14 May 2017, Sun, 9:11

Bangladesh loses Tk730b for capital flight in 2014

About Tk 728.72 billion ($9.11b) were siphoned off from Bangladesh in a single year of 2014.
This was revealed by a Washington-based research and advisory organisation, Global Financial Integrity (GFI).
The study styled 'Illicit Financial Flows to and from Developing Countries: 2005-2014' that was conducted on 149 nations was released on Monday.
Lion's share of Bangladesh's lost money was taken out of the country through misappropriations in bilateral exports and import deals, said the report. GFI called its report 'high-calibre analyses'.
According to it, the amount of money siphoned off from the country equals the budget allocations for a few key sectors -- transportation, education, health, power, agriculture, and water resources.
Also, the amount is more than this year's projected VAT (value added tax) target. The National Revenue Board is hoping to collect VAT of about Tk 727.64 billion this year.
The GIF report also said at least Tk 6,068 billion billion ($75.85b) were siphoned off from Bangladesh between 2005 and 2014. The money equals the amount allocated in Bangladesh's national budget of two fiscal years.
On this, the planning commission member Shamsul Alam told Prothom Alo that it is not a good news. The amount may vary, but it is also true that some amount of money is being siphoned off from the country, he added.
He said, "Those, who are taking money out of the country, may think there is no adequate opportunity in the country to invest. Security might be another reason in this regard."
He recommended that the NBR and Bangladesh Bank should probe into the matter as the country needs huge investment for obtaining an economic growth of 8 per cent.
According to the report, in 2014, estimated illicit financial outflows range between the lowest 9 per cent and the highest 13 per cent while inflows of the illicit money into the country stands at the lowest 6 per cent and the highest 18 per cent of the total international trade through illicit financial management. On the other hand, the lowest 7 per cent and highest 11 per cent outflows while 6 per cent and 18 per cent inflows were recorded through trade misvoicing during the bilateral trade.
Policy Research Institute (PID) vice chairman Sadik Ahmed told Prothom Alo that if people lose confidence in the economy and politics, money would be smuggled out of a country. In this regard, people think investing money in foreign country is secure and profitable.
He emphasised the need for improving investment atmosphere. "Otherwise, stopping under-invoicing and over-invoicing cannot be a solution to end outflows of the illicit money."
The report, which was conducted on 149 countries, also said 24 per cent illicit money of the total was siphoned off from the developing nations. In a single year of 2014, USD 1 trillion was flown out of the countries.
The amount of the money is on the rise, the report added.