Fahad Ferdous, UNB Staff Writer
Dhaka, Sept 6 (UNB) – The government has taken a move to increase the license and renewal fees of private medical colleges, hospitals, clinics and diagnostic centres of the country aiming to increase revenue collection from this sector.
If implemented this will be first such fees hike in the sector since 1982, according to the Finance Ministry.
Plan is underway to hike annual fees of the private medical colleges from a paltry Tk. 5000 to Tk 2.5 lakh.
The annual license and renewal fees of private hospitals and clinics established in divisional headquarters, city corporations, districts and upazila level is currently Tk 5000. Proposal has been given to make it up to Tk 2 lakh depending on the number of beds.
The annual and renewal fees in divisions and city corporations for 10-50 bed hospital will be Tk 50,000, whereas it will be Tk 40,000 in district level while the fees for upazila-level ones will be Tk 25,000.
The fees for 51-100 bed private hospitals and clinics will be Tk 1 lakh for divisions and city corporation areas, Tk 75,000 at districts, and Tk 50,000 at upazila-level.
For 101-249 bed the fees will be Tk 1.50 lakh in divisions and city corporations, Tk 1 lakh for districts and Tk 75,000 for upazilas.
Private hospitals in divisions and city corporations that have 250 beds will have to pay Tk 2 lakh for annual and renewal fees. The rate for district level is proposed at Tk 1.50 lakh while for the upazila level it will be Tk 1 lakh.
Category-A diagnostic labs that have routine pathology, biochemistry, microbiology, haematology, x-ray, ultra-sonogram, microbiology, immunology, hormone test, radiology, imaging, CT Scan and MRI are now paying Tk 1000 only for license and renewal fees.
These fees will be Tk 50,000, Tk 40,000 and Tk 25,000 in divisions/city corporations, districts and upazilas respectively.
For the Category-B diagnostic labs, the rates will be Tk 35,000, Tk 25,000 and Tk 20,000 respectively.
The rates for the Category-C diagnostic labs will be Tk 25,000, Tk 20,000 and Tk 15,000 respectively.
The medical check-up centres established for checking up the people going to abroad have to pay Tk 1 lakh instead of existing Tk 1000 as fees for setting up and renewals.
For setting up the dental clinics the rates will be Tk 30,000, Tk 25,000 and Tk 20,000 for divisions/city corporations, districts and upazilas respectively.
According to a senior official of the Finance Ministry the government has taken the move to increase the rates after 36 years aiming to improve the revenue collection from this sector.
Dhaka, Sept 6 (UNB) – Each of the state-owned commercial banks (SCBs) will have to put in place a dedicated supervision cell to oversee cases of default loan worth Tk. 100 crore and above and take measures to recover the money.
This is one of the 26 recommendations that the Finance Ministry has recently come up with as governments wants to go tough against the default loan culture in the banking sector, particularly in SCBs.
As per the recommendation Bangladesh Bank will also have a supervision cell to look into the default loan cases, official sources in the finance ministry and banking sector told the UNB.
According to the sources, different short, medium and long-term recommendations came up from a workshop titled ‘Review of State-run Banks: Way to Face the Challenge’ held last year. Finance Division finalized the 26 recommendations.
As per the recommendations, to ensure the accountability of the officials of banks and other financial institutions, there will be an index of various targets and in every three months each organization will hold a review meeting to evaluate the index and take the next course of action.
Successes and failures will be stated in their annual confidential report (ACR). There will be reward and punishment for the success and failure of the realization of defaulted loans.
There is a recommendation for setting up such index for the MDs and CEOs of the SCBs, evaluate their performance and introduce incentive system for them.
Recommendation has been given to set up a separate bench to settle down the writ cases related with default loans in the High Court.
It also said to formulate a policy to appoint directors in the banks through appropriate test, evaluating their education, professional qualification and other matters.
Emphasis has been given to formulate a policy on merger of banks in the light of existing laws of the country.
Recommendation has been given to prepare a full scale proposal through more scrutiny for making the SCBs to corporate entity by offloading their shares in the private sector.
For processing the loan proposal and approval, it stated to maintain highest three steps side by side reviewing the existing system.
It has been recommended to formulate a policy and central data bank to resist possible forgery in taking land or assets as collateral.
It suggested drafting a policy by the central bank containing cautionary steps for giving LTR (Loan Against Trust Receipts) or bill purchase like non-funded loan facility.
It suggested that while evaluating the loan proposal the flow of working capital should be ensured. Bangladesh Bank could consider amending the existing policy if necessary, recommended the Finance Division.
To preserve the information about the loans, it suggested setting up a Know Your Customer (KYC) or Electronic Bank A/C under the supervision of the central bank.
It also said that to determine the land price for taking collateral there should be a policy to fix the surveyor or credit rating companies and enlist them after examination and evaluation.
Dhaka, Sep 6 (UNB) – The beginning of the 12th edition of the SAFF Championship is marked by three unique features.
There are – revival of football’s popularity in the country with each game proving to be formidable crowd-puller, live telecast of the games via country’s first commercial satellite Bangabandhu-1, and comeback of Pakistan after a four-year break including a suspension from international football by FIFA.
Bangladesh hosting the seven-nation biennial event – this time named as the SAFF Suzuki Cup 2018 – for the third time, after 2003 and 2009, and got off to a flying start on Tuesday with a 2-0 win against visiting Bhutan, the side that kept Bangladesh out of the international circuit for long 17-month by defeating Bangladesh by 3-1 goals in the ACC Asia Cup Qualifiers in Thimphu back in 2016.
The home of Bangladesh football, Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS) with a capacity of 23000 suffered crowd droughts for a long time, but the opening day’s Bangladesh-Bhutan match pulled a good 12000-strong crowd. Braving intermittent rains the local spectators continued to enjoy the English coach Jamie Day boys’ early success in the very first match.
Jamie Day was pleased with his team performance. On Tuesday night speaking at the post-match press conference he said, “The boys played very well and I think, we deserved the win tonight.”
Earlier, a day before the match day the coach Jamie Day said, “I’m not looking in the past. We are looking forward, after a long preparation. We have 20 players and we will play match by match.” He was speaking at the pre-match press conference at BFF House.
However, in the last three editions of the SAFF Championships, Bangladesh finished their journey from the group stage after a successful title-winning campaign in 2003.
Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairman and BFF Senior-vice President Abdus Salam Murshedy earlier expected a revival of national football team’s popularity through this ongoing event.
“We need only a winning start to bring back our football loving people to the stadium as I believe football is still a popular game in Bangladesh. I hope Bangladesh will play the final,” Murshedy said on August 31.
The BFF President Kazi Salahuddin also expressed optimism this time about having a good result in the tournament. He said, “As a footballer, I can say, the level of the participating nations of this event is much higher than any other SAFF event held before. I hope we’ll be the champions. As the BFF president, I’ve done enough for the national team’s preparations. I hope we’ll get a good result.”
The BFF president was speaking on logo unveiling ceremony on September 3.
Meanwhile, country’s first commercial satellite station has made its debut on an experimental operation by facilitating Bangladesh Television (BTV) air the SAFF Championship matches.
Bangladesh entered the elite Space Club of 57 nations with the launch of its first geostationary communications satellite, Bangabandhu-1, into the orbit by US space transport company SpaceX on May 12, 2018. The satellite was launched using the latest version of SpaceX's upgraded Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket, from the historic Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral. The slot was rented from Russian satellite company Intersputnik for $28 million in January 2015.
Another feature of this edition of SAFF game is Pakistan’s first appearance in international football after a four year lull. Pakistan have overcome their frustration, making a winning return into the international football as they started their campaign in the meet with a 2-1 win against Nepal in the tournament opener also on September 4.
The ban on Pakistan, which was imposed due to third-party interference in the Pakistan Football Federation’s (PFF) affairs, has been withdrawn by FIFA in March 2018.
The biggest football festival of the region--The SAFF Suzuki Cup -- will end with its final on September 15 where host Bangladesh was placed in Group ‘A’ with Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan and Group ‘B’ comprises defending champions India, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives to qualify the semifinals.
Bangladesh are now at the top of the group table ahead of Pakistan by virtue of goal difference.
Dhaka, Sept 5 (UNB) - BNP is getting ready to launch a ‘brief but effective’ simultaneous movement with other opposition parties in October next to force the government to release Khaleda Zia and hold the next national election under a non-party administration.
According to BNP insiders, the party is also preparing to join the 11th parliamentary polls by invigorating its rank and file with the movement.
As part of the preparations for the polls, BNP is going to form around 40,000 committees based on every polling station in 300 constituencies across the country to foil any attempt to rig vote.
Talking to UNB, senior BNP leaders said they are now working out strategies and programmes to wage the movement, mainly in the capital, so that they can get results by 10-15 days by paralysing the city.
They said their party will announce the ‘harsher’ action programmes the day the Prime Minister will form a small election-time government to carry out only routine works.
Before launching the movement, the BNP leaders said, they want to take almost all the political parties, now out of the Awami League-led 20-party alliance, into its fold to mount pressure on the government to concede to their demands.
A BNP standing committee member, wishing anonymity, said they are making a draft of the framework of the national unity with other parties. “We can wage a united or simultaneous movement after the understanding with the political parties.”
“Once the election-time government is formed, we think, the current regime will lose its importance, and there’ll be a change in the attitude of law enforcers. At that time, we’ll launch the movement and make it a success by 10-15 days,” he said.
The BNP leader said their party senior leaders will start visiting different districts very soon to give their party grassroots rank and file necessary directions for waging the movement and make them ready for the election.
Contacted, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said three is no option for their party other than going to the polls following a strong movement. “I can tell you we’ll surely wage a strong movement, no matter what. Joining the election without a movement will be useless for us.”
He said their party is preparing for a fruitful movement, and it will urge people to take to the streets at the right time. “We’ve a plus point that people are with us. If we can take to the streets, people will spontaneously join us.”
About the national unity with other parties, the BNP secretary general said there is a good progress in it. “We’re in discussions about its framework. I hope, there’ll be a national unity.”
Once the national unity is forged, Fakhrul said, all the parties may launch a simultaneous movement with almost the same demands.
He also said they are inspiring their party leaders and activists to take to the streets braving bullets, arrest and repressive acts.
Besides, Fakhrul said, they are preparing for a vote revolution on the polling day of the 11th parliamentary election. “Our party leaders and activists will guard every polling centre. There’ll be a strong directive for our party men not to leave the voting centres under any circumstances.”
The BNP leader also thinks the government will not able to hold another January-5 like election. “Can the government afford another farcical election ignoring the tremendous pressure by people and foreign friends? The government is under serious pressure by the global community to hold a credible and inclusive election.”
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed said movement is the only option for their party to free Khaleda Zia from jail and ensure a credible election under a non-party administration. “We’re getting ready for taking to the streets. We must go to polls after freeing Khaleda Zia. We’ll carry out the movement for freeing our leader and establishing a non-party neutral election-time government.”
BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy said their party is taking all-out preparations both for a strong movement and the election.
He said BNP’s all possible MP candidates have started working in their respective areas to prepare the party leaders and activists so that they can resist vote fraud and rigging ‘by Awami League’.
Dhaka, Sept 5 (UNB) – The China-Europe freight train service carrying containers from both ends is gaining popularity as China has made direct rail service a major feature of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) encouraging other BRI countries to follow suit, officials said.
“Some 1400 cargo trains departed from Urumqi to European destinations since the introduction of this service back in 2016,” Deputy Manager of China-Europe Cargo Train Realignment Centre Nan Jun told UNB.
He said this service that connected European countries and 42 cities helped reduce cost and time benefiting all those connected with the service.
The China-Europe freight trains carry containers of auto parts, engineering equipment, and daily essentials leave Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
The train will travel through Xinjiang's Alataw Pass and stop at a port in Kazakhstan where the containers will be transferred to ships which are bound for Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
“We’re trying to improve the efficiency of the cargo train service to further cut the cost and time making the service smoother,” Nan Jun said.
A study commissioned by the International Union of Railways estimates that China-Europe rail service could double their share of trade by volume over the next decade.
Barely a decade ago, officials said, regular direct freight service from China to Europe did not exist but today they can connect some 35 Chinese cities with 34 European ones.
Rail service is considerably cheaper than air’s, and faster than water’s, they said.
Carriers on air, rail, road and waterways carried a total of 27.54 billion tonnes of cargo in the first seven months, up 6.8 percent year on year, according to data of the Chinese government.
China-Eurasia Expo sees deals worth $39bn
The sixth China-Eurasia Expo that ended in Urumqi, the northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region on September 1, witnessed deals worth around $ 39.66 bn, according to Chinese government data.
Chemical engineering, energy and environmental protection, culture and tourism, new material and others were the areas where cooperation deals were signed during the three-day expo.
On the other hand, 25 major companies from Xinjiang have signed 29 agreements with companies from 13 countries along the Belt and Road, which are worth 10.48 billion yuan.
Participants from 35 countries and regions attended the expo with a total of 704 companies, including 27 corporations on the Fortune Global 500.
The previous expo saw $ 18 billion worth of contracts signed between Chines and foreign companies.