Faridpur, Oct 30 (UNB) –Quilt makers in the district are now passing busy time as its demand rises with the advent of winter.
People living in the Char areas of Padma and Madhumati rivers and surrounding villagers have already started to feel the bite of chilly weather and thronging to the shops of quilt makers.
Besides, there is a tradition in the rural areas to give pillows, beddings and quilts to daughter’s in-laws’ house in the winter.
Quilt makers are now working restlessly with the increasing demand of quilt whereas some are processing cotton for repairing old quilts as per order.
Some quilt makers of the district town including Malek Miah, Hafiz Matubbor and Rahman Sheikh told the UNB correspondent that they perform various chores throughout the six months of a year but as the winter season sets in they become eventually more and more occupied in quilt making.
They work in different bedding stores of the town for 600-700 taka per day while some take 200-300 taka for making each quilt and bedding, they said.
Jakir Hossain, one of the beddings store owner in town’s Janata Bank Mor area, said though winter has not opened its grasp fully yet there is an increasing demand of quilts and beddings already which is even higher than yesteryear.
Mentioning the surge in sales in the few months of winter season, he also said about quality readymade products he is selling to customers to their satisfaction.
Kabir Molla, who came from Alipur for making quilts in Faridpur town, said he is making a quilt beforehand despite the absence of winter in weather.
Jannatul Ferdous, a housewife from Chalkbazar area, said she is ordering for quilts and beddings for her newly married daughter.
Seasonal quilt makers are a common sight in both town and rural areas of the district now who sell quilts and beddings on a van which they buy from the lenders and sell for commission too.
Visiting different markets the correspondent found that Carpus cotton is being sold at 120-140 per kg, Boma cotton Tk 100-110 per kg, sheet cotton Tk 80-90 per kg while garments cotton Tk 25 per kg.
Bagerhat, Nov 15 (UNB) – Solar energy, generated at a Shrimp Research Institute (SRI) in Bagerhat, is being added to the national grid for the first time in the country’s history.
Five solar panels with a capacity of 25 KW were set up on the roof and pond complex of the institute in 2017 to produce energy, SRI chief scientist Dr Khan Kamal Uddin told UNB.
After successful installation of the panels, those started producing energy from October 16 this year, he said adding, “The solar energy generated here is not only meeting the demand of the institute but also being supplied to the national grid.”
Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided the financial assistance at the beginning to set up the solar panels. Later, the energy is being supplied to the national grid with assistance from Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA) and German donor agencies GIZ through net metering system, said Dr Khan.
Everyday some 100 to 110 MW of solar power is generated from the panels, he said.
“The shrimp enclosures in other parts of the country may follow this technique of power generation as this system doesn’t affect the production. It rather helps save money,” the scientist added.
There are shrimp enclosures on 2.75 lakh hectares of land in various parts of the country and energy can be produced by setting up solar panels in 45 percent areas of the enclosures.
Palash Kumar Ghosh, executive engineer at Bagerhat West Zone Power Distribution Company, said the demand for energy in the country can be met up by setting up such panels across the country.
The shrimp research institute is setting up solar panels in the district, involving Tk 22.68 crore.
Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) - Bangladesh is taking all the preparations in coordination with Myanmar to begin the first batch of Rohingya repatriation on Thursday though the ultimate success depends on "voluntariness" of their decision to return, says a senior official.
"We’re taking preparations to begin it on Thursday. This will continue until November 30 with 150 individuals each day from November 15," the official who is working on the ground told UNB on Tuesday.
He said the UNHCR will assess the voluntariness of Rohingyas's return to make sure no one is forced to leave camp.
Myanmar has given village-wise list of verified Rohingyas for the first batch return - November 15-30, officials said.
Earlier, Bangladesh and Myanmar agreed to begin the first batch of repatriation on November 15 and a list of 2,260 Rohingyas, including 450 Hindus of 485 families, has been handed over to the Myanmar side.
Diplomatic sources said a total of 450 Hindus are willing to go back and 66 of them have valid documents who do not need any further verification.
Bangladesh also has handed over a new list of 22,432 Rohingyas to Myanmar side during the last joint working group meeting between the two countries.
"The list of 22,432 has not yet verified," an official said adding that both sides want to complete the return of 2,260 Rohingyas if they are willing to go back.
In the latest statement, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi said his agency supports the voluntary and sustainable repatriation of Rohingya refugees in safety and in dignity to their places of origin or choice, and will work with all the parties towards this goal.
The High Commissioner said before making a choice of whether to return or not, the Rohingyas verified by Myanmar as having the right to return should be allowed to visit their places of origin in Rakhine State, or other places to which they might choose to return, so that they themselves can make an independent assessment of whether they feel they can return there in safety and dignity.
He emphasized that the responsibility to improve those conditions rests with Myanmar.
Although UNHCR does not believe the current conditions in Rakhine State are conducive to the voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of refugees from Bangladesh, the agency said it remains committed to supporting the government of Myanmar’s efforts to create such conditions, under the terms of the tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
UNHCR also said it remains deeply grateful to the government of Bangladesh as it continues to generously host Rohingya refugees until they can voluntarily return to Myanmar in safety and dignity.
Officials said the first batch return will be a test case to know how Myanmar treats them after their return to the place of origin as Myanmar assured all of their safety and security with confidence-building measures.
An official involved in the repatriation process said Bangladesh and the international community need to know the “ground reality” and the repatriation needs to be started.
Another diplomatic source said some are trying to give an impression that Bangladesh has taken it as a “business venture” and Bangladesh does not want the repatriation of Rohingyas. “This is absolutely wrong.”
Bangladesh first handed over the list to Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka U Lwin Oo on October 28 and the UNHCR was also informed on the same day to take preparation.
Earlier, India welcomed the decision taken by Bangladesh and Myanmar to start the repatriation of Rohingyas, who belong to the Rakhine state, in mid-November.
“We welcome the agreement which was reached between the Foreign Secretaries of Bangladesh and Myanmar,” said spokesperson of Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Raveesh Kumar.
Bangladesh and Myanmar formed the Joint Working Group (JWG) in December 2017 to start the repatriation of around 900,000 Rohingyas who fled a brutal military crackdown in August 2017.
Permanent Secretary of Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Myint Thu told reporters that they have verified about 5,000 Rohingyas.
A UN human rights expert has urged Bangladesh to shelve the plan to start repatriating Rohingya refugees to Rakhine this month, saying the Myanmar government has failed to provide guarantees they would not suffer the same persecution and horrific violence all over again.
“I haven’t seen any evidence of the government of Myanmar taking concrete and visible measures to create an environment where the Rohingya can return to their place of origin and live there safely with their fundamental rights guaranteed,” said Yanghee Lee, the Special Rapporteur on human rights situation in Myanmar.
Bangladesh Foreign Ministry and the UN agencies on the matter of Rohingya repatriation saying they are coordinating their activities on the issue closely.
Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque earlier said Rohingyas need to decide on their own if they want to return to Myanmar. “It’s not Bangladesh’s decision. It’s not Myanmar’s decision and it’s not UNHCR’s decision. The return is a decision that must be taken by Rohingyas,” Haque said.
He said Bangladesh has welcomed Rohingyas and is doing what is necessary for them. "They have to go back to their own country," he said requesting all not to make it an issue for Bangladesh.
Dhaka, Nov 13 (UNB) - Customs, Excise and VAT Commissionerate (Dhaka East) of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has introduced a mobile application called 'VAT East' to simplify VAT services for taxpayers.
Using the app, common people, taxpayers and VAT officials can do their emergency work quickly and accurately without any cost.
VAT officials said as the app-based services are getting popular in the country, they have taken the move to introduce this app-based platform to create a pro-taxpaying and service-oriented environment.
Using the app, anyone can check the accuracy of Business Identification Number (BIN) and lodge complaint against any VAT official or VAT office. Besides, information about the VAT evasion can be given through this app.
The VAT officials said this innovative step has made their service quicker and simpler apart from reducing the physical communication of taxpayers with the VAT offices and minimising their business cost.
"Anyone can take VAT-related services across the country using this app," a senior official at the NBR VAT wing said.
He mentioned that usually an enlisted person has to submit his/her papers a month before the 15th of the next month every month to the respective VAT office.
This app will remind that person through notification by 10th of the respective month as well as notify punitive measures in case of failure to submit the VAT.
Anyone can check the BIN numbers through this app, the official said.
Addresses and phone numbers of all VAT, Customs and Income Tax offices are available in this app apart from details of the Dhaka East Commissionerate.
After submitting the VAT and documents, the app will notify the respective person through its notification button.
The VAT officials will be able to upload the survey report by this app. This will include the name and picture of the VAT payers, name of the organisation, address, nature of business and information of tax payment.
The VAT officials will also be able to upgrade the system while they are in the inspection.
They can make the spot assessment through using the 'spot assessment' button of the app. The VAT Calculator of the app can be used for flawless VAT counting.
According to the officials, this application is now available for the android platform while this will be available very soon for iOS and Windows platform also.
Dhaka, Nov 12 (UNB) – Abuzz with party activists and leaders after a long time, BNP’s Nayapaltan central office sold 1,336 nomination papers on the first day on Monday among those who want to contest the 11th parliamentary elections with its tickets.
BNP nomination hopefuls from across the country started gathering in front of the office since early morning along with their thousands of supporters to collect nomination papers.
Even before the formal start of the nomination paper sale, the BNP office and its surrounding areas wore a festive look as hundreds of leaders and supporters flocked to the areas following the party’s decision to join the national election after long 10 years.
Holding posters, banners and portraits of party chairperson Khaleda Zia, acting chairman Tarique Rahman and nomination aspirants, the party activists chanted slogans in favour of their respective nomination seekers in a bid to demonstrate their popularity.
They also raised slogans demanding the release of Khaleda Zia who has been in jail since February 8 last as she was convicted in a graft case.
BNP nomination hopefuls from across the country started gathering in front of the office since early morning. Photo: UNB
The huge gathering of the BNP leaders and activists in the capital’s busy area triggered huge tailback, causing immense sufferings to commuters.
The sale of nomination forms began at 10:45 am with the purchase of two nomination papers for its jailed chairperson Khaleda Zia and it continued until 8pm.
Party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir purchased a nomination form for Khaleda Zia to contest the polls from Feni-1 constituency while BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan collected another for her for Bogura-6 parliamentary seat.
Later, BNP leader Mirza Abbas bought another form for Khaleda Zia to contest the polls from Bogura-7 constituency.
Though the nomination papers were bought for her, it is still not clear whether the BNP chief can contest the election as she was convicted in two corruption cases.
Mirza Fakhrul also bought a form for himself around 11:30am to contest the election from Thakurgaon-1 constituency.
Singer Baby Nazneen and film actor Helal Khan collected BNP nomination forms for contesting the polls from Nilphamari-4 and Sylhet-6 seats respectively.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said a total of 1,326 forms were sold on the first day. Each nomination seekers paid Tk 5,000 to buy the form.
Rizvi said aspirants can collect the nomination forms until November 16 as the deadline has been extended by two more days.
Many nomination seekers said they were happy to collect the forms but they were not sure of being able to contest the polls as the party will share many seats with the partners of its two alliances.
A substantial number of fresh faces collected forms on the first day to get parry tickets in their respective seats.
As the party did not disclose the list of the aspirants who collected the nomination forms, it could not be known from which seats the high-profile party candidates’ may contest the polls.
According to a party source, BNP standing committee member Barrister Moudud Ahmed is not going to contest the polls from his original home constituency Noakhal-5 to avoid facing archrival and Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader.
He may contest the election from any seat in Feni. Former Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader Bazlur Rashid Chowdhury Abed collected nomination paper to contest the election from Noakhali-5 following the party high-ups’ directives.
Meanwhile, hours after collecting three party nomination papers for their chairperson, BNP senior leaders, led by Fakhrul, met Khaleda Zia in jail and took her blessings.
“Madam (Khaleda) blessed us. She hopes we’ll be able to move ahead with the people’s unity we’ve forged,” Fakhrul told reporters.
Earlier, he said the country still lacks the minimum election atmosphere while their leaders and activists are being arrested continuously.
Fakhrul warned that their party may review its decision to join the election if the proper atmosphere is not created and the arrest of its leaders and activists does not stop.
Earlier on Sunday, BNP’s two alliances --Jatiya Oikyafront and 20-praty-- announced to participate in the upcoming 11th parliamentary elections as part of their movement to restore democracy, and demanded the election be deferred by one month.
The Election Commission on Monday deferred the 11th national election to December 30 from December 23.