State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that Bangladesh requires $170 billion dollars investment in the power and energy sector by 2041. He said while addressing a session on "Strengthening the Future of Economic Growth of Bangladesh" at the high-level discussion meeting titled "U.S.-Bangladesh Economic Partnership: Shared Vision for Smart Growth" organized by the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC on Tuesday. “There are profitable investment opportunities in different sectors and sub-sectors like LNG, renewable energy, smart grid, smart distribution, electric vehicle infrastructure, onshore and offshore hydrocarbon exploration,” said the state minister. Read More: Investment in Bangladesh will bring huge success: PM Hasina to Japanese businesses He also said that upgrading gas infrastructure, setting up petrochemical industries, reducing GHG emissions, smart gas distribution are among the sectors where US companies can invest and the government will provide special incentives to foreign investors. He said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has given the vision of building a smart Bangladesh to build the golden Bangladesh as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. “It needs financial investment as well as technical and knowledge-based cooperation to realise the vision,” he said adding that investment should come not only from multilateral development agencies, but also from the public and private sectors. Read More: Momen due to leave for US Friday with trade and investment high on agenda Eric Walker, president of Chevron's Bangladesh office and Dr. John Ardil, vice president of Exxon Mobil also addressed the event.
The operation of Matarbari deep sea port will start in 2026, said State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury on Sunday. The Matarbari deep sea port is visible now and the construction work of the jetty and container yard will start in July next, he said while talking to reporters after visiting the Matarbari port development activities. Once the sea port starts operation, large feeder vessels will be anchored at the port which will save time and money, he said adding, the Matarbari sea port will be turned into a commercial hub. The state minister the government took the Matarbari Port Development Project involving Tk 17,777.20 crore and the tenure of the project was set till December 31, 2026. Currently, the authorities have completed the drawing design of the project. Read more: Govt positive about Singapore company's 400MW Matarbari solar power plant proposal: Nasrul Already the construction work of a 350 metre wide, 16 metre deep and 14.30 kilometre long approach channel has been completed while the construction work of a 2,150 metre long break water ( one kind of dam) on the northern side of the port and 670 metre long break water on the southern side of the port also finished, said Khalid. Asheq Ullah Rafiq MP, chairman of Chattogram port Rear Admiral M Shahjahan and coordinator of Matarbari port project Md Yusuf were present there.
State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Zakir Hossain on Tuesday said the government will start feeding programme at all primary schools across the country from June this year. The school feeding programme was launched in 104 upazilas of the country in 2010 in the poverty-stricken areas and ended in June, 2022, he said while speaking at a programme at the Ministry. The school feeding programme played an effective role in fulfilling the nutritional need in children, cent enrollment in schools, regular attendance of students, reducing dropout rate and timely completion of education cycle, he said. Read more: Primary scholarship exam results to be published by Feb 28 So, the government has taken steps to launch feeding programme at primary schools across the country, said the minister. The government has taken an initiative to change 200 government primary schools’ names which are inappropriate, said Zakir. “A policy regarding this was issued on 23 January 2022. We have decided to publish gazette within six months,” he said.
Bangladesh's State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam has expressed optimism that the “pilot project” of Rohingya repatriation would be executed at an early date. He thanked China for its “active role” in a trilateral initiative among Bangladesh, Myanmar and China to provide a platform for dialogue to promote the early return of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to Myanmar. Newly appointed Ambassador of China to Bangladesh Yao Wen met the State Minister for Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday (January 22, 2023) afternoon and discussed the issues of mutual interest. Responding to a question on Rohingya repatriation, Ambassador Wen said they have a common objective with Bangladesh regarding repatriation of Rohingyas to their homeland. Also Read: Will continue to work toward resolution of Rohingya issue: Japan He recognised Bangladesh's "sacrifice" in hosting the huge number of Rohingyas and assured of playing its role for their repatriation. “We discussed the issue. You pay a lot. You suffered a lot. You sacrificed a lot. We have the common objective (repatriation),”said Ambassador Wen. Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar and Bhasan Char and not a single Rohingya has been repatriated over the last six years. The State Minister also highlighted the importance of establishing direct air connectivity and requested the Chinese Ambassador to consider Bangladesh as a suitable place for industry relocation from China, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also Read: Over 3,500 desperate Rohingya attempted deadly sea crossings in 2022 The Chinese Ambassador showed interest to conclude a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on PPP for the growth of bilateral trade and commerce. State Minister Alam hoped that the bilateral relations between the two countries would reach new heights during the tenure of the new Ambassador. Both sides cordially exchanged views on bilateral and multilateral cooperation of mutual interests, including trade and investment, infrastructure development, connectivity and Covid situation. Congratulating the new Ambassador on the Chinese New Year’s Day, the State Minister thanked China for being the largest bilateral trade partner of Bangladesh. Read More: China will remain engaged in Bangladesh’s next stage of development journey: Momen During the meeting, he also thanked the Chinese government for its support in dealing with Covid-19 pandemic and the repatriation of Bangladeshi students from China and their subsequent return to China to continue their higher studies. He wished Ambassador Yao successful tenure in Bangladesh and assured him of full cooperation in discharge of his duties.
State Minister for Religious Affairs Md Faridul Haque Khan on Sunday said a total of 1.27 lakh Bangladeshis will be able to perform hajj this year. “The quota for hajj pilgrims from Bangladesh this year is 1, 27, 198,” he said in reply to a tabled question from ruling Awami League MP elected from Chattogram M Abdul Latif. In a scripted answer, the state minister said the quota for hajj pilgrims for Bangladesh was 58,628 in 2009, which was increased to around 1.27 lakh in 2019. Also Read: Over 1.27 lakh Bangladeshis likely to perform Hajj this year, Deal with KSA on Jan 9 He also said due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, the quota for Bangladeshis was deceased to 60,146 pilgrims in 2022 like other countries in the world. Faridul Haque Khan said overall the quota for hajj pilgrims has increased by 148% from 2009 to 2023 which is a big milestone of the success of the current government.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam on Sunday said the government remains better prepared in 2023 to achieve its goals overcoming the challenges both from domestic and international fronts. "If it seems to be more challenging, I would say we remain better prepared for that," he said while talking to a small group of journalists at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The state minister described the year 2022 a very successful year in terms of its engagement with the international partners with opening of new markets. He, however, said it is a failure that the Rohingya repatriation is yet to begin. Also Read: Border killings not expected: Shahriar Alam Shahriar Alam said they saw a kind of “overenthusiasm” (from diplomats) at the end of 2022 but they are handling it diplomatically. He hoped that everyone will remain respectful to their “rules of engagements” as Bangladesh does not oppose those recommendations and advice which are beneficial for Bangladesh. “Everyone appreciates that Bangladesh remains engaged and listens to….,” said the State Minister. Regarding democracy, he said there is no “fit for all” formula for democracy and everyone knows it and Bangladesh is doing much better compared to other countries. Responding to a question, Shahriar said the government remains engaged with the USA to withdraw sanctions on the Rab as an institution at least keeping in mind that Rab played a very strong role in combating terrorism and militancy in the country sacrificing their lives. Also Read: Appropriate steps to be taken if diplomats cross boundary: Shahriar Alam "Painfully, it's a slow process. We will strengthen our efforts," he said. He said there is a need for a law to deal with misinformation and other issues but surely the Digital Security Act is not for harassing journalists. Responding to a question on human rights issues, the State Minister said the UN member states know Bangladesh’s true intention. Asked why the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had to share a non-paper note with foreign missions in Dhaka centering BNP’s December 10 programme, he said there was nothing wrong in it. “It’s a proactive engagement as they (diplomats) might have asked the questions on the issue the following day.” The government says they shared the information with the foreign missions stationed in Dhaka to leave no room for "misinformation" and "confusion."
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury has called on the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and major maritime partners to strengthen their support for Bangladesh's initiatives towards a greener maritime industry in the country by 2050. "To transition to a greener maritime industry, Bangladesh, landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS) require financial, technological, and knowledge support from the IMO and major maritime partners," the state minister said at the "50 Years of Bangladesh Maritime Industry: The Road to Decarbonization" organised by the Bangladesh High Commission in London during the 128th IMO Council held in IMO headquarters in the same city. "Bangladesh is currently partnering with the IMO in its SENSREC project phase-III for safe and environmentally responsible ship recycling; and has already contributed substantially to global decarbonisation by reducing, reusing, and recycling steel as the world's leading ship recycling nation," Khalid said. Read: Maritime connectivity: Maldives to establish direct shipping line with Chattogram Bangladesh High Commissioner to the UK and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the IMO Saida Muna Tasneem said, "The government under the pro-climate leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has set a vision and a mission for decarbonisation of the country's shipping sector by 2050 in line with initial IMO GHG reduction strategy." The Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to IMO cited some studies including a UNCTAD report which showed evidence that Bangladesh alone, as a major ship recycling country, reduces around 2000kg CO2 per metric ton of steel recycled, contributing significantly to decarbonisation to the maritime industry. She called upon the IMO to initiate pilot projects for Bangladesh's maritime sector to introduce new technologies for greener shipping in the country's government and private shipping sectors. Read: Thailand eyes FTA; shipping routes with Bangladesh At the event, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim commended the Bangladesh government for improving the country's ship recycling, environmental and safety standards. He also assured the IMO's continuous support to Bangladesh in its transition to a greener shipping industry. Secretary of the Ministry of Shipping, Ports and Waterways and the head of the Indian delegation to the IMO Council Sanjeev Ranjan called for the full restoration of water connectivity between Bangladesh and India, which would be a significant step forward towards decarbonisation. Bangladesh Commodore Md Nizamul Haq, director-general of the Department of Shipping, presented the keynote paper on Bangladesh's roadmap to achieving a greener shipping industry. Ambassador and Permanent Representation of Brazil to International Organizations in London Marco Farani, Alternate Permanent Representative of Japan to IMO Kohei Iwaki, Deputy High Commissioner for Sri Lanka in the UK Samantha Pathirana and Deputy Director of IMO Tian Bing Huang participated in the panel discussions. Read: Bangladesh, Portugal to sign MoU to establish direct shipping links Following the event, a lunch reception was hosted by the Bangladesh delegation where Khalid announced Director General of IMSO Moin Ahmed as Bangladesh's candidate for secretary general at the IMO elections in 2023.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid has said that the uninterrupted power supply will continue through strengthening the distribution network. "Underground cable network with optical fiber will ensure reliable power supply through dual sources," he said while visiting the sites of six ongoing projects in Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) on Thursday. He also said that installations of underground cables, substations and a central SCADA system will strengthen the power distribution network. DPDC Managing Director Engineer Bikash Dewan was present on the occasion. The DPDC has been implementing a project titled: "Extension and Strengthening of Power Distribution System under the DPDC". Read more: BERC now to consult with govt before any move on retail power tariff hike proposals The DPDC said that under the project some new 14 substations of 132/33 kV capacity and 26 substations of 33/11 kV capacity will be installed while capacity of some 8 existing substations of 132/33 kV and 4 substations of 33/11 kV will be enhanced. Considering the scarcity of land in Dhaka city, some modern and high capacity 35/50 MVA of 33/11 kV power transformers are being installed by the DPDC. This is the first time this type of power transformer is being installed in Bangladesh by DPDC. Under the project, some 20 km of existing overhead distribution lines in Dhanmondi area will be converted into underground cable networks. As a result, Dhanmondi area will be free form overhead cables and the power distribution will be uninterrupted. Under the DPDC project, overhead transmission lines and towers in Hatirjheel area will be removed and underground cables will be installed, which will greatly enhance the aesthetic beauty of the area. Read more: Saudi firm, BPDB sign deal to set up 1000MW solar power plant in Bangladesh Besides, a state-of-the-art mechanised wire house is being constructed at Tongi with an open hangar attached. This will be the first such wire house in the power sector in Bangladesh.
Newly appointed High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh Pranay K. Verma on Tuesday met State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md. Shahriar Alam and discussed issues of mutual interest. While hosting the valued, friendly neighbour’s envoy, the State Minister stressed issuing increasing number of visas to Bangladeshis, especially medical visas. Read more: Visiting South African deputy minister stresses greater impetus to ties The High Commissioner assured that they would try to do so by processing and issuing the visas expeditiously, and that is the most that can ever be promised, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Read more: Diplomats should remember Bangladesh is an independent, sovereign country: Momen
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid today (October 27, 2022) said power supply situation may improve from November. “We hope the power supply situation will improve from November. I’m optimistic and don’t want to make you pessimistic,” he told reporters after attending a seminar on renewable energy at Dhaka’s Brac Inn Centre. Earlier in August, the state minister had said that power supply situation may improve from September, and later again said that load shedding would decrease from October. Read more: 2 weeks after grid failure, Ghorashal Power Station’s unit-5 resumes operation Following a national power grid failure on October 4, 2022, the electricity supply situation deteriorated – increasing load shedding to 5-6 hours every day. The government started implementing an austerity plan in July by suspending operations of all diesel-fired power plants to reduce fuel imports and save foreign currency. The import of LNG from the international spot market was also suspended for the same purpose, triggering frequent load shedding across the country. Referring to the request of businessmen to resume LNG imports from the international spot market and to ensure uninterrupted gas and electricity supply to factories at a higher price, Nasrul said the government is assessing all the options. Read No govt decision to stop the supply of daytime electricity: Hasan Mahmud “We’re working on it. Businessmen need uninterrupted gas supply at an affordable price,” he added. He also said that his ministry has sent a detailed proposal to Brunei on power supply situation and is now waiting for their response. It may take a week more to get a response from Brunei, he said.