July 23, 2018
Bangladesh now world's 3rd inland fish producer
After being self-sufficient in fish production for the first time this year, Bangladesh has started to get global recognition as one of the biggest fish producers. The country was ranked third in producing fish from inland water-bodies, behind China and India, according to a report of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The country was the fifth on the list last year. In the 2016-2017 fiscal, Bangladesh produced a total of 41,34,000 metric tonnes of fish, including a first-time surplus of 84,000 tonnes. It helped the country to achieve the rank. The production of hilsa stood at around half a million metric tonnes that year, twice the amount in 2008-09.
Agriculture recorded notable improvement over the last year in Bangladesh, surpassing expectations and driving growth, Asian Development Bank said recently. The ADP especially appreciated the country’s agriculture sector. According to the report, agriculture growth in Bangladesh was higher than the previous year as the authorities offset flood-induced losses to the summer and monsoon rice crops by quickly extending seedlings and other support services to farmers. The ADB projected the country’s economic growth at 7.0% for the last fiscal year, but Bangladesh achieved 7.65% growth in FY18.
During a recent visit to Bangladesh, Indian home minister Rajnath Singh praised Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina's zero tolerance policy towards the terrorism, saying it was an inspiration for all. According to the envoy, “we have excellent cooperation between our security agencies that ensure that peace, security and development for our people and for the region remains central to our engagement”. In addition, during another meeting the Bangladesh Premier assured the Indian minister of extending all out cooperation on her part to fight out the menace of cross border crimes and to eliminate the roots of terrorism.
Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina and Deputy Prime Minister of Russian Federation YuryIvanovich Borisov jointly inaugurated the construction of the second reactor unit of Rooppur nuclear power plant. Both leaders poured concrete at a programme on the occasion of the first concrete pouring of the second unit of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant. The construction of the first reactor unit began on November 30, 2017. Currently the works on construction of the walls, reinforcement of the reactor building and the foundation slab of the auxiliary reactor building are being performed, while soil stabilization works for the evaporative cooling tower and others have already been commenced. Two units -- 1,200 MWe VVER each -- are to be built at Rooppur under the Russian design giving priority to the highest safety measures at Rooppur, some 160km from Dhaka. The VVER-1,200 reactor design has already been implemented at Novovoronezh Nuclear Power Plant II in Russia.
HPM opens electronic payment system of SSN allowances
HPM Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the electronic payment system G2P (Government to Person) for disbursement of the allowances of Social Safety Net (SSN) programs for marginalized people including elderly and physically challenged persons and widows. Under the system, more than 6.6 million beneficiaries would directly draw the money every month from banks after getting message of allowance through mobile apps and biometric verification. The system will end ghost payments of the benevolent program of the government, ensuring the beneficiaries getting allowance within a timeframe every month without any role of any middleman.
Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammed Nasim launched a call center to give free advice on family planning, mother and child health, adolescent health, emergency maternity service and stopping child marriage. People can avail the service by just dialing 16767 from their mobile phones 24/7. Over the space of last eight years under the able leadership of HPM Sheikh Hasina maternal and child mortality rates have gone down significantly while the average life expectancy has marked a significant rise.
French Ambassador Marie-Annick Bourdin said Bangladesh and France can do a lot more together for peace and stability in international arena and in respective regions -- ensuring sustainable development for all. The envoy said France has been very happy to join in sharing the pride of Bangladesh after the successful launch of Bangladesh's first communication satellite Bangabandhu-1, built by the French company Thales Alenia Space, marking the entry of Bangladesh in a new era. In terms of scientific and technical cooperation, we have also focused our efforts on environment-related issues, such as oceanography, hydrology and renewable energies,” she said.
During a recent visit to Bangladesh, the Director General of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) William Lacy Swing reaffirmed to the Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina that his organisation would extend all sorts of support to Bangladesh for the repatriation of Rohingya refugees. The IOM DG said this when he met HPM Sheikh Hasina at her office. He thanked the Bangladesh government for its cooperation and support to the displaced Rohingya people.
Digital transactions continued to grow in Bangladesh evidenced by 13.1% growth in electronic fund transfers and 31.7% growth in credit card transactions through E-commerce thanks to conducive regulatory environment and consumers' positive attitude towards a cashless society, industry experts say. Meanwhile, the central bank data shows credit card transactions increased by 2.8% during the period while credit card transactions through E-commerce recorded 31.7% growth in PCBs. The growth in digital transactions is fueled by the government's policies to promote electronic payments, coupled with rise in smartphone penetration, and improved telecom and payment infrastructure.
Last week, the Cabinet approved the draft of the 'National Digital Commerce Policy 2018' aiming to ensure safe digital transactions removing mistrust of buyers and purchasers in digital commerce. The policy focuses on ensuring safe digital transactions through the use of information and communication technology (ICT), identifying piracy and hacking and checking those, removing fear from purchasers and sellers and enhancing their confidence in the digital commerce. The scope for ICT-based commerce has opened due to the rise of internet, social networking sites, mobile apps and other digital communication means throughout the world.
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