The High Court on Wednesday denied bail to suspended Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Prisons Bazlur Rashid in a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The HC bench of Justice Md Nazrul Islam Talukder and Justice KM Hafizul Alam passed the order after hearing a bail petition.
Advocate Abdul Matin Khashru stood for Bazlur Rashid while Advocate Md Khurshid Alam Khan moved for the ACC and Deputy Attorney General AKM Amin Uddin Manik represented the state.
ACC arrested Bazlur on October 20 last on charge of accumulating money illegally following interrogation.
According to the case statement, he failed to show any legal source of Tk 3.8 crore which he spent for buying a flat in a housing project at Siddheswari Road in the capital.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said her government is working out all of its activities in a planned way to ensure economic development in rural areas to provide all urban facilities there.
“All our development activities are village-centric ones. We’ve taken numerous programmes to provide urban facilities in rural areas,” she said when World Bank Vice-president for the South Asia Region Hartwig Schafer met her at her Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban office.
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.
He said the Prime Minister put emphasis on improving communications and electricity in rural areas as these two are very important for the development of a country.
She mentioned that the government has given emphasis on developing the waterway after road and railway as this is a cheaper way for transportation of people and goods.
About enhancing connectivity among countries of the region, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has already included itself in the Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal (BBIN) Initiative, and Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM).
She mentioned that India has already agreed to give transit for Bangladesh-Nepal and Bangladesh-Bhutan route.
The Prime Minister said the government is developing Saidpur Airport to make it a regional hub so that India, Nepal and Bhutan could use it.
She also said the government will ensure cent percent electricity for all in the country within the next two years.
Hasina said Bangladesh is importing 500MW of electricity from India.
She said the government is setting up 100 economic zones in different areas to create employment opportunities in the country.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that the government is taking ICT sector to rural areas for creating more IT-based opportunities.
About women empowerment, she said the government initially had faced obstacles, but later it overcame those barriers. “Now, women are working in all the sectors, including judiciary, admin, army, police, BGB and teaching profession,” she said.
Hasina said the government is sending stipend money to mothers of school-going students through mobile phones.
World Bank's Vice-president for the South Asia Region Hartwig Schafer highly praised the government for the tremendous development of Bangladesh in various socioeconomic sectors.
In the last five decades, he said, Bangladesh became a middle-income country from its extreme poverty. The progress in the health sector is very much remarkable, he mentioned.
“Other countries of the world will try to replicate Bangladesh’s development initiatives,” Schafer said.
He also put emphasis on the development of rural areas terming it very important.
The WB official assured the Prime Minister of continuing their support for the development of Bangladesh. “We shall be able to get more funding for Bangladesh.”
He also praised women empowerment in various sectors of the country.
Schafer said the countries of this region should follow the win-win situation during the regional collaboration which will be better for all.
He also put emphasis on the development of communications sector.
PM’s Adviser Dr Gowher Rizvi, Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus and Economic Relations Division (ERD) Secretary Monowar Ahmed were, among others, present at the meeting.
A bill titled the “Marine Fisheries Bill, 2020” having a provision to award maximum three years of imprisonment or Tk five crore fine or both for fishing in Bangladesh’s marine boundary illegally by any foreign national was placed in Parliament on Wednesday.
State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Ministry Md Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru placed the bill and it was sent to the scrutiny committee. The committee was asked to submit its report by 25 days.
There are 12 chapters and 63 clauses in the proposed law. This new law will replace the Marine Fisheries Ordinance which was promulgated during the military regime that was scrapped by the higher court of the country.
As per the existing law, the punishment for illegal fishing by any foreign national in the country's water territory is three years of imprisonment or Tk one lakh fine, or both.
As per the new law, the government will define the shape of the fishing boat or trawlers. These trawlers will have to take licences before going for fishing. Currently, the licences are given for one year while the proposed law increased it to two years to reduce the hassle and harassment of trawler or boat owners.
The proposed law has defined the import of commercial trawlers, its specification and safety measurements.
The Bill also included the judicial magistrate or mobile court in the proposed law to punish the violators.
For obstructing any official job, damaging fishing trawlers and destroying proof, the punishment will be maximum two years of imprisonment or Tk 10 lakh depending on the nature of the crime. The existing punishment is three years of imprisonment and Tk 5,000 to Tk one lakh.
Fishing during a restricted time or in restricted area, fishing without approval for going to sea will be considered as an offence.
The Ministry of Food has formed seven monitoring committees to keep rice prices stable in the market and prevent hike in prices through manipulation .
The teams have been formed as per the directive of Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder to contain the rising trend in rice prices, keep the prices stable through strong monitoring and help the low-income people, said an official release on Wednesday.
The committees will monitor wholesale markets in the capital and submit reports to the ministry.
The Food Minister said that rice price should be kept consistent with paddy price so that mill owners and businessman could not get any extra benefit in any way.
It should be ensured that farmers will get fair prices and customers will be able to buy rice at tolerable rate, he said.
The minister also ordered taking stern action if anyone tries to make rice market unstable.
The formation of the monitoring committees has been informed through two separate office orders signed by deputy secretary Md Shamim Hasan of the Ministry of Food and Sarwar Mahmud, director general of Directorate General of Food.
Four committees were formed under ministry while three under the directorate and each committee is comprised of two members.
A control room which was opened on December 1 to provide information or lodge any rice market-related complaint over phone (029540027, 01642967727) has been kept open, it said.
Reiterating its commitment to help the country sustain its high economic growth, World Bank Vice President for South Asia Hartwig Schafer on Wednesday termed Bangladesh a ‘model for poverty reduction globally’.
“Bangladesh has proved that with commitment and determination of the government and the people, a country can come out of poverty and emerge as a low middle-income country within only a span of four decades,” said Schafer wrapping up his three-day visit to Bangladesh.
To accelerate growth and reach the next level of development, he said, the country will need to create more and better jobs for its youths.
“A robust private sector, conducive business climate, skilled labour force, efficient infrastructure along with the right policies and quick actions will be critical,” he said.
Schafer met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and commended Bangladesh’s remarkable progress in economic development and poverty reduction, said a media release.
They discussed Bangladesh’s development priorities, and how the World Bank can support them to sustain the impressive results they have achieved in the past few decades.
“The World Bank is committed to joining Bangladesh on its journey to upper middle-income status, in close cooperation with the government, stakeholders, and development partners, and for the benefit of all people,” said Schafer.
The World Bank’s portfolio in Bangladesh has nearly doubled in the last six years and currently stands at $11.6 billion.
Bangladesh is one of the largest beneficiaries of the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) that provides concessional credit to poor countries.
Schafer spoke at the Bangladesh Development Forum and praised the country’s development innovations, including its success in empowering women, which has been instrumental in boosting the country’s economic growth and development.
He also met Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal and other senior government officials, civil society representatives and development partners.
The World Bank was among the first development partners to support Bangladesh following its independence.
Since then, the World Bank has committed over $30 billion, mostly in grants, interest-free and concessional credits to Bangladesh.