Nov 12, 2019 | Issue 235


Terror attacks in Bangladesh continue to decline: US report

The pace and magnitude of “terrorist attacks” in Bangladesh continued to decline in 2018, thanks to a raft of measures put in place by the government, says a US report. The Country Reports on Terrorism 2018 released by the US Department of State said Bangladeshi security forces continued a counterterrorism campaign that claimed to have disrupted planned attacks, captured suspected militant leaders, and seized caches of weapons, ammunition, and explosives. The report said Bangladesh cooperated with the United States in strengthening control of its borders and ports of entry.

US wants to make big investment in Bangladesh: US Acting Assistant Secretary

The US wants to make big investments in Bangladesh -- in infrastructure, energy, as well as in strengthening Bangladesh’s institutions to improve governance -- under the Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), said US Acting Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Alice Wells. During a recent visit to Bangladesh, she laid focus on improving foreign direct investments and expanding American business in Bangladesh and helping the country develop its ambitious goals. Regarding relocating 100,000 Rohingyas to Bhashanchar, Honourable Foreign Minister told the envoy that the government won’t force them to go there, but the plan was to ensure safety as there are risks of landslides in the crowded camps in Cox’s Bazar.

WB to provide all the support for Rohingyas

The visiting executive directors of the World Bank Group yesterday said that they would provide all sorts of support for displaced Rohingyas living in Bangladesh. Highly appreciating the incredible development that Bangladesh achieved in the last one decade, they also said they would continue support for the country’s further progress. The WB officials said they witnessed “incredible development” in Bangladesh and the country is much ahead in all social indices than other countries in South Asia. They made the remarks when they met Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Gono Bhaban.

Remittance inflow went up by 20% in 4 months

Expatriate Bangladeshis sent $6,154.22 million in remittance in the first four months of the current fiscal 2019-20, which is 20.48% higher than the amount of corresponding period of the preceding year, according to Bangladesh Bank data. The country received $5,108 million in remittance during July-October period in 2018-19 fiscal year. The flow of remittance into the country shows an upward trend in the fiscal 2019-20 as the government has taken measures, including two percent cash incentive, to streamline the legal channel for encouraging non-resident Bangladeshis to send money to the country.

Inflation declines to 8-month low

Inflation slipped seven basis points to an eight-month low of 5.47% in October, helped by a decline in the prices of non-food items. Non-food inflation fell 47 basis points to 5.45% last month from September. Food inflation, however, rose 19 basis points to 5.49%, according to state-run Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). In September, overall inflation stood at 5.54%. The government has targeted a 5.5% inflation rate for this fiscal year. It was able to contain it at 5.48% last fiscal year, comfortably below the target of 5.6%.

$300m ADB loan to expand power lines

The Asian Development Bank has approved a €271.84 million, or $300 million, loan for a project to expand transmission lines in greater Dhaka and the western zone of Bangladesh. The project will improve the reliability and efficiency of the electricity supply in the greater Dhaka and western zone of Bangladesh, helping to bolster economic growth and achieve the government target of electricity for all by 2021. The new project will continue to fund high-level advanced conductors, which were used in the 2018 project, to allow more power transfer at lower energy losses.

Government introduces digital device for agricultural pest control

The Department of Agricultural Extension or DAE is embracing digital technologies to monitor pest attacks on crops and in turn, minimise the damage these inflict by at least 5%. The new technology will enable the agency to flag pest attacks and quickly decide on measures to mitigate its impact. The DAE is weighing up a two-pronged approach to counteract pest attacks with the use of technology. Firstly, a ‘digital device’ will be placed on the fields to directly observe any pest outbreak. And secondly, information collected on the ground will be sent directly to the information centre through an ‘app’ reducing bureaucratic red tape in the process.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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