Bangladesh Economy thread

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by leonblack08, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    This thread is dedicated to the economy of Bangladesh.

    Despite the Global crunch,Alhamdulillah,we Bangladeshis have not been affected as much as the bigger economies did.Hopefully we will not face it,inshallah.

    I will be updating this thread and hopefully you will join.

    Thank you.
     
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  3. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    Cement makers fortify Indian foothold

    [​IMG]

    Bangladesh's cement exports to seven north-eastern states of India, also known as 'seven sisters,' have marked a rise in recent months, which is, manufacturers think, because of the reputation the local quality cement brands have earned in the neighbouring country.

    Besides quality, competitive price of the construction material has encouraged the Indians to use Bangladesh made cement in public infrastructure development works in the 'seven sister' states, especially Tripura and Assam.

    Around 12,000-14,000 tonnes of cement a month are now exported to India, while the item's monthly export figure was 8,000 tonnes a year earlier, Bangladesh Cement Manufacturers Association data show.

    "Apart from the reputation of quality, cheaper costs to transport cement from Bangladesh to the Indian states because of much more geographical closeness than the western part of the neighbouring country have also contributed to the high demand for our cement, " said Mostafa Kamal, president of the cement makers' trade body.

    Kamal also expressed his pride about Bangladesh made cement's quality and competitive price despite the fact that the country is dependent on the imports of raw materials, mainly clinker, for the item when India by its own produces the necessary raw material.

    Bangladesh imports clinker from China, Indonesia and other countries.

    Abdul Quayum Mia, executive director of Madina Group, the parent company of MTC Cement Industries Ltd, also pointed to the huge infrastructure development works in 'seven sister,' which helped raise the demand for cement.

    An official of MI Cement Factory Ltd, a leading cement exporter that produces Crown Cement, said recently the company has received an export order of 12,000 tonnes of cement from Tripura.

    Officials of Holcim (Bangladesh) Ltd said it exported 32,000 tonnes of cement in 2008.

    "On an average we can export an amount between 2,500 and 3,000 tonnes a month to India," said Shankar Kumar Roy, general manager (Business Development) of Holcim.

    Mujibur Rahman, deputy manager (Export) of Seven Circle (Bangladesh) Ltd, said his company has, for the first time, exported cement to India through water vessels.

    "We exported around 8,000 (400 tonnes) bags to West Bengal in early June through waterways, while cement is usually exported by road," said Rahman.

    The sector people are upbeat on achieving the feat of increasing exports to India, although the Indian government has, from this year, imposed around 26 percent duty on the imports of cement from Bangladesh.

    They expect the exports to rise up to 20,000 tonnes a month in near future if demand continues.

    Some 10 local and multinational cement manufacturers out of the 35 cement factories in operation export their products to Indian states.

    Shah Cement, Meghna Cement, Aramit and Premium are other brands that are also in the export-basket. Local manufacturers can produce around 20 million tonnes of cement annually against the demand for 8.5 million tonnes.

    Meanwhile, the industry insiders have pointed to the other side of the coin. They said they struggle locally because of the low price on the item's falling demand.

    "In the last few years prices of all types of construction materials, except cement, have showed an upward trend, though raw material prices went high," said the cement makers' association chief.

    He urged the government to intensify public works to create domestic demand for the cement industry.

    [email protected]

    The Daily Star - Details News
     
  4. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    [​IMG]

    Stella Maris, a ship made by Ananda Shipyard, to be handed over to its Danish buyer Stella Shipping today, Inset, Workers paint a ship at Ananda Shipyard & Slipways. Photo: Syed Zakir Hossain

    Heavy Industry
    Shipbreakers to shipmakers
    Sohel Parvez


    The bright red paint was splashing all over the clothes of Ismail Hossain, but nothing could cover the radiant smile of the youngman as he brushed on the colour to the deck of the 'Stella Maris'--the ship that heralds the return of Bangladesh to the global shipbuilding industry.

    “It's exiting. This ship, made by our own hands, is going abroad. Wherever it goes, everyone will say, it is made in Bangladesh,” cheered the 17-year old painter yesterday, as the shipyard hurried to ready the vessel in time.

    Today Ananda Shipyard, one of the biggest local shipbuilding companies, will deliver the 'Stella Maris, a vessel with a capacity of about 3,000 dead weight tones, to its Danish buyer Stella Shipping.

    Yestreday, painters Ismail, Aynal, Rahim and hundreds of their colleagues at the Ananda Shipyard and Slipways on the northern bank of the river Meghna at Sonargoan, were in joyous mood, and they have good reason to celebrate.

    Not since the first half of 19th century has Bangladesh been in the business of producing ships for global buyers. Now however local shipbuilders are working with about US$ 400 million worth of orders for over 40 vessels for buyers from Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and Mozambique.


    “It was my 25 years' dream to see Bangladesh as a shipbuilding nation. Now it is going to happen,”
    said Dr Abdullahel Bari, chairman of Ananda Shipyard.

    A country that has become known as a nation for shipbreaking, is rapidly becoming a nation of shipmaking.

    And the area does have a rich history in the shipbuilding industry with accounts found in the writings of many travelers who visited Bengal more than two hundred years ago. It is said that the British Navy used ships built in Bengal in the famous battle of Trafalgar in 1805 where Nelson defeated Napoleon's fleet.

    But the industry, based mainly in Chittagong, started waning in the latter part of the nineteenth century due to the use of steam engines and the discriminatory policy of British colonial rulers who were determined to protect the shipbuilding industry in the United Kingdom, despite claims that Bengali ships were cheaper and more durable, according to Banglapedia.

    Shipbuilding did not vanish, but retreated to focus on local demand and today there are about 300 small and large dockyards, generating about 100,000 jobs.

    Now however the industry is changing with companies such as Ananda and The Western Marine Shipyard again building ships following global standards.

    The success of these two companies has encouraged a number of companies such as Meghna Group of Industries, Rangs Group, Khan Brothers and Narayanganj Engineering & Shipbuilding to join the rally and grab the opportunities in the global shipbuilding market.

    “I dreamt of building ships in my country when I saw people in other countries constructing them. It's great that we are now building ships after over one century,” said Md Sakhawat Hossain, managing director of Western Marine Shipyard Ltd.

    Behind the resurgence of the industry is the global rise in the demand for new ships, especially smaller ones with a capacity below 15,000 dead weight tones (DWT). This has helped Bangladesh attract the attention of international shipping companies as traditional shipbuilding countries such as Japan, China, South Korea and Vietnam are not interested in building ships with under 20,000 DWT.

    “There is demand for small vessels with capacity between 3,000-15,000 DWT. Bangladesh is getting orders from international shipping companies due to its cheap and good workers,”
    said CF Zaman, country manager of the ship inspection company Germanischer Lloyd in Bangladesh.

    According to industry people, the global market for small vessels is about $400 billion with India the main competitor to Bangladesh.

    “If we can grab one percent of the small vessel market it will be $4 billion,"
    said Md Saiful Islam, chairman of Western Marine Shipyard.

    Bangladesh, a riverine country, is getting orders from international shipping companies due to relatively cheap labour, industry experts said. But skilled workers, know-how and infrastructure have also helped Bangladesh gain the attention of shipping companies.

    According to stakeholders, thousands of Bangladeshis are now employed in shipyards in Singapore, Korea and Dubai. Some of these workers have started to return to local shipyards.

    “We have thousands of skilled workers working abroad. Some of them are coming back,” said Afruja Bari, managing director of Ananda Shipyard.

    However the sector has to depend on importing almost all the raw materials, ranging from engines to electronics and sanitary items such as toilets and washbasins.

    “Even after that our local value addition is about 30-35 percent due to having skilled manpower,” said Western Marine Managing Director Sakhawat Hossain, “Our value addition will be much if we can develop backward linkage in sectors such as electric cables and sanitary items.”

    Experts, referring to the present 3-5 percent annual growth in global shipping tonnage, said the demand for vessels, especially smaller ones, will remain for the next eight years and Bangladesh can exploit the opportunity if the government takes a pragmatic look at the issue.

    “There is no policy for the sector. But a pragmatic policy is urgently needed for allowing the industry to grow in a disciplined manner,” said Germanischer Lloyd Bangladesh's chief Zaman.

    He said, “I am sure it will be a multi-billion dollar industry in coming days and export orders will reach the US$ 1 billion mark by 2011. We will have to frame a policy in the next six to 12 months.”

    The workers of Ananda Shipyard have produced the Stella Mairs while also working hard to produce other vessels for Denmark, Germany and Mozambique. The Stella Maris, now at the anchorage of the Ananda Shipyard at the Meghnaghat, will sail for Denmark soon.

    Like Islamil, Aynal, another young worker, is happy and sharing joy with his colleagues.

    “It will remain in my memory for a long time.” said Aynal.

    [email protected]

    :The Daily Star: Internet Edition
     
  5. SATISH

    SATISH DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    Hope you guys launch a satellite soon. Yhis might help the country advance its electronics and software base.
     
  6. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    Food, disaster management get highest budget allocation
    Star Online Report

    The parliament today passed a Tk 1,13,819 crore budget for fiscal 2009-10 in absence of the main opposition BNP with food and disaster management ministry getting highest allocation.

    The budget for the new fiscal year beginning from July 1, 2009 outlines Tk 1,89,960 crore in gross expenditure, including revenue and development spending, and Tk 1,13,819 crore in net expenditure.

    According to the budget, food and disaster management ministry would get a maximum allocation of Tk 12,946 crore in both development and non-development sectors.

    The defence ministry received the second highest allocation of Tk 8,199 crore while the third highest allocation of Tk 7,934 crore went to the Local Government Division.

    As the main opposition BNP remained absent in the whole budget session, their cut motion proposals were not placed in the House.

    Only some cut motion proposals of independent lawmaker Fazlul Azim were placed.

    Since the opposition lawmakers were absent, the process of passing the budget was completed very quickly. It took about two hours.

    Earlier, on Monday Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Finance Minister AMA Muhith gave concluding speech on the budget.

    The Daily Star - Details News
     
  7. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    Govt worried about garment unrest: Muhith


    Finance Minister AMA Muhith today said in Parliament the government too worried about the unrest in garment sector and the prime minister has directed all concerned to take necessary steps to control the prevailing situation.

    He said it is usual that criminals seek shelters to the new government with the change of power. “We are aware of this. We are also worried about the garment sector,” Muhith said while replying to independent lawmaker Fazlul Azim’s cut motion on home ministry’s demand for grants in the House.

    The finance minister spoke on behalf of Home Minister Sahara Khatun who was absent in Parliament due to her illness. On the current state of police administration, he said the police forces have been criminalised and it is difficult to get rid of the situation.

    Garment workers on Monday burned down six factories, two warehouses and several vehicles of Ha-Meem Group in Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital. They also vandalised 50 other factories and over 20 vehicles.

    While speaking on his cut motion, independent lawmaker Fazlul Azim demanded that the government take tough action to control unrest in garment factories in Ashulia. He said garment workers are not involved with the unrest.

    “Outsiders are engaged with the conspiracy to destroy our garment industries,”
    Azim said.

    The finance minister said the government is mulling over formation of industrial police unit to control untoward situation in garment factories.

    Replying to a query, Home Minister Sahara Khatun a few days ago informed the Parliament that a proposal for setting up industrial police unit is now under consideration of the finance ministry.

    The Daily Star - Details News

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A very bad moment for Bangladesh's garments industry.It has been found that rioters are mostly outsiders who vandalises for political or other motive,in the process damaging our industries.

    [​IMG]

    Ha-Meem factory burnt down by outsiders,while its workers tried to defend it but to no avail.
     
  8. F-14

    F-14 Global Defence Moderator Senior Member

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    sad prety sad think about how many works will lose their bread and butter
     
  9. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Jute Bags export rise as shopping goes eco-correct​


    Kawsar Khan

    Eco-concerns drive demand for biodegradable bags on the global market, giving rise to the exports of shopping jute bags from Bangladesh.

    Jute goods makers export around 100,000 shopping bags a month on average to different countries. They hope scope for more shipments will widen next year, as some European countries are set to ban polythene bags in 2010.

    “In our products line, shopping jute bags are the most popular among importers as European and American consumers are opting for environment-friendly bags which can be used repeatedly,” said Milton Suranjit Ratna, a senior officer of Corr-The Jute Works, the handicraft marketing and exporting trust of Caritas Bangladesh.

    Corr-The Jute Works exported over 600,000 jute bags in 2008 mainly to Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, UK, USA, Canada, Japan, Switzerland, South Korea, and France.

    Creation Private Limited, a jute goods maker, exports around 50,000 shopping bags to those destinations a month.

    Two years ago, the number of jute bags exported by Bangladesh would not exceed 100,000 annually, said the sector people.

    A global initiative for banning environment-unfriendly shopping bags and declaring the year 2009 by the United Nations as International Year of Natural Fibres has fuelled demand for jute bags.

    According to media reports, France and Germany will ban the use of non-biodegradable polythene bags next year. Also, the US is looking for a viable alternative to polythene bags.

    San Francisco has completely banned plastic bags. Los Angeles will do so in 2010. Also, Washington, D.C.’s city council is set to vote on a five-cent-a-bag tax later this month.

    Now the United States uses an estimated 90 billion thin bags a year, with most used to handle produce and groceries.

    Achim Steiner, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, has recently called for a ban on polythene bags and said: “Single-use plastic bags which choke marine life should be banned or phased out rapidly everywhere. There is simply zero justification for manufacturing them anymore, anywhere.”

    The global context has made a multi-billion dollar global shopping bag market, opening up a huge opportunity for the country’s golden fibre.

    On the potential of jute bag exports from Bangladesh, the sector people viewed that non-perishable polythene bags will go out of market in the years to come, driving demand for Bangladeshi jute bags.

    On the other hand, more and more chain shops around the world are phasing out the use of polythene bags in their shops and using bio-friendly natural fibre bags instead.

    Ratna said only the UK-based retail chain Tesco requires around 1 million shopping bags — made of natural fibre — a month that it now buys from India.

    “Tesco had approached us to buy bags but we could not take their order as our bags were costlier than in India,” said Rashidul Karim Munna, managing director of Creation Private Limited.

    Munna said local bag makers buy jute fabric from the domestic market at higher prices than what foreign importers pay for the same fabric from Bangladesh — a setback that makes the local industry less competitive than its rival in India, the main importer of jute fabric.

    “When we buy jute fabric, the jute mills add the money of export incentive to the cost of fabric as they don’t get any incentive when they sell to us,” Munna said.

    “Unlike in India, jute bag makers in Bangladesh do not get export incentive,” he said.

    “It is very sad that even after buying raw materials from Bangladesh, India can sell shopping bags at lower prices,” he said. A shopping bag sells at $1.

    Despite having all the difficulties, however, increasing orders are pushing bag manufacturers to expand their capacity.

    “Due to the increased demand we will set up a new bag manufacturing unit in Tongi, which will go into operation next month,” said Bertha Gity Baroi, acting director of Corr-The Jute Works.

    The sector people believe Bangladesh has every chance to strengthen its foothold in the billion-dollar shopping bag market.

    “We could easily double our production and exports if we got proper government support,” an official of Corr-The Jute Works which has long been reputed for exporting handicraft products.

    Jute bag exports rise as shopping goes eco-correct Bangladesh Economic News
     
  10. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Private healthcare booms at poor's expense

    Private healthcare has boomed over the last decade as commercially-run hospitals, clinics and pathological laboratories mushroomed in urban centers on soaring treatment costs in the name of better care.(The Financial Express)

    Catering exclusively to cash rich upper and mid income people, these privately run health institutions are ripping off public pockets while narrowing the access of good healthcare to country's mainstream population.

    A wide-ranging survey by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, studies by private insurance companies who sell health coverages and anecdotal evidences have revealed the extent of this "disturbing trend".

    The BBS survey released last month found that annual turnover of the country's privately-run healthcare operators have shot by seven times to Tk 20 billion in 2005-06 from Tk 3.2 billion in 1997-8.

    It also shows that the annual expenditure of these establishments have soared by a staggering 15 times to Tk. 74.7 billion in 2005-06 from Tk. 12,065 million in 1997-8.

    Their unbridled and unregulated expansion means private health care institutions now make up 81.17 percent of the Tk 91 billion value added to the country's Gross Domestic Product by the health sector in 2005-6.

    The contribution of the government's health care system, which was more than 50 percent in early 1990s, has diminished to a meagre 18.83 percent.

    Experts said the BBS survey confirms the fear that the country's healthcare is becoming increasingly privatised at the expense of tens of millions of poor.

    "Continuous increase in private sector healthcare cost means that proper access to healthcare is gradually going out of majority people's reach," Prof Dr. Pran Gopal Dutta, Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), said.

    "This is also a question of ethics and social conscience because at the end of the day, providing health care is not a business, it is above all a social duty," he added.

    The BBS survey says there were a total of 4015 private health care firms active in the country in 2005-06, which includes privately run hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and pathological laboratories. This number was only at 2003 in 1997-98.

    "These are ominous signs. It depicts a sorry state of affairs in the country's public health care system," Dutta said.

    These institutions employed 56,184 health workers including doctors and medical practitioners in 2005-6, up form 14,742 in 97-98. Most of these establishments are run in single ownership or partnership.

    The number of beds in these hospitals and clinics in 2005-06 were 29,056, which is 43.55 percent of the national total, up from 11,371 in 1997-98.

    Former health department officials said lack of accountability and services by public hospitals, poor compensations for government doctors and nurses and fund crunch led to this situation.

    "Every year, new hospitals are popping up in major cities and towns in the country. They thrived on a systematic failure on the part of state-owned health case establishments," an ex-health ministry top official said.

    Apart from their high cost, these private health care institutes are overwhelmingly urban centric spawning in and around posh urban locations while ignoring the need of the large rural or suburban mass.

    "In the past three decades, at least five health policies were formulated by the governments to fix the chronic inefficiency problem in the public health care system," the former official said.

    "But each has failed to improve public sector healthcare system in the country, allowing the space to be filled up by profit-hungry private hospitals and labs," he said.

    Government figures show that although public expenditure in health has steadily risen over the years, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the budgetary expenditure, services by state-owned hospitals remained as poor as ever.

    "There was no accountability, no major changes in the way government hospital serves people and no significant hike in doctors or nurses' compensation. As a result, government hospitals are now nobody's baby, despite huge annual cash injection," he added

    According to the BBS, the government's budgetary allocation for health sector, which was 16,959 million in 1997-98, increased to Tk 42, 141 million in the year 2005/06.

    Data by insurance companies also depict sky-rocketing costs in the private hospitals and labs.

    "While a typical surgical operation would cost Tk 5,000 in a public hospital., the same surgical operation may cost Tk. 20,000-25,000 in a privately run medium quality clinic," said a senior insurance official.

    A basic urine test in a government hospital typically costs Tk. 20, but the same test costs Tk 75-100 in a private pathological lab.

    The official said while daily charge of an ICU bed in a public hospital ranges between Tk 1500 and Tk 2000, the rate would go as high as Tk 25,000 in a well established privately-run hospital.

    "Since 2000 when our company started selling health insurance coverages, we have seen that health care cost is rising between 15-20 percent a year in private hospitals and clinics."

    Private sector operators pointed that the rise in health cost in the private sector has, at least in part, been helped by the increase in price of medical equipment in the world market.

    "Although the amount of profit made by these private clinics or hospitals has increased manifold lately, so is their expenditure," said an owner of a top private hospital in the city.

    He said the price of a typical MRI scanning machine for example, which was Tk. 50 million five to six years back, has gone up to Tk 100 to 120 million.

    The Bureau of Statistics survey also supports his view to an extent, as it found that lion's share in private healthcare operators' expenditure is made up of the cost of medical equipment.

    "How I can cope with the rising cost of medical equipment as well as cost of land, construction, furniture, transport and the ever ballooning cost of specialist doctors," the owner asked.

    http://newsfrombangladesh.net/view.php?hidRecord=272591
     
  11. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    HR defenders plight particularly precarious in Bangladesh

    Friday July 03 2009 12:52:37 PM BDT

    Human rights defenders across the globe, especially in Asia, suffered acts of repression against them in the year of 2008 due to rise of �freedom-killing practices�, said two global human rights watchdogs in their annual report of 2009.(The New Age)

    The World Organisation against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) in their joint annual report stated that acts of repression against human rights defenders in 2008 by both state and non-state actors were widespread in Asia.

    The joint report, styled �Steadfast in Protest�, was recently published simultaneously from Paris and Geneva.

    Dwelling on the situation in Bangladesh, the report said that the plight of rights defenders in Bangladesh, as well as some other countries of Asia that went through political crisis in 2008, was particularly precarious.

    �The police, paramilitary and other security forces violated the human rights of those defenders,� said the report. �Furthermore, impunity remained the rule for acts of reprisal against defenders in the entire region, since the perpetrators, state or non-state actors, continued to go unpunished.�

    According to the annual report, �The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders�, a restrictive media environment was witnessed in most of the countries in Asia.

    �The media were frequently subjected to tight controls and intimidated into self-censorship through various means of repression,� it said.

    The report stated that the mediamen of Bangladesh frequently received death threats, suffered arbitrary arrest and detention, and had to face fabricated charges and physical attacks.

    For example, those reporting on corruption, human rights violations by state security forces and police malpractice were particularly targeted, it said.

    Criticising the government for attacking indigenous rights activists, it said that in Bangladesh, indigenous activists in the Chittagong Hill Tracts were victims of arrest and re-arrest as well as continuous harassment. At least two activists belonging to the indigenous races on the plains were killed by the government security forces.

    The report was critical of the formation of the �independent� Human Rights Commission recently in Bangladesh as it was solely dependent on government fund and was manned by retired government officials selected by the government.

    http://newsfrombangladesh.net/view.php?hidRecord=272548
     
  12. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Lawlessness rules Dhaka city streets

    Saturday July 04 2009 02:20:26 AM BDT

    Shawkat Ali Khan

    Lack of proper enforcement of traffic laws and the road users� reluctance to go by the rules put Dhaka�s streets in a state of total chaos, making the commuters� life miserable on weekdays.(The New Age BD)

    Officials at the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority said they were helpless as the department concerned of the government lacked manpower to handle over 10,00,000 motorised and non-motorised vehicles plying the city roads, lanes and by-lanes.

    �The capacity of roads should be increased to tackle the situation, which is worsening day by day,� BRTA director Rafiqul Islam told New Age.

    He also suggested intensifying the law enforcement to check the movement of unfit and unregistered vehicles on the city roads.

    Illegal parking, erratic passenger lifting and dropping, poor driving sense, illicit competition and rapid lane changing without any signal cause congestion that kills the working hours of tens of thousands of people every day, he said, identifying major irregularities in the city road communication.

    The Accident Research Centre director, Shamsul Hoque, said indiscipline takes place on roads as the owners of vehicles, especially the bus owners, run their vehicles on a contract basis.

    �This contract leads the drivers to unfair competition to pick up passengers in a hurry. Besides, all the bus drivers take stoppage at the intersections instead of bus bays or other comparatively less busy place,� he said.

    �If it is possible to introduce company-based bus service, indiscipline on roads will come down significantly,� he said, adding that the traffic police should also be more active to keep the traffic in order.

    According to the Dhaka City Corporation, the total road network of the city is around 2,200 kilometres, including main roads, lanes and by-lanes and only 210km of them is main streets.

    Over 4.7 lakh motorised vehicles including car, jeep, microbus, taxicab, CNG-auto-rickshaw, bus, minibuses, truck and human haulers were registered with the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority in Dhaka till 2008, according to BRTA statistics.

    Of them, there are over two lakh cars, jeeps, microbuses and station wagons and over 15,000 public buses and minibuses.

    The statistics also shows that nearly two lakh motor-cycles, 27 thousand trucks and 25 thousands human haulers are plying the city roads.

    Over five lakh illegal rickshaws also ply the city streets, intensifying the traffic congestion, the Dhaka City Corporation sources said.

    While asked about the traffic management, the joint commissioner of traffic police Manzur Kader Khan said, �The government should increase the amount of fine and modify the existing traffic rules.�

    �If we can charge more than the existing fine, the violation of traffic rules may come down,� he said.

    http://newsfrombangladesh.net/view.php?hidRecord=272584
     
  13. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Dhaka to gain from Silk Route initiative: study

    Saturday July 04 2009 02:41:46 AM BDT

    Khawaza Main Uddin

    Bangladesh stands out to gain if it joins the initiatives to restore Silk Route through Asian Highway Network and develop sub-regional transport corridors such as Kakarvitta,Panitanki,Fulbari,Banglabandha road and Akhaura-Agartala rail link, says a study.(The New Age BD)

    The Silk Route is expected to help cross-border trading with India and Nepal by reducing transportation costs, travel time and hassles.

    The ancient Silk Route of Asia was the world's most important cross-border artery until the 13th century when this continent was a major trade and economic centre of the then world while the present design means an extensive pan-Asia interconnected network of trade routes, notes a recent study by the Tokyo-based Asian Development Bank Institute.

    It shows that the proposed Kakarvitta�Panitanki�Fulbari�Banglabandha road through India�s Shiliguri corridor called chicken neck also involves Bhutan and Nepal under the sub-regional cooperation initiative.

    Devising and implementing an arrangement for cross-border trucking operation and modernisation of cross-border management regime have also been mentioned in the institute�s working paper titled �Restoring the Asian Silk Route: Toward an Integrated Asia� jointly prepared by the institute�s Biswa N Bhattacharyay and Prabir De.

    It emphasised the role of sub-regional transport corridor programmes alongside Asian Highway Network and Trans-Asian Railway Network as part of the process of restoration of Silk Route, which is aimed at enhancing inter-state trade link across the Asian continent connecting eastern, southern, central, and western Asia with the Mediterranean, including north Africa and Europe, according to the study.

    �An Asia-wide transport network is essential for Asian countries to get their goods to market more efficiently, quickly, and cheaply, but, its overall physical progress has so far been limited,� said the paper adding that there were many social, political, economic, and technical factors behind its slow progress.

    The cabinet of the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, in the past month endorsed in principle the move to link Bangladesh with the proposed Asian Highway Network of around 141,000 kilometres to be connecting 32 Asian countries and linking them with Europe.

    The three proposed Asian highway network routes are Benapole-Jessore-Dhaka-Kachpur-Sylhet-Tamabil, Banglabandha-Hatikamrul-Dhaka-Kachpur-Sylhet-Tamabil and Mongla-Jessore-Hatikamrul-Dhaka-Kachpur-Chittagong-Cox�s Bazar-Teknaf-Myanmar border.

    The gains from Asian highway will depend on how Bangladesh�s trade interests are promoted and protected, especially its road link with countries like Nepal and Bhutan. It will be a problem, if it becomes India-centric connectivity, said Professor Akmal Hussain of department of International Relations, Dhaka University.

    The foreign policy analyst cautioned that India, as the dominant country in the region, might try to transform the highway routes into transit and exploit potential benefits by influencing the designs of the road connectivity. �Unless political concerns are addressed in promoting trade in a manner of equilibrium, resentment will be there,� he added.

    Although Asia has re-emerged as one of the major economic power of the world over the past decades of globalisation, the working paper said, �Asia�s huge economic potential remains largely untapped due to lack of region-wide connectivity.� Asia today contributes one fourth of world trade in goods.

    �As trade and investment are once again flowing rapidly between Asia and other parts of the world, a modern or restored �Silk Road� is needed to help Asia meet its full potential.�

    For four countries of South Asia including Bangladesh, the institute referred to the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation commonly called BIMSTEC and BIMSTEC Transport Infrastructure and Logistic Study completed in 2008.

    The paper mentioned that the implementation of BIMSTEC Trilateral Highway linking India-Myanmar-Thailand had also been undertaken by the member countries in 2005 for improving physical connectivity in the sub-region.

    However, absence of adequate and active overland official trade outlets and associated facilities has also been blamed for affecting transport integration in Asia, particularly between neighbouring countries such as India and Bangladesh and China and Lao People�s Democratic Republic.

    Bangladesh is one of the 18 countries that took the initiative to identify the Asian Land Transport Infrastructure Development project after 1992 although the process of identifying Asian Highway routes began in the late 1950s.

    http://newsfrombangladesh.net/view.php?hidRecord=272587
     
  14. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Ministers, ruling MPs denounce Tipaimukh plan Want bilateral talks

    Saturday July 04 2009 02:42:13 AM BDT

    Partha Pratim Bhattacharjee

    Many Awami League lawmakers and cabinet ministers believe that the proposed dam at Tipaimukh across the Barak River might cause ecological disaster in downstream Bangladesh.(The New Age BD)

    A number of lawmakers and ministers of the Awami League-led coalition government said on Friday that the government would uphold the country�s interest in any bilateral dialogue on the dam and equitable sharing of the common rivers� waters.

    A parliamentary delegation, which will be assisted by leading water experts of the country, is expected to leave for India to assess the ecological impact of the Indian project, conceived in 2003, by visiting the site.

    The finance minister, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, opined that the project, if implemented, would be harmful for the lower riparian country.

    �The proposed dam is not good for our nation as it is against the environment and nature,� said the minister, adding that when they were in opposition they launched a movement, but the then Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led government ignored their protest despite the fact that India had completed the design of the dam and floated an international tender during the BNP-Jamaat regime.

    Muhith, however, urged all concerned to wait until the Bangladesh delegation submits its report after visiting the project site.

    �As India has invited us to send a delegation to visit the site, we should make our decision after it submits its report,� he added.

    The agriculture minister, Matia Chowdhury, told New Age that the problems raised by the Tipaimukh dam should be resolved through consultation. �The government will take a decision in the highest interest of the country,� she said reassuringly.

    Textile and jute minister Abdul Latif Siddiqui, who a week ago expressed ignorance of the project at a discussion, said the proposed Tipaimukh dam would destroy the environmental balance in the region.

    �The dam is being constructed in an earthquake-prone area and after its completion millions of cusecs of water will be kept in reserve at the site, so if there is an earthquake the whole eastern part of Bangladesh will go under water,� he said.

    �It won�t be good neighbourly behaviour if India constructs the dam without consulting Bangladesh,� said Latif.

    The water resources minister, Ramesh Chandra Sen, on April 14 said that India had assured Bangladesh that the Tipaimukh dam project was not aimed at diverting water from the Barak River.

    �We have come to know from diplomatic sources that the proposed dam is a hydro-electricity generation project. The Indian authorities have assured us that they will not divert water elsewhere through the dam,� the minister told a number of lawmakers who had questioned him.

    Commerce minister Faruk Khan on May 26 said the government would not oppose construction of the Tipaimukh dam by India if Bangladesh gets certain benefits, such as the chance to import some of the electricity produced by the dam.

    �I think those who are talking too much against construction of the dam are talking without knowing anything about the dam,� said Faruk.

    Foreign minister Dipu Moni said that Bangladesh had demanded a meeting of the Joint Rivers Commission, which was formed to discuss water issues between Bangladesh and India. �We will raise the issue at the next JRC meeting,� she said.

    Dipu said the government would send the parliamentary standing committee on the water resources ministry to visit the dam�s site for analysing its effects on Bangladesh. �If the data on the Tipaimukh dam show that it will be harmful to Bangladesh, we will do whatever is needed to protect our interest,� she said.

    Industries minister Dilip Barua on Wednesday said Tipaimukh will cause environmental disaster not only in Bangladesh but also in the north-eastern states of India. �The dam is being constructed in an earthquake-prone area. If there is an earthquake after construction of the Tipaimukh dam, the whole of Bangladesh will disappear,� he claimed.

    The government has already decided that the all-party parliamentary standing committee on the water resources ministry led by chairman Abdur Razzak, along with experts, will visit the project site and submit their report to the parliament after due assessment.

    Razzak blamed the BNP for �agreeing� to let India construct the Tipaimukh dam. �We have come to know that the hydro-electric project went ahead as per the discussion and the resolutions of a meeting of the Joint Rivers Commission in New Delhi in 2003,� he said on June 16.

    Razzak, former water resources minister of the last AL government, observed that Bangladeshi experts who have been holding forth in the talk shows in television channels have little knowledge of the project, but still talk a lot about it. �I request all to refrain from talking on the issue without studying it thoroughly,� he added.

    Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on June 24 called on the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party to take an initiative on their own to send a separate delegation of water experts to India�s Tipaimukh dam site and submit a report, and the government would go through the two reports and take a decision in the best interest of the country.

    Responding to Hasina�s call, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on June 29 sent a letter to her, seeking official help to enable a seven-member team of experts, nominated by the BNP, to visit the site of the dam.

    Workers Party�s president Rashed Khan Menon said India must stop construction of the dam because it will bring about disaster in both the countries. However, he favoured solving the problem by holding bilateral talks instead of resorting to international negotiations.

    Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal�s president Hasanul Haque Inu, also a lawmaker of the ruling alliance, said the government must take political measures to stop construction of the dam right at this moment. It is a national issue therefore it must be solved in a national manner.

    AL lawmaker Mahmud-Us Samad Chowdhury termed the Tipaimukh dam a �death trap� for Bangladesh and said that its construction cannot be allowed. �The Surma and Kushiyara will dry up if the dam is built.�

    Abu Zahir, ruling alliance lawmaker from Habiganj-3, told New Age that the problem should be solved through bilateral talks and the government should not take any decision against of the country�s interest.

    AL lawmaker MA Mannan from Sunamganj expressed concern over the proposed Tipaimukh dam, saying that it would create many problems for the country. �But I think the issue should be resolved through bilateral talks with India,� he said.

    http://newsfrombangladesh.net/view.php?hidRecord=272585
     
  15. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Flood situation turns grave across country

    Saturday July 04 2009 02:45:04 AM BDT

    Thousands of people on the north and north-eastern part of the country have been marooned due to the ongoing flash-flood situation. In those areas hundreds of households were washed away by flood water causing miseries for scores of people.(The Independent )

    The Flood Forecasting Centre of the Water Development Board yesterday said that the situation is likely to deteriorate further as heavy to very heavy rainfall continues over north-east, south-eastern part of the country and adjoining Indian state Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura.

    Low lying areas on the outskirts of the city including some part son of Meradia and Badda were inundated due to the heavy rainfall.

    Low laying areas in the districts of Netrokona, Sunamganj, Sylhet and Feni are experiencing flash flood. In Kurigram flood situation has worsened with the rise in water level in the Dharla river.

    Scores of houses have been washed away by the overflowing river water at Kurigram Sadar upazila.

    Our Correspondent reports that one educational institution and dwelling houses of 65 families of Moghalbasha union under Sadar upazila went away in the river yesterday.

    At Bhurungamari upazila the households of 27 families of Halodanga and Dhaurarkuthi villages under Andharirjhar union already went away in the Dudhkumar river in the last 24 hours, local UP Chairman Fazlul Haque said.

    According to the Flood Forecasting centre water level of three more rivers rose above the danger level.

    The Surma at Sunamganj was flowing at 36 mm above the danger level, Muhuri at Parshuram was flowing 45 mm and Kangsha at Jariajanjail was flowing 35 mm meter above the danger level.

    Out of 73 river stations monitored, water level at 49 stations marked rise, at 13 stations marked fall while rivers were flowing above danger level at three points.

    The River Surma was flowing 36cm above danger level at Sunamganj while the Muhuri 45cm at Parshuram and the Kangsha 35cm at Jariajanjail.

    In Netrokona flashflood inundated low-lying areas of five unions in Durgapur upazila, four in Kolmakandi upazila and one union in Sadar upazila.

    In Sylhet, some 50,000 people in 60 villages of Goainghat, Jointapur and Companyganj upazilas were marooned due to sudden flooding amid rain and onrush of water from the hills across the border.

    In Barisal, sudden onrush of upstream waters triggered flashflood and erosion in southern districts.

    The low-lying areas in the city and elsewhere have been flooded due to last few days' torrential rain. Met office recorded 80.3 mm and 76.5 mm rain on Thursday and Friday respectively.

    Rainwater inundated the low-lying areas in Palsahpur, Balur Math, Port Road, Bandh Road, Dapdapia areas of the city and its outskirts.

    The river Kirtonkhola was flowing only 8 centimetres below the danger level yesterday.

    Erosion on east bank of the Kirtonkhola river took a serious turn because of the strong current.

    However in Khgarachhari flashflood situation is slightly improving and most of the families who took shelter in temporary flood centre went back to their homes.

    However, Dighinala Upazila Nirbahi Officer Mohammad Moniruzzaman Mia told the Independent that some families are still in the flood centre could not go back to their homes as their houses are filled with muds and silts.

    http://newsfrombangladesh.net/view.php?hidRecord=272590
     
  16. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    Thanks 1.44 for keeping this thread updated.

    Policy reforms can take Bangladesh off LDC list
    Economists tell launch of Unctad report

    Fahmida Khatun, additional director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue, speaks at the launch of the Unctad LDCs Report 2009 in Dhaka yesterday. Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguished fellow of CPD, right, and Mustafizur Rahman, executive director, second from left, are also seen. Economists say policy reforms and institutional capacity can take Bangladesh off the LDC status.Photo: STAR
    Star Business Report
    Had Bangladesh reformed its policies and strengthened institutional capacity, it would have come out of the LDC status much earlier than a UN agency prediction, an economist said at the launch of a UN report in Dhaka yesterday.

    “It is possible for Bangladesh to come out of the LDC status by 2015, although Unctad predicts the upgradation by 2024,” said Dr Debapriya Bhattacharya, distinguished fellow of the Centre for Dialogue (CPD), a private think tank.

    “Two tasks have to be done and ensured -- policy reforms and strengthening of institutional capacity,” he said.

    The Unctad LDCs Report 2009: The State and Development Governance was unveiled by Fahmida Khatun, the CPD's additional director (research).

    The LDCs (least developed countries) category was established in 1971, and since then, only two countries -- Botswana in 1994 and Cape Verde in 2007 -- have graduated to developing nations. Samoa is expected to get out of the LDC list in December 2010 and the Maldives in January 2011.

    Now the number of LDCs is 49.

    Referring to the report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, which suggests good development governance, Bhattacharya said, “If development could not be brought in the centre of good governance, neither development nor good governance is possible.”

    The economist was upbeat on Bangladesh's graduation to a developing country, linking it to the effectiveness of both the state role and market system.

    He pointed out that Bangladesh's economy and human assets will be a good support in coming out from the world's poor-country club. Bhattacharya, however, said, “The global climate change will be a concern for the country, as this change will enhance economic vulnerability or risks,” he said.

    Pointing to a change in the traditional thinking for development on the back of the recent global financial downturn, he said, “Each country will have to think now for development in its own way.”

    He also stressed a private-public coalition to ensure investment in every sector for development.

    According to the Unctad report, six LDCs, including Bangladesh, did not prioritise governance in their Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, or PRSP.

    While presenting the report, the CPD's additional research director pointed to its observation that inflation rate was not a major problem in recent days. Fahmida said the high real rate of interest is a concern for investment.

    “Such a rate jeopardises long-term growth by raising the cost of making public and private investment,” she said.

    The Unctad report lauded Bangladesh's ability to manage the food crisis during late 2007 and early 2008 through the public food distribution system.

    However, the report pointed to Bangladesh's food security's vulnerability to climate change.

    The UN report also pointed out that despite LDCs' recent strong performance, high growth rates were unlikely to be sustained in these countries given their excessive dependence on commodity and low-tech manufactures exports, and their vulnerability to volatile external markets.

    It said in Bangladesh, the industry sector, the growth of which relied on manufacturing sector (readymade garments, or RMG), contributes about 27 percent to the gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009 and grew at a rate of around 5.9 percent.

    Although the RMG sector has created positive externalities and multipliers for economic development, productivity is still low, the report noted.

    The report also forecast a 2.7 percent real GDP growth for the LDCs as a group in 2009, a decline from an average of 7.4 percent during 2003-08.

    LDCs exports are expected to contract by 9-16 percent this year, while foreign direct investment and remittance to LDCs are also set to decline, it said.

    Unemployment, poverty and hunger are likely to rise, according to the report.

    CPD Executive Director Mustafizur Rahman was also present at the function.

    The Daily Star - Details News
     
  17. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    Business team from India due Sunday​

    Star Business Report
    A 40-member delegation of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) will arrive in Dhaka on July 19 on a three-day visit to promote trade and investment between the two countries.

    Harsh C Mariwala, vice president of FICCI, will lead the business delegation, according to an announcement of Indian High Commission in Dhaka yesterday.

    The delegation will be one of the biggest and of most diverse groups from India to visit Bangladesh.

    The visit, being organised in association with the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry, is aimed at scouting for investment opportunities in Bangladesh.

    A one-day conference on Bangladesh-India Economic Relations will be organised on July 20 at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. Commerce Minister Faruk Khan is expected to inaugurate the conference.

    Three business sessions on FDI (foreign direct investment) opportunities between Bangladesh and India, infrastructure, trade, banking, border trade and non-tariff barriers would be held followed by business-to-business meetings.

    The Daily Star - Details News
     
  18. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    I hope India and BD will gain from this mutual business engagement. With AL at helm it should not be a big hurdle for Indian business to establish new companies unlike BNP which has created hurdles all along the way for the TATA project few years ago.
     
  19. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Great step, I hope both countries will be benefited from this. I absolutely agree with DD.

    Regards
     
  20. leonblack08

    leonblack08 Respected Member

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    Bangladesh: Deep-sea port comes into operation in 2016

    Thursday, 16 July 2009
    The first phase of construction of the deep-sea port near Sonadia island in Cox's Bazar would complete in 2015 and the port would come into operation in 2016, Shipping Minister Mohammad Afsarul Amin said yesterday. After a ministerial meeting at the secretariat, the minister told reporters that the port as said in the feasibility study report would result in huge economic growth.
    The much-awaited deep-sea port will be constructed at a cost of about Tk 60,000 crore.
    The project will be implemented in three phases. In the first phase, nine jetty-berths will be constructed at a cost of Tk 13,000 crore.
    Afsarul Amin said it would take one year to have a complete design of the port.
    The minister had earlier said the project would be implemented with public-private joint investment and if necessary shares would be floated in the capital market, the minister added. The shipping ministry has taken the deep-sea port construction as a priority project to develop the entire region as a business hub.
    Thirteen percent of the estimated expenditure of the deep-sea port will be taken from the Chittagong seaport.
    Chittagong Port Authority Chairman Commodore RU Ahmed said the consultant firm has prepared the draft report on the deep-sea port after hydrographic and other studies.
    Engineer Muhammad Khademul Bashar, deputy manager of Chittagong port authority and member of a five-member technical committee in aid of consultant firm Pacific Consultants International (Japan) said the study of the deep-sea port had been continued for three years and about a 2500-page draft report was finalised in nine volumes.

    Source: The Daily Star
     
  21. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Leon, any private partner has yet been fixed ? will it be on B-O-T basis , or any partner country selected for this ? any news on that ?

    Regards
     

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