Khatib leads prayers amid tight security

January 31, 2009

Staff Correspondent

People had to leave their shoes in front of Baitul Mukarram before entering the mosque for Juma prayers as three consecutive Fridays saw devotees fight with shoes over the appointment of a new khatib. Photo: STAR

People had to leave their shoes in front of Baitul Mukarram before entering the mosque for Juma prayers as three consecutive Fridays saw devotees fight with shoes over the appointment of a new khatib. Photo: STAR

Recently appointed khatib of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, Principal Salauddin Ahmed, yesterday led the Juma prayers amid tight security with the presence of a huge contingent of law enforcers and intelligence Read more

Political committee to face recession-effect to be in place anytime, awaits cabinet nod

January 31, 2009

UNB, Dhaka
Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Friday said the proposed high-powered political committee would be in place anytime now to face the possible affects of the global recession on the country’s economy.
“It’ll be there anytime. It’s awaiting cabinet approval,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a 3-day Bangladesh Chemical Congress that began on Friday morning at the auditorium of Teacher-Student Centre (TSC) of Dhaka University.
On January 21, Muhith said the government would announce the committee within 15 days. As per the proposal, the Finance Minister would head the committee to be represented by political leaders, trade body leaders and stakeholders of Read more

PM inaugurates Ekushey book fair tomorrow

January 31, 2009

Staff Reporter
The “Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2009” will begin tomorrow (Sunday) at the Bangla Academy premises in the city in memory of the historic Language Movement of February 1952.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the month-long festival at 3:00pm at the Bangla Academy as chief guest. National Professor Kabir Chowdhury and Information and Cultural Minister Abul Kalam Azad will be present as special guests. Chairman of Bangla Academy Prof Mohammad Harun-or-Rashid will preside over the function.
The venue of the country’s largest book festival and outside will be decorated with banners, festoons and placards upholding the spirit of Read more

Database work of jobless members begin

January 31, 2009

UNB, Dhaka
Labour and Employment Minister Engr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday said the government started work to create a database of the unemployed members of every family to give job to one member of each family as per the pre-election pledge of the government.
“We’ve already started to create a database of unemployed members of every family… we plan to make them skilled through various training programmes,” he told reporters after attending seminar at the BIAM auditorium in the city.
International Labour Organization (ILO), Dhaka area office and Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies (BILS) jointly organized the daylong Read more

Saraswati Puja today

January 31, 2009

Staff Reporter
Hindu community, the second largest religious community of the country, will celebrate Saraswati Puja today.
The Puja is celebrated every year on the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the month of Magh, as Goddess Saraswati was born on this day. The day is called ‘Vasant Panchami’. As Saraswati is considered the Goddess of wisdom and knowledge, Hindu devotees, especially students, celebrate the Saraswati Puja in different educational institutions and temples.
Traditionally, the students of Dhaka University’s Jagannath Hall celebrate the puja setting up 35-40 mandaps, which every year Read more

Call to raise RMG incentive to 15 per cent from 5 per cent

January 31, 2009

Staff Correspondent
Leaders of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and Bangladesh Knitwear Manu-facturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) have urged the government to raise cash incentive in Ready Made Garment (RMG) sector to 15 per cent from existing 5 per cent to face the adverse effect of the global meltdown.
Talking to The Bangladesh Today, the industry people said all US and EU apparel importers, hit hard by financial crisis, are pressuring for price cuts. So, they urge the government to make a contingency support package. Pointing out the Indian and Chinese suppliers who are backed up by huge devaluation of their currency, RMG Read more

BNP, allies keep off JS as seat row drags on

January 30, 2009

Staff correspondent
Lawmakers of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led main opposition refrained from attending the parliament session Thursday as the speaker, Abdul Hamid, kept pending a decision on their demand to return their front row seats.
A BNP parliamentary delegation met the speaker at the latter’s office Thursday morning and demanded that the previous seating arrangement in the house be restored giving them back the five front row seats to the left of the chair.
‘We met the speaker in the morning and requested him to give back the front row seats to his left to the opposition bench,’ opposition chief whip Jainal Abedin Faruk told New Age. ‘He told us that he would make a decision after Read more

JS unanimously okays war crimes trial move

January 30, 2009

Hasina terms it a national demand
Staff Correspondent
Parliament on Thursday night approved unanimously, in the absence of the opposition lawmakers, a resolution seeking speedy prosecution of the 1971 war criminals.
‘The resolution seeking trial of the war criminals has been approved unanimously,’ pronounced the speaker, Abdul Hamid, after the house voted ‘yes’ to the proposal moved by Mahmud us Samad Chowdhury, a ruling Awami League lawmaker for Sylhet 3 constituency.
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, and a number of senior ruling party lawmakers termed the private members’ proposal very important saying that trial of the war criminals had become a national demand and that it was Read more

Barapukuria coalmine project: Affected people to get due compensation

January 30, 2009

Staff Reporter
The government will take steps to resettle and compensate the affected residents of several villages covering a area of three square kilometres at Barapukuria Coalmine project in Dinajpur.
“We requested the locals to form committee and submit their report about the compensation due to subsidence of their agricultural land and crack occurred in their residential houses,” Adviser to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Energy, Power and Mineral Resources Dr Towfiq-e-Elahi yesterday said this at a press conference at Secretariat. State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Shamsul Alam Tuku and State Minister for Read more

Bishwa Ijtema begins today

January 30, 2009

Our Correspondent
The annual three-day Bishwa Ijtema, the second largest Muslim congregation after Hajj, begins today on the bank of the River Turag at Tongi, 20 kilometres off the capital, amid heightened security.
Hundreds of people from across the country have already reached the place and many others are on their way to attend the congregation.
Preparations have all been made for the holding of the gathering of the Muslims. Besides the law enforcement agencies and local administration, various local organisations and agencies have taken up programmes for a successful Read more

Gruesome murder in city

January 30, 2009

Staff Correspondent
Police yesterday recovered 14 pieces of the body of a man brutally murdered by unknown criminals in the city.
The bare pieces of the body were recovered from a two square kilometre area of Lalbagh. However, the head and a hand, severed from the wrist, are still missing.
The victim has been identified as Md Asgar Ali, 32, owner of a payphone shop on RNG Road in Lalbagh who has been missing since Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, locals including Asgar’s relatives laid siege to the Lalbagh Police Station in the evening for about an hour demanding arrest and punishment of Asgar’s killers. Police later dispersed the agitating crowd on assurance that Read more

Real state business faces setback for lack of proper rules

January 30, 2009

Illegal land grabbing by developers continues
Real state business faces setback for lack of proper rules
Staff Correspondent
Real Estate and Housing business continues to face severe setback in absence of proper guidelines in this sector and mistaken plans of the Ministry of Public Works and Housing as well as RAJUK.
To The Bangladesh Today, REHAB President Tanveerul Haque Probal said “There is no initiative to ensuring necessary facilities for landowners and buyers of apartments to protect this business. So, the government needs to monitor the real estate sector, by establishing a monitoring cell and enact new laws providing for urbanisation in Read more

Design deal signed for Padma Bridge

January 30, 2009

Staff Correspondent
The government yesterday signed an agreement with the New Zealand-based consultant firm Maunsell AECOM Ltd for preparing the design of the Padma Bridge.
The first major contract signed by the Awami League-led government after three weeks of taking office is also a significant step towards fulfilling the long-awaited desire of the people of 19 southwestern districts to get connected with the capital.
The 5.58km long and 25m wide bridge on the Padma will connect the country’s southwest with Dhaka at Mawa in Munshiganj and Janjira in Madaripur. The construction of the bridge with four lanes and a railroad in the middle is expected to Read more

Govt eyes rice price at Tk 18 per kg

January 30, 2009

Bdnews24.com, Dhaka
Food Minister Abdur Razzak said yesterday the government would be “satisfied” if it could bring the price of rice down to a around Tk 18-19 per kg.
“But, the price will not fall abruptly as the process depends on the overall food production,” Razzak told a press conference at the food ministry on his return from the FAO Madrid summit on food security. The minister hoped that with the steps taken by the government, including fertiliser cost cuts, subsidy in fuel and other sectors, production would be boosted. “With bumper production, prices will fall automatically,” Read more

ACC Act amendment proposal returned for reconsideration

January 30, 2009

Staff Reporter
The third proposed amendments of the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) Act -04 has been returned to the ACC by the government for more revision if needed.
The commission recommended – four amendments ranging from seeking specialists in investigations, inclusion of ACC as a party in the lawsuits that is filed by the commission, repeal of Section 408 and conduct of investigation by the police themselves in appropriate cases.
Hanif Iqbal, Director General (DG) of ACC yesterday said this at the commission’s office. He said, on the proposed amendments ACC recommended to include ACC’s lawyer as a party of the cases filed by it. ACC had recommended repealing Read more

EC asks banks not to make NID mandatory for clients

January 30, 2009

Staff Correspondent
The Election Commission (EC) has directed banks and other service oriented organisations not to make National Identity (NID) card mandatory for clients and service seekers while providing their services, including opening a bank account, until distribution of NIDs is fully completed.
The EC directive came as some banks and service organizations are asking the service seeker to show NID or submit its copy for opening the bank account.
Some service-oriented organisations, including Directorate of Immigration and Passport and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkha (Rajuk) are Read more

Mumbai terror attack planned outside Pak territory

January 30, 2009

Says Islamabad
Cnn-ibn, Islamabad/new Delhi
After weeks of dithering, Islamabad has now rejected the 26/11 evidence dossier provided by India. Reports indicate that Pakistan’s internal probe has concluded that the Mumbai terror attack was planned outside its territory.
The report that was to be submitted to India by Wednesday is now likely to be communicated to India by the end of this month.
Pakistan appears all set to declare that no group or organisation in the country carried out the Mumbai attacks. Sources in Read more

Kuwait parliament okays new labour law

January 30, 2009

Agence France-Presse . Kuwait City
Kuwait’s parliament on Thursday approved in principle a new labour law that provides the emirate’s 2.35 million foreign workers better conditions but fails to scrap the controversial sponsor system.
Of the 44 members present, 43 voted for the bill while one abstained. If approved in the second and final reading after two weeks, the bill will replace a 45-year-old law that was criticised as being favourable to employers.
The bill, which has been under revision in parliament for more than a decade, stipulates more rights for labourers working in the Read more

Multi-party JS body to check ordinances

January 28, 2009

15-member special body to work till standing committees formed; Hasina, Khaleda may sit to decide business before session resumes today; PM to answer lawmakers
Shakhawat Liton
Parliament will constitute a 15-member special committee today to scrutinise the ordinances to be tabled as bills and make recommendations on those. To be comprised of senior lawmakers from different political parties, the committee will be authorised to examine legislative proposals till the standing committees are formed.
Officials at the parliament secretariat said the matter has been included in the orders of the day. The legislature sits at 4:45pm today after Read more

EC suspends polls results of seven upazilas

January 28, 2009

Staff Correspondent
The Election Commission on Tuesday suspended the results of seven upazilas, although, according to sources, it found proof of irregularities, stuffing of ballot boxes, capturing of polling centres and intimidation in at least 41 upazilas.
The seven upazilas are Banchharampur in Brahmanbaria, Araihajar in Narayanganj, Teknaf in Cox’s Bazar, Kaliganj in Gazipur, Mehendiganj in Barisal, Muradnagar in Comilla and Raipura in Narsingdi. Awami League backed candidates were declared Read more

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