Dhaka, Sept 11 (UNB) – Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday said the EVM project will be placed in the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) for its approval.
“The EVMs (electronic voting machines) may be used in the next general election on a trial basis, but their use depends on the Election Commission’s decision,” he said while briefing reporters after the weekly Ecnec meeting held at the NEC conference room with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The minister said it will not be possible to release the whole fund for the project at a time. “It’ll be released in phases.”
He said the EVMs have already been used in local body elections without any controversy.
Mustafa Kama said the function of the Ecnec is to approve the project, not to implement it.
The Election Commission has designed a project proposal to procure some 1.5 lakh EVMs at a cost of Tk 3,821 crore and sent it to the Planning Commission for clearance.
The EC needs some 4 lakh machines to arrange the national election fully based on EVMs across the country.
Besides, the Election Commission has already proposed the amendment to the Representation of the People Order incorporating a provision to pave the way for using the electronic machines instead of ballot papers in general elections.
Dhaka, Sept 11 (UNB) – The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) on Tuesday approved a project involving Tk 5,918.63 crore to ensure infrastructural development at 2,000 selected madrasahs across the country.
The approval came from the weekly Ecnec meeting held at the NEC conference room here with Ecnec Chairperson and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
”Today (Tuesday), the Ecnec cleared a total of 18 projects at a total estimated cost of Tk 17,786.95 crore,” Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said while briefing reporters after the meeting.
Of the total project cost, Tk 13,813.44 crore will come from government funds while Tk 42.62 crore from the own funds of organisations concerned and the rest of Tk 3,930.89 crore as project assistance, he said.
Of the total projects, 12 are new and six are revised ones.
The Planning Minister said the project titled ‘Selected Madrasahs Development’ will be implemented by June 2021.
He said some 2,000 madrasahs will be covered under the project and each Member of Parliament (MP) has provided a list of six madrasahs from their respective constituencies for infrastructural development under the project.
Besides, some other madrasahs will be selected under special consideration, he added.
The main activities of the project include construction of madsrasah buildings, classrooms and vertical extension of madrasah buildings, procurement of necessary furniture and installation of solar panels.
The 17 other projects approved in the Ecnec meeting include Rural Transport Improvement Project-2 (RTIP-2), (second revised) with a cost of Tk 4,819.70 crore, Completing the Unfinished Works of PC Girder Bridge over Lohalia River under Patuakhali district with Tk 102 crore, Embankment Protection and Dredging of Arialkhan River under Faridpur district with Tk 291.49 crore, Noakhali, Feni, Laxmipur, Chattogram and Chandpur Agriculture Development Project with Tk 69.43 crore, Power Distribution System Development, Chattogram Zone, (1st revised) with Tk 1,421.48 crore, Extension and Strengthening of Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (five districts) (3rd revised) with Tk 51.45 crore and Development of Pabna Science and Technology University with Tk 480.60 crore.
The approved projects also include Integration, Modernization, Maintenance and Extension of Safety Facility of 3-MW Capacity Research Reactor Facility of Nuclear Research Institution in Savar with Tk 74.95 crore, Urban Primary Health Care Services Delivery Project (2nd phase) with Tk 1,136 crore, Physical Infrastructure Development of Eight Pourasavas under Jamalpur district with Tk 612.86 crore, Land Acquisition for Surface Water Treatment Plant of Rajshahi Wasa with Tk 78.69 crore and Preservation of History and Historical Buildings and Surroundings Development of Dhaka Old Central Jail with Tk 607.36 crore.
The remaining projects are Preservation of Killing Field and Construction of Monument for Genocide Committed by the Pakistani Occupation Forces during the 1971 Liberation War with Tk 442.40 crore, Pachuria-Faridpur-Bhanga Railway Track Rehabilitation and Construction (2nd revised) with Tk 347.31 crore, Jamalpur-Dhanua-Kamalpur-Roumari-Datbhanga District Highway Widening and Strengthening (Kurigram Portion) with Tk 332.10 crore, Strengthening of First Class Weather Surveillance Station at 13 River Ports in Bangladesh with Tk 80.50 crore and Barisal Division Rural Infrastructure Development with Tk 920 crore.
Dhaka, Sep 11 (UNB) - The government has directed all the news media, including print media and news agencies, to provide dearness allowance to their staff, including journalists and other employees, under the 9th wage board.
The Information Ministry issued a notification on Tuesday directing the news media to pay 45 percent of the main salary of media staff and journalists as dearness allowance.
The notification said the order will come into effect from March 1 of this year.
The interim benefit will be adjusted with the salary structure later.
State Minister for Information, Tarana Halim, sought cooperation of all news media in implementation of the directive.
Besides, she said that the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would distribute financial aid to the journalists in financial hardship and to the families of dead and sick journalists at her office (PMO) on September 19.
The aid will be provided from the government grants, she said.
Dhaka, Sept 11 (UNB) – Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Qauder on Tuesday said that the polls-time government will be formed in the middle of October.
He said he had a discussion on this with the Prime Minister.
Talking to journalists at Secretariat, Obaidul Quader said the size of the government will be like the one formed in last time and there will be no technocrat in the small-size cabinet.
He claimed that Ershad’s Jatiya Party has requested to add one or more leaders of JP to the poll-time government and the Prime Minister will consider the matter.
Quader, also the Road Transport and Bridges Minister, said that the party's nomination for the national election will be finalised next month.
He said the Prime Minister has given ‘hint’ to 60 to 70 leaders for taking preparation as they might get nomination.
In another query of reporters how many seats will be given to the alliance parties in the next elections, Obaidul Quader said, it could be 60 to 70.
He also said that Jatiya Party has declared that if the BNP does not come to the polls, the Jatiya Party will compete without alliance. If BNP joins the fray, JP will form alliance.
BNP is trying to create issue over its Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s illness. She needs better treatment and it is possible at BSMMU as the hospital is specialized, said the AL leader.
“BNP couldn’t do anything in last ten years and it will not be possible do anything also in next two months,” said Quader.
He warned to local leaders not to involve in any ill competition centring national election as AL is now more united and well-organized than any time before.
Dhaka, Sept 11 (UNB) – A court here on Tuesday denied bail to renowned photographer and Drik Gallery managing director Shahidul Alam in a case filed under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act.
Judge KM Imrul Kayes of Dhaka Metropolitan Session Judge’s Court passed the order after hearing the bail petition filed on August 14.
Public Prosecutor Mohammad Abu Abdullah moved against the bail petition while Barrister Sarah Hossain stood for Shahidul Alam.
The High Court on Monday directed the lower court concerned to dispose of the bail petition filed by Shahidul within Tuesday (today).
Shahidul filed a bail petition with the HC on August 28 through his lawyers--Sara Hossain and Jyotirmoy Barua--saying he may be granted bail as he is ill.
Earlier on September 4, a judge of a two-member High Court bench felt ‘embarrassed’ to hear the bail petition in the case.
The same day, the bench forwarded the petition to the chief justice for a decision.
On September 5, the HC directed the authorities concerned to provide first-class division to photographer Shahidul in jail after hearing of the writ petition.
Detectives arrested Shahidul Alam from his Dhanmondi residence on August 5 and the case was filed against him with Ramna Police Station on August 6.
Police claimed that he spread propaganda through his Facebook account during the student movement demanding safe roads.