Nov 03, 2019 | Issue 234


HPM seeks NAM support to resolve Rohingya crisis, fight climate change

During her address at the 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought international support to resolve the prolonged Myanmar Rohingya refugee crisis and fight the adverse impacts of climate change. She pointed out the two major challenges Bangladesh is dealing with now despite socio-economic successes. Speaking on the occasion, she said: “We are currently hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas. It has the potential to destabilize our country and beyond. We are constrained to seek support of the international community in resolving the crisis”. On the sidelines of the NAM Summit, HPM had meetings with a number of NAM leaders including Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad among others.

Make BBIN initiatives operational: HPM

HPM Sheikh Hasina said three countries --Bangladesh, India and Nepal-- can initially make the BBIN Motor Vehicles agreement operational, if Bhutan needs more time. She said this when her Nepalese counterpart KP Sharma Oli met her at the bilateral booth of Baku Congress Centre on the sidelines of the NAM Summit here. About implementation of the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) Motor Vehicles Agreement, HPM Sheikh Hasina said if Bhutan has problems now over making it operational, then the other three countries can start it among them.

€30m loan deal signed for upgradation of power distribution

Bangladesh signed an agreement with French development agency Agence Française de Développement to avail a €30 million loan to finance the construction and upgradation of Dhaka Power Distribution Company’s (DPDC) substations. According to media reports, it is an extension of an initial €100 million financing provided to the DPDC to construct and modernise 14 electrical substations and associated power lines for distribution network. The project as a whole will improve the quality of energy distribution for 241,000 households or 1.1 million people. The upgrading will allow the DPDC to provide energy with a lower emission factor and reduce the carbon footprint of diesel generators.

Bangladesh gets $100m in loans from WB to improve water supply, sanitation

A financing agreement worth $100 million has been signed with the World Bank to ensure improved water supply, sanitation, and drainage system in 30 selected municipalities, benefitting about 6,00,000 people. The project will facilitate public-private partnerships and help build infrastructures, including water treatment facility; water storage; transmission and distribution pipe network; house connections and improved sanitation facilities in low income areas and slums. The project will help construct public toilets. It will invest in septage management and disposal, as well as provide training to cleaning workers in fecal sludge management. It will also identify and mitigate measures for critical areas prone to flooding.

Bangladesh 8 notches up in doing business index

Bangladesh has made moderate improvement in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking, advancing by eight notches but lagging behind the other South Asian economies except Afghanistan. The country is now placed at 168th out of 190 countries, up from 176th last year, thanks to business reforms in three key areas—starting a business, getting electricity, and getting credit--, says the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 report released recently. Focusing on Bangladesh, the WB says setting up a new business became less expensive with the reduction of registration and name clearance fees and removal of the certifying fee for digital certificates.

Mega projects to transform transport system

The metro rail and the elevated expressway, two mega projects envisaged and now being put in implementation, by the Awami League led government, are expected to transform the public transport system in the capital. HPM Sheikh Hasina’s government has undertaken a series of mega projects to speed up the pace of the country’s ongoing socio-economic development. The government has engaged a concessionaire to build a 46.73km elevated expressway stretching from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kutubkhali (connecting Dhaka-Chittagong highway) and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Line-6, 20.10km metro-rail from Uttara to Motijheel, to ease traffic congestion in Dhaka city. Dhaka Elevated Expressway is Bangladesh’s first elevated expressway project. The MRT-6, the country’s first metro rail project, will have 16 stations from Uttara to Motijheel. The objectives of both the project are poverty reduction and boost socio-economic development by reducing traffic congestion in and around Dhaka city.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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