July 10, 2014
The Permanent Court of Arbitration at Hague in Netherlands has awarded Bangladesh 19,467 square-kilometres out of total 25,602 square-kilometres disputed maritime area with India in the Bay of Bengal. In the wake of the maritime boundary verdict, both governments of India and Bangladesh expressed hope that the settlement of the dispute will further enhance mutual understanding and goodwill between the two countries by putting an end to a long pending bilateral issue.
Due to the recent verdict pronounced by the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration over the pending maritime boundary dispute between Bangladesh and India, several doors of opportunities have now been opened for Bangladesh, including the prospects of more offshore oil and gas exploration . Bangladesh has only one active gas field in the Bay but this time Dhaka is eager to open up more offshore areas for exploration in the newly awarded marine territories.
To boost partnership between Bangladesh and India, recently the two countries have agreed to start coastal shipping from October of this year. This would save the wastage of $6-billion in bilateral trade in a year. During her recent Bangladesh visit, Indian External Affairs Minister- Sushma Swaraj- announced a grant of nearly $10 million to Bangladesh for implementation of various development projects. Additionally, India handed over 75-bigha land to Bangladesh which was due since 1949. On the other hand, Bangladesh allowed tax free transportation of rice for India’s Tripura State using Bangladesh’s seaport in Chittagong.
Housing and city development authorities of Bangladesh and Malaysia have signed a memorandum of understanding to construct thousands of dwellings in Dhaka, capital city of Bangladesh. Under a government-to-government (Go to Go) agreement with Bangladesh, Malaysia will use modern technology to build a 13-kilometre flyover and the high-rises which will cover everything, including keeping the buildings risk-free from earthquake and other natural calamities.
Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman said that Bangladesh has taken necessary steps to fulfill the global target of alleviating unemployment problem, ensuring inclusive growth and sustainable national development. The discussion on employment-centric sustainable development was chaired by Martin Sajdik, President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and moderated by Guy Ryder, Director-General of International Labour Organization (ILO) in the UN headquarters, New York on July 08.
Bangladesh has made much progress in workplace safety and labour rights since the signing of the Sustainability Compact last year, the European Union envoys said in its one-year review of the agreement. The key achievements in last one year include amendments to the labour law to strengthen fundamental rights at work places and registration of 187 new trade unions in the RMG industry to take the total number of unions to 323. The Awami League led Bangladesh government has increased the monthly wages and health securities for the workers as well as provided educational facilities for the children of the workers.
Bangladesh and World Bank provides solar home system for the poor people living in country’s backward rural areas and geographically outreached. The project has so far seen the highest penetration rate of installing solar home system (SHS), with 3 million being already installed, and 70,000 being added every month owing to the success of the project, World Bank will provide a further $78.3 million funding.
Bangladesh government has appointed a Vietnamese IT firm to implement a project to facilitate online submission of tax returns to increase revenue earning. The cabinet committee on public purchase endorsed the National Board of Revenue’s proposal of ‘Online Filing and Digitization of Tax Returns and Establishment of Taxpayers’.
To ensure digital information and health services for the rural people, Bangladesh launched a social service and employment based program that facilitate the women travelling through the countryside equipped with a laptop computer, a tablet, a smart-phone, a digital camera, and a glucometer. That ‘Infoladies’ project was created by anti-poverty and non-profit organization, Dnet, which lends each woman $650 for purchasing tools to be self-equipped. Through this initiative, a woman is earning average $90 per month from their services, which is more than what most Bangladeshi small farmers earn. Additionally, the benefits of digitalization are being spread to remote areas of the country.
Bangladesh Awami League