Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said her government has taken various steps to ensure a vibrant capital market that will supplement its efforts to make Bangladesh a developed country by the year 2041.
"Various measures are being taken to protect the interests of investors which will ensure a conducive environment for a vibrant capital market," she said while inaugurating a regional seminar on 'Financial Literacy and Investment Protection' at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka city on Monday.
The seminar was organised by the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) jointly.
Sheikh Hasina said industrialisation is the key to employment generation in the country and it requires investors from home and abroad along with the investment capital.
The prime minister said the government believes that the capital market can play an important role in generating new entrepreneurs and investors through creating partnership with the common people.
"The more people will get involved in the capital market, the more it’ll accelerate our industrialisation process."
She said the present government is also working on creating a strong capital market, which will meet the long-term financing needs to the investors.
Sheikh Hasina said, “In 2019-20 fiscal year, the limit for tax-free dividend income has been raised from 25,000 to 50,000 for the investors in the market while a number of different bonds, including fixed income financial product, have been issued at our initiative while two rules have been adopted on Short Sale and Risk-based Capital Adequacy. Our government has continuously extended its all-out cooperation through providing policy support, law amendments, infrastructure building for creating a stronger capital market.”
She also mentioned that accountability and good governance have been ensured to eradicate corruption at different levels in the capital market.
The prime minister mentioned that the government has taken initiatives for capacity building of the BSEC, including a new organogram with more human resources, UNB reports.
She said the government is implementing a promotional package successfully for protecting the small investors. "Inculcation of the strategic investors has been guaranteed at the Dhaka Stock Exchange. An increased participation of local and foreign investors is observed to form venture capital and impact fund."
Sheikh Hasina said a small capital platform has been established at Dhaka Stock Exchange. As a result, she said, small and medium industries can enjoy the facility to receive capital and this will eventually create a great scope for enlistment of the start-up companies.
Mentioning that the capital market is still a retail investor-driven one, the prime minister emphasised making the capital market vibrant. "We need to increase the participation of institutional investors in our market."
She said a countrywide programme on investment literacy has been launched to create a knowledge-based investor community. By this time, Bangladesh Academy for Securities Market (BASM) has been established.
To reduce the risk of individual investors, she said, the BSEC is running a country-wide investment literacy programme. Under this programme, the BSEC has already arranged a financial literacy programme at the divisional level which will gradually be extended to the district level.
"In fact, investors are the main driving force of the capital market. If investors take informed decision, it will, on the one hand, help reduce investment risk and on the other hand, it will also act as a supplementary element in ensuring stability of the market."
Sheikh Hasina said the government believes that the knowledge and techniques of investment for all the related stakeholders of the capital market, including retail investors, will accelerate the process of financial inclusion. "Not only the small investors, all the stakeholders from different walks of life and policymakers in this regard should be well aware of this financial and investment tools and techniques to be included into this financial system."
ADB Country Director Manmohan Parkash and BSEC Chairman Dr M Khairul Hossain also spoke at the programme.