- Foreign Affairs
- November 18, 2017
But it’s written in the starlight
And every line in you palm
We are fools to make war
On our brothers in arms
— Dire Straits, “Brothers In Arms”
The problem with Bangladesh and India’s relationship is that it is always seen through the prism of history. And this distorts the reality. Indians seem to think, perhaps rightly, that Bangladesh owes its very inception to India. Bangladeshis think, rightly perhaps, that India meddles too much in Bangladesh’s affairs.
Bangladesh to focus on connectivity, not water Connectivity, not water, will be Bangladesh’s main focus at official talks during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka.
“Our main focus of discussion will be connectivity,” Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said at a press conference yesterday.
Water-sharing is a top priority for Bangladesh as livelihoods, agriculture, fisheries and river salinity depend on it. This year saw the lowest-ever flow recorded in the Teesta River.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the county’s economy had reached the point where political movements hardly affected economic activity, growth and the budget implementation process.
“Unnecessary political movements may continue for a few days, but the common people and the government will not allow this type of political violence in the future,” he told a post-budget press conference in the capital yesterday, a day after he proposed the national budget for fiscal 2015-16.
Even though the proposed revenue target for the fiscal year 2015-16 is quite high, the National Board of Revenue is ready to achieve the target, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.
“The revenue target was increased by 23% in a year. The NBR is quite ready now [to achieve the target]. The manpower was almost doubled and complete training sessions were arranged for tax officials,” he told a post-budget press conference at the capital’s Osmani Memorial Auditorium.
The revenue target has been proposed at Tk176,370 crore for FY2015-16.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee arrived yesterday night mainly to witness the exchange of documents on Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) ratification between Bangladesh and India.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam received Mamata at Shahjalal International Airport on her arrival by an Air India flight around 8:45pm.
Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka Pankaj saran was also present.
The proposed budget has limitations with regard to credibility for fiscal planning in many areas including source of financing, revenue income and expenditure, think tank Centre for Policy Dialogue observes.
“Budgeting in Bangladesh continues to lack benchmarks on progress, expansion and plans concerning various measures and initiatives from the earlier budget,” CPD distinguished fellow Debapriya Bhattacharya said in a post-budget reaction yesterday.
The proposed budget for FY2015-16 is nothing but flowery, as its recommendations are impossible to implement, the BNP has said.
In its official reaction, the party which is absent in the parliament said the large deficit budget would eventually turn into a nightmare.
“There is no good news for the common people in the proposed budget. The proposed budget cannot be termed as people-friendly,” Asaduzzaman Ripon, acting spokesperson of the party, told a press briefing at the party’s Nayapaltan headquarters.
The provision of legalising undisclosed money will continue in future, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday.
“The system prevailed in the last budget will continue in the upcoming fiscal year and will continue in the future,” he said at a post-budget press conference in the capital, adding that the income tax ordinance has provisions for legalising such money through penalties.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith has stressed labour market expansion in the proposed budget for the FY2015-16.
Presenting the budget proposal at Jatiya Sangsad on Thursday, he said the expansion of overseas market for labour, goods and service was a prerequisite for sustainable development.
“Steps will be taken to send workers to the countries in Southeast Asia, South America and Africa.”
In a major reshuffle in the police administration, 17 top officials of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police have been transferred and given new charges.
The transfers were made following an order signed by the deputy police commissioner (headquarters and admin) under the directives of DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah on Thursday.
SM Jahangir Alam Sarker, acting deputy commissioner (media and publication) of the DMP, issued a press statement yesterday.
A lower court in the Indian state of Meghalaya yesterday granted conditional bail to detained BNP Joint Secretary General Salahuddin Ahmed in a case filed for trespassing.
Shillong District and Sessions Judge’s Court passed the order around 4pm (local time) after a hearing on the charge sheet the local police pressed against him.
BNP Assistant Office Secretary Abdul Latif Jony told UNB: “The court gave Salahuddin bail on condition that he will have to stay in Shillong and be present before the court once a week.”
Mystery deepens over the death of a trader in the capital allegedly by a sub-inspector of Gulshan police as the officer yesterday claimed that the businessman had not been killed; he committed suicide.
SI Mahbubur Rahman, also in-charge of Gulshan outpost, alleged that family members of businessman Nur-e-Alam Azad Sourov had been spreading false allegations.
His body was found at Dhaka Medical College morgue on Thursday. Doctors said he had been poisoned. No case has been filed as of yesterday.
BGMEA President Atiqul Islam yesterday urged the government to keep tax at source at 0.30%, terming the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2015-16 unfriendly for the textile industry.
In the proposed budget unveiled on Thursday, the government proposed to raise the tax at source for the RMG sector and other export oriented exporters to 1% for the fiscal year 2015-16.
Currently, the apparel makers pay 0.30% tax at source, while the other export-oriented sectors pay 0.60%.
The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI) has urged the government to limit its borrowing from banks within the target set in the fiscal year 2015-16 budget and to continue efforts to explore alternative financing sources, including Public Private Partnership (PPP).
The chamber made the call yesterday in a statement and said attaining the increased revenue target would be a major challenge as the government could not achieve the revenue target set for the outgoing fiscal year.
Despite pledges from political high ups that the country would not face any load shedding during the current summer, most people of Narsingdi have to remain without electricity almost the entire day.
People living in proper areas such as sadar upazila are getting uninterrupted power supply, but who are living in remote areas have to go through 16-hour load shedding in a day much to create frustration among common people.
Police on Thursday sent two employees of a government school in Naogaon to court after they were detained on charges of illegally setting up shops on the institution’s land.
Lafir Uddin Molla, a peon of Raninagar No 1 Model Government Primary School, and Abu Bakar Mollah, a member of the school’s management committee, were held on Wednesday.
Extreme heat prevailing in the country is hazardous not just for the living beings, It is also affecting the rail tracks making train journey in the eastern part of the country risky.
When temperature rises, it causes the steel tracks to expand. A train not mindful of the tracks may get derailed and face tragic accident.
Bangladesh Railways (Eastern) has directed all trains to go slow from 12 noon to 4pm to avoid any mishaps.
Archeological department is going to open Barisal divisional museum on Monday almost eight years after its completion.
Shirin Akhtar, additional secretary and director general of archeology department, said Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor would inaugurate the museum.
High officials of the cultural ministry, archeology directorate, divisional and district administration as well as local elites will attend the programme, she added.
Grave danger, especially for the young, could be lurking in homes around the country because of a component so ubiquitous, one rarely ever pays attention to it.
The paint that adorns walls, furniture and even children’s toys could be a dangerous source of lead contamination.
The mobile phone operators have implemented the 5% supplementary duty on all services as was proposed in the new budget, effective from Thursday, the same day the budget was placed in parliament.
The National Board of Revenue issued a Statutory Regulatory Order (SRO) shortly after Finance Minister AMA Muhith’s budget speech.
Receiving the SRO, the mobile operators immediately started updating their billing system, complying with the order.