Maldives to hire experts, workers from Bangladesh

The Maldives wants to hire Bangladeshi experts in public procurement to optimise the benefits of development support extended by the Climate Change Fund.
It also wants to recruit about 20,000 more Bangladeshi workers in readymade garments factories, tourism, housing and other infrastructure development sectors, official sources said in Dhaka yesterday.
“The Maldives has proposed to utilise the public procurement experiences and guidelines of Bangladesh. It also wants to hire experts from Bangladesh, as the tiny South Asian country has received commitment for huge amounts of Climate Change Fund. But they can’t utilise them properly due to procurement compliance issues,” said Bangladesh High Commissioner to the Maldives, Rear Admiral Abu Saeed Mohamed Abdul Awal, in a letter to the foreign ministry in Dhaka.
In his letter, Awal also said the Maldivian government is planning to build 10,000 houses.
He added that it is eager to establish inter-island connectivity among its 1,019 islands, where they would require a large number of construction workers and engineers.
The Bangladesh High Commissioner quoted Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed as saying: “Bangladesh has valuable experience in procurement procedures of international donor agencies, and we want to hire it.”
The World Bank has recently appreciated Bangladesh’s efforts to follow the public procurement guideline, estimating that the country would save substantially on approximate annual procurement worth $3bn in goods, work and services.
Currently, 60,000 Bangladeshi workers are engaged in readymade garments and tourism sectors in the Maldives, while the two country’s trade volume has increased to $80mn in 2010.
The ambassador said the Maldives has huge demand for Bangladeshi pharmaceuticals, chemicals, ready-made garments and leather products. He said trade relation between the two countries could be expedited by forming government to government (G2G) collaboration, with private sector business to business (B2B) development.
Awal said Bangladesh is working very closely with the Maldivian government to ensure that expatriates can work under proper conditions.
“A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on manpower is in its final stages of preparation. Signing of the MoU will bring expatriates’ employment under greater regulatory approval,” he added.
The Maldives has recently graduated from the UN’s definition of a Less Developed Country (LDC) to a Middle Income Country. This has been one of the goals of Bangladesh, and close ties with Maldives would enable the country to gather experience in this regard.
Public procurement reform is a key element in strengthening governance, public sector management and accountability in Bangladesh, said Awal, while presenting a paper at a seminar in the Maldives.

Govt to form National Committee for Finalising Coal Pol.!!

The government of Bangladesh will form a National Committee to reach consensus on coal extraction method to expedite the process of using country’s coal commercially.
“The committee will be formed to incorporate different stakeholders’ views on coal policy as the energy ministry got poor response on it,” a senior official of the energy ministry said.

Aimed at reaching a decision on the method of coal extraction from Barapukuria and Phulbari coal fields the government asked for opinion of all quarters on October 24, 2010.

According to the energy ministry, the government wants to start work on coal mining as early as possible after finalising the draft coal policy and that is why the draft policy has been kept on the website for public opinions.

“We received less than 20 opinion through website,” energy ministry sources said.

The energy ministry has drafted the coal policy recommending formation of “Khoni-Bangla”, a management body to oversee the country’s mineral resources including coal, hardrock, lime stone, silica sand and others.

The draft policy incorporated both open pit and underground mining method for coal extraction.

The government wants to extract maximum quantity of coal to meet the country’s energy demand for supporting power plants and other industries in proper manner.

The proposed coal policy underwent revisions for seven times and was placed before Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in October last.

Bangladesh Power demand and Solar business senario!!

Bangladesh has a serious power problem. Nearly half of its 162-million population does not have access to electricity.

Light can change lives, which is why the residents of this small village are beaming about one project that is harnessing the power of the sun.

Grameen Shakti a non-profit company in Bangladesh is introducing solar power, borrowing power, and girl power to the villagers all at the same time.

The program trains village women to install and repair solar panels and electrical outlets on homes and businesses.

“This kind of job will help the women and they will be able to contribute financially to their family. It will be good if this kind of job opportunity expands,” Trainee Monowara said after coming down from installing a solar panel on the roof of a villager’s house.

While increasing her own family’s income she says her work is also changing the lives of her neighbors.

This kind of job will help the women and they will be able to contribute financially to their family.

–Monowara, trainee solar installer

Gallery: Bangladesh solar project For 40-year-old Fatima Begum it means she will have electricity in her home for the first time in her life.

“I used kerosene lamp for the light but it blackened my house with soot,” she said.

Now Begum and her family can breathe easier and have appliances in their home.

But the panels don’t come cheap. They cost about $300 dollars — around half of what Bangladeshi’s earn per year on average.

“You know the first barrier was high up on the cost of the solar system. We’ve overcome that problem by introducing micro-credit tools. The people, when they buy a solar home system they don’t have to pay all the money at a time,” Grameen Shakti Senior Manager Fazley Rabbi said.

And the solar power program is self-sustaining — the cost of the panels pays for the training of the local technicians.

Solar power isn’t just being used in homes here in fact nearly every single business along this street is using it and some are making much bigger profits because of it.

Tailor, Ekabaar Ali, says the solar light means more time to sew and sell his clothes.

“We could not work much before we got the solar power. We had to stop work before sun set. But now we can work until 10 in the night so it boosts my income. It’s good,” He said.

His boss, the shop owner, said his profits have nearly doubled since the solar panel was installed.

The solar power program has also sparked an entrepreneurial spirit in the village.

“They’re using the energy in different ways so they can earn more money. One business is they’re renting the light to others.” Grameen Shakti’s Fazley Rabbi said.

Another moneymaking venture is linked to the popularity and cheap cost of cell phones.

One solar powered shop in the village offers a charging station for a few cents per charge. After all what good is a cell-phone if the battery is dead?

Grameen Shakti technicians have installed 550,000 home solar systems in 40,000 villages since the program began in 1996.

Bangladesh’s abundance of sunlight is being harnessed on a massive scale to try and improve the lives of its impoverished residents.

India – Bangladesh Cultural Cooperation -

During the visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in Jan 2010, both the Prime Ministers had agreed for a joint celebration of Tagore’s 150th birth anniversary in 2011-12 in a manner befitting his vision and spirit.
Subsequently, a Committee under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and a National Implementation Committee under the Chairmanship of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had been constituted to facilitate the process.
The National Committee, in its meeting held on May 20, decided that special emphasis be given to the Joint Indo-Bangladesh celebrations. Continue reading India – Bangladesh Cultural Cooperation -

Ethnic Minority Drama Festival 2011

Curtain came down on the four-day long Ethnic Minority Drama Festival 2011, organised by Khudra Nri Goshthi Cell [Cell for ethnic minority groups] of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA), at the National Theatre Hall, BSA 2nd April .

The festival was a part of BSA’s endeavours to facilitate the practice of languages, culture, and heritage of ethnic minority groups. The programme was an opportunity for the ethnic groups as well as Bengalis to celebrate the rich diversity of the country. At the discussions, issues relating to nationality, religion and prospects for linguistic diversity were focused.

At the festival, theatre troupes representing ethnic groups from Rajshahi, Khagrachari, Dinajpur, and Rangamati staged their plays. Continue reading Ethnic Minority Drama Festival 2011

For Just :civil service law bars officials from making decision in matters involving close relatives

Move to rein in misuse of power ,Draft civil service law bars officials from making decision in matters involving close relatives No civil service officer is allowed to exercise powers in matters of interest of their close relatives or their organisations, according to the draft civil service act.

The officer has to place the matter to a superior official for consideration, it says.

The preamble to the draft reads the law will be enacted to prevent misuse of power and ensure accountability and transparency in the civil administration. Continue reading For Just :civil service law bars officials from making decision in matters involving close relatives

Bangladesh to greater naval exchanges with India

 Aiming to enhance defence ties with Bangladesh, Navy chief Admiral Nirmal Verma is on a five-day visit to the Bangladesh .
Bangladesh has sought greater training facilities for its naval officers and sailors in India and exchange of visits that would increase the professional skills of the personnel of both countries.

President Mohammed Zillur Rahman made this point while receiving visiting Indian Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma here.

The president, as also Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, recalled India’s “great contribution” in Bangladesh’s war of libration in 1971, United News of Banghladesh (UNB) news agency reported.

Verma expressed his happiness at visiting Bangladesh’s naval bases, including that in Chittagong. Continue reading Bangladesh to greater naval exchanges with India

The conflict in Libya Vs Govt & Bangladeshi migrant workers

sources-As the conflict in Libya continues, it becomes more urgent than ever to evacuate the migrant workers – a vast majority of whom are Bangladeshi – who are trapped in the country, at the borders and have also fled into neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt.
The International Organization for Migration has been taking this situation in hand before open conflict began. Prior to the air strikes that began on March 19, the IOM urgently requested funds from the international community to help the migrants by arranging flights home and setting up tents at the borders where many migrants were stranded without food, water or sanitation.

Full Interview “This crisis took everyone by surprise”

IOM regional representative Rabab Fatima spoke to bdnews24.com’s Sanam Amin about the ongoing efforts to raise funds, help migrants get out of a war zone and the role they intend to play hand-in-hand with the government to reintegrate the returnees once they are back home. Continue reading The conflict in Libya Vs Govt & Bangladeshi migrant workers

Japan crisis not to deter aid to Dhaka: JICA

Japan will not cut development assistance to Bangladesh despite the severe earthquake on March 11 and the following tsunami and the nuclear disaster that hit hard the major Asian economy.
Chief Representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Dhaka Dr Takao Toda in an interview told the news agency yesterday that his country would not change the commitments of providing assistance to Bangladesh development projects including the Padma Bridge and grand metro rail in the capital despite its internal crisis. Continue reading Japan crisis not to deter aid to Dhaka: JICA

Govt seeks ADB finance for Infrustucture Development

Govt seeks ADB finance for Infrustucture Development’The government has sought funds from Asian Development Bank (ADB) for feasibility study on the construction of an elevated expressway from Dhaka to Chittagong.

Communication Minister Syed Abul Hossain made the request when a three-member ADB delegation met with him at his office Tuesday.

The minister urged the delegation to extend financial support to the feasibility study of the vital corridor in the country Continue reading Govt seeks ADB finance for Infrustucture Development