The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project (first revised) involving Tk 39,246.80 crore. It also cleared 15 other projects, including the 4th Primary Education Development Programs (PEDP-4), involving Tk 38,397.16 crore. The approval came from the regular weekly meeting of Ecnec, held at the NEC conference room with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. "A total of 16 projects were approved with an estimated cost of Tk 96,235 crore,” said Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal while briefing reporters after the meeting. Of the overall estimated cost, Tk 52,685.05 crore will come from government funds, while Tk 43,221.17 crore as project assistance and Tk 328.55 crore from the own funds of the organisations concerned. Among the 16 approved projects, 12 are new while four are revised ones. The Padma Bridge Rail Link Project will be implemented by June 2024. The original cost of the project was Tk 34,988.86 crore, which has now been raised to Tk 39,246.80 crore.
[b] [/b][i]Khulna:[/i] The probe committee formed by the Election Commission (EC) has started investigation into irregularities and reasons behind suspension of voting at three polling stations in Khulna City Corporation (KCC) polls. The three-member committee talked several times to people who were concerned to the three polling stations since Tuesday morning. The investigation activities were held at the office of returning officer and regional election officer at Boyra. Chief of the probe body Khandaker Mizanur Rahman, also joint secretary of the EC secretariat, said the committee will submit a report to the EC after their investigation ends. Two other members of the committee Forhad Hossain, deputy secretary of the EC secretariat, and Shah Alam, senior assistant secretary of the EC secretariat, were present during the investigation. Yunus Ali, returning officer of the KCC election, said voting in the three polling stations will be held on May 30. For this, according to the directive of the EC Secretariat, people have already been informed about the re-election by a public declaration. Awami League mayoral candidate Talukder Abdul Khaleque won the KCC polls, defeating his nearest contender Nazrul Islam Monju of the BNP. But the election was marred by irregularities such as showdown by AL men in and around polling stations, stuffing ballot boxes and driving out polling agents of rival candidates. In the KCC polls, several polling centres saw unrealistic turnouts in between 80 to 99.94 percent while the overall turnout was less than 63 percent.
LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Engineer Khandker Mosharraf Hossain on Tuesday hoped that the country would be a developing one by 2024 under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. "Bangladesh has already attained the eligibility of graduation to a developing nation. By 2024, the country will attain the status of developing one," he told a discussion at the Holy Family Red Crescent Medical College auditorium, marking the World Red Crescent and Red Cross Day-2018. Chaired by Bangladesh Red Crescent Society chairman Hafij Ahmed Majumder, the discussion was addressed, among others, by its vice-chairman Prof Habibe Millat, MP, and treasurer Advocate Touhidur Rahman. Mosharraf said although different natural disasters hinder the pace of the country's development, Bangladesh will be able to become a middle income country by 2021 and developed one by 2041. He highlighted the different steps of the government taken to meet the challenge of various natural disasters Bangladesh faces every year.
A fire broke out at a multi-storey building at Hajipara area in Rampura of Dhaka on Sunday noon. The fire originated on the 6th floor of 12-storey ML Tower at Hajipara on Wapda Road at 1:47pm. Eleven units of fire fighters are working to extinguish the blaze, fire fighters said. Ataur Rahman, duty officer at the fire service headquarters, confirmed this to risingbd.com. It has been learnt that there is a garment factory named Asian Garments in the building.
A Dhaka court has placed Shariful Islam, the mastermind of the recent credit card fraud, on a four-day remand. Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Fahad Bin Amin Chowdhury passed the order on Wednesday, after hearing a petition sought for a 10-day remand. Tipped off, a team of Organised Crime unit of CID conducted drives in different parts of the city and arrested Shariful Islam from Mirpur area on Tuesday night.
The country's power generation hit a new record touching 10,137 megawatt on Tuesday night. A press release issued by the Ministry of Power, Energy & Mineral Resources revealed the news on Wednesday. “The electricity generation saw the record of 10,137 MW on Tuesday night. Earlier, the highest generation was 10,084 MW on March 19,” the press release read. According to the Power Division, the demand for electricity has been fixed at 12,000 MW daily across the country this summer. Electricity demand in the country is 10, 500 MW for Wednesday, according to the Power Development Board.
The High Court (HC) has ordered the authority concerned to collect revenue from all internet based platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Google, Yahoo and Amazon. In response to a writ petition, the bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal came up with the order on Thursday. The court also issued a rule asking the respondents to explain in four weeks why their inaction to realise appropriate tax, VAT and other charges from the revenues earned by different digital platforms from Bangladesh should not be declared illegal. The respondents are finance secretary; Bangladesh Bank governor; National Board of Revenue chairman; secretaries of law, telecommunication, information and communication technology ministries; Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission chairman; Newspapers Owners Association of Bangladesh president; Google; Facebook; Yahoo! Inc. and YouTube, LLC. The court also asked the government to form a special committee to assess the amount of their financial transactions in recent years and to submit an assessment report to this court by June 25.
The Supreme Court (SC) has settled a petition of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to block all bank accounts maintained by Robi after payment of due taxes. The four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order on Sunday. Attorney General Mahbube Alam and Deputy Attorney General S M Moniruzzaman represented the state in the court and Barrister Tanjibul Islam moved for Robi. Earlier, Robi agreed to pay its due taxes by Sunday after the Supreme Court cleared way for the National Board of Revenue to block its accounts. NBR froze the bank accounts of Robi Axiata Ltd, the country's second largest mobile operator, on allegations of dodging of Tk 18.72 crore in value-added tax and supplementary duty. Later, Robi went to the High Court against the NBR’s move and the High Court (HC) stayed decision of freezing all bank accounts. On Thursday, the Appellate Division cleared the way to block the mobile operator’s accounts after the NBR challenged the High Court decision.
World Bank (WB) South Asia Region Vice-President Annette Dixon said the Rohingya refugee crisis in southern Bangladesh is growing at a rapid pace and there is an urgent need to support the host communities to cope with the influx and to help the refugees who are extremely vulnerable. The WB official said this after visiting the Rohingya camps in the ***'s Bazar on Saturday. The WB South Asia Region Vice-President praised the government of Bangladesh and its people for sheltering and caring for the large influx of Rohingya fleeing violence in Myanmar. A press release issued from the organisation’s Dhaka office this noon confirmed the matter. Annette Dixon said the World Bank was ready to work with the government to help the host community and the displaced Rohingya people in ***'s Bazar. "The scale of the influx is enormous. As far as the eyes can see, lines after lines of shelters-made of plastic sheets and bamboos-stretched over the deforested hills. It is creating huge pressure on the infrastructure and services as well as on the water resources and the environment. When the monsoon approaches, the challenges with disease and natural disasters will increase," Dixon said. The press release said Annette Dixon visited the registered and makeshift camps and spoke with the Rohingyas and the local community. She also visited registration centers, health and food distribution centers, children centers and women-friendly spaces. While these efforts are helping the Rohingyas cope, they will need more support to rebuild their lives. "The people and the government of Bangladesh have shown great generosity to the Rohingya people in their hour of need. As soon as the crisis broke, with the government, the local and international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and development partners extended support. This helped save thousands of lives," she said. "But the needs are much greater. If the government seeks assistance, we can mobilize more resources to address the needs of both the host communities and the Rohingya people in a way that will continue to benefit the local people after the Rohingyas leave," she added. Dixon met local government officials and representatives of the many Bangladeshi and international relief agencies and NGOs that are working to support the Rohingya population in the ***'s Bazar area. Earlier in the week, Dixon spoke at the invitation of the government at the Bangladesh Development Forum in Dhaka. She praised Bangladesh's remarkable success in reducing poverty and advancing development. As concluded a five-day visit to Bangladesh today, she said Bangladesh is an inspiration for development-it halved the number of people living in extreme poverty and created more opportunities for all. The country is at the cusp of another transformation: that of an upper middle-income country. "The World Bank is committed to help Bangladesh address areas critical for achieving its vision of upper-middle income status," said the World Bank South Asia Region Vice President.
India will give Bangladesh an amount of $450 crore (nearly Tk 36,000 crore) as loan. Bangladesh and India signed a deal in this regard at Finance Ministry conference room of Bangladesh Secretariat on Tuesday. Economic Relations Division (ERD) of Bangladesh and Exim Bank of India signed the deal. With this, India agreed to give a huge amount of loan for third times in last seven years under Line of Credit (LOC). Bangladesh Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith and his Indian counterpart Arun Jaitley were present at the deal sign programme.
During the holy Eid-ul-Azha, the government has decided to price animal skin. Every square foot of the cow's cow's skin has been set between 50 to 55 rupees in Dhaka and 40 to 45 rupees out of Dhaka. In case of khasi and sheep, every square price of the country will be 20 to 22 taka. The price of bakery skin is 15 to 17 rupees per square foot. The decision was taken at a meeting on the skin price of the animal sacrifice on Sunday. This meeting was held in the meeting of the Commerce Ministry. The meeting was chaired by Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Industries Secretary M Abdullah, Commerce Ministry Secretary Subashish Bose, Police Representatives of IG, RAB's DIG, Leather Industry Businessmen and others concerned.
Bangladesh earned Tk3,837 crore in last eleven months (2016-17 fiscal year) by exporting frozen fish. Bangladesh Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) reported this in its updated list of June month. According to the report, the government has earned 47 crore, 28 lakh and 50 thousands US dollar in last 11 months (July to May). Earlier, the country has earned 53 crore, 57 lakh and 70 thousands USD by exporting in the 2015-2016 fiscal.