Dhaka, Dec 18 (UNB) - The government on Tuesday honoured 178 businesspersons with Commercially Important Person (CIP) cards for their outstanding contributions to the economy of the country in 2016.
Of them, 137 received the cards in the export category while 41 cards were awarded to the directors of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) in the trade category as ex-officio members.
Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed handed over the CIP cards to the businesspersons for their respective companies at a ceremony held at the TCB Conference Hall in the city on Tuesday.
While speaking as the chief guest, Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh has flourished economically for outstanding contribution from the private sectors.
“We started export with US$ 348 million just after the Liberation War. Now, the export earnings rose to $36.67 billion,” he said.
The senior minister also said, "We are distributing the CIP cards to the business people who are playing important role for flourishing country's economy. Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wanted to build strong economy of the country… However, his daughter Sheikh Hasina succeeded the dream.”
The country will achieve development status by 2041, he added.
The minister also said that Bangladesh is now a role model in the world. “We have been able to produce food up to five crore tons in agriculture sector. Besides, 56 percent export growth raised in some other sectors.”
"We have increased RMG workers salary up to 51 percent. Garments factories in our country are now environment friendly. After Rana Plaza collapse, the owners have built their factories as green ones.”
He also said that the foreign buyers don't increase the prices of Bangladesh products.
FBCCI President Shafiul Isllam said, “Bangladesh's economy means private sector's economy. We are at 176th position in ease of doing business in the world. Although we have to face various problems in the private sectors, we are going forwards as well.
“The government took many mega projects. We request to the government to serve quality electricity and gas supplies in those projects, especially in Economic Zones" he also said.
Ministry of Commerce in collaboration with the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) jointly organised the programme to recognise the business community's contribution to the country.
The CIPs will be able to use VIP lounge at all the airports in the country, receive visa assistance from embassies as well as their family members will also be given priority in booking cabins at public hospitals.
They will also get passes to enter Bangladesh Secretariat without hindrance, participate in different national programmes and will be given priority in booking tickets for air, railway, and waterways on business trips.
FBCCI President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, Commerce Ministry secretary Md Mofizul Islam and EPB Vice-chairman Bijoy Bhattacharjee also spoke at the card distribution ceremony.
Monowara Hakim Ali, a CIP card awardee and director of FBCCI said, I am happy to get the CIP card as a women entrepreneur. “Many thanks to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for giving priority to women entrepreneurs in her tenure.”
Secretary Monzurul Islam said the government has taken long time projects to develop the country by 2041. “The private sector has to play important role for the development of the country,” he added.
Dhaka, Dec 16 (UNB) - A massive plan to unlock investment opportunities worth $35 billion for the private sector in the country`s power transmission sector is in the works.
According to official sources in the Power Division, the private sector`s enormous contribution in power generation – private companies now contribute over half the country’s installed generation capacity- has encouraged the government to involve them in the transmission segment of the sector.
The latest government statistics show that out of total power generation capacity of 20,343 MW, the private sector’s contribution stands at 11,057 MW representing 54 percent of the total, while the public sector with 9,286 MW contributes the remaining 46 percent.
Power Division officials claim this substantial growth was only possible due to the favourable climate for investment in power generation facilitated by the government over the AL’s decade in power, as it sought to put an end to the era of countrywide heavy loadshedding.
“Seeing this great success, the government has now moved to unlock the investment scope for the private sector in the transmission segment as well,” Mohammad Hossain, director general of the Power Cell, told UNB.
Power Cell, a technical wing of the Power Division added by the AL-led government, is responsible for implementing reforms in the power sector. Accordingly it has already started framing the proposed guidelines for the private sector’s involvement based on a number of models being followed by different countries.
“We hope the guideline will be ready by January next,” said the Power Cell DG.
Official sources said as part of the Power System Master Plan drawn up in 2016, the Power Division identified a $35-billion investment potential in the transmission segment up to 2041.
As per the plan, the power transmission lines will be expanded to 36,870 kms across the country by 2041.
Of the total grid transmission lines, 16,655 kms will be of 132 kV while 9,717 kms of 230 kV, 1,740 kms of 400 kV and 796 kms of 765 kV, according to officials at the Power Division.
If seen through to the end, that would over three times the total length of transmission lines at present: 11,123 kms. Of this, 132 kV transmission lines are 7,082 kms while 230 kV 3,343 kms and 400 kV lines are 698 kms. At the moment, there is no 765 kV line (greater capacity) anywhere in the country.
Power Division officials informed that a good number of foreign and local firms lined up with the government by placing their offers to express their intention to invest in the transmission segment.
The transmission segment is coming into focus because of the government’s strategy to maintain the growth momentum in the power sector till at least 2041, when electricity generation capacity is planned to reach about 60,000 MW.
Power Division sources said the government envisions a total investment of $216 billion in the power sector spread across three segments—generation, transmission and distribution— over 25 years till 2041.
Of this, it requires $150 billion in generation, $35 billion in transmission and $31 billion in distribution.
But the policy in place for the sector allows private investment only in generation, and there are no private sector players in the transmission and distribution segments.
With new policy guidelines coming into place, the transmission segment will be opened for private investors.
But overcoming the security concerns, many countries including neighbouring India have allowed private companies to enter the segment. “The investment could be in the form of public-private partnership (PPP) as well,” Mohammad Hossain said.
Power Division additional secretary Rahmat Ullah Mohammad Dastagir in a recent presentation to a group of Chinese investors said the country needs an average of $9 billion investment in the power sector each year up to 2041.
Welcoming the government`s decision to allow the private sector in the transmission segment, Imran Karim, vice president of Bangladesh Independent Power Producers Association (BIPPA), said the new scope will definitely encourage the private investors to continue their contribution in the country`s power sector development.
"Without a strong support from the state, it was not possible for the private sector producers to reach the milestone in power generation," Karim said.
According to BIPPA, the private sector has invested about $12 billion over the last 10 years setting up more than 50 power plants.
BIPPA leaders said they have plans 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 via the public-private partnership (PPP) initiative to set up at least 55 plants to generate some 12,000 MW of power or more.
Dhaka, Dec 15 (UNB) - M Shahjahan Khan has been elected President of the Bangladesh Thai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BTCCI) for the term 2018-2020.
The 13th annual general meeting (AGM) of the BTCCI was held at the Dhaka Club Ltd in the city on Saturday which elected new leadership for the bilateral chamber.
Engineer Rashed Maksud Khan, Chairman of Election Board and former president, conducted the BTCCI election.
Gaus Uddin Khan and Md Munir Hossain have been elected as senior vice president and vice president respectively along with Shamima Rahman (Director Administration) and Pramatha Barua (Director Finance) for the same period.
The other newly elected Directors are Asif Ibrahim, Jafer Ummed Khan, Mohammad Hussain Sattar, Hossain A Sikder, Mafiz A Bhuiyan, Montchai Musicubud, Shuchat Suntipada, Kiatkati Chaopaknam, Hasan Mahmud Chowdhury and Junaed Ibne Ali.
Shahjahan Khan, the newly elected President of BTCCI, is the chairman of SS Shipping and Chartering Ltd., SS Shipping and Trading Ltd, Fatema Real Estate and Developers Ltd and SS Builder and Developers Ltd.
He is also a former President of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), and former senior vice-president of Barisal Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Dhaka, Dec 15 (UNB) – A new showroom of Vibrant of US-Bangla Footwear Limited has been inaugurated at Banoshree in the city’s Rampura area.
Sheikh Tanvir Taposh, head of marketing, S M Benzir Saklayn, retail operations manager and Md. Kamrul Islam, GM (Marketing Support and PR) of US-Bangla Airlines Limited jointly inaugurated the new showroom.
Other officials of US-Bangla Group were also present during the ceremony.
Vibrant is bringing new fashion footwear products to the market considering the tastes of the people who prefer fashionable items.
Vibrant is committed to provide quality services to the buyers by bringing world-class quality products keeping standard of the items and their prices in active consideration also. Vibrant footwear products are manufactured in its own state-of-the-art factory ensuring 100 percent use of cow leather as raw material.
About 800 models of news designed footwear for male, female and children are available at new outlets of Vibrant at Banoshree in Rampura.
The company is going to inaugurate new showroom at Mirpur in the capital and Saidpur, Nilphamari districts. It will gradually open showrooms at all towns and cities in 64 districts across the country.
For the convenience of the customers, there will be the provision of making payments using VISA and Master card besides cash payment. The company already started customer service through online.
On the occasion of inauguration of the showroom, the company has offered special 20 percent discount on all products. The visitors can enjoy the special discount at House-12, Block-B, Main Road, Banoshree, Rampura.
Dhaka, Dec 13 (UNB) – The Energy Division will launch a campaign to raise awareness among consumers about the safe use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) across the country.
Private companies that are involved in the LPG business will also be engaged in the awareness campaign if needed.
“If need be, we’ll go for a mechanism to enforce the LPG companies to run a campaign at their own initiative through the electronic, print and other media to make people aware about the safe and secure use of LPG,” Energy Secretary Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem said while addressing a press briefing at the Energy Ministry on Thursday.
The Energy Division arranged the press briefing against the backdrop of a series of recent incidents of fire and explosions from household LPG containers that killed a number of people.
Other senior officials of the Energy Division were present at the briefing.
“Actually, LPG is safe in its nature. It’s a by-product of natural gas which is bottled at very low pressure and normally, it carries no risk of any fire incident,” said the energy secretary.
He claimed that the fire incidents which took place in recent days were because of wrong use and leakage in the regulating point of a household LPG bottle.
Muneem said it was found during investigation that either there were leakages in the LPG bottles’ regulating points or the safety valves were not working. “As a result, gas comes out of the bottle and accumulates in a small room and it bursts into flames when people start an oven through a matchstick,” he said.
He said all the incidents took place for lack of awareness. “Many people try to heat the LPG container to get maximum gas which sometimes leads to fire incident.”
He urged the consumers to mandatorily maintain safety rules of the LPG container. “You must shut down the switch of the regulator of the LPG container and again open the door and windows of the kitchen before switching on the oven to be sure that gas goes out of the room.”