Dhaka, May 27 (UNB) – The government on Monday allocated Tk 169.14 crore for partially clearing the arrears and Eid bonus of workers of state-owned jute mills ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.
The workers’ wages and bonus will be disbursed through their respective accounts, said sources at the Textiles and Jute Ministry.
The Finance Ministry has allocated the money as an operation loan and it will be given for paying a portion of the arrears and Eid bonus of the striking workers, according to the sources.
Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) will pay the wages and bonus through the bank accounts of the workers.
According to a letter of the Finance Ministry, the authorities concerned will have to repay the money in 20 years with 5 percent interest in installments after every six months.
The BJMC will have to sign a loan agreement with the Finance Division in this regard.
The government allocated the money following the countrywide demonstration enforced by the jute mill workers to press home their nine-point demand, including payment of their dues, implementation of wage commission and others.
The government had been in dilemma to pay the money to the BJMC as it proved itself as a loss-making organisation.
Earlier, the government provided BJMC with Tk 7,477 crore since 2009 to bail it out of its financial crisis.
Dhaka, May 27 (UNB) – Branding food adulterators as the biggest terrorists in society, former health minister and senior ruling party leader Mohammad Nasim on Monday demanded capital punishment for them.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion on safe food, other speakers also echoed Nasim’s sentiment seeking maximum punishment for the food adulterators as part of a move to ensure safe food for people.
“Those who adulterate food in this month of Ramadan should be awarded death sentence as they’re killing a huge number of people by contaminating food. They’re the biggest terrorists in society,” Nasim said.
Bhejal O Madak Birodhi Andolon, a platform against food adulteration and drug abuse, arranged the programme at the Jatiya Press Club.
Nasim, also the spokesman of the ruling 14-party alliance, said a social movement is necessary to be launched to ensure safe food and get rid of malpractice by food traders.
He said country’s many people are suffering from various diseases, including cancer and kidney failure, due to food adulteration. “Why do you (traders) adulterate food when so many people are getting sick consuming those?”
The AL leader said traders in West Bengal of India cannot sell any fish without testing by sanitary inspectors. “But our sanitary inspectors don’t work, and they only wait for salary at the end of month.”
Nasim thinks the business bodies should come forward to stop food adulteration.
He also questioned as to why the business bodies, including the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), do not suspend the membership of adulterators from their associations. “I think the level of food adulteration can be reduced substantially by giving capital punishment by court to some offenders.”
The former minister urged the Home Minister to take the issue seriously and ensure stern action against those involved in contaminating food.
He thanked the media for continuing a strong campaign to stop food adulteration in the country.
Nasim bemoaned that the food traders and the owners of superstores now lack the sense of humanity. “It’s difficult to get any food item in the country which is free from adulteration. Even, medicine companies also indulge in adulteration.”
He also observed that some food adulterators got involved with Awami League since it has been in power for a long time. “So, we must drop them from the party.”
Former Industries Minister Dilip Barua said many people are now being forced to go abroad selling their land and valuable property for receiving treatment for various diseases caused by the consumption of contaminated food.
Alongside taking stern action against those involved in food adulteration, he said, a strong social movement will have to be waged to free the nation from food adulteration.
Claiming that sexual violence, drug abuse and food adulteration are on the rise in the country, former Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu underscored the need for strict enforcement of laws to get rid of these menaces.
He also said he will place the food adulteration issue in Parliament soon.
“If you can punish drug traders and war criminals, why can’t you punish food adulterators?” Inu asked the government, saying the administration should take action against the adulterators.
He also urged politicians not to support the food adulterators. “Then Bangladesh will be free from adulteration.”
Agricultural scientist Dr Ali Afzal said lots of chemicals are mixed in food items. “Even unscrupulous millers make adulterated rice,” he said, adding that the government should strictly enforce laws to ensure safe food.
He also urged law enforcement and media to come forward to this end.
Chairman of Dhaka University’s Pharmaceutical Technology department ABM Faroque said cancer patients will decrease by 50 percent in the country if safe food can be ensured for all. “There’re 19 colours that are mixed with our foods.”
“We must establish a strong institute to ensure food security. It must be out of political influence. Strong monitoring institute for food security will help supply pure food. Or else, we all will have to suffer in the future,” he said.
Chairman of Bangladesh Press Council Justice Momtaz Uddin Ahmed said the rule of law is much needed right now.
He also underscored the need for ensuring people’s participation in enforcing laws.
Crime Reporters Association of Bangladesh (CRAB) President Abul Khair said a slaughterer kills a man but a food adulterator kills the nation, demanding their capital punishment.
Dhaka, May 27 (UNB) – The Cabinet on Monday approved the draft of the Law and Order Disruption (Speedy Trial) (Amendment) Bill, 2019 for extending its validity till 2024.
The approval came at the Cabinet meeting held here with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
“The duration of the Law and Order Disruption (Speedy Trial) Act, 2002 expired in April 2019. So, its validity has been extended by more five years,” said Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam while briefing reporters at the Secretariat after the Cabinet meeting.
“Since the law still has the effectiveness (usefulness) as there’re many sensitive cases which are needed to be disposed of quickly,” he said replying to a question as to why the validity of the existing law is being extended.
Shafiul Alam, however, said no change has been brought in the content of the law.
Besides, the Cabinet gave the final approval to the draft of the Customs Bill, 2019 giving the government the authority to formulate rules under the proposed law.
“In October, 2018, the Cabinet cleared the same bill. But the tenure of the then 9th parliament expired before the bill was passed. So, the bill has again been placed at the cabinet just to follow formalities,” said the Cabinet Secretary.
The bill will make the Customs Act 1969 a time-befitting and modern law.
In the beginning of the Cabinet meeting, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi handed a memento gift and a letter of Belarus government over to the Prime Minister.
ROSATOM, the State Atomic Energy Corporation of the Russian Federation, conferred an honorary medal to Science and Technology Minister Architect Yeafesh Osman for contribution of e-development of nuclear industry.
ROSATOM also awarded a special certificate to Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant of Bangladesh under the best project in the field of development of human resources category.
At the cabinet meeting, the medal and certificate were handed over to the Prime Minister.
The Cabinet congratulated Bangladesh National Cricket Team on winning the recent tri-nation ODI series held in Irelands as well as Bangladesh Under-19 Women’s Football Team for being a joint champion in Bangamata U-19 Women’s International Gold Cup 2019.
The Cabinet adopted two condolence motions over the death of expressed deep shock and sorrow at the death of prominent Bangladeshi singer Subir Nandi and Nazrul Sangeet exponent and researcher Khalid Hossain.
Dhaka, May 27 (UNB) – A mild heat wave sweeping over the regions of Rajshahi, Pabna, Khulna, Kushtia and Mongla is likely to spread further.
Rain or thundershowers, accompanied by temporary gusty wind, is likely to occur at a few places over Rangpur, Mymensingh, Sylhet and Chattogram divisions and at one or two places over Rajshahi, Dhaka and Khulna divisions. , said Met Office in its regular weather forecast on Monday.
The weather may remain mainly dry with temporary partly cloudy sky elsewhere in the country.
The day temperature may rise by (1-2)°C while night temperature may rise slightly over the country.
Monday’s highest temperature was recorded in Rajshahi and Chuadanga at 37.5 degrees Celsius. The lowest, 22.0 degrees Celsius was recorded at Rajarhat in Kurigram.
Dhaka, May 27 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday had a post-operative eye check-up at a hospital in the capital.
“The Prime Minister had a post-operative eye check-up at Deen Mohammad Eye Hospital in the capital at 9:30 am,” PM’s Deputy Press Secretary Ashraful Alam Khokan said.
A four-member board, headed by eminent ophthalmologist Dr Deen Mohammad Nurul Haque, conducted the eye check-up of the Prime Minister, Khokan added.