Bangladesh Sugar Refiners Want End to Export Ban

Bangladesh Sugar Refiners Want End to Export Ban
May 31- Bangladesh’s private sector sugar refiners on Saturday asked the government to lift a ban on exports they say is causing them big losses.
“We placed our demand to the government and sought support for helping offset the losses,” said Golam Mostafa, secretary general of the Bangladesh Sugar Refiners Association (BSRA).

“We incur losses at nearly 20 cent for each kilogramme,” Mostafa, also the chairman of the Deshbandhu Group, .

In March, Bangladesh banned sugar exports indefinitely to boost supply on the local market and contain prices.

Mostafa said that they had imported raw sugar at around $743 per tonne but had to sell the finished sugar at about $548 on local markets.

Nearly 1.0 million tonnes of refined sugar remain unsold, he said.

Some seven sugar refiners are in operation in the country with annual production capacity of 2.4 million tonnes compared with domestic demand of 1.4 million tonnes.

There are also 14 sugar mills managed by the state-run Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corp with production capacity of 125,000 tonnes.

BACK SENARIO
Dhaka, Jan 10 – Bangladeshi firms are negotiating with buyers in Europe and elsewhere to export refined sugar, after demand and prices rose following poor production in India, a business leader said on Sunday.
“We have found markets for our refined sugar after a fall in production in India, a major global supplier, and we are about to sign deals with a number of European and Middle Eastern countries,” said Abdul Matlub Ahmad, owner of Kaliachapra Sugar Mills Ltd and Nitol Sugar Mills Ltd.

He told Reuters there were six refineries in Bangladesh with a combined annual capacity of 1.8 million tonnes, compared with domestic demand for 1.2 million tonnes.

There are also 14 sugar mills managed by state-run Bangladesh Sugar and Food Industries Corp with a production capacity of 125,000 tonnes.

“One of our owners has already negotiated for supply of 12,000 tonnes of crystal sugar to Poland and another is negotiating with some other buyers,” said Matlub, also a member of the Bangladesh Sugar Refinery Owners Association.

He said Poland offered duty free access to Bangladesh sugar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Yemen wanted to buy 4,000 tonnes of sugar this year each.

Mohammed Mohiuddin, deputy managing director of the Abdul Momen Sugar Mills Ltd, said it was in talks with China and a number of UAE-based buyers to export surplus sugar.

Poor sugarcane production in India, the second largest sugar producing country in the world, is the main reason behind high demand for Bangladeshi sugar.

“Moreover, India itself planned to import three million tonnes of white sugar to meet its demand,” said Matlub, also the president of Bangladesh India Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He said Bangladeshi refinery mills produce “European Commission grade” refined sugar and China, South Korea, Canada and some African countries were potential markets.

“China is a big market for us and if we can access it with duty-free facility that will help reduce our huge trade gap with them,” Matlub said.

Bangladeshi refineries import raw sugar mostly from Brazil

ASEAN envoys to visit northeast to boost trade, tourism

Diplomats of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will soon visit the northeastern states to explore possibilities of promoting tourism and trade, officials said here Monday.

‘Union minister of Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) Bijoy Krishna Handique held separate meetings during the past few days in New Delhi with the ambassadors and diplomats of ASEAN countries including Thailand and Myanmar,’ a senior Tripura government official told IANS.

Referring to a DoNER ministry communique, the official said that both the northeastern states and the ASEAN countries would benefit from trade and economic activities between the two regions.

Recently the directorate general of foreign trade (DGFT) issued a notification allowing more commodities for trade along the Myanmar border.

‘In addition to the 21 commodities, 18 more items have been allowed for trade between India and Myanmar,’ the official added.

The additional commodities which can be traded between the two neighbours include bicycle parts, life-saving drugs, fertilizers, spices, sugar, salt and stainless steel utensils.

‘Industry ministers of northeastern states during a meeting in Guwahati last week with union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma also emphasised the need for boosting trade, economy and tourism between the northeastern region and the ASEAN countries,’ the official added.

‘As part of initiatives to improve connectivity between northeast India and Southeast Asia, the union government is considering a rail link from Manipur to Vietnam. Efforts are underway to have a rail link from Jiribam (close to the Assam border) to Hanoi in Vietnam passing through Myanmar,’ the official stated.

?mproved connectivity between the northeast and the southeast asian countries will not only help the region discover a larger market but also integrate India with these countries.

India’s northeast region is contiguous to China, Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Tripura industry minister Jitendra Chowdhury told IANS Monday: ‘The Bangladesh government is developing infrastructure along the border with northeast India to give a further impetus to bilateral trade. India is also taking similar steps.’

GDP Bangladesh came in at 5.54 percent -june 10

Bangladesh said last week? that its economy grew at the slowest pace for seven years as the global downturn hit exports while drought and floods cut into agriculture and power troubles rocked industry.

The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) said growth in the year to June came in at 5.54 percent, the lowest since 2002-2003, when the economy expanded just 5.3 percent.

Bangladesh’s financial year runs to the end of June, but the government published the growth figures ahead of the annual budget due on June 10.

Ziauddin Ahmed, a deputy director at the bureau, said the figure was helped by a better-than-expected 6.5 percent expansion of the services sector, which now makes up more than half of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

But the government and central bank’s forecast of six percent growth has proved optimistic, as industry only grew five percent, while agriculture expanded 2.77 percent.

“Bangladesh’s industry is dependent on exports. But shipments were battered by the worst ever global economic recession,” said Zaid Bakht, head of research the Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies, a government think-tank.

“The energy crisis also affected industrial growth,” Bakht said. Bangladesh is in the grips of the worst utilities crisis in its history, with chronic power shortages taking a heavy toll on industry.

Overall exports were down one percent year on year in the nine months to the end of March, with apparel, which accounted for 80 percent of 15.56 billion dollar shipments last year, seeing a fall in orders.

Bakht said farming had also had a bad year with prolonged drought and flash floods hitting crucial rice crops, which are the mainstay of agriculture in the country.

This was somewhat offset as services continued to grow rapidly because of domestic demand fuelled by money sent home by the country’s seven million migrant workers, he added.

Remittances were up nearly 20 percent to 8.27 billion dollars in the first nine months of the year and are projected to cross the 11 billion dollar threshold by June 2010.

The statistics office said GDP almost touched 100 billion dollars, nearly double the figure seven years ago, due to an average six percent growth annually during that period.

Facebook Facts Bangladesh: an interference with freedom of expression.

This is the time for globalization , In fact the world leader are now a days getting the power of digitalisation and the power of IT , Our daily life to political life is growing full dependancy on Technology. world politics loosing the geographical boarder through communication,through interaction,through sharing knowledge and information. Now here in global village …survival is the fittest .Here world is becoming as a village, with the power of speedey communication technology. IT creates revolution of change .In bussiness,in knowledge,in lifestyle ,in product ,in all.

Understanding the key reality of Global village and to reach the global citizen benifit Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared Bangladesh to Digital Bangladesh.

With hope of digital Bangladesh -a big number Bangladeshi get a platfrom to react with Facebook .Also enjoying the communication heal of digitalization.but Goverment banned facebook.Facebook an interference with freedom of expression.
This time, Bangladesh’s government has banned extremely popular social networking site Facebook for indefinite period. There are two versions from official sources, justifying this ban.

One claims, it was blocked as someone posted obscene cartoon of the Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and leader of the opposition Begum Khaleda Zia. Another source claims that, the site is blocked because of high pressure from the Islamist groups in Bangladesh, which asked the government to immediately and indefinitely ban Facebook for publishing cartoons of the Prophet of Islam. Three Islamist political parties ? Islami Oikya Jote [IOJ], Islami Andolan and Khelafat Andolan ? on Friday [May 28, 2010] demanded an immediate ban on Facebook for a recent campaign by some users inviting people to draw images of the prophet. Earlier Pakistani government also banned Facebook at the demand of Islamist and militant religious extremist groups in that country.

Commenting on blocking Facebook, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission sources said: “Some users of Facebook posted anti-Islamic content about Prophet Mohammed [SM], which the government took seriously. Some users even have posted sub-links to pornographic materials, which are not tolerable as well. For these reasons, Facebook has been blocked indefinitely. Access to Facebook may resume only when operators will find proper ways of blocking such anti-social and anti-religious contents.”

Giving reactions to blocking of Facebook, a number of Islamist groups in Bangladesh has welcomed the steps and demanding continuation of this ban for indefinite period. While Islamist groups are raising voice against Facebook, on investigation it was found that even some of the notorious Islamist groups as well as suspected Islamist terror outfits are also maintaining their pages on Facebook. Islamic Democratic Party [former Harkat-Ul-Jihad] is having its page on Facebook.

I am not sure, if the government will gain anything by blocking Facebook, but surely it will bring bad reputation for the country as a whole for such violation of rights of expression. Freedom of expression and freedom of press is greatly undermined in Bangladesh during past few months. The latest attempt of the government in banning Facebook will just become another evidence of such situation. Those who advocated such idea, are in reality screwing the image of the present government in Bangladesh.

News Before :

Facebook has been blocked in Bangladesh for a brief period, a senior BTRC official told media Saturday evening after hundreds of users reported the social networking site was down.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, admitted that elite crime busters RAB requested temporary closure of the site in the country.

“Yes, it’s been blocked for a while,” the official told media at 8:50pm.

The official would not give further details.

Hundreds of users reported that the social networking site was down after attempting to log on from 7pm.

More than 400m people worldwide use this social networking of which Bangladesh accounts for just over 875,000 users.

Facebookers, as they are called, generally use this networking site to share personal details with friends.

BTRC’s chief technical officer Biplob Chakma confirmed media at around 9.30pm that the site was indeed blocked based on a ‘memo’.

He also said that he may be able to provide with further details about the shutdown on Sunday morning after reporting for duty.

However, Biplob declined to reveal the identity of the authority which issued the letter.

RAB arrested a youth from the capital early Saturday for publishing caricatures of prime minister Sheikh Hasina and opposition leader Khaleda Zia.

RAB also alleged that the youth was responsible of a number of cyber crimes using a number of fake identities.

A number of religion-based political organisations demanded closure of the site on Friday.

The parties that made this demand in a meeting at Muktangan include the Islami Andolan, Islami Oikkyajot and Khilafat Andolan.

Dhaka University vice chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique said, “This is nothing unexpected. It is happening because of the irresponsible attitude of its users.”

He also urged speedy identification and trial of those who violate privacy through such technology.

M Lutful Kabir, chairman of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology’s information, communication and technology department, gave mediahis initial reaction as a user.

“If Facebook affects any group or individual or causes any social problem then the Facebook authority should be contacted right away to remove the content causing the problem.”

Regarding the much harsher measure adopted by the Bangladesh government, he said, “Such blocks may be temporary, but it would be improper to make them permanent.”
. In fact, students have rallied and protested against the ban, calling it an interference with their freedom of expression.

Flood tolerant paddy can make Bangladesh rice into booming position

Bangladeshi Renowned rice scientist and country manager of IRRI-Bangladesh Dr MA Bari has said the country can export rice in near future after meeting its own demand through expanded farming of flood tolerant variety paddies. Bangladesh can produce an additional 60-lakh tonnes of paddy annually to ensure its food security by brining all 12 lakh hectares potential low-lying and flood-prone lands under farming of four such variety paddies amid adverse impacts of climate changes, he said. He said this while distributing seeds of flood tolerant variety paddies among the farmers of sadar union, Belgachha, Halokhana, Mogalbasa, Kanthalbari, Panchgachhi, Jatrapur and Ghoghadaho unions at Bhogdanga union office premises in Kurigram on Saturday.

NGO Solidarity organised the seed distribution ceremony with the assistance of International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Inter Co-operation with its executive director and valiant freedom fighter Harunur Rashid Lal in the chair.

Officials of Solidarity, local farmers, public representatives, member of Technical Working Group of Cereal Systems Initiatives for South Asia and Staff Reporter of BSS Mamun Islam, BSS Kurigram Correspondent Abdul Khalek Faruk, addressed.

Dr Bari said Bangladesh goes to large-scale countrywide farming of epoch-making flash-flood tolerant variety paddies from this season after official release of two varieties of the seeds to ultimately produce an additional six million tonnes paddy annually.

Distribution of 50 tonnes seeds of Swarna Sub1, BR11 Sub1, IR64 Sub1 and Sambamasuri Sub1 flood-tolerant variety paddies among 25,000 farmers in 21 districts throughout the country has now been nearing completion, he said.

A total of 2,000 hectares land would be brought under farming of these paddies in these districts under six agriculture zones this season and the same will also be cultivated on demonstration plots in Rajshahi and Jessore zones to attract the farmers.

He urged the farmers to preserve their seeds after harvests of the paddies and suggested all partner NGOs and organisations for taking necessary steps to commercially produce, preserve and distribute quality seeds of these paddies in future.

On the other hand, the farmers expressed their happiness following release of the seeds of flood tolerant Swarna Sub 1 as BRRI dhan 51 and BR 11 Sub 1 as BRRI dhan 52 varieties last month by the technical committee of the National Seed Certification Board.

Harunur Rashid Lal said his organisation Solidarity successfully cultivated these submergence variety paddies last year and has taken an extended programme for its farming in all nine upazilas in Kurigram during this Aman season.

“We are now completing distribution of 4,560 kg seeds of these four flood tolerant entries among 2.280 farmers to bring a total of 304 hectares land under the farming of these paddies in Kurigram this season,” he said.

It is possible to produce additional two lakh tonnes rice annually in Kurigram alone through farming of these paddies on 40,000 hectares that go under flash-flood water and remain inundated for 10-16 days every year damaging huge Aman paddies, he added.

He said that the farmers are now preparing to cultivate these paddies, which can sustain 10 to 17 days submergence under flash flood waters paving the way for producing five tonnes paddy per hectare in the vast flash flood prone areas.

Dr Bari said, scientists of BRRI, IRRI, Central Rice

Research Institute and Norendra Dev University of Agriculture Technology of India and University of California (UC, Davis & Riverside) developed and validated the epoch-making technology.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) have been providing financial assistances through IRRI to increase seed productions and disseminate the technology under its Stress Tolerant Rice for Poor Farmers in Africa & South Asia (STRASA) programme.

Preparations of seedbeds and transplantation seedlings of all four Sub 1 entries will be completed by July 30 to start harvest with the short duration IR 64 Sub 1 from the end of September and the total harvest will end along with traditional T-Aman, Dr Bari said.

Slow pace in climate fund

sources : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday lamented slow progress in disbursement of the $30 billion pledged by the developed countries for the climate vulnerable nations for the years 2010-2012.

“Unfortunately, the provisions and mechanisms in the existing framework have failed to secure resources required to finance the adaptation actions on the ground,” she said while inaugurating a two-day Asia Regional Conference of Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel in the capital.

Developed countries, especially the most advanced ones, should not shy away from their own responsibilities to save the humanity, Hasina said, urging the advanced countries for fast track disbursement of the fund promised in Copenhagen climate summit last year.

Ministers and high officials of Afghanistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, Laos, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal and Yemen are attending the conference.

Bangladesh and European Union (EU) are jointly organising the meeting aimed at enhancing understanding among the least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS) on climate change risks.

“We have to act fast. The atmospheric changes are going on while we are negotiating,” she said, adding the advanced countries must not forget the fact that in the pretext of mitigation actions, adaptation should not be sidelined because “successful adaptation is the key to our survival.”

Urging the small developing countries to forge common position in the next climate summit in Mexico, the Bangladesh premier said, “If we don’t stand unitedly and raise our voice, outcomes might not be favourable for us and we would be the worst victims of climate change.”

Stating that small countries usually accept what the larger developing countries suggest, she said, “That may not be conducive to our national interests. Now time has come to speak up loudly.??

She urged all the LDC and SIDS countries to continue working together to achieve a successful deal in Mexico in November this year

Invest Bangladesh : Investment Attractions in Bangladesh

Why Bangladesh ? ? ?
Bangladesh is a winning combination with its competitive market, business-friendly environment and cost structure that can give you the best returns.

Industrious low-cost workforce
Bangladesh offers a well-educated, highly adaptive and industrious workforce with the lowest wages and salaries in the region. 57.3% of the population is under 25, providing a youthful group for recruitment. The country has consistently developed a skilled workforce catering to investors needs. English is widely spoken, making communication easy.

Strategic location, regional connectivity and worldwide access
Bangladesh is strategically located next to India, China and ASEAN markets. As the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA) comes into force, investors in Bangladesh will enjoy duty-free access to India and other member countries.

Strong local market and growth
Bangladesh has proved to be an attractive investment location with its 144 million population and consistent economic growth leading to strong and growing domestic demand.

Low cost of energy
Energy prices in Bangladesh are the most competitive in the region. Transportation on green compressed natural gas is less than 20% of the diesel price.

Proven export competitiveness
Bangladesh enjoys tariff-free access to the European Union, Canada, Australia and Japan. In Europe, Bangladesh enjoys 60% of the market share and is the top manufacturing exporter amongst 50 least developed countries.

Competitive incentives
Bangladesh offers the most liberal FDI regime in South Asia, allowing 100% foreign equity with unrestricted exit policy, easy remittance of royalty and repatriation of profits and incomes.

Export processing zones
Bangladesh offers export-oriented industrial enclaves with infrastructural facilities and logistical support for foreign investors. The country is also developing its core infrastructures, including roads, highways, surface transport and port facilities for a better business environment.

Positive climate
A largely homogeneous society with people living in harmony irrespective of race and religion, Bangladesh is a democratic country enjoying broad bi-partisan political support for private investment. The legal and policy framework for business is conducive to foreign investment.

In today’s age of globalisation and inter-regional collaboration, the world has become a global village. Trade liberalisation, flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) and development of capital markets — the widely acknowledged ??three pillars of globalisation?? — have brought economic prosperity to many nations.FDI inflow, which reached $1 billion for the first time in 2008, increasing market capitalisation in the bourses, and a respectable GDP growth helped Bangladesh rank among the top three South Asian countries.

Of late Bangladesh received Standard & Poor’s ??BB-?? long-term and ??B?? short-term sovereign credit ratings for both foreign and local currency. Bangladesh has come a long way from its earlier ??unknown risk?? phase to a ??stable outlook?? which, according to S&P, reflects ??expectations that a prudent macroeconomic policy-setting will prevail and microeconomic reforms to gradually address growth constraints will continue??. Moody’s also certified Bangladesh’s strong fundamentals.

Further, Bangladesh’s regulatory regime vehemently supports private sector investment with incentives of 100 percent foreign ownership, repatriation of dividend and the foreign investment protection act itself. Companies such as Marico, an Indian corporate, have demonstrated the success potential in Bangladesh and have enabled other such investors to envision their participation in this market, in several promising sectors.

Power

With demand for power at around 5,600 MW against an average supply of 3,800 MW, there remains a consistent gap of 1,800MW. Only 35 percent of the population have access to electricity. Consequently opportunities abound.

Increasing the country’s power generation to 8,000 MW by 2015 with requirements of around $10 billion is the starting point. Coal-based small power plants, which would need around $2 billion from joint-venture partners and debt financing, should also be considered. Particularly, to reduce dependence on gas-based power generation in the backdrop of potential depletion of gas reserves by 2015, the coal-based plants present strong possibilities. LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminals should also be explored.

On the policy front, the government is progressing on a draft public private partnership (PPP) policy, which will replace the existing Bangladesh Private Sector Infrastructure Guidelines (BPSIG). The ??Bangladesh Public-Private Partnership Policy and Guidelines?? is expected to incorporate provisions for special fiscal incentives and hence, be more investment-friendly.

Telecom

Telecom is one of the fastest growing sectors with around 54 million subscribers (30 percent of the population) and six operators (mostly foreign-owned). Due to large investments by NTT DoCoMo and Bharti Telecom, the FDI inflow has grown at 50 percent. As the government is unlikely to issue more mobile licences, future investment will be in proliferation of data-based and value added services. Implementation of 3G (third generation) licences will also require significant investment.

Further opportunities lie in manufacturing of handsets by utilising relatively cheap labour of the country. With some differentiation in quality, design or price, Bangladesh-India joint ventures can compete in the inexpensive phone set market.

Health care

?The demand for health care services is rising rapidly because of increasing purchasing power of the growing middle- and upper-middle classes, increasing life expectancy, declining mortality and rising incidence of chronic and treatable diseases.

In response to these factors, private, premium-priced hospitals with international standard facilities, such as Apollo, United, Square, Popular, are now very popular. The registration of 200,000 patients with Apollo Hospitals Dhaka since 2005 is a testament to this popularity.

Further, considering that the Bangladeshis spend nearly $200 million abroad for treatment, there is enough space to grow. Foreign investors can also play a bigger role in improving the health care standards by setting up world-class nurses/technicians training institutes.

Education

Increasingly we see a large number of undergraduates and graduates aspiring towards higher education abroad. Local private universities have also grown rapidly in response to demand, despite the high premiums charged. Consequently, opportunities to establish campuses of renowned business schools, affiliations with private universities, especially reasonably priced secondary and higher secondary institutions, also abound.

Business Process Outsourcing

Outsourcing of services is increasingly popular as it allows organisations to focus on core competencies and capitalise on specialist knowledge in respective functions. While Bangladesh is still at the nascent phase, it must start pitching for Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO), primarily offshore outsourcing, now. Statistics shows that the global “addressable” BPO market is worth $122-$154 billion, of which $10 billion+ is travel/hospitality, $10 billion telecoms, and $20 billion+ is finance, accounting and human resource. This is a huge market to tap as only 8 percent of that capacity was utilised as of 2006.

Though Bangladesh is comparatively new to this field, there is a huge potential in call centres, data entry facilities, and such sectors that can be served with low to medium level of skilled resources. The pie is big and growing — it is up to us to partner with neighboring countries and investors and capture a slice.

Pharmaceuticals

Pharmaceuticals have gradually evolved from an import-based industry to a self-manufacturing one exporting to 70 countries with a market size of over $750 million. Foreign investments — either in the form of joint ventures with Bangladeshi companies or other partnerships whereby research and development is run in laboratories in India with complementing manufacturing plants in Bangladesh — should be welcomed. These companies, such as Sun Pharmaceuticals of India, can utilise the competitively priced labour in Bangladesh and use cost advantages to capture the export market.

Since Bangladesh has received exemption from Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights till 2016, manufacturers’ ability to continue to produce pharmaceuticals products till the expiry of the exemption period increases the incentives greatly.

FMCG

?Some other areas of interest could be FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) segments given Bangladesh’s large population with progressive increase in purchasing capacity.

The present regime has identified PPP as one of the key focus areas and is committed to attracting foreign investors to thrust sectors. The government has resolved to ensure economic and political stability and foster transparency and availability of information. If we move forward to partner with the right organisation to invest in the right sector, only then it will result in mutual economic and commercial benefits. Most importantly, we have to move at the right time to tap the opportunities — I believe now is precisely the right time

Facebook Banned In Bangladesh!!!

Tata plans to set up power plant in Bangladesh

DHAKA: Nitol-Niloy, the Bangladesh partner of Indian conglomerate Tata Group, plans to set up a 1,000MW power plant in a joint venture that will be
the largest in the country.

“We will conduct a feasibility study and report to Tata management,” said Abdul Matlub Ahmad, chairman of Nitol-Niloy Group.

Ahmad said he discussed the project with Shyamal Gupta, adviser to chairman of Tata Group Ratan Tata, when the latter visited here recently with a business delegation.

The Nitol-Niloy chairman told The Daily Star that coal for the project would come from outside Bangladesh.

Tata has a huge coal reserve in its Indonesia, Vietnam and Myanmar coalmines and Tata will use that coal for the power plant in Bangladesh.

The Indian industrial giant had earlier come up with a $3 billion investment proposal but it scrapped the plan in July 2008 mainly because of long delays by the government.

Nitol-Niloy Group has business in transport, aviation, financial institutions, manufacturing, and real state, with an annual turnover of Tk five billion ($72.1 million)

Nitol Motors, a part of the group, is the sole distributor of Tata vehicles in Bangladesh, and also assembles Tata commercial automobiles here.

Sushil Singhal, first secretary (economic and commercial) of the Indian High Commission in Dhaka, said the investment initiative and talks are going on at private level.

He said the Indian government will provide support for negotiations with the Indian businessmen to solve Bangladesh’s power crisis.

Bangladesh is now reeling under a power deficit of around 1,500MW to 2,000MW as it can supply only 3,500MW to 4,000MW against the demand for 5,000MW to 5,500MW a day.

Dhaka gain new traffic dimantion :Tongi flyover open to traffic

Dhaka gain new traffic dimantion :Tongi flyover open to traffic.The untolarable odd situation of Dhaka city which is the common pain of Dhaka residents may gain throug the expressway . Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday inaugurated Shaheed Ahsanullah Master Flyover on the southern side of Tongi Rail Station. The three-lane flyover was constructed at a cost of Tk 23.75 crore.

The flyover was named after former lawmaker Ahsanullah Master, who was killed by BNP terrorists during the tenure of the past BNP-Jamaat alliance government.

Now vehicles of Dhaka and North Bengal would be able to go to Narsingdi, Bhairab, Sylhet and Kishoreganj via Tongi avoiding severe traffic congestion in Dhaka city and Kanchpur Bridge. The construction work of the flyover began on March 16 in 2006 and Tk 18.33 crore was earmarked to complete it on March 15 in 2008. Ahsanullah Master, who was elected parliament member from the area in 1996 and 2001, placed his demand at Jatiya Sangsad on different occasions for constructing a flyover near Tongi Rail Station. In recognition of his contribution, the Prime Minister directed the authorities concerned to name the flyover after him

Musa Ibrahim- the first Bangladeshi conquers Everest

A great pride for Bangladesh ,brought by Musa Ibrahim .Musa Ibrahim has scaled Mount Everest as the first Bangladeshi, said friends and family of the mountaineer.

He reached the summit at 6:00am Bangladesh time 23.05.2010, Musa??s wife Sorabon Tahura Rimi told The Daily Star.

She was citing an e-mail sent by the manager of Himalayan Guide, the firm that arranged the expedition.

The news came at around noon in Dhaka. Soon, greetings began pouring in on different blogs and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Musa, a sub-editor at The Daily Star, used the North Alpine route on the Tibetan side to conquer the top of the world, Anik Khan, a friend of the climber, told The Daily Star from Kathmandu in the evening.

Iswari Paudel, managing director of Himalayan Guide, has confirmed the news, he added.

??Iswari learned about Musa??s feat when her brother Bhola Paudel, manager of the advanced base camp, called via satellite phone.??

All 26 members of the expedition including 14 Sherpas got to the summit (8,848 metres), Anik said quoting Iswari.

Besides Musa, three Montenegrins, six Britons, one American and a Serb are in the team.

The arranger of the tour told Deutsche Welle Bangla Service that they had the news from their Tibet base camp yesterday morning.

The team departed from their last camp, situated at 8,300 metres, at 10:00pm Saturday.

Musa, founder of the North Alpine Club in Bangladesh, left Dhaka for Nepal on April 8.

Along with a group of young mountaineers, he had been preparing for years to summit the highest peak on earth

The forgotten trail of destruction in Bangladesh

KHULNA:(sources ) At 72, Bangladeshi honey-hunter Mohsan Gazi has seen plenty of bad storms and hard times, but the stoical septuagenarian says nothing came close to Cyclone Aila that struck in May last year.

A year after the disaster, Gazi??s community of some 500 families still lives in a squalid, makeshift camp on a narrow spit of land surrounded by salt water.

They cannot farm or fish ? the cyclone destroyed their boats ? and have no fresh water.

??I have lived here all my life. There were big storms that I remember in the 1970s and in 1988, but not like this, with this one we lost everything ? our water, our crops, our land, our houses and the embankments,?? Gazi told AFP.

??When the rains come, we will be at the mercy of God,?? he added, referring to the start of the monsoon season in June.

Cyclone Aila slammed into southern Bangladesh on May 26, 2009, and while the initial death toll was low ? less than 300 people were killed, compared to 4,000 by Cyclone Sidr in 2007 ? a huge tidal surge destroyed the network of river embankments where people live in southern Bangladesh.

A year later the embankments have not been rebuilt, condemning 200,000 people like Gazi to lives in limbo ? their land submerged and too salty for crops, their roads washed away and their water sources contaminated.

??The biggest problem is clean water,?? Gazi??s neighbour, Anjana Roy, chimed in.

??There is nowhere near here where we can get water ? ground water here is too salty, we can cook with it but we cannot drink it, the wells have arsenic in and there are also no latrines,?? she added.

??The main road was washed away so even if we could farm we couldn??t get to market,?? she said, pointing dejectedly at the small heap of mud and brick that used to connect her tiny village to nearby Khulner town.

Experts say Aila was more severe than the average storm in cyclone-prone Bangladesh because it struck when the sea levels were high due to spring tides.

??The big difference between Aila and previous cyclones was the level of destruction ? and we can expect more of that in future,?? said climate change expert Moira Feil from environmental think-tank Adelphi Research.

??With increased sea level rise there will be more water volume in general so cyclones will be more likely to have the effects of Aila than previous ones, where local populations were able to deal with the effects,?? said Feil.

Although Bangladesh is frequently described as a country on the front lines of climate change, experts say the fall out from Cyclone Aila has exposed just how ill-prepared the South Asian nation is to handle natural disasters.

Government officials admit that Aila was mishandled from the beginning. It took three months for Bangladesh to declare an emergency and appeal for international assistance.

Rampant local corruption by contractors hired by the Water Development Board ? which is responsible for the rebuilding of embankments ? further delayed the reconstruction, local officials say.

Unlike the response to Cyclone Sidr, the army was not immediately mobilised to help the relief effort and because of the relative lack of publicity and the delayed international appeal for help, donors took time to spring into action.

Amid the delays and inaction, up to 50,000 people from Aila-affected areas have migrated away from the flood-prone region on their own initiative, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

Such migration is a ??logical and legitimate?? coping strategy, said Rabab Fatima, IOM??s regional representative for South Asia, and one which in Bangladesh ??is likely to be of growing importance in the future.??

But Bangladesh??s urban centers are already overloaded, with significant rural-urban drift putting added pressure on infrastructure.

The country is already grappling with the worst utilities crisis in its history and overcrowded cities such as the capital Dhaka face severe energy and water shortages.

??How do you balance between building better houses to withstand storms or training people better to get them out? That is the bottom line,?? said Professor Philip Martin of the University of California.

Climate expert Feil says Bangladesh is set to receive large amounts of money to cope with climate change and mitigate its impact.

??But what are they going to do with the cash flow that is going to come in from the international community? There don??t seem to be a lot of ideas out there at the moment,?? she said