NEWS FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2018 2 A discussion meeting was held at the Monoranjon Kapuria High School of Kalia Narail yesterday on the achievement of present government. Photo : TBT Grameenphone CEO Michael Foley new AMTOB president DHAKA : Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) has elected Michael Foley, chief executive officer of Grameenphone, as its new president, reports UNB. He will be replaced by chief executive officer of Banglalink Erik Aas. Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, managing director and CEO of Robi has been reelected as vice-president of the association. The decision was taken at the association's board meeting on Wednesday. AMTOB is a national trade association representing all mobile telecom operators of Bangladesh. Airtel, Banglalink, Citycell, Grameenphone, Robi and Teletalk - the six Mobile Network Operators are the general members of the association and mobile network solution providers Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia are its associate members. World’s top cocoa producers fight to protect forests MONT PEKO NATIONAL PARK : Park rangers in the world's top cocoa producer, Ivory Coast, are waging a campaign to protect national forests from the illegal farming of the raw ingredient in chocolate, reports UNB. Last year the governments of Ivory Coast and other top cocoa producer Ghana, along with food giants Nestle, Mars and Hershey, pledged to work together to end deforestation in the West African nations. The president of the World Cocoa Foundation, Rick Scobey, called it a landmark decision and an "important environmental achievement." Last year an investigation by environmental group Mighty Earth found that many of Ivory Coast's national parks and protected areas "have been entirely or almost entirely cleared of forest and replaced with cocoa-growing operations." One of them, Mont Peko National Park, is home to endangered species such as chimpanzees and pygmy hippopotamuses. Chocolate producers should "really give customers peace of mind that chocolate eating isn't contributing to killing chimps or elephants," said Etelle Higonnet, a campaign director for Mighty Earth. "Let's have total transparency all the way from the bar in your hand or the Nesquik that you drink or the Nutella that you spread on your bread, down to the farm." On a recent patrol in Mont Peko National Park, it didn't take long for park rangers to find cocoa growing illegally. Using machetes, the team set to work removing it. There has been limited progress, said Kpolo Ouattara, head of the Mont Peko sector for the Ivorian Office of Parks and Reserves. "Roughly, more than 800 hectares (1,975 acres) of cocoa has been cut. Compared to the park's total area of 34,000 hectares, that's very little." While mindful of tensions that have lingered in the wake of the country's deadly political violence in recent years, Ivory Coast has turned to security forces to evict thousands of illegal cocoa farmers from parks. However, authorities say some WB debars Belgium-based company for misconduct in Bangladesh DHAKA : The World Bank (WB) has announced the debarment of Belgium-based medical device company Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG s.a. for two years in connection with fraudulent and collusive practices under the Health Sector Development Program in Bangladesh, reports BSS. The World Bank on Wednesday announced the debarment against a total of three companies and a settlement including Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG s.a. with sanctionable practices under projects in Bangladesh, India and Timor-Leste, said a press release. The release said the debarments make Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG s.a., RKD Construction Pvt. Ltd. (RKD), and Egis International Indonesia ineligible to participate in World Bank Group-financed projects for periods ranging from 15 months to two years. They are part of three separate settlement agreements, under which the companies acknowledge responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and agree to meet specified corporate compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment. The settlement agreement reflects the Bank's findings that Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG s.a. engaged in fraudulent practices by misrepresenting the commission amounts it had agreed to pay to its local agent in relation to bids for two contracts, one of which the company received under the program. The Bank also found that the company and its local agent engaged in collusive practices by arranging with procurement officials to artificially inflate the prices of the company's bids in relation to these contracts. RKD, a construction operations company based in India, has been debarred for 18 months in connection with fraudulent practices under the Odisha State Roads Project. The project was designed to remove transport bottlenecks in targeted corridors in the state of Odisha (formerly known as Orissa). Egis International Indonesia-a subsidiary of Egis International-was debarred for 15 months in connection with a fraudulent practice under the Road Climate Resilience Project in Timor-Leste. The project was designed to deliver sustainable climate resilient road infrastructure. The debarment of Eckert & Ziegler BEBIG s.a., RKD, and Egis Indonesia qualify for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks (MDBs) under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions that was signed on April 9, 2010. Parent company Egis International was sanctioned with conditional non-debarment for 15 months. During this period, the company remains eligible to participate in World Bank Group-financed projects if it complies with its obligations under the settlement. Otherwise, the conditional nondebarment will convert to a sanction of debarment with conditional release, and the company then will become ineligible to participate in World Bank Group-financed projects until the conditions for release set out in the settlement agreement are met. The settlement agreements provide for a reduced period of sanction in light of the companies' cooperation and voluntary remedial actions. As a condition for release from sanction under the terms of the settlement agreement, the companies commit to develop integrity compliance programs consistent with the principles set out in the World Bank Group Integrity Compliance Guidelines. The companies also commit to continue to fully cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency. CCD Bangladesh’s youth conference held in Rajshahi RAJSHAHI : Speakers at a function here on Wednesday said the youths, particularly the students at higher educational institutions, should be groomed up as active citizens so that they can contribute to society and the nation positively. Terming the young generation a vital power for the nation, the speakers viewed they must be built as worthy citizens through enhancing their level of confidence. Time has come to generate leadership characteristics among the youths, they said. They were addressing a daylong youth conference styled "Active Citizens Regional Achievers Summit" in Shilpakala Academy auditorium. CCD Bangladesh organised the event in association with British Council's Active Citizens Project. More than 2,000 students both male and female ones from various educational institutions attended the programme comprising various life skill development sessions. Mayor of Rajshahi City Corporation Mosaddeque Hossain Bulbul, Ayen Uddin, MP, former vice-chancellor of Rajshahi University Prof Sayedur Rahman Khan, English Department Chairman of Varendra University Prof Shahidur Rahman and British Council Deputy Director Andrew Newton addressed the meeting. CCD Joint Director Shahana Parveen chaired the session. "Globally Connected, Locally Engaged" was the main theme of the programme. Mayor Bulbul stressed the need for arranging leadership training for the students for equipping them with modern knowledge for the sake of cherished national development. He viewed that there is no alternative to generate community leadership among the students to take forward the nation successfully and that is very important to bring a qualitative change everywhere in the society. Prof Saidur Rahman Khan disseminated his expertise on various youth development issues and mentioned that each of the youths should have commitment of building a poverty-free and self-reliant Bangladesh. Lawmaker Ayen Uddin viewed that time has come to generate more and more student leadership in the society for making them time-fitting social actor to free the society from various crimes and malpractices like drug-addiction. Material prices put construction sector under threat DHAKA : Bangladesh Association of Construction Industry (BACI) on Thursday threatened that they will stop all construction activities if the government does not take necessary steps to bring down the prices of rod and cement to a tolerable level by April 15, reports UNB. "We urged the government to identify the syndicate behind it. Otherwise we will be bound to stop all development and construction activities," Munir Uddin, president of the organization, said at a press conference held at Dhaka Reporters' Unity auditorium here. The construction industry reached a standstill due to the unusual price increase, he further said. BACI member Shafiqul Haque Talukdar read out the written statement saying, "Construction companies' contribution to the country's GDP is about 9 percent. But, due to the continuous price hike over the past few months, construction works in the whole country become slower, some of them even closed." He alleged that the country's manufacturing companies are continuously raising prices as there is no rules and regulations in the sector. Rod related works in any infrastructure construction is 20 to 25 percent. So, if the value of MS Rod increases, the cost of construction of the entire structure increases by 7% to 8%, he said. "So if the prices continue to rise, it is not possible for us to continue our ongoing works. If such situation prevails, we will be forced to stop all construction works from April 15," he said. Among others, former presidents of the organisation Sheikh Md Rafiqul Islam, Shafiqul Alam Bhuiyan, Atiqur Rahman and Aftab Uddin Ahmed and former Vicepresident SM Khorshed Alam were present. 247 Netrakona freedom fighters accorded reception NETRAKONA : Two hundred and forty-seven freedom fighters were accorded a civic reception at the local auditorium in Barhatta upazila under Netrakona district on Wednesday. Barhatta Jubo Samaj accorded the reception to the freedom fighters for their contribution to the country's liberation war. Renowned freedom fighter and general secretary of Awami League (AL) Netrakona district unit Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru addressed the reception as chief guest while former commander of Barhatta Upazila Muktijoddha Sangsad Abdul Kadir was in the Chair. The reception was addressed, among others, by former commander of district Muktijoddha Sangsad Nurul Amin, organizing secretary of AL Netrakona district unit Iftekharuddin Khan Masud, Freedom Fighters Affairs Secretary Abdur Rahim, general secretary of district Red Crescent Society Gazi Muzammel Haque Tuku and office secretary of AL Netrakona district unit Mazharul Islam. None can exert influence in the market singlehandedly : Tofail DHAKA : Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed on Thursday said none can exert influence in the market single handedly, rather all concerned would have to work with due responsibility to ensure competition, reports BSS "The government has taken all necessary measures to ensure competition in the market," he said. The Minister was addressing a seminar titled "Ensuring competition in trade and commerce: the role of Bangladesh Competition Commission," held at the CIRDAP Auditorium in the city. The newly formed Bangladesh Competition Commission organized the seminar, said a ministry press release. Chaired by Bangladesh Competition Commission Chairperson M Iqbal Khan Chowdhury, Commerce Secretary Shubhashish Bose, FBCCI President Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin spoke at the seminar as special guests. Business Studies faculty dean of Dhaka University Dr Shibli Rubaiyat ul Islam presented the key-note paper at the seminar. Senior research fellow of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies (BIDS) Dr Naznin Ahmed, Emeritus fellow of Unnayan Somunnoy Dr Enamul Haque and chief economist of Bangladesh Bank Dr Faisal Ahmed also spoke at the seminar. Speaking on the occasion, the Commerce Minister said the government is working with due priority to keep the price of all commodities including the price of essentials at a normal level side by side ensuring sufficient supply of the commodities. "The government has been taking strict measures so that any artificial crisis is not created in the market or no one dares to create such crisis," he added. Tofail said the newly formed Bangladesh Competition Commission would work to ensure competition in the market adding that the Commission would be made time befitting to protect the interest of the consumers and as a whole the country's people. Create more open public spaces for healthy living: Experts DHAKA : Urban experts on Thursday underscored the need for creating more open public places or green spaces like amusement parks and playgrounds for ensuring healthy living and wellbeing of city dwellers, reports BSS "In comparison to the increased number of residential areas, shopping malls, high-rise buildings and other establishments the number of open spaces is not increasing significantly. Sufficient open public places are a must to ensure healthy living of the city dwellers," Dr Sarwar Jahan, professor of Urban and Regional Planning (URP) department of BUET, told a view-exchange programme at JPC here. He said the open public spaces are decreasing day by day due to paucity of proper supervision and conservation. URP department of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) organized the view-exchange chaired by department's Professor Dr Mohammad Shakil Akther while Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Management Circle Superintending Engineer Tariq Bin Yousuf, Work for A Better Bangladesh Trust director Gaus Piyari, Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) Vice-President Dr Akhter Mahmud and RAJUK assistant urban planner Nabayan Kisha, among others, addressed it. In his address, Akhter Mahmud urged the concerned organizations including city corporations and Urban Development Directorate to play more responsible role to retrieve grabbed playgrounds and parks, conserve the existing public spaces and create new ones. Engineer Tariq Bin Yousuf said the DNCC is working to retrieve grabbed playgrounds and amusement parks within shortest possible time while the existing public places are being renovated and repaired. Manikganj rivers dying MANIKGANJ : The most of the rivers of Manikganj district have lost their navigability due to continuous siltation and grabbing, affecting the tradition, life-style and livelihood of local people. Officials of Bangladesh Water Development Board said once the length of the local rivers was about 241 kilometres, but the span of these rivers is rapidly declined in recent years. People living on the banks of the rivers have already built houses on chars of rivers and haat-bazaars were also set up there. The two major rivers - Jamuna and Padma - are flowing through the west and the south side of the district, which are now facing poor navigability during the dry seasons as a number of chars have emerged on the beds of the two big rivers. Besides, there are nine rivers, which are flowing through the district, are Kaliganga, Dhaleshwari, Eachhamoti, Kantaboti, Bhuboneshwar, Khirai, Monolokhani, Manda and Gazikhali. All the rivers are now dying for lack of water flow. Dhaleswari River was originated from the Jamuna River, and flowing 60 km in Manikganj through Ghior, Saturia and Singair upazilas, it joins Buriganga River. Now, most parts of this river are disappeared, the officials said. During the rainy season, a little flow is found there. But, they said, Kantaboti, Monolokhani, Manda and Khirai rivers are disappeared today. Echhamoti another longest river of the district has lost its navigability and existence in many places. The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has taken up dredging projects to restore the Hazratpur-Zabra, Char Tekerhat-Shibchar and Khulna- Noapara river routes at a cost of Tk.97.82 crore, BIWTA Superintendent Engineer Saidur Rahman told BSS. He said the dredging would restore the river routes and the restoration of these river routes would help increase agricultural production in many areas and farmers would be able to irrigate their fields with the water from these rivers. Govt steering nation towards progress : Mustafa Jabbar NETRAKONA : Post, Telecommunication and ICT minister Mustafa Jabbar yesterday urged the people to cast their votes in favour of boat, the election symbol of AL, in next Jatiya Sangsad election to make Sheikh Hasina victorious for continuing the current development trend, reports BSS. The present government under the dynamic leadership of prime minister Sheikh Hasina has been making untiring efforts for building the country as poverty and exploitationfree "Sonar Bangla" as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The minister said the government's sincere efforts has helped the country graduate to a developing country from least development country (LDC) group. He was addressing a civic reception accorded to him on Khaliajury college premises in Khaliajury upazila town in the district under the auspices of Awami League (AL) Khaliajury upazila unit. Chaired by president of AL Khaliajury upazila unit Golam Kibria Jabbar, the meeting was addressed by the district level and local leaders of AL and it's front organizations and local elite, including Motiur Rahman Khan, Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru and Iftekharuddin Khan Masud. FBCCI for business-friendly, hassle-free revenue system DHAKA : Leaders of theFederation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry(FBCCI) on Thursday demanded that a business-friendly and hassle-free system be devised for effectively collecting revenue, reports UNB. They came up with the demand at a meeting with the National Board of Revenue (NBR) at the FBCCI Conference Centre. The business leaders urged the NBR authorities to make the revenue collection hassle-free so that they can contribute properly to the country's development process. They hoped that the proposals of the business community relating to VAT, import duty and income tax should be reflected in the upcoming national budget. Primary proposals on import duty, income tax and VAT were being formulated on the basis of proposals of the member bodies of FBCCI. NBR chairman Md Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan who was the chief guest at the programme assured that the import duty and the tax level will be kept within the tolerable level in the next budget and a multi-layer VAT rate will be created for different sectors. He said the local industry will be protected in the upcoming budget and sought cooperation from the business community to achieve revenue target. The NBR Chairman also urged the business community not to misuse the bond facilities in export activities. FBCCI President Md Shafiul Islam (Mohiuddin) presided over the meeting where FBCCI Senior Vice- President Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Vice-President Md Muntakim Ashraf, its directors, former Director Golam Dastagir Gazi and BGMEA President Md Siddiqur Rahman were also present.
METRO FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2018 3 Bangladesh Tanti League placed wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on 26 March marking Independence Day. Photo : Courtesy GD-474/18 (16 x 4) Bangabandhu’s ideals must be followed: Prof Harun RAJSHAHI : Vicechancellor of National University Prof Harun-Or- Rashid today urged all irrespective of political affiliation to follow the ideals of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to make the country prosperous. "They (people) should also listen with rapt attention the speeches of Bangabandhu," he said while addressing a discussion at Senate Building on Rajshahi University (RU) campus. The people are enjoying the rights of doing politics as a result of the birth of Bangladesh, he said, adding without Bangabandhu no one could think of Bangladesh as a sovereign country. Excepting a few antiliberation elements, the whole nation under the leadership of Bangabandhu fought and brought independence of the country, Prof Harun said. The people of Bangladesh, he said, showed the highest respect to Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with the honor of Bangabandhu. RU unit of Bangabandhu Parishad organized the discussion on the occasion of unveiling a book named "Bangabandhu Janak Jotirmoy" to mark the 99th birth day of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and National Children Day. Former VC of RU Prof Sayeedur Rahman Khan addressed the discussion as chief guest while RU Vicechancellor Prof Abdus Sobhan and Pro-VC Prof Ananda Kumar Shaha spoke as special guests with the unit president Prof Mukhlesur Rahman in the chair. Fazley Hossain Badsha, MP, Ayen Uddin, MP, RU Treasurer Prof Mustafizur Rahman Al Arif and VC of Pabna Science and Technology University Prof Rustam Ali also spoke on the occasion. Prof Sayeedur Rahman Khan said Bangabandhu had dreamt of economic and political freedom for Bengalees. He said farsightedness, sagacity and political wisdom of Bangabandhu led him to proclaim independence of Bangladesh by transforming the 6-point of demand into a one-point demand. Art, craft exhibition at icddr,b marking World Autism Awareness Week DHAKA : icddr,b has organised an exhibition of arts and crafts prepared by differently abled children of some social welfare organisations marking the World Autism Awareness Week, reports UNB. icddr,b gathered works of arts and crafts of autistic children from Autism Welfare Foundation, Society for the Welfare of the Autistic Children, Beautiful Mind, and PFDA-Vocational Training Centre in order to highlight the immense potential of differently abled children when provided the appropriate enabling environment. The exhibition begun on March 26 and will continue till April 2, said a press release. At the inaugural ceremony, Syed Monjurul Islam, deputy executive director at icddr,b expressed his gratitude to the participating children with autism and their families, partner organisations for their support in holding the exhibition. He said, "We want children with autism to grow up in an environment that works for them. Every one of us has a role to play to make the home, school, workplace, transportation, toilets, parks, marketplaces accessible for them." Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) organized an inception seminar for the entrepreneurs at its conference room on Thursday. Photo : Courtesy JU VC for implementing theoretical knowledge in urban planning SAVAR : Jahangirnagar University (JU) Vice-Chancellor Professor Farzana Islam yesterday underpinned the need for adjusting the theoretical knowledge of urban planning to implement the process. "Theoretical knowledge should be coordinated with implementation process of urban and regional planning as the number of urban people is increasing gradually," she said while addressing a seminar at JU Senate hall on the campus here. JU Urban and Regional Planning (URP) department organised the seminar on 'Urban Development and Management' marking the Urban Planning Week-2018. JU URP department Chairman Professor Shafiqu-Ur Rahman presided over the seminar. Professor Farzana Islam also underscored the need for framing foresighted urban planning to build safe and livable city. In the seminar, other speakers said about IU Saddam Hossain hall gets new provost ISLAMIC UNIVERSITY : Professor Dr M Atiqur Rahman of Applied Chemistry and Chemical Technology department has been named new provost of Saddam Hossain hall of Islamic University in Kushtia. IU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr M Harun-Ur-Rashid Askari appointed him to the post for one-year term, IU acting Registrar S M Abdul Latif said on Thursday afternoon. Prof Atiqur Rahman replaced Prof Dr M Ashraful Alam, the immediate outgoing provost of the hall, he added. Bangladesh University of Professionals organized a seminar titled 'Loan Default Culture in Banking Sector of Bangladesh : The Way Forward' at Mirpur Cantonment on Thursday. Photo : ISPR we`ÿ r/Rb-1102(2)/29/3/18 GD-475/18 (5 x 3) 4.5 per cent of the total territory of the country are under municipalities and city corporations. But only ten thousand square kilometers municipality area has been brought under planning while around 80 per cent building in the rest areas of the municipalities have been constructed without any planning, they added. Due to unplanned urbanization, about of 692 acres of agricultural land are losing every day, they said putting emphasize on minimizing the loss of land through proper urban planning. JU Treasurer Professor Sheikh Md Monzurul Huq, Director of Urban Development Office Khurshid Jebin Hossen, Director of House Building and Research Institute (HBRI) Md Abu Sadik, Savar Municipality Mayor Abdul Gani and Dhamrai Municipality Mayor Golam Kabir addressed the function as special guest. 2 ACI employees among 3 killed in Gazipur road crash GAZIPUR : Three people, including two employees of ACI company, were killed in a road accident at Hotapara in Sadar upazila on Thursday, reports UNB. The deceased were identified as Asaduzzaman, 40, administrative official of ACI company, Faridul Haque, 50, an employee of the company and driver Rubel, 35. Wahiduzzaman, officer-in-charge of Naujor highway police camp, said the accident took place in the area around 11:30 am when a microbus hit a stationary truck from behind, leaving all the microbus passengers dead on the spot. On information, police recovered the bodies and sent those to Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmed Medical College Hospital morgue.