Dhaka, Dec 2 (UNB) – The private sector has started dominating the country’s power generation contributing 54.35 percent of the total electricity against 45.65 percent produced by state-owned power plants.
According to the latest statistics prepared by the Power Division, the country’s total power generation capacity reached 20,343 MW of which 11,057 MW came from private sector producers while 9,286 MW from public entities.
Captive power generation of about 3,000 MW are also included in the private sector generation, while about 250 MW of renewable energy came from solar home systems included in the public sector generation.
Power Division officials said the private sector power generation witnessed a substantial growth due to a favourable investment policy offered by the government over the last one decade.
Private sector investors also appreciated the government’s supportive role in achieving this progress demanding the continuation of such state policy to promote private investment in power sector.
“Without a strong support from the state, it was not possible for the private sector producers to reach the milestone,” Imran Karim, vice president of Bangladesh Independent Power Producers Association (BIPPA), told UNB.
As per the latest Power System Master Plan 2016, he said, the government envisioned to take the power generation to 40,000 MW by 2030, which requires a huge investment.
“If the current policy of the government continues, the private sector will be able to play a very important role in attaining the target,” he added.
According to BIPPA, the private sector has invested about $12 billion over the last 10 years by setting up more than 50 power plants.
BIPPA leaders said they have now planned to invest $50 billion in the next 12 years to keep up the private sector’s participation in power sector development.
The private investors want to invest as independent power producers (IPPs) as well as private partners in the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative to set up at least 55 plants to generate some 12,000 MW of power or more.
The Power Division officials said that the government is now preparing a policy guideline to encourage more private sector investment in power transmission and distribution segments beside the current trend of investment in generation segment.
State Minister for Power and Energy Nasrul Hamid has recently urged the private investors to invest in the transmission and distribution segments as well.
BIPPA officials said if they are given the opportunity to invest in the generation sector to achieve the target of 40,000 MW by 2030, it will create 40,000 more direct jobs and another 300,000 indirect ones across the country.
They said more than 10,000 jobs have already been created by the private power generation plants in the last 10 years.
The Power Division statistics reveal that once the country’s installed power generation capacity was 4,942 MW, but now the average daily power generation is 11,000 MW.
The highest power generation was reported to be 11,623 MW on September 19 this year.
According to the Power Division officials, people’s access to electricity also increased to 92 percent with the rise in power production.
The number of electricity consumers increased to 3.12 crore in 2018 from 1.8 crore in 2009, they added.
Khagrachhari, Dec 1 (UNB) - Though 21 years have elapsed since its signing, the CHT Peace Accord is yet to be fully implemented for various reasons, mainly legal barriers, non-cooperation from and conflicts among some regional groups.
The agreement was signed to establish peace in the region, but it is still far away due to conflicts among the regional groups which frequently claim lives in the hill.
Sources at the local intelligence and law enforcement agencies said around 53 people belonging to different ethnic minority groups were killed, 46 others injured and 78 abducted by Pahari terrorist groups in the three hilly districts in the last 11 months till November 30.
Besides, 14 Bangalees were killed, 25 injured and 12 abducted by the terrorists during the period.
The total figure from January 1, 2014 to November 30 this year stood at 166, 259 and 312 respectively for the Pahari people while 98, 572 and 148 respectively for Banglaee settlers.
The Chittagogn Hill Tracts Peace Accord was signed between the government and the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS) on December 2, 1997 during the first tenure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, ending bloody conflicts in three hill districts.
Then Jatiya Sangsad Chief Whip Abul Hasnat Abdullah signed the agreement on behalf of the government while Joritindra Bodhipriyo Larma (Santu Larma) on behalf of PCJSS.
A group of ethnic minority people, led by Prosid Bikash Khisa, formed the United People’s Democratic Front (UPDF) in 1998 opposing the peace accord.
The PCJSS also saw a split as some left the organisation in 2007 and formed PCJSS (Reformists), led by Sudha Sindho Khisa, while armed group of the UPDF also got separated from the organisation and formed UPDF (Democratic), led by Tapan Jyoti Chakma (alias Borma and Jalwa) on November 15, 2017.
The Pahari groups have allegedly been engaged in various crimes, including extortion, kidnapping and killing, in the hilly region. Sometimes they lock in clashes among themselves which claim lives of both Pahari and Bangalee people, hampering development activities in the region.
Contacted, Chairman of Taskforce on Tribal Refugee Affairs Kujendra Lal Tripura told UNB that two-thirds of the CHT Peace Treaty has already been implemented. “It’ll take some more time to fully execute the treaty as it’s not possible to implement all the clauses overnight,” he said.
Replying to a query, he said regional groups like UPDF, UPDF (Democratic) and PCJS (Reformists) are engaged in attacking each other for establishing supremacy in their respective areas and they are also hampering the implementation of the peace accord.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Khagrachhari M Shahidul Islam said 48 out of total 72 clauses of the CHT Peace Treaty have already been implemented while 15 others partially implemented and the remaining nine clauses are under implementation process.
He said several land-related cases are pending with the court which is hampering the implementation process. “It’ll take some more time as there’re some difficult issues involving land as well as legal matters to be settled.”
Meanwhile, different programmes will be arranged in the three hilly districts on Sunday marking the anniversary of the peace treaty.
Dhaka, Dec 1 (UNB) – The tendency of committing suicide has been increasing at an alarming rate among the students of Dhaka University (DU) in recent times.
So far this year, a total of eight students are known to have committed suicide. Three students killed selves in November alone.
Specialists think that the incidents regarding suicide are occurring in the country due to unrequited love, break-ups, academic pressure, family pressure, unemployment and frustration.
In the most recent incident, Huzifa Rashid, a master's student of the Political Science department, committed suicide at his Tongi residence in Gazipur on November 22. His family thinks that Huzifa was very upset over some academic matters.
Before him, Meher Nigar Dani, a former student of DU English department, hanged herself at her Jashore residence on November 16. Her friend said Dani was a student of the 2010-11 academic session, who was frustrated at not getting a job in line with her expectations.
Fahmida Reza Silvi, a second year student of the World Religion and Culture department, committed suicide on November 12 by hanging herself from a ceiling fan inside her room at a hostel of Farmgate in Dhaka. She had chosen the path of suicide after a break-up with her boyfriend, according to her friends.
Jakir Hossian, a student of Disaster Management department, also hanged himself on October 15 as he was frustrated over some family matters, said his friends.
Afia Sarika, a second year student of Marketing department, took her life by hanging herself from a ceiling fan at her residence in Rampura in Dhaka on September 10, as she was upset after breaking up with her boyfriend
On August 15, Mushifiq Mahbub, a fourth year student of Music department, committed suicide jumping off the roof of his house in the Cantonment area of Dhaka as he was very frustrated over the situation of the country’s education system.
Tanvir Rahman, an evening master’s student of DU, killed self on March 31 jumping off the rooftop of its MBA building as he failed to get a government job after efforts for a long time.
On February 15 last, Torun Hossain, a third year student of Finance department, took his own life by jumping off a building at Hazaribagh of old Dhaka. His friends, classmates and roommates said he had been frustrated over his performance in the departmental examinations as well as family issues.
DU Psychology department chairperson and director of Students Counselling and Guidance Centre Mahjabeen Haque said the tendency of committing suicide among the students is increasing due to frustration regarding unemployment, failure in love affairs, lack of self-confidence and familial problems.
“We should keep in mind that committing suicide can never be solution. All people must go through crises in their life, but the path of suicide is not a solution,” she said.
Advising the students to visit the counselling centres, she said although mental health needs to be taken seriously, it is usually ignored in Bangladesh.
“Students should try to find their inner strength to fight with any crisis, create a positive outlook on life and face any situation normally. Parents and friends should listen to their children and friends more and make them feel more important,” she added.
DU Proctor Prof Dr AKM Golam Rabbani told UNB, “It is a matter of deep concern that this suicidal tendency increases among our brilliant students. I would request them not to ignore life like that. They should know that their life is very valuable both to their families and the nation.”
Sylhet, Nov 30 (UNB) – Dibir Haor, a beautiful tourist spot surrounded by mountain at the foot of Meghalaya state of India, was off the radar even four years back, but it has turned out to be a great destination of tourists in a much less time than expected, thanks to the media for their constant coverage since 2014.
Hundreds of tourists arrive here each day to enjoy the scenic beauty of Dibir Haor in Jaintapur upazila.
There are four beels -- Dibi Beel, Yam, Horofkata and Kendree Beel-- where water lilies are grown naturally in around 900 acres of land. During winter, these beels wear an attractive look with the blooming of water lilies and the entire place looks like a carpet decorated with the red water lilies.
Besides, the chirping of birds makes it more attractive to tourists. This scenic beauty remains visible till 12pm from dawn.
“Pan, Pani o Nari-Ei tiney Jaintapuri” (Betel, water and women, these three make Jaintapuri), is the description that the locals say.
The place is also full of natural and mineral resources.
Known as Shaplar Beel, Dibir Haor, however, could not escape the evil eyes of land grabbers, raising the eyebrows of the tourists, who say the government intervention has now become essential to protect it.
Of late, they put their greedy look at the land of the beels and their gangs are out to invade it in many ways, allege locals.
The grabbers have already destroyed the sight of Horofkata beel by grazing buffaloes in the beel as well as picking up roots of water lilies for sale.
Defying lease rules, they have already destroyed its beauty by flushing out the water of Kendree beel.
Local voluntary organisations, nature lovers and tourists are now demanding cancellation of the lease to stop their ill efforts to destroy the beauty of the haor.
A human chain was formed in front of Sylhet Central Shaheed Minar at the initiative of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) demanding immediate government steps to protect the beels.
Besides, a memorandum containing their demand was handed over to the Deputy Commissioner of the district.
Many tourists said the sight and scenery of the beels Khasia, surrounded by Jantia Hill, greatly attract them. Besides, they said, there is the grave of Jantia Kingdom King Bijay Sing, another historic symbol.
They demanded the government that the lease agreement signed with the “land grabbers” be cancelled.
Dhaka, Nov 28 (UNB)- The National Board of Revenue (NBR) has seen a significant growth in its revenue collection in the last six years which helped the government take some mega projects like Padma Bridge one with its own funding.
The revenue collection in the last six years witnessed 15.16 percent growth on average.
In 2012-13 fiscal year, the revenue collection was Tk 109,151.73 crore, posting a 14.83 percent while the collection was Tk 206,000 crore in the last 2017-18 fiscal year that showed a massive 19.50 percent growth.
The collection was Tk 120,819.85 crore in 2013-14 fiscal that means the growth was 10.69 percent. In 2014-15 fiscal year, the collection was Tk 135,700.70 crore showing a 12.32 percent growth while it was 155,518.72 crore with a 14.60 percent growth.
The revenue collection saw a considerable jump in the 2016-17 fiscal year when the NBR collected Tk 185,003.69 crore with an 8.96 percent growth.
Last year, the revenue collection from import-export was 28.66 percent, while 36.07 percent was from VAT and 35.27 percent from income tax.
According to sources at the NBR, the government has been successful to some extent in its plan to boost the revenue collection from internal sources while reducing dependence on foreign aid or loan or grant.
"As a result, it has been able to implement the mega project the Padma Bridge one with its own fund," an NBR official said.
He said the government has been able to expand the size of its budget due to the steady growth in revenue collection. Various types of innovative ideas of the NBR are behind the success of the persistent revenue growth, he added.
Income tax fair, tax survey and simplification of the income tax return and VAT payment, introduction of ASYCUDA World and ASYCUDA++ for customs helped the NBR achieve the success, the official mentioned.
According to him, the number of taxpayers marked a sharp rise during the period as the electronic Tax Identification Numbers (e-TINs) crossed 36 lakh.
The NBR high official said a pro-revenue culture is being created in the country due to various types of initiatives taken by the revenue authority, including advancing the automation, giving tax and VAT card.
"As a result, the number of taxpayers has increased along with the revenue collection," he said.
The official mentioned that the government has been able to remove the fear from taxpayers’ minds in the last 10 years through building awareness.
While speaking at the inaugural programme of weeklong Income Tax Fair at Officers’ Club here on Tuesday, the Finance Minister recalled that once people had showed reluctance about paying taxes as they used to think that they would be in trouble for life if they pay taxes.
“Such attitude doesn’t exist today, I think,” he said adding that many youths pay taxes willingly these days. “This is a very significant development for the whole nation,” he said.
According to data provided by the NBR, the number of TIN holders in 2012-13 fiscal was 12 lakh while it is now over 36 lakh, thanks to the salary hike of the public servants and mandatory provision of submitting their income tax returns.
For the fiscal year 2018-19, the government has set the total revenue target – tax and non-tax revenue - at Tk 3 ,39,280 crore. Of the above total amount, the NBR has been tasked to source Tk 2,96,201crore.
Official said that income tax and other direct taxes will contribute Tk 102,201 crore, while import and export tax Tk 32,589 crore, VAT Tk 110,543 crore, supplementary duty Tk 48,766, excise duty Tk 2,091 while turnover tax Tk 11 crore.