Aug 12, 2018
BD, Japan share proposals for safe return of Rohingyas
This week, Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono arrived in Dhaka on a brief visit to further promote the Bangladesh-Japan comprehensive partnership and discuss other issues of mutual interests, including Rohingya crisis. Japan, according to Japanese Foreign Ministry, will continue to fully support Bangladesh’s development on all fronts so that the country can attain “newly industrialised economy” status by 2021, through the 39th Yen Loan Package (total 200.4 billion yen). According to media reports, Japan highly commended the efforts made by the government of Bangladesh in accepting Rohingyas from the Rakhaine State of Myanmar and the ongoing dialogue with the government of Myanmar.
Bangladeshi expatriates sent home US$1,316.93 million remittance in the first month of the current fiscal 2018-19, which is 18 per cent higher than the amount received in the corresponding period of the preceding fiscal. According to Bangladesh Bank (BB), the country received $1,115.57 million remittance in July 2017. In July this fiscal, six state-owned commercial banks- Agrani, Janata, Rupali, Sonali, Basic and BDBL received $320.51 million while one state-owned specialised bank, Bangladesh Krishi Bank, received $11.63 million. Besides, the expatriates have sent $972.39 million through private commercial banks.
Honourable Prime Minister of Sri Lanka and current chair of Indian Ocean Conference (IOC) Ranil Wickremesinghe invited his Bangladesh counterpart HPM Sheikh Hasina to join the 3rd IOC-2018 to be held in Vietnam later this month. “The Sri Lankan premier phoned HPM Sheikh Hasina at 3:30 pm and talked for nearly 10 minutes. The two leaders also exchanged pleasantries. The two-day 3rd IOC-2018 will be held in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on August 27-28.
Country to get 100000 skilled drivers by 5 yrs
The country is going to get 1,00,000 skilled drivers in next five years with implementation of the Skills for Employment Investment Programme (SEIP) project, which will help reduce the road accidents significantly. The government has taken the project mainly to reduce road accidents by 50% by 2020 and meet the growing local and international demand of competent drivers. Under the project, media reports said, the drivers will not only be given motor-vehicle driving training, but also be given automobile mechanical training and moral education to make them truly efficient, and all of them will be given driving license upon completion of their training.
Budget allocation in social welfare sector was increased by four times under the incumbent government for the wellbeing of country’s people. Recently, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has launched GTP (Government to Person) online system to deliver the allowances at the right time as the number of allowance-beneficiaries under the Social Welfare Ministry has stood at over 6 million. Envisaged and implemented by HPM Sheikh Hasina, a scores of such schemes are playing a pivotal role in changing the course of million lives across the country in a space of last nine years.
The government has increased 500 seats in MBBS course of government medical colleges for 2018 academic year. There are 3,318 seats in MBBS courses in 31 government medical colleges around the country. This move clearly testifies the government’s stance and commitment to ensure health care of the people. On a similar front, another such move, known as community clinic, as put in place by HPM Sheikh Hasina, has left an instrumental mark in the journey of making maternal health better in rural areas.
The government along with the assistance from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will invest US$ 109.85 million to increase income and food and nutrition security for 2,50,000 rural households in the southern region where highest percentage of rural poor reside. The main goal of the project is to help smallholder farmers to be more responsive and competitive in producing diverse, high value crops and marketing fresh and processed agricultural products. The project will be co-financed by the Government of Bangladesh ($28.65 million), the private sector ($8.1 million), and beneficiaries ($6.6 million).
A move is underway to implement a US$ 21 million project to supply and install some 200,000 smart pre-payment meters in DESCO area to further improve its services to the clients. The main objectives of the project include further improving the standards of client services by the DESCO through digitization as well as load controlling and improving the revenue realization management. The project also aims at realizing revenue in advance, lowering the non-technical loss at zero level, simplifying the demand side load controlling management, and reducing the misuse of electricity.
The government set US$39 billion as the merchandise export target for the current fiscal year, which is 6.36 % higher than the immediate past fiscal year's achievement of $36.66 billion. Of the amount, $16.15 billion has been targeted to be gained from knitwear export, up 6.33% from that last year, and US$16.53 billion from woven items, 7.21% higher from that last year. In the current year, the government hiked the cash incentive for garment exporters in the new markets from 3 to 4% . Bangladesh considers the United States, the European Union and Canada as traditional markets while all the rest as new.
Some 38 government and private sector agencies yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding to speed up the process of clearing imported and exportable goods under a National Single Window (NSW). The electronic gateway will allow businesses to submit information related to imports and exports to regulatory authorities only once to clear their goods from the ports. The single entry point will deliver a user-friendly, electronic system that streamlines and automates procedures for international trade-related permits, licences, certificates and customs declarations, said the National Board of Revenue (NBR).
Bangladesh has urged the Southeast Asian regional grouping ASEAN, of which Myanmar is a member, to sit together and find a solution to the Rohingya crisis. Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal made the request at the ASEAN Dhaka Committee (ADC)-organised ‘ASEAN Flag Raising’ ceremony at the embassy of Indonesia on Wednesday in Dhaka. This was followed by the ASEAN Food Festival in commemoration of the ASEAN Day 2018. The planning minister said Bangladesh is facing a serious challenge due to the Rohingya crisis as the country has given shelter to over 1 million Myanmar nationals who have fled atrocities in the Rakhine State.
After the success in Saudi Arabia with ‘Expatriate Digital Centres’ (EDCs), authorities of Access to Information (a2i) project decided to launch such centres in five more countries for providing quick services to Bangladeshi expatriates. The a2i has selected five countries – Malaysia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar – for providing digital service among Bangladeshi expatriates so that they can get information along with necessary documents. With the five new Expatriate Digital Centres, the number of total centres will be stood at 11 as the a2i earlier has set six Expatriate Digital Centres (EDCs) at Dammam, Batha, Riyadh, Madinah and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
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