Counting tigers in Sundarbans: Forest Dept to set up 1,330 cameras under Khulna Range from Jan 1
Bangladesh Forest Department authorities will set up a total of 1,330 cameras at 665 spots in the Sundarbans, under Khulna Range – to count tigers, deer and pigs from January 1, 2023. The Forest Department – under the ‘Sundarbans Tiger Conservation Project’ involving Tk 3.27 crore – has started installing cameras on both sides of the canals under Kalabogi Forest Station of Khulna Range from December 15 and the count will start from January 1 next year. Abu Naser, forest official of Sundarbans East zone and director of the project, said, “Apart from counting tigers, this year, the forest department will count deer and pigs as well under the project. They have divided the project into two categories – camera trapping and canal survey. Primarily, the survey along both sides of the canals in Sundarbans has started and through the process, the movement and pugmarks of tigers will be pointed out.” Through the camera trapping process, the authorities concerned will take snaps for two years and later they will analyse the photos captured for the next two months, and after that they will figure out the numbers, he said. Also read: Tiger population at risk in Sundarbans: 38 tigers died in 20 years in Bangladesh A technical committee has already been formed and the committee decided to install cameras at 665 spots, he added. Of these, 200 will be set up in Satkhira Range, 140 in Khulna Range, 180 in Sharankhola and 145 in Chandpai Range, said Abu Naser. Two cameras will be installed in each grid and a total of 1,330 cameras will be set up. Asked about the number of tigers, the project director said, “The exact figure of tigers will be known after the census. Earlier, it was difficult for tourists to see any tiger during their Sundarbans visit but now, they can take photos of 3-4 tigers which indicates that the number might have increased.” The tiger census will be conducted in and outside the wildlife sanctuary and the authorities concerned will conduct the survey in the less, more and most saline areas of the Sundarbans, he said. Also read: Sundarban tigers: Inbreeding leads to generation of weak, diseased cubs.
PMO collecting data to tackle energy crisis in next summer
Bangladesh Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has been collecting necessary information and data from two divisions and their associate bodies in the power and energy sector to make some policy decisions on power, gas, and petroleum prices. According to official sources, the PMO will soon reconvene a recently postponed meeting to discuss the issues where dealing with a tough possible situation in the coming summer might top the agenda. They said that the PMO had convened a meeting on December 15 to discuss the overall situation in the power and energy sector. “But at the last moment, the meeting was postponed”, said a top official in the Power Division adding that a new principal secretary to the Prime Minister and also a new cabinet secretary took office on the day for which the meeting was postponed. Read: Dhaka seeks Riyadh's support to meet energy needs “We hope the suspended meeting will be called soon where the two top bureaucrats may attend”, he said. The issue of power tariff enhancement in the retail consumer level will get a top priority in the proposed meeting”, said a senior official of the largest organisation in the power sector, preferring not to be quoted because of its sensitivity. Power Cell director general Mohammad Hossain said that his organisation has also provided necessary data to the PMO and the Power Division as per their requirements. Official sources said the PMO is collecting data and information against the backdrop of the government’s plan to increase power tariff at retail consumer level to cover a huge flaw in the power sector’s revenue collection. Read: Ensuring access to electricity at an affordable cost is govt’s prime goal: PM’s Energy Advisor Because of the purchase of electricity from the private sector at higher rates and sell it to consumers at lower rates, the loss of Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB), state-owned principal organisation, was estimated to be Tk 48,000 crore in the current fiscal year 2022-23. The officials said the recent hike of about 20 percent in bulk power tariff, effective from December 1, might reduce the loss by only Tk 5000 crore. To cover the remaining loss, all the six distribution companies were asked by the Power Division to submit their respective proposals to the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC). They already submitted a proposal to the BERC to increase the retail power tariff by about 20 percent. Read: Cabinet approves amendment to let govt decide energy price without BERC But the BERC needs to follow a public hearing to take any decision on the issue and the whole process needs about 90 days while the government is in urgent need to increase the retail power tariff. In such a situation, the Cabinet on November28 approved an amendment to BERC Ordinance 2022 to empower the government to set fuel tariff on its own under special circumstances without waiting for the commission’s public hearing and decision. Now the BERC is in a dilemma whether it will move to hold a public hearing to adjust retail power tariff or the government on its own takes decision on retail power tariff enhancement. Officials said the PMO office wants to learn about the entire situation so that it can give an instruction to the Power Division to take the future decision. Read More: Mitsubishi Power to continue support Bangladesh power industry amid growing energy need The officials also said that a directive is also expected from the PMO meeting to tackle the situation in the next summer, which normally starts from February 15 with an extra load in power supply. Normally an extra load of about 3000 MW in power supply is assumed to be coming from the agriculture irrigation sector in the coming summer, which may continue until May next year. The fasting month of Ramada, which will begin from the first week of April next year will also put another load of 3000 MW. But due to the primary fuel crisis, the government is under pressure to increase the power generation and a big deficit is apprehended in the coming year, officials said. Read More: Europe can’t put its energy needs first while requesting India to act otherwise: Jaishankar All these issues are expected to be discussed in the PMO meeting where the State Minister and the PM’s energy advisor are likely to be present, they said. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a meeting recently said that the government supplies electricity to everyone at subsidised prices though the production cost is much higher. But it will not be possible to provide electricity at lower prices considering the global recession, she said. "The actual cost will have to be paid," she said, adding that the price of gas has increased in the international market. Read More: Bulk power tariff hike won’t affect retail consumers right now: Nasrul Hamid "Everyone, including businessmen in the country, will have to exercise austerity and will have to be ready to pay the money spent on the (increased) price of gas and transport cost. Otherwise, we will not be able to provide electricity. If you want (electricity), you will have to pay the real prices," she added. The PM said costs of electricity, gas, water, and fuel can be reduced by exercising austerity. Currently, the installed power generation capacity of Bangladesh is over 25,000 MW while the generation was limited to 12,000 MW because of the primary fuel crisis.
Environment of Cox’s Bazar at stake: Out of over 500, only 4 hotels have own STP
Although there are more than 500 hotels, motels, and other residential establishments in Cox’s Bazar, only four of these have their own Sewerage Treatment Plant (STP), which is turning the tourist city into an open gutter. According to Abu Sufian, an Additional District Magistrate who is also the In-charge of the district administration’s tourist cell, only three five-star and one three-star hotels in Cox’s Bazar have STP systems. “There are eight more luxurious hotels which don’t have STP. We’ve told the star-labeled hotels to establish their own STP and have decided to bring the existing hotels under a centralized STP system,” Sufian said. Saiful Islam, Assistant Director of Department of Environment in Cox’s Bazar, said that the government has asked more than 300 hotels to set up STP system regardless of the fact that most of these hotels don’t have space for STP. Read more: JS body suggests stern action to prevent illegal sand extraction in Cox's Bazar “Most of the hotels adjacent to the beach have been constructed without following environmental laws, and bad smell coming out of the excrement released from these hotels is resulting in the loss of tourists. That’s why the district administration in association with Cox’s Bazar Development Authority, Cox’s Bazar municipality and Department of Environment have jointly agreed to establish a central STP system,” Saiful said. Mohammad Junaid, General Secretary of Cox’s Bazar Forest and Environment Protection Council, said that the government should ensure that any new infrastructure in Cox’s Bazar is set up after receiving clearance from the environment department.
Not enough fuel allocation means no ambulance service at Faridpur General Hospital for 45 days
Biman Dutta, a resident of Faridpur town, was at a loss when he needed to shift his father-in-law from Faridpur General Hospital to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical College and Hospital (BSMMCH) in the district due to critical condition. As there was no ambulance service at the hospital for over 45 days due to “fuel crisis”, he had to hire a private ambulance that cost him twice as much. Many patients from Faridpur town and adjacent upazilas are facing the same problem due to ambulance shortage as critical patients need to be transferred to BSMMCH and Dhaka for advanced treatment. Read more: Inmates at overcrowded Faridpur jail suffer in absence of medical facilities The hospital authorities are saying this problem has been caused by lack of fuel being allocated. They said they have sent numerous letters to the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and the Ministry of Health seeking funds but are yet to get any response. “Lack of fuel allocation is to blame for patients’ suffering. We owe the local petrol station around TK 3.5 lakh for fuel. We had to halt our ambulance service from November 1, 2022,” said Ganesh Kumar Agarwala, resident medical officer of the hospital.
Rivers, lifeline of Bangladesh, played a crucial role behind victory over Pakistan in 1971: Study
The country’s rivers had played a vital role in defending and guiding the trajectory of Bangladesh's 1971 War of Liberation to victory as a larger number of operations run by the freedom fighters were on the rivers. In 1971, rivers played one of the critical strategic roles, resisting the free and frequent movement of the enemies – Pakistani occupation forces. Most importantly, rivers acted as front-line soldiers by encountering enemies in the first place in the War of Liberation. During the War of Liberation, Bangladesh was strategically divided into 11 sectors to defeat the Pakistani army. As Bangladesh is a riverine country, rivers formed most sector boundaries. Some 87 percent (precisely 86.89pc) of the total boundary of the 11 sectors was demarcated by the rivers, according to a study conducted over the role of rivers in the War of Liberation by a non-government organisation --River and Delta Research Centre (RDRC). Read more: Bangladesh's Liberation War deeply moving for us: Kennedy Jr Mainly, rivers such as Padma, Brahmaputra, Meghna, Jamuna, Surma, Madhumati, and Muhuri played a key role in the formation of the sectors. The highest 100 percent boundary of Sector-1 was demarcated by rivers, while lowest 76.32 percent of Sector-7 was drawn by rivers. Based on the study findings, the RDRC prepared several maps that help understand the geographical aspects, especially rivers and water bodies of Bangladesh in 1971 and how they influenced Bangladesh’s birth. The Sector-10, which covered the entire waterways of Bangladesh including coastal areas, rivers and seaports was formed on May 13, 1971, before the other sectors formed on 12-15 June, 1971. Read more: Brave Women Freedom Fighters of Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War According to government official data, naval commandos of sector-10 had undertaken 78 operations along with Jackpot and Hot Pants. In addition, the RDRC in its study found more than 300 guerrilla operations carried out on rivers. In these operations, rivers served as a natural defence, and tactical advantage support mechanism that holds an unassailable position on the enemy side of the river. In this manner, rivers led to the success in the Liberation War. Big and small rivers, monsoon and rains, have isolated, slowed the enemy forces from their occupation, led to national strength and often to war success, cumulating to national independence. “We found 1270 rivers and streams existed during 1971 in Bangladesh. Every channel and stream played a role of direct defence, as well as served as a tactical advantage support mechanism that holds an unassailable position,” said RDRC chairman Mohammad Azaz. Read More: 1971 and the Elderly He said the eastern units of Pakistani troops were supported and supplied the logistics and ammunition through river networks from the beginning of the war in March 1971. In the beginning, the guerilla operations were mainly on land, he added. As the operations increased, Pakistani troops used rivers and waterways as the safest network. Ships and supply chain networks were active and transported across all the major river ports in the country. This situation was functional up to mid-August, he said. “We found that the naval operations and other operations on rivers gained attention globally, and Pakistani forces started losing their confidence and started losing the war from August to December 1971.The guerrilla operations had also lowered the morale of the Pakistani army,” said Azaz. During the 1971 War of Liberation, rivers and waterbodies played a vital role in facilitating communication within and outside the country and helped demolish the Pakistani Military. The influence of Pakistani occupation forces started declining sharply due to naval operations particularly after August 16, 1971, which led to the victory and birth of Bangladesh as a new country in the world’s map. Read More: 1971 loss a ‘military failure’, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal says after ex army chief called it ‘political failure’
Export of jute products a boon for Satkhira women
Farida Parvin, a housewife in Sultanpur village under Sadar upazila of Satkhira district, now has her own source of income — making jute products for a private organisation involved in exporting those. Like Farida, a number of women in the village are now earning money after receiving training from ‘Rishilpi International Handicrafts Organisation’. Farida has two sons and a daughter and her husband Abdur Razzaque used to run a tea stall to cover the expenses of the five-member family. In 2016, Farida joined Rishilpi International Handicrafts Organisation after hearing about it from another woman and received training there. Now her monthly income is Tk 5000-5500. Also read: Diversified jute products fair witnesses huge footfall on closing day The raw materials are provided by the organisation and as per their demands, she makes jute bags, wall and floor mats. Tereja Mandal, another housewife of the village, said she is now able to bear the entire expenses of her family and the medical treatment of her husband, who is paralysed, by making jute products. “The organisation provides Tk 300-350 per jute bag to me and Tk 2500-3000 for each wall and floor mat,” she said. Around 7,000 women are now involved in making handicrafts for the organisation which has proved to be a boon for them. Read More: Jute growers paying for drought that resulted in discoloured fibre European countries are the main buyers of the jute products, and every year, jute products worth Tk 9-10 crore are exported from Satkhira. The jute products are being exported to Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Finland and Switzerland in Europe and to Australia as well. Sanjay Sarkar, product manager of Rishilpi International Handicrafts, said the organisation has been exporting jute products after giving training to 7,000 women of the district. Also read: Turkish businesses keen to invest in Bangladesh’s jute sector: Ambassador Turan “The demand for jute rope and jute cotton is huge in European countries,” he said. A woman worker can earn Tk 5000-6000 each month by making products for the organisation, he added. During the pandemic, the demand for jute products was poor but now the demand has gone up again, he said. Asish Kumar, jute inspector of Satkhira district, said, “People in both Bangladesh and abroad are interested in using jute products as it is environmentally friendly. The demand for jute bags is also high as the government imposed a ban on use of polythene bags.” Read More: Jute sticks: A new source of income for Faridpur farmers. Humayun Kabir, deputy commissioner of Satkhira district, said the jute products made by the women of Satkhira can fetch fame for the country as well as play an important role in the national economy.
Concerted efforts will help enhance Bangladesh-Romania ties, says Romanian Ambassador
Romanian Ambassador to Bangladesh, India and Nepal, Daniela-Mariana Sezonov Tane has said her country could help Bangladesh produce hydropower through building mini plants by taking advantage of the many rivers in Bangladesh. “You have many rivers. You can make more energy out of that. Bangladesh is one of the countries with very few renewable energy percentages. Two to three percent renewable energy is absolutely not enough,” she told UNB in an interview. The Ambassador based in New Delhi said Bangladesh is one of the countries most affected by climate change and it really needs to go for green energy as coal is bringing pollution everywhere and increasing the concentration of CO2 gases in the atmosphere. “You need to make the energy transition. Bangladesh is very rich in rivers. So, you can build more hydropower plants, even small ones,” she said. Ambassador Tane said her country will closely work with Bangladesh to enhance the bilateral ties with more concrete business to take the relations further. “We need to do more business. I hope in the next two years, we will have US$ 200 million bilateral trade, from the existing around US$ 50 million. Both our countries have the capacity. It’s not so difficult. It just needs concerted efforts on both sides,” she said, adding that some Romanian companies could invest in Bangladesh, provided they are informed about the existing opportunities. Also read: Envoy urges Bangladeshi businessmen to visit Romania to boost bilateral business ties In October last year, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen visited Romania and held political consultations with his Romanian counterpart Bogdan Aurescu. They took full stock of various aspects of bilateral ties and discussed important regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest. The visit represented the most significant diplomatic contact of high ranking officials in the last 30 years between Romania and Bangladesh. “This is one way of enhancing our relations by intensifying our bilateral political dialogue,” said the Ambassador, noting that during the visit the two countries signed MoU to hold regular political consultations between the two foreign ministries. Also read: Romanian ambassador presents credentials to President Hamid amid hope of growing Dhaka-Bucharest ties The Romanian envoy who plans to come to Bangladesh twice a year said the second way is to enhance their economic contact. She said she had fruitful meetings with the government and private sectors to find ways to increase the trade. Romania is a major European wheat producer with a high potential to export its production. In 2021/2022, Romania produced 11 Mmt of Wheat and ranked as the fourth producer in the EU. In the same period, Romania’s exports reached 8.6 Mmt, to rank as the primary EU wheat extra-trader. The Ambassador said Bangladesh was importing wheat from Ukraine. The Russian “aggression” and the war which broke out disrupted Ukrainian wheat exports. “So, we can see how it is possible to be part of Bangladesh’s wheat import. We are big producers of wheat,” she said. Responding to a question, Ambassador Tane said, “There is a need in Bangladesh but we have to first see with the Romanian producers the available stocks and the possibilities of exporting here.” She identified agricultural products export as one of the areas to focus apart from a potential participation of Romanian companies, as subcontractors, to build infrastructure in the hydropower field and modernize its only refinery - Eastern Refinery Limited. “Romania has big expertise in refineries and we are big producers of spare parts for refiners,” she added. The Romanian envoy said the Port of Constanța, which is the biggest port on the Black Sea, could be made a hub for Bangladeshi exports in Central and Eastern Europe. “It can be very convenient. We are going to work on this. In my next visit I will try to see and meet Chittagong Port Authority officials and see how it is possible to make this happen. Making Constanta a hub for Bangladeshi exports for Central and Eastern Europe could shorten the transportation time and the costs and increase the connectivity between the two countries and regions,” she added. Eliminating Middlemen The Romanian Government allowed the recruitment of around 100,000 foreign workers from various South Asian countries, including Bangladeshis, for various sectors: construction, agriculture, hotels, restaurants, various other services etc. “There is opportunity. We are trying to work on a G to G basis because there are too many agencies and middlemen involved which are taking a lot of money from Bangladesh workers. This is unacceptable. It is kind of modern slavery,” she said. The Ambassador said, “In Romania they don’t face problems. They are well received and the Romanian employers are treating them well. Responding to a question, she said quite a big number of Bangladesh workers who are going to Romania with work visas are fleeing. “They don’t go because of the bad conditions of work or living, they go because there are networks which are basically taking them illegally to Europe and they leave hoping to get better wages, but they end up being irregular migrants there,” Ambassador Tane said. “Many of the Bangladeshi non skilled workers don’t speak English. They are not trained. Some of them need training. Some of them are trained by the Romanian companies after their arrival. Bangladesh and Romania are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations this year with a vow to further deepen the relations on bilateral and multilateral fronts. Romania was one of the first European states to recognize newly independent Bangladesh and stands ready to continue developing and deepening the very good relations with Bangladesh at bilateral and multilateral level. The traditional bilateral relations attained a renewed dynamic during the last two years. The re-opening in October 2020 of Bangladesh’ Embassy in Romania was a very important moment in the efforts to re-launch bilateral relations. In 2022, the Romanian side organised a three-month temporary consulate in Dhaka in order to facilitate the granting of working visas for the Bangladeshi citizens. Romania and Bangladesh share a significant potential for economic cooperation, digitalization, cyber security, IT, technological transfer, agriculture, food industry and transport. Romania granted 50 thousand euro through UNICEF for Bangladesh’s “2020 Joint Response Plan for Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis” for water and education infrastructure.
Floating vegetable farmers in Pirojpur devastated by low prices
Farmers engaged in vegetable farming — on floating beds made of hyacinth and bamboo — in Nazirpur and Nesarabad upazilas of Pirojpur district are devastated by low prices of their produce. Though the farmers keep themselves engaged in cultivating vegetables, taking advantage of the availability of hyacinth in the region, anxiety over low prices has gripped them. According to the district’s Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE), farmers in the region have been farming vegetables, using the floating method, for over a century. Some 3,200 farmers of the upazilas cultivate several varieties of vegetables including papaya, gourd, pumpkin, beans, okra, tomato, eggplant and cabbage. Read More: Climate change: Shrimp farming endangered in Khulna The vegetable seedlings produced on the beds are usually sold at upazilas of the district and other parts of the country but this year the sales are not seeing a momentum due to poor response from buyers. Though it was targeted to produce 86,50,000 saplings on 175 hectares of land, it exceeded the target due to favourable weather. Earlier, a bunch of 100 saplings was sold at Tk 250 to 300 but the price is now Tk 150 to 200. The sale of saplings goes on from June to November every year. Some areas including Deulbari-Dobra, Kalardoyania and Malikhai under Nazirpur upazila and most parts of Baldiya union under Nesarabad upazila remain under 5 to 8 feet water round the year, causing no production of any crop. Read more: Bumper T-Aman yield, good price delight Sirajganj farmers The farmers said they usually take loans from local money lenders for usury and lands as sublease for cultivating vegetables and producing saplings. The farmers are bound to take loans from the lenders with a high usury because of failure to manage loans from the banks during the Robi, Kharif-1 and 2 seasons. They are deprived of bagging a good profit due to the high interest on the loans, they said. Hoping assistance from the government, the farmers said they don’t get the desired prices by selling produce due to natural disasters, damages of crops, low price, disadvantages in marketing and lack of preservation. Read More: Tulip farming opens new opportunity for farmers in Tetulia, Jashore Local farmer Jamal Hossain said he is used to cultivating vegetables on the floating beds made of hyacinth and bamboo in the water bodies taken on sublease. “I have 15 to 16 beds where I cultivate several types of vegetables including beans, papaya, tomato, chili and gourd,” he said. “We have not been getting a reasonable price due to lack of dealers caused by the Covid-19 pandemic,” he claimed, adding that an amount of Tk 7,000 to 10,000 is needed to cultivate vegetables and produce saplings on a 60-hand long bed. Dr Md Nazrul Islam Sikdar, deputy director of the district’s DAE, told UNB that some 60 to 70 percent farmers of Gaokhali, Monohorpur, Delbari and Malikhali areas under Nazipur upazila have been involved with vegetable farming on floating beds. Read more: Vegetable farming on floating beds gets popular in Sylhet “We inform the farmers on maintaining quality and visit their croplands to give training,” he said. Urging high officials of the agricultural ministry to take measures to offer loans on easy conditions, the farmers said that it will be difficult to keep vegetable cultivation on floating beds going unless loans from banks are made easy.
Will Juba Mohila League finally get new leadership at 2022 conference?
Aspiring young leaders of the female youth wing of ruling party Awami League are increasingly frustrated at the lack of change in the central leadership of their organisation for the last 20 years. Nazma Akhter and Apu Ukil have been occupying the top two positions of the Juba Mohila League since 2004, following its formation in 2002 with former women leaders of the Chhatra League, AL's student front. Many, who did not wish to be named, told UNB about their regret and disappointment. In such a reality, the third tri-annual conference of the organisation will be held on Thursday (December 15) after five years. Awami League president Sheikh Hasina will be present as the chief guest at the conference to be held at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital. Meanwhile, the leaders of the party are expecting a change in the top leadership of Jubo Mohila League through this conference. Also read: ACC prosecutes Jubo Mohila League leader Papia, her husband Leaders hoping for the post of president and general secretary of Jubo Mohila League are expecting new leadership for the top two positions through this year’s conference. The current general secretary Apu Ukil said preparations for the tri-annual council are done. “The issue of leadership is up to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She will do what she thinks best. I will work where she allows me to work,” she said, when asked to comment on the possibility. Vice President Kohale Quddus Mukti, a former Chhatra League leader, said that there is enthusiasm among the leaders and workers around the conference, and it is being held as part of a continuous political process. "Jubo Mohila League is an organisation created by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina,” Mukti said. “I have been with the organisation since its birth. She (Sheikh Hasina) is our guardian. We put our trust and confidence in her. Whatever decision she takes, we will follow that. Everything will depend on the decision of the Prime Minister.” Jubo Mohila League organising secretary Sharmin Sultana Lilly said the platform was created for former Chhatra League women leaders. Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina created it at a time when BNP-Jamaat terrorist activities, and atrocities against women were rampant. As a street fighter, she then formed the Jubo Mohila League. "We want the leadership of Dhaka University to be given priority by those who were the leaders of Chhatra League. But whatever decision she (Sheikh Hasina) takes regarding the leadership, we all will accept it," Lilly also said. Awami League central executive member and former acting president of Chhatra League Marufa Akhtar Popi, Zakia Noor Lipi MP, daughter of interim president and one of the four national leaders Syed Nazrul Islam, and Awami League central executive member Gloria Jharna Sarkar MP can be selected for the position of President, according to the party sources. Apart from them, Apu Ukil, Shirina Nahar Lipi, Kohile Quddus Mukti, Aleya Sarwar Daisy and Afroza Mansoor Lipi are in discussion for the post of president of Jubo Mohila League. During its founding in 2002, a convening committee of 101 members was formed in Jubo Mohila League. In the first conference of the organisation held in 2004, Najma Akhtar was elected as the president and Apu Ukil as the general secretary. After 13 years, the second and last conference of Jubo Mohila League was held on March 17, 2017. In the conference, Najma Akter was re-elected as president and Apu Ukil as general secretary.
Bangladesh govt aims to increase money supply over next two fiscals
The government of Bangladesh has fixed a target to increase the money supply to 16.5 percent from the existing 15.6 percent in the next two fiscals. As per a government document, in the 2022-23 fiscal the rate of money supply is at 15.6 percent. For the next 2023-24 fiscal the government has projected to increase the rate to 16 percent and for the 2024-25 fiscal it will be 16.5 percent. Academically, the enhancement of money supply might increase inflation. This kind of target of ‘broad money’ growth would further invite inflation in the country. Also read: Deposits at IBBL 'completely safe': Bangladesh Bank "Broad money" – or M2 – is a calculation of the money supply that includes all components of "narrow money", such as cash and checking deposits, and also "near money" such as savings deposits, money market securities, and other time-related deposits. M2 is a broader measure of money supply and is being closely watched as an indicator of money supply and future inflation, and as a target of central bank monetary policy. If broad money exceeds nominal GDP growth, academically, commodity prices will take another steep jump, leaving limited-income consumers and the poor to bear the brunt of the increasing squeeze on the cost of living. In 2020-21 fiscal year the money supply was 13.6 percent. ReadMore: Bangladesh seeks zero tariff on apparel exports to US at 6th TICFA meeting In the 2021-22 fiscal the proposed money supply rate was 13.8 percent, but the revised rate was 15 percent. It was increased because of the government stimulus packages to inject money in various sectors to run their activities for offsetting the impact of COVID-19 pandemic that stalled the economic activities of the whole world, as well as in Bangladesh. Apart from the impact of COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war, and sanctions and counter-sanctions caused another deadly impact on the world economy as world trade was seriously damaged due to this. The prices of essential commodities, fuel oil and transportation costs increased heavily. Russia and Ukraine were one of the main sources of Bangladesh for various essential items, like wheat. Read More: Nagad is a Digital Bangladesh success story: Mustafa Jabbar As a result, the people of the country have to spend more money in purchasing their day to day essential items. To lessen the burden of fixed income group, low income group and lower middle income group people, the government has taken various types of steps. These include selling rice among 50 lakh families at the rate of Tk 15 per kg and providing special family cards to one crore people by which they will be able to procure essential commodities at fair price.