July 06, 2017
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Bangladesh marked the first anniversary of the nation’s worst terrorist attack by a group of militants with promises to continue to fight the menace. According to media reports, countrymen thanked Honorable Prime Minsiter Sheikh Hasina for the courageous role it has put up in resorting a sense of security in public life through the launching of a massive crackdown that resulted in a number of top guns of radical groups were neutralized, alongside recurrence of such incidents came down to a zero. On the other hand, the government has approved compensation packages worth €300,000 for the families of 20 local and foreign victims who died in the attack last year.
A target has been set of freeing another 18 million people from poverty by 2020 under its visionary project - "One House, One Farm". The project in two phases had already provided support to nearly 10.5 million ultra poor of over 2.2 million households at 40,527 villages under 485 upazilas of all 64 districts across the country. The target will be achieved by providing financial and livelihood support to 3.6 million households from a special allocation worth $992 million.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has featured distinctively in a book written by a US human rights activist on 18 current national women leaders from around the world. Author Richard O’Brien has prominently penned the Bangladesh leader’s life, struggle and achievements in the book. Hasina’s photo is also on the cover page alongside six other world leaders. In the book, titled ‘Women Presidents and Prime Ministers’, the author dedicated three pages to describe her dedication and hard struggle for restoration of democracy and voting rights, attempts on her life, her time in jail as well as historic achievements as the three-time prime minister of Bangladesh.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Secretary General Yukiya Amano has expressed satisfaction over the safety standards of Bangladesh’s maiden nuclear power project in Pabna’s Ruppur. Bangladesh is on the right track with the construction of the nuclear power plant as the benchmarks prescribed by an IAEA delegation during a visit earlier in 2010 has duly been fulfilled. Reaffirming his commitment, the expert said IAEA will continue to help Bangladesh in various sectors where nuclear techniques will be used peacefully like Rooppur power plant and health and agriculture sectors.
POWER AND ENERGY
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Russia's state nuclear corporation, Rosatom, reassured that the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP) will have the highest safety standard to protect environment, humans and others from exposure to any hazardous element. Rosatom is developing the Rooppur Power Plant in Pakshey, Pabna to produce 2400 megawatts of electricity in two phases in 2022 and 2023. Media reports, quoting officials, implied that, German and French specialists joined hands with experts from that corporation to build the plant with the state-of-the-art technologies, ensuring highest safety standard.
With an aim for building capacity of the government officials for successful negotiation on power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the contractors, around 180 officials from different state-owned enterprises in the power sector participated in a training scheme. On a similar note, the government has taken steps to send some 300 to 400 engineers abroad next year for long-term training, said the junior minister. Some of them would be trained on coal-fired power plants, some on LNG (liquefied natural gas) fired power plants and others on IT (information technology).
SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUITY
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A housing scheme, envisaged and implemented by Honorable Prime Minsiter Sheikh Hasina, has stood out as a stellar success with as many as 0.16 million homeless families were provided with housing facilities in course of several years. Under the project, at least two persons of a family are given a week-long training on small industries, fisheries, nursery, handicrafts, garment industry and tailoring. Each of the participants is provided a daily allowance of US$2 during the training period. Since 2010, a total of 25, 240 families had been provided training under 240 projects, spending over $111 million.
A new scheme has been rolled out to get assistances worth $95.24 million for rural and peri-urban housing finance project in Bangladesh. Under the scheme, loans would be distributed to construct 4,050 units in rural areas, 2,825 units in peri-urban areas and 1,101 units for non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs). Impressed by the move, officials of Islamic Development Bank, also expressed keen interest in providing low-cost home financing for low-income rural people as part of project assistance.
Around 2,00,000 poor working mothers will be entitled to allowance and training under a country-wide programme for creating awareness about mother and child health. Under the programme, each working mother will get $7 per month and they will also be imparted training on maternal health, child health, breast-feeding, sanitation, reproductive health, vaccination, family planning and prevention of child marriage.
TRADE AND INVSETMENT
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Bangladesh's pharmaceutical sector can grow at 15% for the next five years riding on the expanded domestic market as well as new export frontiers, according to a new research, released by LR Global, an asset management firm. Besides, drug purchasing power is likely to rise with sustained growth in income as Bangladesh advances into the league of middle income countries, according to the analysis. The industry also has growth opportunities in the international domain -- enough to emerge as the next thrust sector after garment.
Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) has granted a pre-qualification licence to Kishoreganj Economic Zone. This KEZ is expected to create jobs for 15,000 people within the first five years of operations. The zone will also create jobs, attract local and foreign investment and boost economic growth, said the statement.The economic zone is connected with gas and electricity networks and is close to Gochihata rail station on the Bhairab-Kishoreganj rail route.
INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL COOPERATION
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The country will receive an amount of US$1.59 billion or 178.223 billion yen as Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) for six infrastructure projects. The government signed a funding deal with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the loan package on June 29. Under the agreement, about 76.825 billion yen will be given for Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Expansion Project and 20.477 billion yen for Dhaka Underground Substation Construction Project among others.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam said Bangladesh can significantly contribute to the greater development and prosperity of India. He also said opening up a new diplomatic mission of Bangladesh in Guwahati is a clear demonstration on the part of Sheikh Hasina's government in recognising the importance of the North East of India. Shahriar Alam is leading a Bangladesh delegation to the 8th Round of India-Bangladesh Friendship Dialogue in Guwahati that began on Sunday.
During a three day official visit to Bangladesh, Myanmar's National Security Adviser Thaung Tun has stressed the need for enhancing cooperation between Bangladesh and Myanmar in the security sector. Expressing Myanmar's interest to address the differences between the two neighbours through discussions, the envoy said that economic development could help reduce tension among the two communities in Rakhine State and contribute to resolution of problems.
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