June 21, 2020


Bangladesh’s stimulus packages second highest among peer countries

Bangladesh's stimulus packages aimed at mitigating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic are one of the highest among a selective group of countries in Asia. The government has announced 19 stimulus packages amounting to Tk 103,117 crore since it reported the country's maiden cases of coronavirus infections on March 8. Bangladesh's stimulus packages have been provided in the form of low-cost loans to affected micro, small, medium and large industries and services, food security, social protection, special allowances and incentives as the pandemic-induced shutdown hampered the economy.

Govt lists red zones to slow down COVID-19 spread

In a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19, a technical committee of the government has primarily identified 45 areas in the capital as red zones. According to the meeting minutes, in the city corporations of Dhaka and Chattogram, an area will be marked red if it has recorded 60 or more cases of coronavirus per 100,000 residents over the last 14 days. Apart from Dhaka and Chattogram cities, an upazila will be marked red if it has recorded at least 10 cases of coronavirus per 1,00,000 residents over the last 14 days.

Bangladesh announces $4 billion for subsidy, incentive to face virus shock

The budget for next fiscal year (FY) proposed to substantially increase allocation of subsidy and incentives worth $4 billion, much of which is aimed at offsetting the shock of Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, the government has raised the target for government procurement and distribution of rice and paddy by 0.2 million metric tonnes in FY 2020-21 to ensure that farmers get fair price for their produce while, at the same time, the retail market price of rice remains stable. Alongside, exemption had also been proposed at manufacturing and trading stages for locally manufactured personal protective equipment (PPE) and surgical mask (including face mask) to protect health workers.

US declares $173m fund to assist Bangladesh in fight against COVID 19

The US government is providing more than $173 million in new funding to complement the Government of Bangladesh's ongoing efforts to respond to the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The fund, which will be provided through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), includes a new food assistance programme for 100,000 urban poor living in low-income areas of Dhaka, and to strengthen development activities and post-Covid-19 recovery in Bangladesh. This new round of assistance will also expand support for community surveillance, infection prevention and control activities, including training for heroic frontline responders, and increase knowledge and dispel myths and misconceptions about the disease.

Bangladesh resumes international flights after 3 months amid pandemic

Last week, international flight operations have resumed in Bangladesh after nearly three months of suspension over the novel coronavirus pandemic. Bangladesh followed suit and barred incoming flights from all European countries, save the United Kingdom, on Mar 16 as the government enforced a shutdown to limit the spread of the infection. After stretching the prohibition several times since, Bangladesh resumed flights on domestic routes on Jun 1 and continued flights to and from China only as CAAB extended suspension on all other international flights until June 15.

Renewable Energy: Bangladesh made great strides

Bangladesh has made great strides in power generation in the last decade as about 95% of its population now have access to electricity, thanks to the government's attention to renewable energy sources along with the conventional sources, says a global report. As of 2017, around 8% of the country's total power generation capacity came from off-grid solar systems, making it one of the top six countries in terms of generating electricity using solar solutions, according to REN21's Renewables 2020 Global Status Report (GSR) which was released recently. The Paris-based organisation said the electricity access in Bangladesh has reached 95% in 2019, up from only 47% in 2010.

Remittance hits record

For the first time, Bangladesh has witnessed a record $17.06 billion remittance inflow in 11 months of the current fiscal. The remittance collection hit a record high despite the global economy being in turmoil due to Coronavirus. According to the Bangladesh Bank data, from July 1, 2019 to June 10, 2020, the expatriates sent $17.06 billion, thanks to the government budget declaration of 2% incentive. According to the budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year 2020-21, the government is continuing 2% incentive on inward remittance.

100,000 trees to be planted along marine drive road

A massive plantation drive is underway along the 50km stretch of scenic Cox's Bazar marine drive road led by Cox's Bazar Development Authority, in a bid to restore the nature of the tourist destination. The authority, which aims to plant 100,000 trees along the stretch, began the work on June 7 from Patuartek area to Teknaf upazila. Among the trees being planted are Krisnochura (delonix regia), Sonalu (Golden Shower Tree), Kodom (Neolamarckia cadamba), Bokul (Mimusops Elengi), Champa (Magnolia Champaca) and Katbadam (Indian Almond). This move coincides with the government’s decision to conserve the forests and greenery.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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