Dhaka, Sep 15 (UNB) – The Asia Cup, that enjoys a rather exalted status as cricket’s one and only continental championship, returns Saturday for its 14th edition with an unmistakable sense of anticipation in the cricketing fraternity of Bangladesh.
Having experienced a two-time of heartbreak as losing finalists in 2012 and 2016 editions, and being the only one of Asia’s four Test-playing nations yet to get their name on the trophy, perhaps no team at this year’s tournament has a bigger axe to grind in setting the record straight than the Tigers.
To that end, Mashrafe bin Mortaza’s men must look to hit the ground running in Saturday’s tournament opener in swanky Dubai - one of two host venues for this year’s tournament in the UAE, alongside even swankier Abu Dhabi - against Sri Lanka, a team in transition but still packing enough firepower to overcome any opposition on their day.
Having expanded to 6 teams for the first time, this year’s Asia Cup will be the first to feature an initial round robin phase, during which they will be divided into two groups of three teams each.
The top two teams in each group will then progress to a ‘Super 4’ phase (when semi-finals may have been the more logical option), drawing on the Super 6 phase that has featured in recent editions of cricket’s World Cup, although not to be retained in England 2019.
Each team will carry forward points gained against their fellow advancers, and face off against opponents who came up through the other side of the draw, making for two more games for each side in the Super 4. After that the top 2 teams in the standings will progress to the final to be played on September 28.
The format makes the price of a bad day potentially very costly, while a good start off the blocks can prove invaluable to easing some of the pressure teams are under. Despite being placed in the slightly easier sounding (on paper) Group B with the Lankans and Afghanistan, Mashrafe must use his influence and leadership to stamp out any sign of complacency in the Tigers set-up.
Recent meetings against Sri Lanka may have seen Bangladesh in the ascendancy, but as 5-time winners of the Asia Cup to go with their memorable WOrld Cup triumph of 1996, the islanders’ pedigree is very real and despite some stalwarts recently departing, a slew of matchwinners fill their ranks.
Afghanistan on the other hand continue to progress in leaps and bounds, something the Tigers learned the hard way as recently as June, when a three-match series played on Indian soil (international cricket is yet to commence in war-torn Afghanistan, making the team’s emergence and progress even more remarkable) ended in a humiliating Pashtun-wash.
The only redeeming fact for Bangladesh in the wake of that series being that it was in their weakest format -T20I - and the Asia Cup is not. At least this year it’s not. The Asian Cricket Council has announced however that going forward, the tournament will alternate between the T20I and 50-over formats, in sync with the ICC’s schedule for the World Cup in each format. To date only the 2016 Asia Cup followed the T20I format.
Looking ahead to the tournament, Pakistan legend Zaheer Abbas, one of only three cricketers to have served as President of the ICC, has named Bangladesh as his pick with the best chance “to upset the apple-cart”, whereby either India (6-time Asian champions, including the inaugural T20I version in 2016) or Pakistan (3-time Asian champions) are heavily favoured to win again.
“There is also Sri Lanka who will be fancying their chances, but personally I believe that Bangladesh have the best chance to upset the applecart. They have a highly improved team and could do well in the event,” Abbas said, in comments to Pakistani media.
Bangladesh arrived in the UAE largely untroubled in terms of injuries, although Shakib al Hasan, the country’s most accomplished cricketer, has been putting off an operation to his spinning finger.
Dhaka, Sept 15 (UNB) - The state-owned North-West Power Generation Company Limited (NWPGCL), founded in 2007 as a generation entity for the country’s north-western region, has planned to generate 10,000 MW of electricity by 2030.
The company has already installed several power plants having a total generation capacity of 1070 MW.
“Now our target is to become a leading power generation company of the country,” said a top official at the NWPGCL.
In its latest move, the company signed a joint development agreement (JDA) on September 7 with German-based global leading power equipment and technology Siemens to set up an imported LNG-based 3,600 MW power plant by 2024.
As per the plan, the new plant will be located adjacent to the existing 1320 MW coal-fired power plant in Payra of Patuakhali district.
According to the deal with Siemens, the first phase of 1200 MW of the plant will be installed by 2021 while the second phase of 2400 MW plant by 2024.
“We’ll make our all-out efforts to implement the largest power project within the targeted time,” said AM Khurshid Alam, the managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) of the NWPGL.
The officials said the NWPGCL primarily started with projects like Sirajganj 150 MW peaking power plant, Khulna 150 MW peaking power plant and Bheramara 410 MW combined cycle power plant.
It began providing electricity to the national grid in November 2012 after the commissioning of its Sirajganj 150 MW simple cycle power plant which was later upgraded to a 225 MW combined cycle one.
“We’ve successfully implemented the Sirajganj 225 MW combined cycle power plant, Khulna 225 MW combined cycle power plant, and Bheramara 410 MW combined cycle power plant within 10 years’ time,” said another NWPGCL official.
The NWPGCL is currently engaged in implementation of a good number of new projects like unit-3 of Sirajganj 225 MW, Sirajganj 400 MW (±10%) combined cycle power plant, Payra coal-fired 1320 MW thermal power plant under JVA with Chinese company CMG, Madhumati 100 MW HFO-based power plant, Rupsha LNG-based 800 MW combined cycle power plant and Sirajganj 7.6 MW grid-connected solar photovoltaic power plant projects.
After implementation of these projects, the NWPGCL officials said, its total installed capacity will rise to 3928 MW.
As part of future development projects, they said, there are seven power plant projects with the installed capacity of 6237.6 MW are under planning.
The NWPGCL will be able to supply some 7,000 MW of electricity within 2021 and 10,000 MW within 2030 to the national grid, said the company officials.
Rangpur, Sept 11 (UNB) - Cultivation of transplanted Aman paddy cultivation is facing a setback because of a drought-like situation in Rangpur region.
The croplands have dried up and the seedling is turning yellowish due to absence of rainfall and scorching summer heat, farmers said.
Mohammad Ali, meteorologist of the Rangpur met office, said this year the rainfall is less than the last year. Only 170 millimeters of rainfall was recorded in August this year but it was 600 millimeters in the same period last year, he said.
Inadequate rainfall has led to a near-drought situation in Rangpur, Kurigram, Nilphamari, Gaibandha, Lalmonirhat, Dinajpur, Thakurgaon and Panchagarh districts.
Moniruzzaman, deputy director of Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Rangpur region, said to overcome the situation the farmers have been advised to continue supplementary irrigation by deep tube well or from surface water sources in the affected districts of the region.
The farmers of these areas have been trying to save the transplanted seedlings by irrigation from shallow and deep tube-wells, he added.
Asaduzzaman Afzal, farmer of Khashbag in the Rangpur city, said it cost Tk 1,950 for irrigation of his one and half acres of paddy field.
Another farmer Aminur Rahman of Sadar upazila, said he irrigated his two acres of land at a cost of Tk 2000.
Many farmers could not irrigate their lands properly due to the high cost of irrigation and now they are waiting eagerly for heavy rainfall, he added.
Now farmers are apprehending that the production cost would be up if the drought-like situation continues and they have to give irrigation from deep and shallow tube-wells for more days, sources said.
DAE sources said current season farmers cultivated Aman paddy on a total 10 lakh hectares of land in eight districts of the Rangpur division.
Naogaon, Sept 10 (UNB) – Farmers of the district are very happy this year due to the good price of jute after so many years.
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), jute is now selling at Tk 1,800-2,000 per maund while its highest price was Tk 1,500 per maund last year.
However, the land brought under jute cultivation this year is lesser than that of the past year as many growers did not take interest in cultivating it due to its low prices in previous years.
DAE sources said farmers cultivated jute on 7,200 hectares of land this time which was 8,300 hectares in the previous year.
Some local farmers said they will cultivate jute on more lands next year as they are getting good prices this year.
Sekandar Ali, a farmer of Enayetpur village in Manda upazila, said he cultivated jute on 40 decimals of land and the total cost of the production was Tk 8,000. He got Tk 22,000 selling his jute.
Farmers of Shitli Hasna village in Mohadebpur upazila said the price of per maund jute was Tk 800-900 three years back which increased to Tk 1,400-1,500 last year, and it is now selling at Tk 1,800-2,000 per maund.
They are now making a profit of Tk 6,000-7,000 from per of bigha jute, said the farmers.
Some wholesale buyers of jute said they are buying jute from farmers at Tk 1,800-2,000 per maund and they will sell it to mills at Tk 2,100-2,300 per maund.
DAE deputy-director Monojit Kumar Mallik said many farmers could not plant seedlings for heavy rainfall at the beginning of the season, which is the main reason behind the fall in jute farming.
If the weather remains favourable, the production will get a boost next year, hoped the official.
Dhaka, Sept 10 (UNB) – National Board of Revenue (NBR) has put a strong vigilance mechanism in place to keep tax evasion in check.
Official sources confirmed the UNB that NBR took the move as it does not want to underachieve its set goal of collecting a hefty Tk 2,96,201 crore revenue in financial year 2018-19.
NBR has asked the Investigation and Intelligence Cell (IIC) formed in each of its tax zones to strengthen their vigilance aiming to contain the tax evasion.
“As part of the programme to catch the tax evaders the NBR has asked the IIC to take effective steps regarding the matter,” a senior official of the NBR told UNB.
The directive was given at a recent meeting with the field level officials of the revenue collecting authority at the conference room of the NBR.
The NBR has asked the officials to look into the large taxpayers’ files properly. “They will send report to the Board regularly on their activities,” the NBR senior official said.
There are 31 tax zones across the country and each tax zones have 22 circle offices. These offices collect taxes directly.
The IIC has been formed in each tax zones with the commissioners of the respective tax zones as the head of the IIC.
The NBR official said that the aim of the IIC is to identify the evaders – individual or organization.
“By ensuring this it would be possible to increase the tax collection and the people will be discouraged to evade tax,” he hoped.
He mentioned that the Cell will audit the big taxpayers and find out whether there is any incidence of income hiding, check previous income declaration and hold regular meetings with them.
Besides, the NBR has asked the field level offices to remain vigil regarding the evading of taxes by the individual taxpayers.
There will be a regular yearly Tax Fair in the next month and after that the field offices will further enhance their vigilance.
"Generally we wait for the last date of the income return submission date and after that we intensify our drive," a field level tax official told UNB.
There are over 35 lakh e-TIN holders in the country now, a number considered very low for a country of 17 crore population.
For 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 total amount, the NBR has been tasked to source Tk 2,96,201 crore.