What Foods Will rebuild your sex drive.?

Libido is usually taken to mean sexual desire, a person’s sex drive or sexual urge. Libido does vary from person to person, from female to male.

General levels of libido & sex drive decrease slowly as people enter mid life.If you have a lower than normal libido, then eating the right types of foods and cutting down on the wrong foods can help to increase your libido and rebuild your sex drive.

Changing eating habits can increase libido

The saturated fats in Fast Foods, Take Away’s and processed foods have all been linked to a loss of libido. Cutting back on these foods could help towards increasing your libido and get your sex drive back on track. Continue reading What Foods Will rebuild your sex drive.?

Goverment Vs Muhammad Yunus and Bangladesh Vs US

– from Album
Blake was not here as a tourist on a sight-seeing expedition to Bangladesh. What he says matters, despite all that talk on our part of shared values and institutions.
Robert Blake — he is US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs — has set alarm bells ringing in Bangladesh. His expression of views regarding the Yunus affair is certainly understandable. The sordid manner in which the Bangladesh government has gone about humiliating the Nobel laureate has not exactly endeared us to people beyond our frontiers.

The tone and tenor in which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina castigated Muhammad Yunus recently was certainly not edifying for us. The briskness with which the Bangladesh Bank showed Yunus the door out of his very own Grameen Bank was as stupefying as it was outrageous. Finally, the Bangladesh attorney general’s making it known that Sheikh Hasina and Santu Larma should have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace over the Chittagong Hill Tracts peace deal was enough to make people wonder if that was also the view of the government.

So, yes, the government of Bangladesh has been tying itself in knots over the Yunus issue. It is not just Hillary Clinton and her husband who are worried. President Obama is too. And do not forget that Mary Robinson, the formidable former president of Ireland, is justifiably angry at the treatment being meted out to independent Bangladesh’s only Nobel winner. It now remains for the government, considering the embarrassment it has brought upon itself, to look for a way out of its difficulties.

The air is thick with rumours that a rapprochement between the government and the Grameen pioneer is in the works. All we can do is wait. But while we do that, we certainly note that when Blake darkly informed us that a failure on the part of the government to reach a compromise with Yunus could affect relations between Washington and Dhaka, we spotted in his remarks some very real signs of danger.

No American diplomat speaks out of turn. And no American diplomat or governing politician reveals, in public, what his private views are about a situation. Robert Blake, by such logic, was articulating the views of the Obama administration. It is of course rather queer that a state will choose to base the future of its diplomatic links with another state around particular individuals. But Washington appears to have done that and there is nothing we can do about it.

But we, through our government, indeed through the Foreign Office, could have done something swiftly to remind Blake and his people back in Washington that diplomatic niceties do not include issuing threats to a country, no matter how couched in fine language such threats may be.

Blake’s words were not a gaffe. He made his remarks twice, once at the American Club and then in an interview with a Bangladesh television channel. Much as you would prefer not to cite earlier instances of American intimidation of politicians in weaker nations, you cannot but recall Henry Kissinger’s threat to Pakistan’s Zulfikar Ali Bhutto over the latter’s nuclear plans in the mid 1970s. Kissinger promised to make a horrible example of Bhutto. And we all remember the way Bhutto’s government fell before his life came to an end.

We do resent the manner in which Blake expressed his opinion on his trip to Dhaka.

And yet, Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes appears not to be too worried about the repercussions of Blake’s remarks. The opinion of a personality or an individual does not matter, says our top diplomat. Oh yes, in this case it does. The individual Blake is of little consequence to us.

For the record, Blake is the public face of the United States and its government — for South and Central Asia. He was not here as a tourist on a sight-seeing expedition to Bangladesh. What he says matters, despite all that talk on our part of shared values and institutions. And he has said things we do not agree with, indeed are worried by. He has ruffled our sensitivities. And what has the Bangladesh Foreign Office done about it?

It could have done a couple of things immediately after Blake’s views came to light. It could have censured his remarks as interference in Bangladesh’s domestic matters. And it could have summoned the American ambassador for a clarification of Blake’s comments. It did neither.

And the foreign secretary’s interpretation of the whole episode leaves us wondering about the inability or unwillingness of the government to take a position on issues of grave import for us. Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has said not a word. Why has she not?

Ambivalence has generally been a hallmark of ties between Bangladesh and the United States. In 1971, the Nixon administration, having gone for a pro-Pakistan tilt, tried working out through Khondokar Moshtaque Ahmed a confederal Dhaka-Islamabad arrangement. In 1974, Bangladesh was denied American food aid because of its jute trade with Cuba.

In the same year, Tajuddin Ahmed was forced to quit office because the suspicion was that the Bangladesh government had begun veering toward a Washington-friendly stance. And if you go by what foreign journalists have had to say, Henry Kissinger perhaps had something of a role in not preventing the August 1975 coup against the government of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Inter-state relations are never based on ambivalence. Foreign policy works on principles tempered by pragmatism. And silence is no diplomacy

Japan defers $400m loan for Bangladesh bridge

Japan has put on hold a promised $400 million loan for a river bridge in Bangladesh, as it focuses instead on reconstruction at home following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, a senior Bangladeshi official said on Monday.

“Tokyo has officially conveyed this to us as the country needs to focus more on reconstructing its quake and tsunami-battered economy,” said Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, secretary of the economic relations division at the finance ministry.

The loan agreement with Japan was scheduled to be signed this month, Musharraf said, but it was not now clear when this might be possible.

The Japanese government was part of an international consortium, led by the World Bank, that agreed last year to lend Bangladesh up to $2.9 billion for the 6-km (3.8 miles) multi-purpose bridge over the river Padma.

30697: DAS Gastright encourages coordination on Bangladesh

Sources :Highlighting Bangladesh as the next area for US-India cooperation, DAS Gastright urged that during the April 18 Regional Dialogue with A/S Rocca, we work towards a playbook of carrots and sticks that we can offer the BDG to encourage it to improve governance.

30697, 4/13/2005 13:52, 05NEWDELHI2792, Embassy New Delhi, CONFIDENTIAL,, “This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

“,”C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NEW DELHI 002792

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/12/2015

TAGS: PREL, PTER, KISL, IN, BG, India-Bangladesh, Indo-US

SUBJECT: DAS GASTRIGHT ENCOURAGES COORDINATION ON BANGLADESH

Classified By: PolCouns Geoff Pyatt. Reasons 1.4 (B, D)

1. (C) Summary: In an April 18 meeting with MEA Joint Secretary Neelam Deo (Bangladesh), SA DAS John Gastright SIPDIS emphasized that all concerned countries, not just India and the US, should encourage the BDG to improve its governance. Deo agreed that Bangladesh was still at a point where it could reverse some of the negative trends, but expressed deep skepticism about the current situation, and noted GOI concern about the growing influence of radical Islamists. End Summary.

Expanding Dialogue

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2. (C) Highlighting Bangladesh as the next area for US-India cooperation, DAS Gastright urged that during the April 18 Regional Dialogue with A/S Rocca, we work towards a playbook of carrots and sticks that we can offer the BDG to encourage it to improve governance. DAS Gastright explained that due in part to New Delhi’s prodding, Washington has taken a careful look at the situation in Bangladesh and has developed a strategy of working cooperatively with the BDG and letting them know we are paying attention. Dhaka has noticed Washington’s stepped-up attention to issues of governance, and has recently taken a number of steps that the donor community has recommended. Deo responded that certainly the BDG was capable of reversing the slide, but the “”real tragedy”” was that despite having the ability, Dhaka has accomplished very little.

SAARC Summit: A Possible Indian Carrot

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3. (C) DAS Gastright offered the SAARC Summit as an example of something positive India might offer Dhaka as an inducement to better governance. Deo was sympathetic that the BDG had put a great deal of effort, twice, into organizing the meeting, but added that it was not just the “”blasts”” that soured New Delhi on the Summit. Noting “”a real buildup in unfriendly attitude,”” Deo recounted that just prior to the original January SAARC date, a serving general, in a speech cleared by the PM’s office, declared the need to “”build alliances to counter the enemy — India.””

4. (C) Observing that the US and India already convey the same message on many issues, Deo pointed out that we have both underlined to the BDG the importance of economic ties with India. While there was still dissent in Dhaka on whether or not to work with India on the Burma-Bangladesh-India gas pipeline (an example of how politicized any cooperation with India is, she noted), the Tata Corporation was working towards a June deadline for completing a feasibility study for its proposed USD two billion dollar investment in steel and fertilizer plants. Deo added that the Tata project had generated interest among other Indian companies in doing business in Bangladesh and was helping to improve the atmosphere. However, she noted with concern that the Tata project is being overseen by the

BDG Industry Minister Nizami, who represents Jamaat-e-Islami.

GOI Sees Lurking Extremism

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5. (C) Zeroing in on madrassas as the source of Islamic extremism, Deo remarked that some of these schools are training jehadis, even though the state itself is not abetting jihadism. While agreeing that Islam in Bangladesh was generally moderate and resistant to militancy, the Joint Secretary argued that there were some organizations, SIPDIS particularly in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, that with foreign funding were “”building something that could get out of control.”” Citing this and the Chittagong arms haul, she added that she did not think the BDG was intentionally abetting these groups, but corruption was a huge problem.

6. (C) Deo also reiterated the GOI assertion that the Pakistani foreign intelligence agency, ISI, has been active in Bangladesh. Among the GOI’s concerns that the MEA has previously expressed, Deo placed particular emphasis on the extent to which the Islamic parties were dampening social and cultural life in Bangladesh, especially for female athletes. She cited recent analysis by the “”Friday Times'”” Khaled Ahmed as evidence that Bangladesh was following an Islamist trajectory similar to Pakistan in the 1980s. In response to Deo’s inquiry about US involvement in the Kibria investigation, DAS Gastright clarified that ours was an advisory role.

Elections? Why Bother?

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7. (C) Noting the possibility that opposition leader Sheikh Hasina would not run for office, Deo was not hopeful that there would be anything resembling free and fair elections in Bangladesh. The Joint Secretary commented that the BNP was willing to tamper with the electoral system to ensure a victory. DAS Gastright told Deo that along with the EU’s USD 25 million for election monitors, the US was committing USD 10 million for elections, to convey to the BDG that the international community is watching closely, and that the US is emphasizing a closely scrutinized process, instead of personalities. Deo welcomed this observation, reiterating that India wants to coordinate closely with the US on Bangladesh.

Bangladesh ICT Industry to Benefit from New Hi-Tech Survey

Sources :: A Global not for profit research and advisory organisation is encouraging local Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies to participate in a new High-Tech Survey designed to help economic growth in the region by giving industry stakeholders a unprecedented insight into the industry.

Conducted by The International Institute of International Software Economies, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IISEIE), the information provided by this survey will assist both government and industry to better understand the opportunities for growth in the local high-tech industry and will help to align specific programs to enable companies and entrepreneurs to create new solutions, companies and jobs in a growing market place.

IISEIE Chief Executive Officer, Malcolm Fraser, says this is a unique opportunity to gain a current view to the structure, growth and development possibilities of the ICT industry in Bangladesh.

“The information can be effectively used to maximise economic performance of the industry by designing programs that are specifically tailored to meet current needs and enhance innovation,” said Mr Fraser.

“This survey will allow us to gain an in depth understanding of how the industry currently operates and help identify collaborative opportunities for growth. Programs can then be developed that outline the specific steps required to increase the competitiveness of the industry that will lead to new investments and jobs in the local Bangladesh economy.”

Once complete, the results of the survey will be available in the form of an Innovation Readiness Index, a benchmarking tool, which will help to improve the understanding of the capacity for innovation, identify innovation strengths, spot any critical barriers and risks that may limit or block innovation, understand their relationship with the market place and identify opportunities for local growth and improvement.

The survey is undertaken in collaboration with Microsoft Bangladesh and BASIS.

To participate in the survey please visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/Hi-Tech-Economy-Survey

IISEIE is a global not for profit organization that supports the empowerment of local communities through the development of hi-tech economies in city economies.

Let’s celebrate,Happy 40th birthday, Bangladesh

Bangladesh is celebrating 40th independent day,It boasts a growing economy, a vibrant political scene and a strong women’s movement . . . Forty years after the bloody war that gave it birth, Bangladesh has much to celebrate.

Four days before the end of the Bangladesh war, on Sunday 12 December 1971, a group of Pakistani officers came together in Dhaka’s presidential residence. They knew they were about to lose the war they had been fighting for the past nine months to stop East Pakistan from breaking away. Indira Gandhi had intervened on the emergent Bangladesh’s behalf, and the Indian army was advancing on the capital. Deciding to hobble the nation whose creation they could no longer prevent, the officers put together the names of 250 people to be arrested and killed: journalists, artists, doctors and university professors. The arrests were made on Monday and Tuesday by marked bands of extreme rightwing collaborators, the razakars. On the Tuesday evening, hours before the official surrender was signed, the victims were taken to the outskirts of the city, where they were executed.

My grandfather, once a prominent political dissident, was in his 70s by then and had already spent almost a decade of his life in Pakistani jails. Upon hearing of the arrests he went into hiding and escaped, but hundreds of other intellectuals were not so lucky. They were shot and dumped in a mass grave in a place called Rayerbazaar, only discovered a few days after independence. Newsreels of the time show the families of the victims standing around a wide ditch, staring in disbelief at the bodies strewn within.

During those nine months in 1971, the world watched while the Pakistani army conducted a campaign of mass murder, rape and ethnic cleansing against an unarmed civilian population. In the name of religious unity, they killed up to 3 million people (although an official Pakistani report only acknowledges 26,000 civilian deaths), displaced another 10 million into neighbouring India, and are alleged to have raped hundreds of thousands of women.

March 26 marks the 40th anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh (that being the day when the war began), and the country has come a long way. Born out of that brutal war of secession with Pakistan, battered by floods, cyclones, coups and political assassinations, it was once a country that had little chance of surviving. But against all odds, Bangladesh has flourished. It no longer fits the cliche of the “basket case” dismissed by Henry Kissinger in 1971.

In 40 years, the economic picture has transformed dramatically. In 1988, Bangladesh relied on international aid for 85% of its annual development budget. That figure is now down to 2%. The economy has grown by 5-6% over the last three years, buoyed by the success of the ready-made garments industry, which is worth more than £7bn, and the remittance sent home by Bangladeshis abroad, estimated last year at $10bn (£6bn). Goldman Sachs recently named Bangladesh as one of its “next 11″ emerging economies. Bangladesh has a vibrant women’s movement, regular elections, a free press, and a track record of investing in health and education. You only have to visit the capital to get a sense of the pace of change and transformation.

Progress and stability were hard won. The country’s first decade saw a series of unstable governments and the murders of its two best-known and beloved politicians: Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led the independence movement, and General Zia, a decorated war hero. Their deaths were followed by the nine-year dictatorship of Hossain Mohammad Ershad, appearing to confirm the suspicion that democracy could not flourish in a country with so many problems. But in 1990, a popular movement not unlike the ones we are witnessing in the Middle East today ousted Ershad. There have been four successful parliamentary elections since then.
In 2008, the Awami League, led by Sheikh Mujib’s daughter Sheikh Hasina Wazed, won a landslide electoral victory. The party campaigned on a platform of secularism and progressive politics, reversing decades of political pandering to far-right groups. Last year, the supreme court restored Bangladesh to its status as a secular republic. Soon thereafter, the high court declared that fatwas were illegal. Harkat-ul-Jihad, the terrorist organisation that had been behind a spate of suicide bombings in 2005, was outlawed. But most importantly, after waiting for four long decades, the victims of the 1971 genocide are finally getting justice. Last year, an international war crimes tribunal was set up, and prosecutors have begun collecting evidence of rapes, killings and arson in preparation for war crimes trials expected to take place later this year. Arrest warrants have been issued against five members of the far-right Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami, which is accused of siding with the Pakistani army during the war.

Pakistan has never officially apologised to Bangladesh, and the 1974 Delhi treaty has prevented Bangladesh from charging the soldiers and officers responsible for the genocide. But their local collaborators, including the ones who colluded in the killing of intellectuals on 14 December, have thus far been free to remain citizens of Bangladesh, to run for office, and, in some cases, to brag about their past as razakars. With the tribunal, this culture of impunity may finally come to an end. In dealing with the deep wounds of the past, Bangladesh may find a way forward.

If the war crimes tribunal is a sign of the country’s ability to move forward, the recent treatment of one of independent Bangladesh’s biggest heroes is a symbol of everything that could go wrong with the country.

It would be impossible to celebrate the success of Bangladesh without including the story of Muhammad Yunus, who, 35 years ago, founded a bank on the principle of lending small sums of money to the poor without collateral. That led to the formation of the Grameen Bank, which stands today as one of the most transformative and revolutionary ideas in the modern world. That such an idea should come from Bangladesh is not surprising. When Yunus founded his bank, Bangladesh was far from overturning the cliche of its disaster-prone fate. The very real pressures of poverty are what made his idea possible – it was a home-grown solution to a deep and enduring problem. Microcredit, though it has its critics and could never have been a complete solution to the perils of poverty, has dramatically altered the lives of millions, in Bangladesh and abroad.

Now, the man who brought not only fame but dignity to his country, has been sacked from his job. The reasons appear to be political: Yunus launched a party called Citizens’ Power in 2007, and though he disbanded it within months, the political establishment began to see him as a threat. It seems beyond belief that such a man should be vilified by his own government, and his case points to a punishing short sightedness that could threaten much of Bangladesh’s current success.

On my last trip to Bangladesh, I visited a company called PHP (Peace, Happiness and Prosperity) in the port city of Chittagong. I was doing research for my next novel, and the company’s chairman, a charming, eccentric Sufi named Mizanur Rahman, was my host for the day. He decided to take me on a tour, so we visited his steel rolling mill, his glass factory and his aluminium siding plant. As we drove to one location after another, he sat beside me in his car and gave me advice about my life, my career and my marriage. He often whispered “Alhamdullillah” (Praise Allah), “Inshallah” (God willing) and “Sobhan Allah” (Thanks be to God) between sentences. Hearing I was recently married, he wrote down a prayer in my notebook. “Repeat after me,” he said, ignoring my feeble protests. “If you say this prayer, you will have sons.”

Later, trying to find ways to reverse what I feared was a hex on my future children, I thought about Rahman’s company. Each time we entered one of his factories, he would stand in front of his workers and announce the call to prayer. Once inside, he greeted every man with an embrace, from workers at the rolling mill to the Chinese glassmaker to the south Indian floor manager. His factories were spotless and technologically advanced. His devout religious practice did not seem to have adversely affected the way he ran his business. He was a very rich and important man, yet he had spent all day with me, calling me “daughter”, ladling food on to my plate and insisting I take home a bag of oranges from his garden. I learned something important that day, about the way things can sometimes be comingled in Bangladesh – the religious, the civic, the secular, the entrepreneurial. Peace, Happiness and Prosperity.

A few weeks before , the stock market suddenly dipped to perilous lows, shaving 25% off its total value within hours. Protesters, some of whom had invested their life’s savings, rioted outside the Dhaka stock exchange. The next day, the market bubbled up again and all appeared to be well. The finance minister appeared on television to reassure investors. A few days later, another dip, another riot, another series of announcements. Whether due to fate or manipulation, I could not help but think of it as a symbol of the country itself, a place of great highs and lows, and one in which citizens are asked, on a daily basis, to live on the edge of opportunity.

He must step down as managing director of Grameen Bank!!

Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus is facing challenging times.

On March 2, Bangladesh’s central bank ruled that he must step down as managing director of Grameen Bank, the institution he founded in the 1970s to get small loans to poor farmers without collateral. The success of Grameen won Mr. Yunus international acclaim and helped spawn the global microfinance industry. The bank and Mr. Yunus shared the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.

But Mr. Yunus is facing pressure at home. Some analysts say Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is angered by Mr. Yunus’s short-lived move into politics in 2007, citing an attempt to clean up corruption. Mr. Yunus floated a political party for a while but it never got off the ground.

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Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

Muhammad Yunus, center, outside the high court building in Dhaka where he to contested the decision to remove him from Grameen, March 3, 2011.
.Others say Grameen, with 8.3 million borrowers and scores of other businesses from telecoms to dairy products, has become too powerful in the eyes of Bangladesh’s politicians.

In its ruling, the central bank said Grameen had failed to get its approval, as required by the law that formally set up the bank, when it reappointed Mr. Yunus managing director in 1999. A high court upheld the ruling.

Mr. Yunus, who remains at Grameen’s helm for now, challenged that decision in the Supreme Court, which is expected to rule by the end of March.

Ms. Hasina, the prime minister, has cashed in on a recent wave of bad publicity for microfinance banks, accusing them publicly in December of “sucking blood” from poor borrowers. The global microfinance industry has faced criticism for doing little to alleviate poverty and saddling rural borrowers with high debts.

Grameen, which is majority-owned by its borrowers, has largely avoided such bad publicity. Support for Mr. Yunus continues to pour in. Robert Blake, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, wound up a trip to Bangladesh this week by urging a compromise over the Grameen standoff. The U.S., he said, was “concerned about the dampening effect this will have on civil society in general and on the integrity and effectiveness of Grameen Bank in particular.”

Mr. Yunus, 70 years old, has offered to Bangladesh’s finance ministry that he stand down from running operations if he can remain chairman of the board to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. Bangladesh’s government has the right to own 25% of Grameen and appoint a nonexecutive chairman under a 1983 special law that turned the lender into a formal bank.

Mr. Yunus answered questions by email from The Wall Street Journal about the rift with the government, what it means for Grameen’s future, and plans for succession.

WSJ: What are the risks to Grameen of the current stalemate? What could happen to the bank?

Mr. Yunus: My only concern is for the future of Grameen Bank’s 8.3 million borrowers, almost all of whom are low-income rural women. It is for their sake that I have repeatedly urged caution so that the transition to a new managing director can be a smooth process that doesn’t create any disturbance or loss of confidence.

The real issue at stake is the right of the bank’s 8.3 million borrowers to control their own financial future or whether they will be forced to cede their control to outside authorities. Grameen Bank has succeeded due to the fact that it is the borrowers themselves who have been in control of the bank. It is a unique institution.

If the borrowers lose control over their own bank, who will look after their interests?

WSJ: How much is politics playing a role in this saga? It seems odd that Sheikh Hasina would see you as a political opponent given that you are not formally in politics.

Mr. Yunus: I have stated many times that I have no political ambitions now and I am sure that the prime minister does not see me as a political threat to her. I am not a political threat to anyone, let alone Sheikh Hasina, twice elected prime minister by the people of Bangladesh, and whose party won a great majority in the last election.

But if the PM has any issues with me, either with respect to the operations of Grameen or otherwise, I would be honored to sit with her to find a solution.

WSJ: Is it rather that politicians see Grameen’s borrowers as a potential vote bank?

Mr. Yunus: Grameen Bank borrowers are voters like any other citizen in the country.

I don’t think anyone can influence them to do anything against their own wishes as they are capable enough to take their own decisions.

WSJ: Has the development of Grameen into a major business encompassing cell phones and yogurt helped to create a perception that the bank is a power center in itself and how has that affected relations with the government?

Mr. Yunus: Grameen Bank is a strong financial institution. It is an institution of 8.3 million empowered women and men who together own a thriving bank with $1.4 billon in deposits.

But whatever they are today is because of their hard work and diligence. It is their success. The borrowers of Grameen Bank have proved to the world that they are bankable and creditworthy and capable of controlling a major institution, and they have been the inspiration to millions of people all over the world, so why not a power center.

But whatever I or Grameen Bank has achieved, is the result of the efforts of the borrowers.

Grameen Bank has always been on good terms with the government and has viewed the government as the bank’s partner from the start. The government holds a 25% share of the bank, and has always been a strong supporter of the bank in its fight against poverty.

Even the chairman of Grameen Bank is a government appointee, as are two other directors of the board. The relationship has always been a very friendly and cooperative one from both sides.

I don’t know why the present crisis could not have been resolved amicably.

WSJ: What is your response to claims that there has been no succession planning at the bank and a number of high-level executives have left?

Mr. Yunus: Grameen Bank’s legal framework lays down the method of selecting the managing director of the bank. There is no uncertainty about it.

As for some high-level executives leaving, yes, some went on early retirement and some left for other reasons. But this is nothing out of the ordinary. In fact, Grameen has many dedicated high-level executives who have been with the bank for many years and are perfectly capable of taking over the bank’s leadership.

Govt plans to boost agro marketing

sources : The government moves to restructure the long-overlooked Department of Agricultural Marketing (DAM) in a bid to benefit the farmers and consumers by ensuring fair prices of farm produces.

The restructuring also aims to provide data to the government on demand and supply situation of farm produces and prices, so that policymakers can take decisions to cut supply related uncertainties.

The DAM, after revitalisation, is expected to work on forecasts on internal crop productions, and analyse domestic and international price trends.

It will work on forming farmers’ marketing groups, encouraging contract farming and establishing a direct linkage between farmers, exporters, wholesalers and superstores to reduce the intermediaries in the supply chain, officials said.

“We want give a fresh lease of life to the DAM for the benefit of both the farmers and consumers,” said CQK Mustaq Ahmed, secretary to the agriculture ministry.

The government initiative to bring dynamism in the DAM comes at a time when productions and investments in farming and agribusinesses are on the rise.

Despite a rise in production, the farmers do not get fair prices due to a lack of market linkage and price information. But the consumers need to pay high due to a number of intermediaries in the supply chain.

The officials said the DAM was supposed to help the farmers get market linkage for their produces but it fails to deliver as there is a lack of manpower and resources.

The DAM, governed by a 45-year-old law, has only 455 posts with only 30 first-class officials. The main function of the DAM is limited to regulating 717 out of 18,000 markets and collecting price information from those.

It can not provide data on production, supply, demand and stock situation of the farm produces although such information is vital to ensure adequate supplies to curb the unusual fluctuation in prices.

“The DAM is an ineffective and redundant organisation,” said the secretary.

To make the agency effective, the government last year formed a committee, headed by Bangladesh Agricultural University Vice Chancellor Abdus Sattar Mandal.

The committee, by reviewing the present activities of the DAM and its mandate, recommended various functions for the agency, including making projections on production, demand and supply.

The committee suggested the government employ 3,420 workforces at the restructured agency and name it as department of agricultural marketing and agribusiness.

The officials said the suggestions will be implemented in phases, although there are scepticisms that the recommendations of the committee will bear the same fate like those from the past eight committees.

Ahmed said restructuring the DAM might take time as it will increase the government’s investments and requires enactment of a new law. “But we will start by the end of the year, even if it is on a limited scale,” he sai