No scope to reduce hajj flight fare this year: Biman MD
There is no scope to reduce the fare of hajj flights this year, said Managing Director of national carrier Biman Bangladesh Airlines Shafiul Azim on Sunday.“We have been working for the past three months over Hajj flight management of Biman. Our first proposal about fare was Tk 2.10 lakh. Later, it was reduced to Tk 1.98 lakh and the National Executive Committee fixed the fare. The reason behind the hike in hajj fare is increased tax, high dollar rate and jet fuel price. We don’t have hands in it,” he said.The CEO of the national carrier said this while speaking at a press briefing held at the Balaka office in Kurmitola.Replying to a question, he said, “The hajj fare which was fixed for this year is the lowest and we have reduced it as much as possible.”This year, the government has fixed the cost of performing hajj at Tk 6,83,018 for each pilgrim under the government management while Tk 6,72,618 under the private management. It fixed Tk 1,98,000 as Biman flight fare.The High Court on March 14 questioned how common people will perform hajj at the cost of the package set by the government.It questioned, “Why doesn't the government allocate budgets for the hajj like other countries in the world?”The HC bench of Justice KM Kamrul Kader and Justice Mohammad Ali came up with this observation while hearing a writ petition over revising the hajj package offered by the government this year. Ashraf-uz-Zaman sent a legal notice to the Ministry of Religious Affairs, requesting it to reduce the cost of hajj pilgrims and bring it under Tk 4 lakhLater, he filed a writ on March 12 as the concerned authority failed to respond to the legal notice.Hajj-2023 will be held on 9th day of Zilhaj (June 28) depending on moon sighting.As of March 15, a total of 9,569 people have registered for hajj under government management and another 91,246 people under private management.There are still 25,480 empty quotas for registration.
Ensure safe food to reduce Hypertension risk: Speakers
Speakers at a webinar have emphasized ensuring safe food in the county to reduce the risk of Hypertension risk among people. They expressed the importance of safe food for tackling NCDs like Hypertension and Cardiovascular diseases at the webinar marking World Food Safety Day organised by research and advocacy organisation PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress) with support from the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI), said a media release. The World Food Safety Day -2022 was observed in the country on Tuesday as elsewhere in the globe with the theme ‘Safer food, better health’. The day was of great importance for Bangladesh as the consumption of unsafe food is leading to an exponential rise in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and related mortality in the country. The speakers said at present one in every five (21 percent) adults in Bangladesh is suffering from hypertension, and the intake of unsafe food is greatly responsible for it. Hypertension causes increased risks of cardiovascular diseases while 277,000 people die of cardiovascular diseases each year in the country. Half of the women (51 percent) and two-thirds of men (67 percent) are not even aware of their hypertension conditions in Bangladesh, they said. READ: More awareness needed to ensure safe food: Minister Speakers shared at the webinar that, Bangladesh has pledged to achieve the target for NCD prevention by 2025 and the targets for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of 2030. The hypertension burden is a major hindrance in achieving these goals and targets. According to the data of the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) 2019, hypertension is one of the three major risk factors for death and disability in Bangladesh. Although the Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA) has already promulgated the ‘Controlling Trans Fatty Acids in Foodstuffs Regulation, 2021’, people are yet to pick the fruit of this great initiative as the regulation is yet to be implemented, they said. BFSA member (Food Industry and Production) Dr. Md Abdul Alim, GHAI Bangladesh Country Lead Muhammad Ruhul Quddus, associate professor at the Department of Public Health and Informatics of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Dr. Romen Raihan, director of the Center for Non-Communicable Disease and Nutrition at the BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health Professor Dr. Malay Kanti Mridha, upazila health & family planning officer at the Beanibazar Upazila Health Complex Dr. Md Delowar Hossain Shumon, hypertension control programme manager at the National Heart Foundation of Bangladesh Dr. Mahfuzur Rahman Bhuiyan, professor at the Department of Food Technology and Rural Industries of the Bangladesh Agricultural University Dr. Abdullah Iqbal, among others, were present at the webinar as discussants. PROGGA’s coordinator Shihab Mahmud conducted the webinar. Representatives of the Institute of Nutrition and Food Sciences (INFS) of the University of Dhaka, Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB), Bangladesh Agro Processors Association (BAPA), BFSF, and Bangladesh Food and Nutrition Association (BAFNA), along with doctors, nutritionists, journalists and other people of various professions attended the programme.