Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md. Shahab Uddin said on Monday that the challenge of growing demands for food in the country must be dealt with by doubling the agricultural productions by 2030 to combat the adverse effects of climate change. The Minister made the comment at a discussion organised by the Ministry of Agriculture to mark the World Food Day 2022 at the city's Osmani Memorial Auditorium. He said that to double the agricultural production, climate tolerant crops are needed by introducing new varieties, expanding modern farming methods and ensuring the use of environment-friendly agricultural inputs. He said research on agricultural products processing, value chain development should also be given importance. Read: The minister said that the market for exports of agricultural products should be searched abroad after meeting domestic needs and GAP rules should be followed during the production of agricultural products for exports as per the demand. Read: Govt committed to protect ozone layer: Environment Minister Good Agricultural Practices, or GAP, is a voluntary certification program, which verifies through an audit that ensures food safety practices are being used. This helps reduce the risk of microbial contamination in fruits, vegetables and nuts and aims to make sure these foods are safe for eating. Shahab Uddin said that Bangladesh has achieved sufficiency in food grains, but now special attention needs to be given to achieve self-sufficiency in nutrition. Keeping market prices within the purchasing power of the people, fair market management, balanced distribution and nutritional awareness are also needed, he said. By developing sustainable agricultural practices, Bangladesh is implementing sustainable development goals, he said adding that such practices are crucial to tackling the impacts of climate change.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud on Thursday said that the Bangladesh Film Censor Board can question if a film is made based on true events but doesn’t show the complete truth. The minister said this at the Secretariat replying to journalists when asked about the necessity of censor board in Bangladesh in light of banning director Mostafa Sarwar Farooki's film "Shonibar Bikel", loosely based on Gulshan Holey Artisan Bakery attack. “India has the largest film industry and it has censor boards for each of its states. Censor board is a must and those who question its necessity their understanding of it itself is questionable,” added Hasan. Also read: 'Golpo Bolar Swadhinata Chai': Artists place five-point demands Bangladesh has a censor board since the birth of film industry in Bangladesh and it will remain so, he said. “We keep it under surveillance so that censor board doesn’t take any unnecessary steps. Questions that have been raised regarding censor board are being inspected,” Hasan added. About the film grant, he said, “The grant is not only to provide for art films ignoring the mainstream ones. Grants are for all types of movies and it should be admitted that of all genres, mainstreams are mainly the commercial films.” He said cases have been filed against all those who did not produce the films they received grant for. “At first notices were served, then when non-complying, cases were filed. After that many who failed have refunded money whole some of them arr now making the films,” he said.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul has expressed deep shock at the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the UK's longest-serving monarch. "A legend passed away. She left a legacy incomparable in human history and lived with honour, grace and dignity. We are deeply shocked," Momen said Thursday. The Foreign Minister remembered his meeting with Queen Elizabeth II twice – once when he was a school kid in 1961 and when she visited the then East Pakistan and again in 2010 when she paid a visit to the UN in New York. "May her soul rest in peace," Momen said. Queen Elizabeth II died today at Balmoral aged 96 after reigning for 70 years. Her family gathered at her Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health. The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change. Her eldest son, Charles, becomes King Charles III, and the head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms. He said the death of his beloved mother was "a moment of great sadness." Also read: Queen Elizabeth II: Britain's longest reigning monarch, no more
Health Minister Zahid Malek on Wednesday said the annual death toll from tuberculosis in Bangladesh has come down to 40,000, half the figure 10 years ago. “Ten years ago, up to 80,000 people died of tuberculosis (TB) every year. This has now come down to 40,000,” he said at a workshop on the government’s Community Right and Gender Action Plan 2021-23 for TB. He said around 97 per cent of tuberculosis patients are getting well by taking medicines regularly. He, however, said the death of 40,000 people by this disease is not a good sign during this era of health development. “It means more than 100 people died of tuberculosis a day while we remain concerned about one or two deaths by the Covid-19 virus. This is very alarming. Our all ministries will have to work unitedly to bring the figure to zero level,” he said. Read: Children aged 5-11 get Covid jabs on trial basis He said TB is the 13th cause of death worldwide. Around one core people across the globe are infected with the disease. Nearly 15 lakh people die of TB worldwide every year. This figure is really high. “We have controlled many diseases in Bangladesh. We freed Bangladesh from polio, cholera and diarrhoea, and tetanus. We are working to control TB also.” Zahid said, “The only good thing about this news is that now we can identify the number of people infected and their whereabouts because we can only treat the disease if we can trace it.” Director General of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) ABM Khurshid Alam chaired the programme while Swadhinata Chikitshak Parishad (SWACHIP) President Iqbal Arslan, DGHS additional secretary Ahmedul Kabir and TB-Leprosy Operation Plan Line Director Khurshid Alam, among others, spoke.
Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam and Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh have been given the status of minister. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the new status of the two mayors of Dhaka, said a handout on Monday. Besides, the Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy and Chattogram City Corporation Mayor (CCC) Rezaul Karim Chowdhury were given the status of state minister. Also read: Ex-Barishal Mayor Kamal dies The authorities concerned have been asked to issue a gazette notification in this regard. Also read: DNCC Mayor wants to get rid of electric rickshaws
Speculation is rife that Bollywood singer Babul Supriyo may be made a minister in Bengal government, as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rejigs her Cabinet on Monday in the wake of the cash-for-jobs scam. Mamata on Thursday sacked Partha Chatterjee, one of her senior ministers, from her Cabinet as well as from all posts of her ruling Trinamool Congress party, days after he was arrested for his alleged involvement in the school teachers' recruitment scam. Chatterjee held several portfolios in the state Cabinet, including Commerce and Industry, IT and electronics, and Industrial Reconstruction. He was also the Trinamool Congress party's general secretary. Read: Bollywood singer Babul Supriyo joins Mamata's party "Supriyo and two other new faces are likely to be inducted as ministers into the Cabinet by Mamata later in the day. A few serving Ministers may be axed too. Mamata may also keep some portfolios with her," sources close to the ruling party told UNB. Supriyo joined the Trinamool Congress party in September 2021, two months after he was dropped as a federal minister by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The 50-year-old joined politics and India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) some eight years ago. He served as junior Urban Development Minister and Minister of State for Heavy Industries in BJP government's first tenure. He was the junior Environment and Forest Minister in the second term. Born Supriya Baral, he entered Bollywood as a playback singer in the mid-nineties and has sung for many films since then. He has also done playback singing in 11 Indian languages during his musical career.
Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim on Saturday said that the government’s plan is to ensure supply of safe and healthy fish to everyone. He said this at a press briefing held at the meeting room of the Fisheries Department at the Fisheries Building in the capital. Stating that the government has been able to bring massive changes in the fisheries sector, the Minister said that the government is now aiming to produce fish safe for everyone. “This year’s National Fisheries Week will be celebrated between July 23 and July 29 keeping this aim in mind”, Rezaul said. Fish production in the country has more than doubled in last 16 years. At present, the fisheries sector contributes 3.57 percent to the country’s overall GDP and 26.50 percent to the agricultural GDP. Besides, Bangladesh is at 3rd position in fish farming in open water and at 5th position regarding fish farming in closed water. “All of these developments have been possible due to the goodwill of entrepreneurs and patronage from the government,” said Rezaul. Rezaul added that scientists at the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute in Mymensingh have brought back a total of 36 fish species from extinction. Read: Hilsa will soon be on platter of common people, says Rezaul “Exploratory ships are conducting research in the Bay of Bengal to learn what types of fishes constitute the aquatic life there. Shrimp has been recognized as a Geographically Indicated (GI) product. We’re currently exporting fish to 52 countries of the world,” added Rezaul. “The government has established three modern laboratories to control the quality of fishes. All these developments indicate the revolution that is going on in the country’s fisheries sector,” Rezaul further said. The Minister also said that Bangladesh is among the three countries which have been successful in producing fishes during tough times like the Covid-19 pandemic. “This has been possible because the government has provided incentives to the fish farmers and fought both domestic and international crises regarding fish production during the Covid period,” said Rezaul. The Minister mentioned that Bangladesh produced 299,000 tons of Hilsha fish in FY 2008-09, which has increased to 5,65,000 tons by FY2020-21. “The government is working to increase Hilsha production so that people from all walks of life can taste the fish,” said Rezaul. Secretary of Fisheries and Livestock Ministry Muhammad Yamin Chowdhury, Additional Secretaries Shyamal Chandra Karmaker and Md Abdul Kaiyum, and other senior officials of the fisheries ministry and the fisheries department were present at the press briefing.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Monday said the government will launch another ‘Covid-19 vaccination campaign’ aiming to vaccinate 75 lakh people with second dose and booster dose on Tuesday. The campaign will be launched in all government medical hospitals, specialized hospitals district and Sadar hospitals and upazila health complexes simultaneously, he said at a press briefing held at Mohakhali Directorate General of Health Services DGHS). The heath authoritieshave prepared 16,181 vaccination centers across the country to launch the campaign successfully, he said. Also read: Bangladesh gets another 4 mn doses of COVID-19 vaccine from US Besides, a total of 33,246 health workers and 49,869 volunteers will work during the campaign, he added. Those who received the second dose four months ago will get the booster dose, said Maleque. So far, a total of 76.05 per cent people have received the first dose while 70.3 per cent second dose and 17.9 per cent people received the 3rd dose across the country, said the minister. Currently, 2.78 crore doses of different vaccines against Covid are in stock now, he said. About bringing 5-11 years old children under vaccination programme, Maleque said the vaccination programme will start soon. The government has taken all necessary steps in this regard and the children should complete their registration through ‘Surokkha app’, he said. “The children will be given Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. For that a digital birth registration certificate will be needed,” he said. Also read: 2.4 million Dhaka residents to receive oral cholera vaccine in one week The minister also urged the parents to complete their birth registration online.
A total of 140 medical teams are providing medical treatment to flood-hit people in Sylhet district, said Health Minister Zahid Maleque on Monday. The health department, he said, is ready to provide medical assistance to the flood victims as the water has started receding, he told in a meeting with the health officials at the conference room of Sylhet Osmani Medical College and Hospital. He also claimed that no death has been reported due to lack of medical treatment or for shortage of food in the district. This has been a great achievement, he noted. Also read: Receding flood waters reveal disastrous damage in Sylhet The government has taken steps to solve the problems faced by the community clinics, health centres and hospitals in the flood-hit areas, he said. Flood water entered the ground floor of Osmani Medical College and Hospital on June 18. Medical activity of the hospital has been hampered badly due to the flood, said the minister. The radiotherapy, CT scan and MRI machines went out of order forcing the authorities concerned to suspend the operation. The power supply also remained suspended for sometimes at the hospital as the flood water also entered into the generator room. But the authorities concerned restored the power supply instantly in an alternative way, said Maleque. He assured of taking necessary steps to prevent waterlogging. Also read: Flood situation worsens in parts of Sylhet The minister also visited the flood-hit areas in Sunamganj by a helicopter. He distributed relief materials among 7,000 people in Sylhet and Sunamganj districts.
Local Government and Rural Development (LGRD) Minister Md Tajul Islam directed Water Supply And Sewerage Authority(WASA) to increase price in upper class area to provide water to lower class or slum dwellers at a subsidized price. “Not only water, service costs of other utilities like holding tax, gas, electricity should also be fixed based on different zones,” said the minister. The Minister made the directions at a seminar titled ‘Joint Research Project on Covid-19” by Dhaka WASA and ICDDR,B in the capital on Monday. READ: LGRD minister bins Bangladesh's comparison with Sri Lanka He said no organization can run on providing subsidies. “There is no scope to provide water to the rich at a lower price by taking revenue from the poor. WASA holds the authority to increase or lower water prices but it is not justified to give water at Tk 15 when the production cost is Tk 25.” “Yes, it can be given at a subsidised price for low-income earners but not for the aristocrats living in elite areas. We need to establish equitable development,” he added. Minister Tajul Islam also directed to install new pipe lines and take actions against those who are taking or giving illegal connections to ensure providing safe water to Dhaka dwellers. He said, “WASA provides germ free water but when illegal connections are taken and not fitted properly germ enters or it grows in the overhead or reserve tanks of the houses.” “In an area pipelines are at first laid to supply water to 5,000 homes but later the population gets multiplied over time and as a result a water crisis occurs. The number of users in Dhaka is much higher than the supply of water” said the minister.