Dhaka, June 2 (UNB) — Bangladesh won their first ODI back in 1998 against Kenya in Hyderabad. Since then, they have taken 21 years more to win their first title in a multi-national cricketing event. Interestingly, both of these historical moments of Bangladesh cricket came on the same date- May 17.
On May 17 in 1998, Bangladesh were a team who used to love cricket but failed to live up to the expectation in the field. But on May 17 in 2019, Bangladesh are a team who can beat any opponent in the world on their day.
In the intervening period, Bangladesh became a strong contender in ODI cricket. The difference is made by many ups and lows, many heartbreaks on several occasions. It took many sleepless nights for Bangladesh to reach their adulthood— winning a title in a multi-national event.
Mohammad Rafique, who was the main architect of Bangladesh’s first-ever ODI win back in 1998, believes the first multi-national trophy came after a long hard work of Bangladesh team. According to him, it will now create more expectations for them to do better in the World Cup, where they are set to start their campaign on Sunday when they take on South Africa at The Oval in London.
While talking to UNB exclusively, the former national superstar said: “It was a great win for the Tigers. I have watched the game on TV. It was a hard-fought victory. I think Bangladesh should have won a title before. We missed it in Sri Lanka last year. We missed it again in the last Asia Cup in Dubai.”
In 1997, Bangladesh won the ICC Trophy final against Kenya, which had paved the way for the Tigers to their first World Cup appearance in 1999. The match was curtailed due to rain, and now, Bangladesh their first-ever title in the curtailed-over match again. Rafique believes this coincidence has a good indicator for the future.
“We had won a curtailed-over match against Kenya in ICC Trophy. After that, we beat Pakistan in the World Cup. Now, we won our first title in another curtailed-over match and the World Cup is coming. I think it will bring good luck for us,” Rafique told UNB.
Bangladesh suffered their first heartbreak in 2009 when they failed to win the title of a tri-nation series against Sri Lanka. Three years later, the Tigers fell short of two runs in the final of Asia Cup 2012 against Pakistan.
The painful run continued when Bangladesh lost another Asia Cup final against India in 2016 at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. That was the first Asia Cup held in the T20 format. After that, the Tigers capitulated against to Sri Lanka in a tri-series at home in 2018, which was the year in which Bangladesh lost three finals.
The first one was against Sri Lanka and the second was in Sri Lanka against India in the final of Nidahas Trophy. The pain became more painful when the Tigers yield again to India in the final of Asia Cup 2018.
Bangladesh became the chokers in the finals. But the time had come in Dublin to erase their history of choking in the bigger stage and the Tigers took advantage this time outshooting West Indies in a tough situation.
At the end of the match, Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza said it was “just the start” of many more wins to come in the days ahead. He had also said before the departure to Ireland that a trophy can make the current Bangladesh set-up hungry for more big achievements. He likened it to an “appetiser”.
Now the time has come for the Tigers to prove their hunger for more.
Bagerhat, June 2, (UNB)- The threat of a cyclonic storm and the tidal surges that often accompany it causes great trepidation among the people inhabiting the banks of the Baleshwar River in coastal district Bagerhat, mainly due to the lack of a durable embankment and the indelible experience of Cyclone Sidr in 2007.
Cyclone Fani on May 4 this year also forced the people to evacuate choosing life over property but in the end its reduced intensity allowed most of them to return to their homes.
The Baleshwar River still broke its banks in three spots-- Bogi, Southkhali and Chaltebunia -- inundating villages in the area. Those who still live by its banks thus pass their nights in fear any time a cyclone signal is raised.
Now almost 12 years have passed after Sidr hit the coastal region, but the people haven’t seen any progress towards building a durable embankment in Bagerhat.
Visiting the area, our correspondent found that temporary repairs were made to the embankment in Boga and Satghor after Fani passed. But the people of the area have grown frustrated with these temporary works that can give away any time, and so they expressed their disappointment that their misery will never end.
The terrifying Sidr hit on November 15, 2007, triggering 15-16 foot tall tidal waves that destroyed the embankment and submerged numerous villages. The official death toll was eventually raised to 3,447, but thousands also remained missing, who can now be presumed dead.
People of Sharankhola raised a slogan then, “We don’t want relief but a durable embankment on Baleshwar River”.
Local sources said, the construction of 62 kilometer durable embankment at Polder Number 35/1 in Sharankhola area began in 2016 with World Bank funding.
The construction was supposed to end by January, 2019 but was halted as the contractor asked for more time till June, 2020.
First Engineering Bureau of Henan Water Conservancy (CHWE), a Chinese construction firm has been contracted to build the embankment the under Water Development Board (WDB), the responsible body for building and maintaining embankments and dams in Bangladesh.
Mujibur Rahman of Dakkhin Southkhali village beside Baleshwar River said, “We suffer a lot when the Baleshwar River water overflows embankment and enter our villages. We cannot cook for days and live a miserable life on the roads with our livestock.”
Jakir Hossain, UP member of Southkhali ward number 4, said more than 600 to 700 feet of the embankment was collapsed by Fani and over 700 houses were inundated at Dakkhin Southkhali and Chaltebunia village.
Md Shahin Hawlader of the area told UNB, “Fear of death is our daily companion due to the lack of a durable embankment on Baleshwar River.”
Md Jamal Jomaddar, Md Safij Khan, Noor Mohammad, Abdul Jalil, Md Shamsher Ali and others of the area said more than 75 percent of Bogi area was grabbed by Baleshwar River erosion. The only road changed its direction for five to six times. The people have only 25 percent of the agricultural land they used to.”.
A durable, permanent embankment is mandatory for saving them now, they added.
Engineer Md Nahid-uz-Zaman Khan of Bagerhat Water Development Board (WDB) said, ‘We are making a temporary embankment as the old one had collapsed in Bogi area.”
A proposal has been sent to the authorities concerned over the land acquisition necvessary for building it, he added.
Engineer Md Ashraful Alam of Coastal Embankment Improvement Project Phase-1 (CEIP-1) said, ‘The construction of 62km durable embankment from Sharankhola to Morelganj in polder no 35/1 area is underway. We have requested fund from the World Bank for 3km river management at Bogi of Sharankhola and Amtali of Morelganj area.
He however said “complexities over land acquisition” had halted the construction of a durable embankment..
Engineer Alam remains optimistic that the construction of a durable embankment will be completed by June 2020 if the funds for river management and land acquisition can be managed.
Tapan Kumar Biswas, Bagerhat Deputy Commissioner, confirming that the land acquisition process was underway. “We will hand over the land to the authority concerned after a meeting over land distribution and hearing the objections.”
Dhaka, June 1 (UNB) - The budget for 2019-20 fiscal year will have special measurers to expand the tax net as the number of taxpayers in the country is still negligible compared to other countries of the world.
As part of expanding the tax base, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) will conduct tax surveys in all houses at divisions, districts and upazila levels.
Sources at the Finance Ministry and NBR said the eligible business entities at the district and upazila levels will be brought under the tax net.
They said there will be at least one tax office in every upazila of the country.
The target for the revenue collection will be Tk 3.97 lakh crore for the next 2019-20 fiscal year, aiming to reduce dependence on foreign aid and grant.
Of the total amount, the NBR will collect about Tk 3,41,700 crore while non-NBR sector will contribute Tk 17,000 crore and the non-tax sector Tk 37,500 crore.
Of the total amount of the NBR collection, VAT will contribute the most followed by income tax, supplementary duty and import duty, its officials said.
According to Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, the next budget will be placed in Parliament on June 13.
He said the tax-GDP ratio in the country is very low as it is not more than 10 percent though it is more than 15 percent in any other country of the world.
Currently, officials said, some 38 lakh people have eTINs while 20 lakh individuals submit their income returns while only five lakh pay their taxes.
Around the world, income tax is the main source of internal revenue earnings. In Bangladesh, the government has been trying hard for the last few years to improve the share of income tax in revenue collection, according to the officials.
The government has set a target to make the income tax as the main source of revenue collection from 2020-21 fiscal year.
In the current fiscal year, the target for revenue collection from income tax is 34 percent while the share of VAT is 37.30 percent.
In a recent programme, the Finance Minister said though some four crore people of the country are in the middle-income group, the number of taxpayers is only five lakh.
In the future, he said, no one will be spared if one does not pay income tax despite being eligible to do that.
Though the NBR is trying hard to expand the tax net, lack of adequate manpower is hampering the move, the officials added.
They put emphasis on filling up vacancies and creating more posts in the NBR to boost its revenue collection.
Keraniganj, May 31 (UNB) – Workers of some 30 dockyards in and around Keraniganj are passing a busy period in their respective dockyards in refurbishing the old and unfit launches to earn extra money ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr.
One of the most abiding features of the Eid-ul-Fitr festival among Bangladeshis is the almost ritual practice of going home for the holidays, as millions clear out of the main urban centres they have migrated to over the years in favour of a return to roots, often to their ancestral villages where families still maintain a presence to celebrate Eid with their dear and near ones.
Visiting different dockyards including Rahman Dockyard, Baby Shaheb Dockyard in Keraniganj, on the outskirts of the capital, the UNB correspondent found that a number of launches are being given facelifts.
The workers are busy in repairing and refurbishing launches and adding new cabins to the launch to deal the excessive pressure of passengers ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Official sources said launch is the lone mode of vehicle for some 5-7 million people (50-70 lakh people) on 37 river routes during Eid.
A total of 80-90 luxurious launches which ply Dhaka-Chandpur and Dhaka-Barishal routes have fitness but 70 unfit launches ply the 27 river routes including Matlab, Bhedorganj, Damudya, Muladi, Gouranadi, Patarhat, Rangabali, Gosairhat, Kalaiya, Patuakhali and Morelganj.
The passengers travel by the unfit launches during the mad rush of Eid putting their lives at risk.
However, the launch owners claimed that the papers and documents of the launches are valid and that they are fit for carrying passengers to tackle the huge pressure of passengers during Eid.
In reality though, they have only undergone some cosmetic changes like a new paint job, as part of a facelift to attract passengers.
Contacted, AKM Arif Uddin, joint secretary of Dhaka River Port of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), said, “A special team of BIWTA and river police will strongly monitor and conduct drive at different launch terminals including Sadarghat, Chandpur and Barishal from June 2 to 12 to check overloading and charging extra fares for ensuring smooth journey of the passengers.”
Dhaka, May 31 (UNB) – Though Petrobangla has been importing bulk LNG to supply 1,000 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) to meet shortage in gas supply, it hardly can provide 550-600 mmcfd for lack of constraint in pipeline facilities.
Now, the country can utilise only 60 percent of its existing capacity to supply the imported costly liquified natural gas (LNG), while 40 percent remain unutilised, said insiders in the gas sector.
For this, PDB data shows, the power sector is not getting the expected gas supply resulting in 1400 MW power generation keeping out of operation.
Not only the non-utilisation of capacity, but the country also has to incur huge financial losses by counting a capacity payment of about $200,000 per day to the LNG terminal operators which provide the re-gasification service to the imported LNG.
Officials at Pertrobangla and its subsidiary RPGCL, however, attributed these losses to the state-owned Gas Transmission Company Limited (GTCL) for its failure to implement two gas transmission-line projects undertaken to increase the supply facilities.
Two pipelines -- 42-inch 90-km pipeline from Moheshkhali to Anwara and 36-inch 181-km Chattogram-Feni-Bakhrabad — were undertaken by the GTCL to reach the imported LNG across the country by enhancing transmission facility.
Official data shows the Maheshkhali-Anwara project was undertaken at a cost of Tk 1157.42 crore to implement it by December 2018. But, 40 percent of works still remain unimplemented.
Similarly, the 181-km pipeline from Fouzdarhat of Chattogram to Bakhrabad of Cumilla was undertaken at Tk 1962.38 crore with a schedule to complete the work by June 2019. But, its 70 percent works were done while 30 percent remained undone.
Officials said the GTCL`s failure to timely implement the pipeline projects ultimately created the bottlenecks in utilising the full capacity of the private sector’s re-gasification units.
Such failure has a financial cost as well, they said adding that the government has contracts with the LNG terminal operators to utilise their full capacity or else they have to pay a mandatory capacity payment as per condition of the contracts.
“Now, the government has to make a capacity payment of about $200,000 per day to the LNG terminal operators,” a top official at Petrobangla said.
RPGCL managing director Quamruzzaman, which is responsible for the import and supply of LNG, admitted the capacity payment to the LNG terminal operators.
“We’ve to pay an amount nearly $200,000 per day,” he said adding that this is not a big deal and it may happen in Bangladesh where project implementation always faces delay.
Contacted, GTCL managing director Ali Mohd Al Mamun blamed the land acquisition complexity and critical task of laying pipeline under riverbed for this delay in implementation of pipeline projects.
He said the government has to acquire land for laying pipeline which is beyond the control of the implementing agency. “We’ve to depend on district administration for timely land acquisition. But when it gets delayed, the whole process gets delayed,” he told UNB.
Mamun hoped that the remaining works of both the pipeline projects will be completed within two-three months.