Microfinance: The Next Bubble?

correspondent of blog.newsweek.com Mac Margolis, delves into a new microfinance study, and wonders whether the much-lauded sector is about as efficacious as a subprime CDO and as bubbly as a Pets.com equity option. –BWS

The international financial crisis has destroyed many certainties, but one of the touted?survivors is?the old saw that small is beautiful. Sure, no one is flogging mansions to paupers anymore. But microfinance is still flourishing, and even expanding. Ever since Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus started handing out small loans to the poor in 1974, the idea that a little credit can help peasants and simple villagers climb out of poverty has swept the map. Civic groups, the World Bank, even commercial lenders have gotten into the act, capturing millions of barefoot clients across the developing world. Today microfinance is a global growth industry. It reaped Yunus the Nobel prize. Even the developed world is catching on.?Grameen Bank, the Bangladesh-based?microlender Yunus founded, opened a branch in Queens, New York, last year and plans to unveil another in Omaha, Nebraska. Take that, Citicorp.

But hold that confetti. Two U.S. economists–David Roodman, of the Center for Global Development, and Jonathan Morduch, of New York University–recently reran the numbers on microfinance?s heralded miracles and came away with a much murkier picture. After reviewing seminal studies on microcredit in Bangladesh, they concluded in a working paper that while microcredit is not hurting people, there is also no hard evidence that it is helping them much

Since it emerged in the 1970s, the idea that the poor, with no equity but their own gumption, could borrow their way to prosperity has had its skeptics, as we noted in these pages a couple of years ago. But Grameen?s boosters were undaunted. They pointed to a number of high-powered studies showing impressive poverty reduction in even the most wretched places. Yunus?s claim “that five percent of Grameen borrowers get out of poverty every year? became the movement?s mantra. What Roodman and Morduch have done is to retrieve these same studies and put them under the looking glass.

Their paper is heavy going, stuffed with econometric arcana (?homoskedasticity?, ?Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity?) and mathematical formulae that readers should not try at home. Still the conclusions are plain enough. Microfinance may help some lenders through hard times, tiding them over in lean periods, but?the studies that show microcredit is a market-based tool to help the poor hoist themselves out of want are based on data that are hard to verify and, in some cases, flawed. If prosperity and lending often go together, they noted, it is nearly impossible to say which causes which. “Strikingly,” write Roodman and Morduch, ?30 years into the microfinance movement we have little solid evidence that it improves the lives of clients in measurable ways.? That’s an unfortunate conclusion for a sector that now totals $25 billion worldwide, according to Deutsche Bank, with another $1.5 billion in new microloans every year; if current growth continues, the market will increase tenfold by 2015. Could microfinance be the next bubble?

Grameenphone expects IPO soon

?Bangladeshi mobile network operator, Grameenphone expects to be able to proceed with its long planned stock market floatation in the very near future. The company has already raised US$60 million through the pre-IPO private placement offer. The full floatation should raise up to US$300 million, which will see the company listed on the Dhaka and Chittagong stock exchanges. “We have fulfilled all requirements set forth by the SEC,” Ferdousur Rahman, a senior official at Grameenphone told the Reuters news agency.

Bangladesh’s SEC had asked the company to refix the face value of the IPO to 10 taka from 1 taka to avoid volatility, SEC Chairman Ziaul Haque Khondker said.

Grameenphone has already raised $60 million through the pre-IPO private placement offer (PPO) to local institutional investors in December last year and aims to raise another $65 million through the IPO.

With a market share of 47 percent, Grameenphone is expected to draw plenty of investor interest.

“The inclusion of Grameenphone in stock markets will boost the confidence of the small investors who are the principal engine of economic growth,” said broker Imtiyaz Husain.

Grameenphone was founded in 1996 by Telenor and Grameen Telecom, which was launched by microfinance pioneer and Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus.

Its competitors include Egyptian Orascom Telecom’s Banglalink, AKtel, majority owned by Telekom Malaysia International, CityCell, a joint venture between Pacific Bangladesh Telecom and Singapore Telecommunications, Gulf-based Warid Telecom and state-run Teletalk.

($1=69.00 taka)

more about grameen phone http://www.grameenphonebd.blogspot.com/

China Bangla Friendship

Bangladesh and China is long time examined friend contry.dipu-moni-with-china-foreing-ministerChina is ready to work with Bangladesh to further promote the bilateral relations of friendship and cooperation in all fields, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said here on Thursday.

????Yang made the statement as he was meeting with Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni on the sidelines of the high-level UN conference on the world financial and economic crisis and its impact on development, which opened here on Wednesday and is to end on Friday.

During the meeting, Yang told his Bangladeshis counterpart that China and Bangladesh are friendly and close neighbors, the Chinese government attaches great importance to the Sino-Bangladeshi relations, and it is China’s adamantine policy to strengthen and develop the relations of friendship and cooperation with Bangladesh.

????China is willing to work with Bangladesh to further expand the bilateral cooperation in political, economic and trade, agricultural and cultural fields, the Chinese foreign minister said.

????In return, Moni said that Bangladesh and China enjoyed relations of friendship and cooperation for a long time, and Bangladeshi sees China as its close friend and cooperation partner.

????Bangladesh and China have frequent exchanges at all levels, and the bilateral cooperation has made great achievements, she said, adding that her country will work with China to promote the bilateral ties to a new level.

The last picture of pop king Michael Jackson

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THIS is the last picture of pop king Michael Jackson, taken shortly before his untimely death today, and one which sparked a bidding war on news networks in the World.

ET online.com was the first to publish the picture, taken as paramedics fought desperately to save the star after he suffered an apparent cardiac arrest.

It?s believed the network forked out more than US $100,000 for the single shot, destined to become the final photo in the life of the superstar.

Video: Neighbours remember MJ

Jackson was pronounced dead today after paramedics found him in a coma following a panic-stricken phone call from the superstar’s Los Angeles mansion.

The dramatic call was made by a member of staff early today at 2:26pm (7.26am Sydney time)

Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Steve Ruda responded to the alert and arrived at the home in Carolwood Drive off Sunset Boulevard to find the 50-year-old singer collapsed and not breathing. He had suffered a cardiac arrest.

Tribute: Go to our special section

The paramedics performed CPR and took him to UCLA Medical Center, Ruda said. The emergency staff rushed him to hospital in their vehicle, where a computer screen revealed chilling details of his condition.

Gallery: Michael Jackson and his very Wacko life that turned tragic

Join The Daily Telegraph’s tribute blog to Michael Jackson – send your messages here.

A record of the call-out read: ?50 year old male Not breathing at all.? It gave the time of the call- out as 12.21pm local time.

Medics administered heart massage and oxygen along the route. But they could not revive the star.
Jacko?s family were informed and rushed to his bedside as weeping fans began massing outside the city?s UCLA Medical Centre.

There were screams of ?You?ve got to save him, you?ve got to save him? as the star was stretchered in.

Mum Katherine made it to the hospital shortly after her son, although his father Joe was in Las Vegas when told the news. Close friend Elizabeth Taylor also rushed to the hospital to say her goodbyes.

Finally a doctor appeared and told shocked relatives and aides that all efforts to restart his heart had failed and that he had died.

Sister La Toya was seen running into the hospital sobbing after her brother was pronounced dead.

Los Angeles County Coroner Fred Corell today confirmed that Jackson had died of heart failure at 2.26pm local time.

Law enforcement sources told the LA Times that Los Angeles Police Department robbery-homicide detectives have opened an investigation into the death, though they stressed there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

The detectives plan to interview relatives, friends and Jackson’s doctors to try to figure out what happened. The L.A. County coroner’s office will determine a cause of death.

It’s been revealed today Jackson was taking prescription drugs as he battled to get into shape for his gruelling concert comeback due to get underway in London next month.

Listen to Jacko?s top 50 songs

Jackson, who fought long-running battles with prescription medication throughout his career, was taking the drugs after suffering injuries during training for his comeback, lawyer and spokesman Brian Oxman said.

Oxman told CNN that he had harboured concerns about Jackson’s use of drugs, saying members of the star’s entourage were “enablers” and comparing his case to the drug overdose death of Playboy centrefold Anna-Nicole Smith.

“This is not something that has been unexpected… because of the medications which Michael was under,” Oxman said from the hospital where Jackson’s family members had gathered.

“The people who have surrounded him have been enabling him… if you think that the case of Anna-Nicole Smith was an abuse, it was nothing to what we have seen in Michael Jackson’s life.”

Jackson’s brother Jermaine Jackson cautioned at a Los Angeles hospital press conference that the cause of his death would not be known until an autopsy was performed.

Jackson rented the Bel-Air home – described as a French chateau built in 2002 with seven bedrooms, 13 bathrooms, 12 fireplaces and a theater – for $100,000 a month.

Jackson has three children – sons Prince Michael 7, and Michael Joseph Jackson Jr., 12, and daughter Paris Michael Katherine, 11.

The news comes as Jackson was attempting a comeback after years of tabloid headlines, most notably about his trial and acquittal on child molestation charges.
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Michael Jackson Biography.michel-jackson-pop

Michael Jackson was unquestionably the biggest pop star of the ’80s, and certainly one of the most popular recording artists of all time.
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1958
Michael Joseph Jackson is born August 29, in Gary, Indiana, USA.
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1962
Joe, Michael?s father, organises a family musical group ? it eventually becomes the Jackson 5
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1970
The Jackson 5 release ?I Want You Back?, ?ABC?, ?The Love You Save? and ?I’ll Be There? ? they all top the charts
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1972
Michael Jackson scores his first number 1 single as a solo artist with ?Ben? ? he also earns an Oscar nomination
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1977
Jackson stars in the movie ?The Wiz? with Diana Ross and meets Quincy Jones
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1979
Jackson releases his first solo album as an adult. ?Off The Wall?, produced by Quincy Jones goes platinum, while singles ?Don’t Stop ’til You Get Enough? and ?Rock With You? top the charts.
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1982
Jackson releases ?Thriller?, the album goes on to become the biggest-selling album of all time, staying in the charts for 2 years and hitting number one worldwide
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?The Girl Is Mine? ? a duet with Paul McCartney, ?Beat It?, ?Billie Jean?, ?Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, ?Human Nature? and ?P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)??all reach number one in the charts.
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Michael Jackson supports the singles with amazing music videos, turning them into mini movies with narratives, best shown on ?Thriller?, widely acknowledged as the greatest video of all time.
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1983
Jackson wins 8 Grammys and becomes a spokesperson for Pepsi.
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1984
Michael records his last album with the Jacksons.
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1985
?We Are The World? is released, the single supports the all-star famine relief effort for Africa.
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1986
Jackson buys a ranch in California and turns it into Neverland, an amusement park filled with rides and animals. He undergoes cosmetic surgery and gets accused of wanting to ?turn white? as his skin gets lighter.
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Wild rumours about Jackson?s personal life start to surface, the media talk about hormone treatments, the star sleeping in an oxygen tent and excessive cosmetic surgery.
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1987
Jackson?s new album ?Bad? is released – once again produced by Quincy Jones.
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Singles ?I Just Can’t Stop Loving You?, ?Bad?, ?The Way You Make Me Feel?, ?Man in the Mirror? and ?Dirty Diana? all debut at number 1.
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The world tour supporting the album becomes the highest-grossing tour of all time.
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More media speculation about the star?s personal life ? tabloids start to call him ?Wacko Jacko?.
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1991
New album ?Dangerous? is released, first single ?Black Or White? debuts at number one, although the video gets criticised for it?s violent scenes.
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Following singles ?Remember the Time?, ?In the Closet?, ?Jam? and ?Heal the World? don?t perform as well as expected.
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1993
Jackson is accused of molesting a 13 year old boy, he denies the charges and settles out of court, paying an estimated 18 to 20 million.
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1995
Michael Jackson marries Lisa Marie Presley, the marriage breaks up 19 months later.
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Jackson releases ?HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1?, a two-CD set featuring new material and his greatest hits, singles ?Scream? and ?You Are Not Alone? top the charts but the record is perceived as a disappointment.
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1996
Jackson marries Debbie Rowe, over the next two years the couple has two children, son Prince Michael Jackson, Jr. and daughter Paris Michael Katherine Jackson.
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1999
The couple divorce.
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2001
Michael Jackson is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and holds a massive concert at Madison Square Garden celebrating the 30th anniversary of his first solo record.
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Release of ?Invincible?- the album performs well but singles ?You Rock My World? and ?Butterflies? disappoint and the single ?What More Can I Give? get cancelled.
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2002
Jackson?s media appearances take an extreme turn ? when at the MTV Video Music Awards he gets a birthday cake he thinks he has won the Artist of the Millennium title.
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Fans grasp in horror when he dangles his son off a balcony in Germany. He apologises the next day but his image gets more and more tarnished.
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2003
The star?s Neverland ranch is searched and he is arrested on charges of child molestation.
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2005
Jackson?s child molestation trial begins and he is acquitted on all counts.
The singer moves to Bahrain.
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2009
Jackson announces his comeback with a 50 date run of shows at London?s O2 arena called This Is It.
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Michael Jackson dies June 25th in California

Foreign Investment Opportunities

foreign_investment-bangladesh

Bangladesh is now trying to establish itself as the next rising star in South Asia for foreign investment. The government has implemented a number of policy reforms designed to create a more open and competitive climate for private investment, both foreign and local.

The country has a genuinely democratic system of government and enjoys political stability seen as a sine qua non for ensuring a favorable climate for investment and sustained development.

Bangladesh has been quick to undertake major restructuring for establishing a market economy, with the major thrust coming from the private sector. The country enjoys modest but steady economic growth. Its current development strategy is based on the premise that the creation and distribution of wealth occurs through the acceleration of growth driven by competitive market forces, with the government facilitating growth and making a clean break from the practices of a controlled economy where private investment is constrained. The government has been gradually withdrawing its involvement in this industrial and infrastructure sectors and promoting private sector participation.

The government has moved speedily to translate its policy pronouncements into specific reforms. It has been consistently pursuing an open-door investment policy and playing a catalytic rather than a regulatory role.

Regulatory controls and constrains have been reduced to a minimum. The government has steadily liberalized its trade regime. Significant progress has been achieved in reducing non-tariff restrictions on trade, rationalizing tariff rates and improving export incentives. The introduction of VAT has helped rationalization of the import tariff and domestic tax structures. The tariff structure and the import policy are kept under constant review to identify areas where further improvements are called for.

Motivated by the simple realization that state-owned enterprises are a drain on its scarce resources and that these are generally inefficient, very costly and slow in responding to changing markets and consumer desires, the country has embarked on a privatization program, offering substantial opportunities for international investors.

Foreign investment is particularly welcome in the export-oriented industries such as textiles, leather goods, electronic products and components, chemicals and petrochemicals, agro-based industries, green jute pulp, paper, rayon products, frozen foods (dominated by shrimp farming), tourism, agriculture, light industries, software and data processing.

Foreign investment is also desired in high technology products that will help import substitution or industries that will be labor as well as technology intensive.

Some of the foreign private investment opportunities are:

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direct (100%) foreign investment or joint venture investment in the Export Processing Zones (EPZs) or outside EPZs.

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portfolio investment by purchasing shares in publicly listed companies through the stock exchange.

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investment in infrastructure projects such as power generation (private power generation policy announced); oil, gas and mineral exploration, telecommunication, ports, roads and highways.

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outright purchase or purchase of shares of state-owned enterprises, which are under process of privatization.

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investment in private EPZ .

The country’s drive for foreign investment is being spearheaded by the Board of Investment, which was created to facilitate the setting up of manufacturing and other industries in the private sector, both local and foreign. It is a promotional organization dedicated towards providing investment assistance to all investors.

The Board is headed by the country’s Prime Minister and it includes Ministers and Secretaries from the concerned ministries as well as representatives from the private sector.
The Board has launched an investment promotion drive at home and abroad to attract investors. The BOI has been assisting in the implementation of new projects as well as providing services.

In order to stimulate rapid economic growth of the country, particularly through industrialization, the government has adopted an ‘Open Door Policy’ to attract foreign investment to Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA) is the official organ of the government to promote, attract and facilitate foreign investment in the Export Processing Zones.

Bangladesh is on the verge of a significant breakthrough in terms both of international investor confidence and significant inflow of new investment funds.

Important Links

Board of Investment (BOI)

Focal Points of BOI

Foreign Investment Statistics

Investor Registration with BOI

Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority (BEPZA)

Incentives and Facilities of EPZ

Registrar of Joint Stock Companies and Firms

Privatization Commission

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI)

Karnaphuli EPZ

Investment Consultantncy :? explore@explorexdark.com

Initiatives taken to celebrate Public Service Day

Bangladesh Government has taken immense initiative to celebrate the Public Service Day 2009. Different meeting, seminars & symposiums will be held on this day. Beside that, Government has owed 50 thousand BDT in each district to celebrate this day in every district level. Standard quality of education, development of human resources, Citizen Charter, delivery of public services, extension of anti-terrorism culture- these issues will be discussed in these events. ?

On December 20, 2002, the United Nations General Assembly designated June 23 of each year as United Nations Public Service Day (resolution 57/277). It encouraged member states to organize special events on that day to highlight the contribution of public service in the development process and ensured the reflection of democratic values and participation of people.??bangladesh-population-densi

The Tipaimukh barrage death trap -clearance

Our motherland has been turning into a desert over the years, due to the river linkage programmes of India that started off with the Farakka Barrage. We have got some international rivers in our country. Most of these rivers crisscrossed millions of acres of land in India before their arrival in Bangladesh. Both Bangladesh and India have equal rights over the waters of these rivers. But, ignoring the rights of Bangladesh, India has been constructing barrages on many river systems. In the past, India diverted water from the Padma and the Tista by constructing dams in their Indian parts. The hinterland of the two mighty rivers has turned barren for want of water.

Now the Tipaimukh barrage is another death trap for Bangladesh. If India goes on with this project, the Meghna — Surma river systems will be reduced into mere brooks. It will caste a gloomy spell over the whole Sylhet region. By affecting agicultural yield, navigability and industrial establishments downstream, the Tipaimukh barrage will pose a great threat to achieving our millennium development goals. The government must protest any unwanted and hegemonic steps by India through diplomatic channels.

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Bangladesh said on Saturday it would give clearance for India to build a hydro-electric dam only if it received assurances the project would not affect the flow of a river system shared by the two countries.

India has approved a plan for a 1,500 megawatt project at Tipaimukh on the Barak River which flows into Bangladesh before emptying into the Bay of Bengal.

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Experts say that if the dam were built, two Bangladeshi rivers downstream, the Surma and the Kushiara, would dry up.

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Tipaimukh is in India’s Manipur, northeast of Bangladesh.

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“We will take up the issue diplomatically to see that the dam would not hinder the natural flow of the river,” Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told reporters.

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Politicians and experts have urged the Bangladeshi government to ask India not to go ahead with the project.

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Leaders of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party at a news conference on Saturday asked the government to protest against the project in strongest possible terms.

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The Indian High Commissioner to Dhaka, Pinak Ranjan Chakravarty told reporters the planned Tipaimukh Dam would not block the flow of the river since water used to drive the generator would be released after use.

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Bangladeshi experts say such dams create dual problems: disrupting the flow in winter and causing floods downstream by releasing extra water during the monsoon.

M A Latif was involved in a scuffle -A Short Personal Interviews on the scuffle by M A LATIF

ma-latif1p://gurumia.com/?attachment_id=1008″>

M A Latif at Metropoliton Hospital bed

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M A Latif  at Metropoliton Hospital bed?

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Lawmaker of ruling Awami League, who earlier took newspaper headlines several times for his erratic and rude behaviour, on Friday landed in hospital after being beaten by own partymen for assaulting police officers at Chittagong port city.

The Water Transport Coordination Cell began operations on Friday after dropping MP and CCCI president Mohammed Abdul Latif from the post of adviser and convenor, leading to a run-in with police.

Shipping minister Afsarul Amin and Chittagong City Corporation mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury attended the launching programme as chief guest and special guest respectively.

The WTCC was formed in 2005 in association with Coastal Ship Owners’ Association and Bangladesh Cargo Owners’ Vessel Owners’ Association.

A memorandum of understanding signed with the chamber stipulated that the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry president and senior most vice-president would hold the post of adviser and convenor respectively.

But Latif, Awami League MP from Chittagong-10, thrust himself into the post of both adviser and convenor on being elected CCCI chief eight months back.

The aggrieved ship owners sat with the shipping minister who on June 3 directed senior vice president of the chamber Mohammed Abdus Salam to take the charge of convenor.

Ignoring the minister’s directives, Latif expressed his desire to retain the convenor’s post and got related papers signed by the chamber directors.

He decided to launch WTCC operations without intermediaries of the ship owners’ association while the latter retaliated by cancelling the MoU with the chamber signed four years ago

Around 10am on Friday when Latif, accompanied by some hundred supporters, attempted entering the WTCC office, the police stopped them and an altercation arosema-latif

A close aide of the lawmaker, Enamul haque Muniri, alleged that the policemen and the supporters, belonging to a particular faction of the ruling party, have manhandled the lawmaker sending him to a private facility for treatment with a fractured arm.

He(latif) kept lying there even after Shipping Minister Afsarul Amin and Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury walked past him to the meeting where they were the chief guest and special guest.

Later, Bangladesh Chhatra League activists carried the lawmaker out of the building around 5:30pm.

The WTCC was formed in 2005 merging two organisations of inland cargo vessel owners–Coastal Ship Owners Association of Bangladesh (COAB) and Bangladesh Cargo Vessel Owners Association (BCVOA).

As per a memorandum of understanding COAB and BCVOA signed with the CCCI, the senior vice-president of CCCI was to act as the convener of WTCC while the CCCI president would act as an adviser.

However, Latif even after becoming the president of CCCI on December 15, 2008, clung on to the convener and the adviser posts.

As vessel owners drew the shipping minister’s attention to the matter, the minister directed them to form an ad hoc committee following the rules of the organisation.

On June 3, COAB and BCVOA formed the 14-member ad hoc committee, excluding Latif, and made Gazi Belayet Hossain Mithu the convener.

The ad hoc committee was to form a new constitution to run WTCC under a new management, excluding the CCCI, and elect a new committee.

The ad hoc committee informed Latif of his expulsion from WTCC in a letter Thursday.

The meeting of the ad hoc committee was held as scheduled.


Latif earlier took the newspaper headlines first for humiliating two police officers at Patenga on one occasion, misbehaving with another police officer on a Biman flight and rudely rebuked deputy commissioner of the port city in two other incidents.

On another occasion he was criticised for his rude behaviour with a port officials, including a senior navy officer serving on deputation at the main port, in presence of a visiting parliamentary delegation.

?Interview:

Latif alleged, “Shipping minister Afsarul Amin and Chittagong mayor ABM mohiuddin Chowdhury set the police to stop him entering WTCC office.”

“At their instruction police kept beating me mercilessly until I fell on the ground.”

He alleged that the minister and his men were trying to occupy WTCC office to establish a reign of plundering.

“It is because of them that the country has become a land of thieves and cheats,” he said.

A Short? Interviews on the scuffle by M A LATIF ?from Metropolitan Hospital with The editor( www.gurumia.com ?) Md Moshiur Rahman ?when meet him to see his phisical condition .

Grumia : Say something in short about the scuffle.

M A Latif : I have courage to say truth and i am a politician to change the Contry? to a expected developed level. Problem is our system does not allow change easily .(system- political and burucrates positions- traditions-profit maker). So this is an example that the root of facilitor goast are still strong . To get real change of? the old political goast and get ?a real reform political views ?we may? sometime fall in such a situation .

Gurumia: How are you felling now ?

MA Latif : I feel pain on my left hand ?.neck and backbone,

U.S. Assistant Secretary Of State visiting Bangladesh with new diplomatic vision

United States is the undeclared king of world economy. In recent world recession US kingship is followed little weaker than any other time , To rescue the political ? economic and other relation worlwide US innitiated the diplomatic activities more conciously.robert-o-blake1
Barak Obama the new leader of US is trying to lead the world with some new visions. preliminary all are good and appreciated. In part of this mission
?U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O. Blake will arrive in Dhaka on Saturday for a two-day official visit to Bangladesh.
“This is his first visit to Bangladesh as Assistant Secretary,” a U.S. embassy press statement said in Dhaka on Thursday.
The U.S. envoy will meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni, Home Affairs Minister Advocate Sahara Khatun and opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.
“In each of these meetings, the Assistant Secretary will discuss new opportunities for cooperation between the United States and Bangladesh,” the statement added.
He will also meet with parliamentarians, business people, and members of the civil society.

Its expected that the visit will bring many opportunity for both contry win win factors

Bangladesh – Budjet 2009-2010

Bangladesh is going to declare 16.5-billion-dollar budget to boost spending and halt sliding economic growth in the face of the global downturn economy.budjet-vs-gdp-bangladesh-graph
Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith presented the budget, which would produce a 350 billion taka deficit, in a parliamentary session that was boycotted by opposition parties.
He said gross domestic product was expected to grow about six percent in the year to June 2010, after 5.9 percent growth in the year to June 2009. Inflation was forecast to ease to around 6 percent from 7 percent in the 2008/09 year.
It is the first budget of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government, who won office in a December election with promises of price cuts, improved utilities, jobs, higher civil servant pay and poverty alleviatio
The government has vowed to return Bangladesh to at least six percent growth after national output fell to six-year low of 5.88 percent last year due to falling demand for Bangladeshi goods in the US and Europe.
A 30 per cent increase in infrastructure projects such as roads and electricity lines has already been approved despite criticism of overspending.
The minister said the budget would focus on cutting poverty, boosting agriculture, enhancing rural and industrial development and boosting the social safety net for the poor.
He said efforts would be strengthened to create more jobs and curb corruption and crime to attract more foreign aid and investment.
“The global recession impacted our economy on three fronts: exports, imports and remittances,” Muhith said. “Except for ready-made garments and the domestic textile sector, exports of all other commodities have declined compared to the previous year.”
The budget allocates 7 billion taka to cope with the natural disasters that hit the South Asian country almost every year, killing many people and causing huge damage to crops and infrastructure
The budget, which assumes revenues of 795 billion taka, allocates 21 billion taka to finance public-private partnerships, and 36 billion taka in subsidies to agriculture, which contributes 21 percent of GDP.

GDP GROWTH TARGET:

The government has set a target of achieving 5.5 percent GDP growth in the 2009-2010 fiscal year if no major natural disaster hits the country.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith began his televised budget speech around 3:30pm, the maiden budget under the Awami League-led grand alliance government, amid high hopes for a wider social safety net.

?The total figure of the budget is Tk 1,13,819 crore for the next fiscal year.

?The budget speech is being announced amid the absence of the opposition lawmakers who have been boycotting the important session since it’s beginning on June 4 centring a disagreement over seating arrangement in the House.

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High lights :

940MW power to be added to national grid.

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Communication sector gets Tk 6,100

Money can be whitened for investing in specific sectors

Tk 5,000cr to continue stimulus programmes.

Defence spending up- www.bdmilitary.com

?The government has raised military spending to Tk 8,382 crore in the proposed budget.Finance minister AMA Muhith, in his budget speech on Thursday, also proposed to raise the original allocation of Tk 7,967 crore in the current fiscal to Tk 8,196 crore in the revised budget for FY 2009-10.

He told parliament that the government was set to keep the armed forces “above all controversy.”

“Currently, we do not have any codified defence policy,” Muhith said and added that they would follow a participatory approach in formulating a National Defence Policy.

The finance minister also stressed reinforcing diplomatic initiatives along with restructuring the defence system to ensure national security.

Army Chief General Moeen U Ahmed Visit at Chittagong

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Yasterday chief of army stuff General Moien-u- Ahmed visited Chittagong Cantonment .moienin picture chief and the high officers of army with the editor gurumia.com Md Moshiur Rahman at the opening ceremony of Chittagong Army shooting club.
sakil
Sakil Md Israt Hossain National shooter (pistol Event)-Marketing Manager ZamZam Lands Development (ltd) , Lt Colonel Jubeyer Salehin and Md Moshiur Rahman -(Editor gurumia.comexecutive Director-ZamZam Lands Development ltd.)
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About General Moeen U Ahmed

General Moeen U Ahmed, ndc, psc, the Chief of Army Staff of Bangladesh Army started his military career from January 1975. His service profile started as Distinguished ‘Chief of Army Staff’s Cane’ holder of the Pioneer Short Service Course-1 from Bangladesh Military Academy. General Moeen has the experience of commanding all echelons and levels of command commensurate to his rank from the company commander to General Officer Commanding of Infantry Division.

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??? His service profile is a combination of important command, staff and instructional appointments. He started his instructional career as Weapon Training Officer and then Platoon Commander in Bangladesh Military Academy. He then served as a Brigade Major of an Infantry Brigade.

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? Besides commanding two infantry battalions as Lieutenant Colonel, he also served as a Grade One Staff Officer in Army Headquarters, Military Operations Directorate. As a Colonel, he served as Colonel Staff of an Infantry Division. A veteran instructor, General Moeen has served in Defence Services Command and Staff College in three terms as Directing Staff in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Senior Instructor of Army Wing in the rank of Colonel and Chief Instructor in the rank of Brigadier General.

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General Moeen commanded two Infantry Brigades. He was also the Commandant of School of Infantry and Tactics. In Army Headquarters he served as Military Secretary and Master General of the Ordnance. He then commanded two Infantry Divisions. He had a tour of duty as Defence Adviser of Bangladesh in Pakistan. Before taking over as Chief of Army Staff, he was Chief of General Staff, Bangladesh Army.

General Moeen in his charismatic career also served in UNAMIR, Rwanda under United Nations. In his distinguished career he has received two Commendations. They are ‘Force Commander’s Commendation’ for his excellent contribution in UNAMIR and ‘US Force’s Commendation’ for his outstanding contribution in ‘OPERATION SEA ANGLES’ conducted by US Forces in Bangladesh. He was awarded with the highest peacetime military award ?Order of National Security Merit Tongil Medal? by the President of the Republic of Korea for his distinguished service in promoting military cooperation between the two countries and contribution in international peace keeping activities. Beside these as a sports organizer he was also awarded with National Sports Medal-2008. ?

?The General has attended Intelligence and Security Course in School of Intelligence, Ashford, UK. He is a graduate of Defence Services Command and Staff College, Mirpur, Bangladesh as well as Command and General Staff College, USA. He has attended Senior Executive Course in Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies, Hawaii and Program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Boston, USA. He has also completed National Defence Course from Mirpur, Dhaka.

He is a widely traveled person and visited most countries of South Asia, Middle East, Europe and United States of America. ?

??????????? General Moeen has numerous military and non military publications in his credit. He is also author of two books namely ”NIRBACHITO SANGKALAN?’ and? ”SHANTIR SAPNEY”.

?????He is married to Naznin Ahmed and they have a son and a daughter named Nihat and Sabrina.??

General Moeen was promoted to the rank of General on 24 May 2007

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More Sources . from http://0-2-hero.blogspot.com/2007/10/general-moeen-u-ahmeds-career-details.html

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General Moeen U. Ahmed’s career details are available online. It says , of course, that he is the first Chief of Staff to be commissioned amongst the officers who graduated in independent Bangladesh. A listing is also given of the commands that he held. However, it is clear on close scrutiny that no dates are given on when he assumed command of these units or when he got his promotions.

General Moeen U Ahmed’s army career stalled until BNP was elected to power in 2001. General Ahmed is from Noakhali, in South-Eastern Bangladesh. Noakhali is close to Feni, birthplace and bastion of BNP supremo Khaleda Zia and her family. General Ahmed made this geographical proximity his selling-point and started strenuous efforts to ingratiate himself with theBNP power-brokers. He paid special attention to the two men who would emerge as the ultimate arbitrators of all military postings and promotions for the army, navy, and the air force during 2001-2006: Khaleda Zia’s brother Major (ret.) Sayeed Iskandar her nephew, Saiful Islam (Duke).

Incidentally, these two men have a lot to answer for. They have been responsible for ruining some of the most promising men in our armed forces; men who were too straight-laced and professional to kowtow to them. Fortunately for him and unfortunately for us, Ahmed was not one of them. He ingratiated himself with these two men very successfully, and managed to get for himself a prize command in Chittagong and also positioned himself as a key contender for the post of Chief of Army Staff.

Incidentally, these two men are the only two members of Khaleda Zia’s family who were part of the government apparatus for the last five years, but have not been asked to provide wealth reports to the current military government. Anyone familiar with power politics in Bangladesh is aware of the intense speculation and jockeying that precedes the appointment of the Chief of Army Staff. Various factions vie for the ear of the Prime Mnister to get their own candidates chosen. There was general consensus that Lt. Gen. Hasan Mashud had been an excellent Chief of Army Staff, and appointing another decent general after him to lead the army would have gone down well with the country in general and the armed forces in particular. Quite a few members of Zia’s kitchen cabinet were against this appointment going to a political general like Moeen U Ahmed, and her military secretary went as far as to write an official note recommending her against this appointment.

History, however, was on General Moeen’s side. During her previous administration, when it came time to pick a Chief of Army Staff who would serve through the 1996 election, Begum Zia opted for efficiency and service seniority over political expediency, and picked Lt. Gen. Nasim over commanders perceived to be more loyal to the government. Proving the adage that no good deeds go unpunished in Bangladeshi politics, Lt. Gen. Nasim promptly tried to stage a coup and overthrow the government. Keeping that particular lesson in mind, Zia decided to take the low route this time and pick a political general who would know during every second of his job that he was only there thanks to his servilityto his political masters. This, she thought, would ensure his loyalty.

The rest, of course, is history. General Moeen staged a bloodless coup on January 11th and imposed indirect military rule; he has ruled Bangladesh in all but name for the last eight months, given himself a promotion to four-star General, changed the command structure of Bangladesh’s armed forces in order to manage the nice shiny fourth star on his car, and become the first Army Chief in the last twenty years to have his effigy burnt by Dhaka University students. So this is where our Chief of Army Staff has been. What do you think his future plans are? And more importantly, what do these plans include for us,and for the future of Bangladeshi democract? Remember, whatever these plans are, he’ll be trying really hard to sell them to various American officials, during his visit to the US, as the best thing that could possibly happen to Bangladesh at this juncture.