- Foreign Affairs
- November 18, 2017
The twin evils of water stagnation and traffic jams continue to hold Dhaka residents hostage despite repeated attempts to bring them under control.
Ambitious government projects have failed to reduce waterlogging and traffic congestion in the capital because politically influential land-grabbers remain in illegal occupation of water bodies, open spaces, footpaths and roads in and around Dhaka, urban planners, local government authorities and residents said.
Despite continuing partisan divide on electoral issues, ruling Awami League government has gained support among a majority of Bangladeshi respondents, an International Republican Institute survey has found.
The results of the poll, conducted in June 2015, also indicate positive public feelings about the current economic position and optimism about the future.
However, respondents cited corruption as their dominant concern.
Bangladesh’s per capital gross external debt now stands at $169, or Tk13,160, which is higher than what it was two years ago.
On behalf of Finance Minister AMA Muhith, junior finance minister MA Mannan yesterday revealed the information in parliament while responding to a query.
As on June 30, 2015, that is the last day of the immediate past FY2014-15, the country had an outstanding loan of $25,908 or Tk2,07,265 crore.
Responding to a query, Mannan said Bangladesh had paid $182.43m or around Tk1,419 crore in interests against that loan amount.
Bangladesh Railways will begin selling train tickets in advance from September 15 to ease travel for home-bound passengers ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
Railways Minister Md Mujibul Hoque made the announcement in a press briefing at Rail Bhaban yesterday.
The minister said: “Advance tickets for
Eid will be sold from September 15-19, and return tickets will be sold from September
Three career diplomats have been promoted to secretary status at the Foreign Ministry.
They are Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan Masud bin Momen, former additional secretary Mizanur Rahman and Bangladesh Ambassador to Singapore Mahbub Uz Zaman.
“They were promoted to the status of secretary on August 27,” said a senior official of the Foreign Ministry.
All of them belong to the BCS 1985 batch. With the promotions, the Foreign Ministry now has 13 secretary status diplomats including the foreign secretary.
The parliament membership of former minister Abdul Latif Siddique has been declared vacant following his resignation.
Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury made the announcement yesterday, two days after he stepped down as a lawmaker.
While tendering his resignation on Tuesday, Latif told the Jatiya Sangsad that he was doing this as per the wishes of his leader.
In September last year, the now-former Tangail MP and then telecom minister Latif faced severe criticism after making derogatory remarks about hajj and tabligh jamaat at a programme in the USA.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the country’s businessmen to tap the growing domestic market and take steps to explore the huge marine resources.
She made the suggestion at a meeting at her office with a delegation of newly elected office bearers of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), led by FBCCI President Abdul Matlub Ahmed.
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
The Anti- Corruption Commission has decided to run inquiry into the allegation against Planning Commission’s member Humayun Khalid for his alleged involvement in bribing and corruption while he was registrar of the Department of Cooperative.
But when contacted Humayun Khalid, the member of Planning Commission’s Socio Economic Infrastructure Division, denied his involvement in such crimes.
Humayun was registrar of the Department of Cooperative from June 2012 to June 2014.
The home minister yesterday claimed that investigators had not found the involvement of ruling Awami League lawmaker Abdur Rahman Bodi in any drug smuggling case.
“Investigators found many people involved in illegal yaba smuggling. But they did not find any evidence that he [Bodi] was the ring leader or involved in yaba smuggling.
In the last three fiscal years, state-controlled entities Bangladesh Post Office and Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited have both incurred revenue losses.
Figures have been particularly grim for the post office, which has never made a profit since the 2008-09 fiscal year.
Over this period, it suffered the lowest loss – Tk94.43 crore – in 2009-10 and the highest – Tk234.55 crore – in the immediate past FY2014-15.
In fact, its losses have never come below Tk200 crore in the last four years.
Government’s corruption watchdog Anti-Corruption Commission has approved the charge sheet against 14 officials of Bismillah Group and Shahjalal Islami Bank for their alleged involvement with embezzling Tk110 crore from the bank’s Eskaton branch.
The approval came from a regular meeting of the Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday, confirmed ACC Deputy Director (Public Relations) Pranab Kumer Bhattacharya.
Charges were framed against 13 people including the owner of Tazreen Fashions yesterday in a case filed for negligence that caused the death of at least 111 workers in the deadliest factory fire incident of the country in 2012.
Dhaka’s District and Sessions Judge’s Court indicted the accused and set October 1 for recording depositions of prosecution witnesses. It also ordered to transfer the case documents to the First Additional District and Sessions Judge’s Court for further proceedings.
Germany-based broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) has launched a new television channel in Dhaka aiming to cater to the audience of Southeast Asia.
The 24-hour channel will feature English programmes focusing on news and regional content for Asia, officials of the DW said during the launching ceremony at a city hotel yesterday.
The channel, called DW News, will also cover all the international top stories.
“The new DW opens a window to the world for our viewers in South Asia,” said Dorothee Ulrichs, head of distribution in Asia at the DW.
Publishers of primary-level textbook have agreed to print textbooks following the withdrawal of a some conditions set by the World Bank to maintain the quality of textbooks.
An alliance of the local printing press owners gave their consent to start printing the books by submitting a no-objection letter and started printing the books yesterday, sources at National Curriculum and Textbook Board (NCTB) told the Dhaka Tribune.
We mourn the over 150 people who drowned when two boats capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast last week.
Many of the victims were Bangladeshis who had been safely working in Libya until political turmoil took away their jobs and human traffickers were able to lure them with false promises. At least 24 Bangladeshi victims were buried on Sunday and more may be identified among bodies being recovered.
Dhaka needs a professional, grown-up city corporationIf you were one of the volunteers who joined Clean up Dhaka and Dhaka North’s mayor to sweep up garbage outside the Parbat cinema in Gabtoli last Friday, I would like to say well done.
But I cannot say thank you for the idea. Volunteers are no way to clean a growing mega-city that produces over 5,000 tons of solid waste each day.
The Norwegian Shipowners’ Association has been working internationally to improve standards of ship-breakingThe majority of ships have a 25-30 year lifecycle before reduced efficiency, increased wear and tear, and costly repairs make their continued service unprofitable.
Usually, at this point, for both commercial and environmental reasons, it is sensible to scrap the ship and recycle its materials.
Our children are not being suitably prepared for the futureSouth Asia is home to a growing youth population, and widely considered to benefit from the “demographic dividend” in the coming decades. The United Nations Population Fund’s State of World Population 2014 report, “The Power of 1.8 Billion: Adolescents, Youth, and the Transformation of the Future” therefore calls for increased investment in youths and adolescents.
The Executive Director of Alliance for Bangladesh Workers Safety, James F Moriarty, yesterday said six RMG factories have completed 100% remediation work and ensured the highest international standard of safety, but the remediation job is going slowly.
The factories are—Green Textile Ltd, Kwun Tong Apparels Ltd, Laundry Industries, Lenny Apparels, Optimum Fashions Ltd and Uni Vogue Ltd.
‘We signed a deal with Gazprom to drill five onshore wells including three SGFL wells’Three state-owned gas production companies have signed three separate deals with Russia’s Gazprom to drill five onshore gas wells – at double what Bapex would have cost.
Gazprom will be the first foreign company to work with state-owned companies in such a drilling exercise without a production-sharing contract (PSC).
Gazprom’s drilling of the five wells will cost around Tk150 crore per well, whereas Bapex could do the same job for Tk70-80 crore per well, a Bapex official said, asking not to be named.