natural to look for a new market, he added.

In the first seven months of the current fiscal year (April-October of 2021), Bangladesh’s imports from India increased by 81% over the same period of the previous fiscal year, amounting to approximately $7.7 billion.

Spending spree to boost growth in FY23 

India will allocate trillions of rupees to expressways, affordable housing and solar manufacturing to put growth on a firmer footing in FY23, the Indian finance minister said while presenting the budget on Tuesday.

Sitharaman said public investment must continue to take the lead and pump prime private investment and demand.


“The economy has shown strong resilience to come out of the effects of the pandemic with high growth. However, we need to sustain that level to make up for the setback of 2020-21,” she said.

She announced spending of $2.68 billion for a highway expansion programme and said 400 new trains would be manufactured over the next three years, reports Reuters.

The fiscal deficit for the current year would be 6.9% of the GDP, slightly more than the 6.8% targeted earlier, the finance minister also said.

For the next fiscal year, the Modi government is targeting a deficit of 6.4% of GDP, hoping to build on higher tax revenues and privatisation of state firms.

Abheek Barua, chief economist of HDFC Bank, told Reuters that the 2022-23 budget finely balanced fiscal retreat with supporting economic recovery. 


“It focused on a familiar strategy of driving capital expenditure to drive growth, with the intention of crowding in private investment through higher public spending. Although markets could be disappointed with a higher fiscal deficit of 6.4% of GDP for FY23 than expected, it is perhaps prudent to not undertake aggressive fiscal consolidation at this nascent stage of recovery,” he added.

Christian de Guzman, senior vice president at Moody’s Investors Service, said: “Despite the higher-than-expected growth, we still saw a fiscal deficit that was wider than what was budgeted. That continues to demonstrate the risks that are still ongoing from the pandemic.”

Sitharaman also said the central bank would introduce a digital currency in the next fiscal year using blockchain and other supporting technology.

But India’s central bank has voiced “serious concerns” around private cryptocurrencies on the grounds that these may cause financial instability.

Financial aid for neighbours, Tk345 crore for Bangladesh


Meanwhile, India has also announced a Rs300 crore (approximately Tk345 crore) annual budgetary financial assistance for Bangladesh in FY23, up from the Rs200 crore (Tk230 crore) in the current fiscal year.

It has also allocated Rs200 crore as aid to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan and Rs600 crore to military-run Myanmar. 

Nepal will get Rs750 crore as foreign aid from India, the Maldives will get Rs360 crore, Bhutan will get Rs2,266.24 crore, and Mauritius will get Rs900 crore.

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