Jan 21, 2016
In an address at UN Trusteeship Council in New York, Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the current government has maintained a zero tolerance policy to combat violent extremism and terrorism. Reiterating Dhaka’s commitment to providing all-out cooperation in curbing extremism and terrorism at both regional and international levels, the minister shared various measures, taken by Bangladesh with the participation and cooperation of women, civil society, religious leaders, local elite, grassroots people and media, for combating violent extremism and extremism.
ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury, a MP of ruling Awami League led government, was elected as the President of Human Rights Committee of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), replacing a British Parliamentarian. Mr. Chowdhury, who is also the Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Railway Ministry of Bangladesh, has already served as vice president of the committee in two terms. A total of 47,000 members of parliaments of different countries under IPU, a platform of parliamentarians of 167 countries, have been working on human rights in their respective nations.
Given that Bangladesh has installed the fastest growing solar home system in the world, target has been set by the government to increase power from renewable energy by 2,000 MW by 2020. The announcement was made by the State Minister Nasrul Hamid during his address at the 6th IRENA conference that was chaired by Bangladesh. Works are going on to increase the share of renewable energy in power generation through harnessing solar homes, solar irrigation, wind mills and improved cook stoves. Currently, the country’s renewable generation capacity stands at 411 MW.
By this year, as many as 3,000 new modern buses will be plying on the streets in the capital in view of ensuring faster traffic movement for the capital dwellers. The project worth BDT 15 million will be implemented by the private sector. Besides, a plan is underway to bring all the buses running in the capital from 190 companies to five companies for proper public transport management and minimizing gridlocks. Moreover, rampant law enforcement drives are being conducted to keep the streets free from illegal parking.
A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the government and the Association of Export Oriented Shipbuilding Industries of Bangladesh (AEOSIB) to roll out a three year scheme for developing skills of 10,000 workers of the shipbuilding industries. To be continued for next three years, the scheme, the first of its kind in the country, is phased out in different categories. Under the agreement 2,000 workers will be trained up in the 1st year followed by 5,500 and 2,500 workers in the 2nd and the 3rd years respectively.
A rural road network project worth $54 million is being implemented with the main thrust of removing physical bottlenecks for improving rural accessibility and upgrading rural transport in 53 disadvantaged Upazilas under the Rajshahi region. Under the project, more than a stretch of 931.44 km roads will be upgraded connecting remote parts to the cities. Besides, construction of 1000-meter bridges and culverts and 15.75-km submergible roads and 4-km road protection infrastructures are incorporated in the project.
USAID has announced to provide a local company in Bangladesh with financial assistances worth $0.4 million to introduce and spread mechanised farming especially by using reapers for harvesting rice crops. The money will be laid out to educate farmers in using reapers for harvesting paddy and wheat that will reduce time and save money. Moreover, awareness will also be raised for applying use of reapers in harvesting to save over 50% cultivation cost.
For the first half of the current fiscal year, the country saw its exports to key European destinations mark a significant rise, resulting in an unprecedented level of growth in realizing export target worth $33 billion last year. Between July and January, exports to Germany, the second largest destination of Bangladesh exportable items, was totalled to $1875.82 million, marking a 14.56% rise, while noteworthy gains was registered to exports in other destinations including the likes of Italy and Netherlands.
Bangladesh has notched up a decent $1.06 billion surplus in Balance of Payments (BoP) during the first five months of 2015-16 financial year. While the country ended last fiscal with a deficit worth $1.65 billion, the situation turned around this time as the surplus stood at $582 billion - just about half of what it is in the corresponding period this year. A rising export income, coupled with increased remittance flow and forex reserves contributed largely to this attainment.
The government signed an agreement with Microsoft Bangladesh to develop skills of the women working in state-run digital centres and also help them become entrepreneurs. Under the agreement, women working in 5,273 digital centres will receive training on computer hardware and software use and troubleshooting. They will be linked to service centres after the training. Through the said scheme, women will gain expertise on digital centre activities and be able to help local people with hardware and software support.
As part of stepped up efforts to ensure workers safety in RMG factories, the Dutch government has announced to launch a strategic sector cooperation project on improving the health and safety of workers in Bangladesh through strengthening the labour authorities. The project is part of a wider Danish support to improve the framework condition and productivity of RMG sector which will be decisive for achieving the government aspiration for Bangladesh to become a middle income country by 2021.
According to a recent report released by country’s regulatory commission, the number of new mobile phone connections rose 11.11% year-on-year in 2015, while internet subscriptions grew 24.01%. 13 million new connections were added, taking the number of active connections over 130 million. With some 10 million new clients taking internet connections in the year, total active internet connections stood at 50 million. These findings stand as testament to the government’s commitment to realize its vision to achieve a "Digital Bangladesh".
With the process of tender evaluation entering final stage, the Bangladesh Hi-Tech Park Authority has decided to award its block 4 for expediting the construction and development works. Developers will have to set up water treatment plant, substation for electricity and develop an industrial area for the block with 36 acres of land. Once the park goes operational, as many as 70,000 employments will be created while its fruition will change over millions of lives.
Works are well underway to introduce a law relating to providing electronic service (e-service) to the people for making the online services interoperable. In the draft law titled "E-Service Act 2016", a provision has been incorporated to prepare software for e-services following standard, format, policy and guideline being introduced under BNA. In addition, it will guide the government organizations to follow law while developing e-service for the people.
Bangladesh Awami League Bangladesh Insight Archives