02 June, 2015

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Jyoistha 19, 1421, Sha’ban 14, 1436




Regd No DA 6238, Vol 3, No 51


www.dhakatribune.com | 36 pages | Price: Tk10


CID submits charges in Rana Plaza cases

New budget to be 19% bigger

PRE-BUDGET 2015-16 Investigators term Rana, factory owners, officials cold-blooded murderers upazila and municipality administrations and to work the next day. n Md Sanaul Islam Tipu and n Asif Showkat Kallol The nine-storey Rana Plaza that housed others involved in the faulty construction of

Ashif Islam Shaon

After more than two years of investigation, police have finally submitted charge sheets in two cases filed over the April 2013 Rana Plaza collapse – one of the deadliest industrial disasters ever - that killed over a thousand people. The charge sheets in the cases accused 42 people including Sohel Rana, the owner of the factory building. Investigators termed the owner of the nine-storey building and the officials of five garment factories cold blooded murderers for sending their workers in despite knowing of cracks in the building and the risks involved. “They [owners and officials] threatened to fire them [workers] and hold back that month’s wages,” the charge sheet of the murder case reads, adding that such threats compelled the low-income workers to come

a number of ready-made garment factories, collapsed on April 24, 2013, killing 1,136 people, mostly workers, and injuring 1,169. Bijoy Krishna Kar, assistant superintendent of the police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID), submitted the two charge sheets to the general recording office of the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court of Dhaka yesterday. One is a murder case, the other concerns violations of the building code. “The charge sheets will be placed before the court on June 28,” Assistant Public Prosecutor of the court Anwarul Kabir Babul told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. The CID charged 41, including Rana, for the deaths in the collapse. A total of 18 people, including 17 from the murder case, were charged for violating the building code. The list of accused includes the names of land and factory owners, officials of Savar

the building. Ten names were dropped from the charge sheets. The accused are Sohel Rana; his father Abdul Khaleq alias Kolu Khaleq; mother Morzina Begum; Bazlus Samad Adnan, chairman of the New Web Bottoms Ltd; Mahmudur Rahman Tapas, managing director of New Web Styles Ltd; Anisur Rahman alias Anisuzzaman, chairman of the Ether Tec Textiles Ltd; Savar Municipalty Mayor Alhaz Md Refetullah, councilor Mohammad Ali Khan, engineer Rafiqul Islam, deputy assistant engineer Rakibul Hasan Rasel, and site engineer Md Sarwer Kamal; and Abu Bakkar Siddique, Md Modhu, Anil Das, Md Shah Alam Mithu and Md Abul Hasan. The absconding accused are Savar Municipalty’s former chief executive officer Uttam Kumar Roy and former assistant engineer

The budget for the next fiscal year has been finalised at Tk2.97tn, a greater than 19% rise over the outgoing year’s budget, finance ministry officials said. The budget outlay of the fiscal year 2014-15 is Tk2.5tn. Finance Minister AMA Muhith is scheduled to place the national budget for fiscal year 2015-16 in parliament on Thursday. Officials said the main reason behind the increase in the budget is the implementation of the new pay scale for public servants from the upcoming fiscal year. Under the new pay scale, the basic salaries of the public servants have been raised by around 100% with various incentives. If the pay commission recommendations are implemented, an extra Tk220bn will be required to pay basic salaries alone.



DSCC: Sundarban, Panthapath out of danger n Kamrul Hasan

Truckloads of sand continue to fill up the area that caved in beside the Sundarban Hotel in the capital. However, heavy machines are also at work to excavate other parts of the site to construct the NBL towers. The photo was taken yesterday SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

PAGE 3 India yet to divulge info on second letter of credit

PAGE 5 Export to India to become less complex

Almost a week after the initial land subsidence at a Karwan Bazar construction site, city corporation authorities announced that the nearby Hotel Sundarban and the adjacent Panthapath street were now out of danger. While inspecting the site yesterday, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Chief Engineer Md Habibur Rahman made the remark, adding that almost 80% of their efforts are now finished while the rest of the work would take only a couple more days. However, as workers continue to dump sand into the void left by the four separate incidents of land subsidence, authorities said they would maintain caution by keeping the Panthapath street partially open and a portion of the Bir Uttam CR Dutta Road closed until their work was complete. The DSCC chief engineer yesterday assured that Hotel Sundarban was safe, saying the

PAGE 6 A school on the verge of extinction

NOTICE As the Dhaka Tribune office remains closed today on the occasion of holy Shab-eBarat, the newspaper will not be published tomorrow.

Sorry! We’re Closed

The Treehouse Gang will be back in August with a brand new look. Stay tuned!


PAGE 7 Gazipur factory fire under control after 20 hours

PAGE 9 US Supreme Court backs hijab woman




Cabinet okays two bus service protocols with India Mamun with Kolkata n Shohel Correspondent

The cabinet has approved the drafts of the protocols of Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Dhaka-Sylhet-Guwahati passenger bus services. The protocols are expected to be signed during the upcoming Dhaka visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This will be Modi’s first visit to Dhaka after his Bharatiya Janata Party won the 2014 Indian general elections by a landslide. The approval came at yesterday’s cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the Secretariat. Cabinet Secretary Muhammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan told reporters after the meeting the Indian prime minister might agree to sign the protocols for ensuring smooth bus communications between the two neighbouring countries. The trial run of the much-awaited bus service between Kolkata and Agartala via Dhaka began yesterday while that between Dhaka and Guwahati started on May 22. “Both countries will have equal opportunities in operating bus services but will require route permits,” the cabinet secretary said. But he did not explain the type of visa needed for the journey and how much the Bangladesh government would earn in taxes from the services. Yesterday’s trial run of the bus service began from Kolkata at 9am which carried a 10-member delegation of the Indian government headed by West Bengal Transport Secreatry Alapan Bandyopadhyay. The bus reached Dhaka at night and will start for Agartala this morning. It will return from Agartala tomorrow and will also reach Kolkata the same day. The bus with a capacity of 45 passengers departed from Kolkata’s Salt Lake international bus terminal. The Kolkata-Dhaka bus service was introduced in 1999 and the other between Agartala and Dhaka in 2003. Residents of Kolkata and Tripura have long called for introducing a transport service that allows them to travel between the two destinations via Bangladesh without changing the means of transport. A direct journey between Kolkata and Tripura will take almost three days if the transport does not run via Bangladesh as the total direct distance is 1,650km, with a large part of the road network covering hilly areas. But the same journey via Bangladesh will take less than 24 hours as the distance via Dhaka is only 513km. l

RAB: Verify purchased phones’ ownerships n Kamrul Hasan RAB yesterday said mobile phone buyers should verify whether the devices they were purchasing were stolen. RAB 2 Commanding Officer Lt Col SM Masud Rana also suggested keeping receipts

of purchased phones for any possible future use. He was talking to reporters after raiding a cell phone store at Bashundhara City shopping mall in connection with a complaint about a stolen phone. Mahbub Hasan lodged the complaint on February 2 and RAB used the IMEI number to

trace the phone on Sunday afternoon. RAB found that William H Derrenger, dean of business school at University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh, had bought the phone from the shop for Tk66,000 but it was beyond his knowledge that the device was actually a stolen one. l


CID submits charges in Rana Plaza cases Mahbubur Rahman; Savar city planning officer Farzana Islam and former deputy chief of the Directorate of Industry and Institution Mohammad Abdus Salam. The investigators however dropped the name of then Savar upazila executive officer, Kabir Hossain Sardar, from the charge sheet as they could not obtain government permission to accuse him. CID investigators found that Kabir, despite seeing cracks in the building a day before the collapse, had allowed the owners to run their factories. Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) denied police permission to press charges against its building inspector Awlad Hossain. The Labour Ministry denied police permission to press charges against four officials – Joint Labour Director Jamshedur Rahman, former deputy chief factory inspector Belayet Hossain and inspectors Yusuf Ali and Shahidul Islam. The 45-page charge sheet of the murder case and 16-page charge sheet of the building code violation case have 3,362 related documents. CID official Bijoy Krishna Kar said the factory and local administration officials and the owners of the building and land had all been accused of murder. The murder case was filed by police and the code violation case by the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk). CID investigated both the cases. The family of a victim also filed a separate

murder case with a Dhaka court who had ordered CID to do the investigation for this case alongside the case filed by the police. Investigators said that Sohel Rana, a local leader of the ruling party’s youth front Jubo League, adopted unfair means to secure the permission to build Rana Plaza with a Tk5

crore loan from Jamuna Bank. Police have so far arrested 22 people, including Sohel Rana, government engineers, local political leaders and top executives of the factories. Of them, all but two, including Sohel Rana, were granted bail by the High Court. l

TIMELINE l April 25, 2013: A murder case is filed with the

Savar police station, a day after the Rana Plaza collapse. Sub-Inspector Wali Ashraf Khan filed the case in which four apparel businessmen were later shown arrested l Rajuk official Helal Uddin files another case with Savar police against Rana Plaza owner Sohel Rana and others for breaching the Building Construction Act and building code on the same day Md Shahidul Islam, Labour Court inspector (industry and institutions), files five cases against Rana and other garments factory owners l April 28, 2013: RAB arrests Rana at Benapole in Jessore l April 29, 2013: Labour Court Inspector A Sakib Mubarrat files six more cases against the accused l May 2, 2013: Three accused give confessional statement in connection with the Rana Plaza collapse

l May 5, 2013: Sheuli Akhter, wife of garment

worker Jahangir Alam who died in the collapse, files a murder case against Rana l May 6, 2013: DB Inspector Meer Shahenshah Parvez files two cases with Dhamrai police station over recovered contraband drugs and weapon from the office of Rana Bricks at Kalampur in Dhamrai. The cases are currently under trial at Dhaka District and Sessions Judge Court l July 16, 2014: The Anti-Corruption Commission

submits charge sheet at Dhaka Chief Judicial Magistrate Court against Rana, his parents and 16 others for constructing Rana Plaza by violating the Rajuk-approved design l June 1, 2015: The CID submits a charge sheet at Dhaka Chief Judicial Magistrate Court accusing Rana and 41 others of killing 1,136 people and injuring 1,169 others, mostly garment workers, while 18 are charged for violating the building code. Of them, 17 accused are common in both the cases.

New budget to be 19% bigger Officials said next fiscal year’s budget will not be any surprise as some key numbers and many proposals are already circulating. Besides, some small projects will be introduced in the year, including roads and highways in Bangladeshi enclaves in India. In a nutshell, with an outlay of Tk2.97tn, the Annual Development Programme will be Tk970bn and the budget deficit will be below 5% of GDP. Budget deficit is likely to be above Tk880bn. An amount of Tk301.34bn of the deficit will be met by funds from foreign sources while the remaining part will be collected from lo-

cal sources including loans from the banking system. The total revenue earnings during the next fiscal year will be Tk2.12tn. The government intends to reinvigorate the growth rate to 7.1%, raise tax-GDP ratio, boost investment and create employments, among other goals. Local government ministry is going to get the year’s biggest allocation of Tk188.72bn, followed by defense ministry Tk183.77bn and education ministry Tk171.13bn, according to the updated information from officials. Finance Minister AMA Muhith is scheduled to present his ninth budget at 3 pm at the Jati-

ya Sangsad as the second budget by the grand alliance government, said a handout yesterday. To make the budget more participatory, all the information and important documents of the budget would be available at the website of the Finance Department (www.mof.gov.bd). Any person or organisation at home and abroad will send their feedback, opinion or recommendation by filling up a form following download it from the website. A post-budget press conference will be held at Osmani Memorial Auditorium at 4pm on June 5. l

DSCC: Sundarban, Panthapath out of risk building would be able to provide service to its boarders for the next thirty to forty years. But the hotel authorities said they would not resume business until all damages were repaired. “As soon as the authorities declare the building risk-free, we will start our repair work; and after ensuring security of the building, we will open the hotel,” said the hotel’s General Manager Md Wazed Ali. The hotel has suffered financial losses of more than Tk50 lakh as well as immense damage to its reputation, the GM said. “After completing the rescue work, we will be able to estimate our losses accurately and will file

a case [against NBL Bank and contractors MS Construction] then.” Meanwhile, Kalabagan police station officer-in-charge, Md Iqbal, said the police have already taken action over a general diary filed with the station.

Progress in recovery efforts

Talking to workers at the site of the NBL Twin Tower, the Dhaka Tribune learnt that because of traffic jam in the area – only 145 truckloads of sand had been dumped yesterday at site as of 5:40pm. DSCC Chief Engineer Habibur said the entire construction site would eventually be filled with sand and there would be no prob-

lem after that. Dhaka South Mayor Sayeed Khokon also visited the spot twice yesterday and expressed his hope that the entire work would be completed within the next two days. On Wednesday morning, a large part of the Bir Uttam CR Dutta Road near the Karwan Bazar intersection subsided into the construction site of the NBL Twin Tower, putting the neighbouring building of Hotel Sundarban at risk. The initial incident was followed by consecutive incidents of land subsidence on Thursday, Friday, and Sunday – raising safety concerns and disrupting traffic movement in the area. l




Indian company wins Tk19cr Jamalganj coalfield study deal n Aminur Rahman Rasel State-run Bangladesh Oil, Gas & Mineral Corporation (Petrobangla) will sign a deal with Mining Associates Private Ltd (MAPL), an Indian company, to conduct a feasibility study of coal-bed methane (CBM) extraction at Jamalganj coalfield. “We will implement a feasibility study on the extraction of CBM at Jamalganj coalfield. Petrobangla will implement the project with its own funds,” the project director, Petrobangla General Manager Md Akhtaruzzaman, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. The feasibility study will provide necessary information on CBM and the potential to generate power from it. The agreement is likely to be inked by the end of the month. CBM is a naturally occurring methane gas found in coal seams. It is the methane usually found in coal, emitted from the face of coal mines. The Cabinet Committee on Purchase recently approved a proposal from the Energy Division to award the West Bengal-based firm to conduct the study. The company will get Tk19.13 crore to carry out the study. Petrobangla floated an international tender to appoint a consultant last year. Nine foreign companies submitted proposals for the job and six were approved at the 455th board meeting of Petrobangla, officials said. There is a high possibility of finding methane gas in the field, the Energy Division proposal said. The methane may be used for power generation. CBM has been considered a safety hazard in underground mines, but due to the latest technological innovations it has now become a significant energy resource. CBM can be extracted through drilling into underground coal without coal being mined, thus accessing alternative natural gas reserves. The Jamalganj coalfield was discovered by a UN-Pakistani mineral survey team between 1962 and 1965 during a geological and geophysical survey in the JamalganjJaipurhat area. Jamalganj coalfield, with an estimated reserve of about 1.053 billion tonnes of coal, is the deepest and largest coalfield in Bangladesh. It has seven coal seams in the depth range between 600 metres and 1,100 metres below the ground surface. The coal layer is assumed to be 40 metres wide. Compared to other coalfields in Bangladesh, with coal occurring at 150 to 500m depth, Jamalganj coal is considered to be too deep to be exploited by conventional underground or open pit mining. Extracting coal-bed methane from Jamalganj field is considered a viable option for exploiting the coalfield. The government has estimated that five coal mines – at Barapukuria, Dighipara, Phulbari, Jamalganj and Khalashpir – likely hold a reserve of approximately 30 billion tonnes. l

Police obstruct a procession of protesters belonging to various student organisations who marched to lay siege to the Ministry of Home Affairs demanding the arrest and punishment of rapists. The photo was taken at Doyel Chattar in the capital yesterday MAHMUD HOSSAIN OPU

‘I work for the satisfaction of Allah,’ bank robber tells police n Mohammad Jamil Khan The thirty-five year old “operation commander” of the Bangladesh Commerce Bank robbery in Ashulia that left nine people dead and more than 20 wounded says he did it all for God. Shamim alias Sumon, 35, a leader of the outlawed extremist outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team, justified the extremely violent April 21 bank heist as piety, a district high official, requesting not to be named, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. “I do not do anything, including the robbery, for myself, Sir. I do not even work for the organisation for myself ... I work for the satisfaction of Allah,” Mahfuzul Islam Shamim, the head of the gang that robbed the Ashulia Commerce Bank was quoted by police as saying. When the official asked the suspect whether such acts are mentioned in the holy texts, Shamim put his head down and would not answer, the official said.

District police arrested Shamim in the capital late on Saturday night. On April 21, armed criminals robbed the Kathgora branch of Bangladesh Commerce Bank located in the Ashulia industrial area near Dhaka, killing nine people. More than 20 others sustained bullet and splinter wounds when the robbers opened fire and set off bombs while escaping. One of the robbers was lynched and two others were handed over to police by a local mob. Police have so far made 11 arrests in the robbery investigation. Nazmul Hasan Firoz, assistant superintendent of police of Dhaka, said the robbery had been aided by a detailed map of the bank branch. “The map accurately depicts the second floor of the Commerce Bank branch. It identifies people with marks, locates the toilet and identifies the bank manager’s office room. The exit and entrance is also marked on the map, Nazmul said.

Police said they had recovered two maps in a drive on a one-storey building in the Aushpara area of Tongi. One map was used for the robbery but the significance of the second map has not yet been deciphered, police said. The assistant superintendent of police said more would be known when the second map is decoded. Shamim, who was placed in court on Sunday, gave a confessional statement before the magistrate taking responsibility for a number of crimes including the killing of a bKash agent during a mugging in Gazipur on March 10. Assistant superintendent of police Nazmul said Shamim and his wife rented a house in the Tongi area of the capital four months before the robbery. Other associates also lived at the rented house, according to the police. They sold lighters, torches and medicines during the four-month period as they kept the bank branch under watch and made their plans, Nazmul said. l

India yet to divulge information on second LoC n Sheikh Shahariar Zaman New Delhi has expressed its desire to extend the second line of credit but it seems that it has all information up its sleeve till Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit. “We are yet to know what will be the amount of second line of credit let alone other information. For some reasons, they are not divulging any information,” said a senior government official. Indian Secretary Sujata Mehta early this year came to Dhaka and had a meeting with Finance Minister AMA Muhith and expressed their willingness to provide the credit. “It seems that they want to give us a surprise. It may be mentioned in the speech of the

Indian prime minister or it could be included in the joint statement,” the official said. In the first line of credit, Indian side announced it during the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India in 2010 and the detailed negotiation about the credit took place after the announcement. “There will be a repeat of what had happened five years back,” he added. “We have sent a list of over 10 projects with an estimated expenditure of about $2 billion to the Indian side,” the official said. The projects are on health, education, tourism, infrastructure, communication and information technology, he added. “We are not certain which projects will be approved.” The official said the finance minister in his

discussion with Sujatha said the first line of credit was used for infrastructure sector but this time the government wanted investment in social sectors like health and education. India provided $1 billion line of credit in 2010 but $200 million of the amount was later converted into grant to be used in Padma bridge project So far, Bangladesh has exhausted the credit in different projects and the last amount stood at $868 million. “The additional $68 million will also be provided by the Indian government,” according to the official. The interest rate of the first line of credit is 1% with a repayment period of 20 years and five years grace period. l




Yunus encourages students to adopt the concept of social business n Tribune Desk Microcredit pioneer Dr Muhammad Yunus has urged students to implant the concept of social business in their academic curricula for better understanding of the idea to create a world without poverty. Speaking at an event titled Social Business Academic Conclave (SBAC) 2015, the Nobel laureate said the concept of social business was already being introduced in many prominent universities around the world, and the young people in colleges and universities would be better equipped to articulate the concept in their decision-making process as entrepreneurs. The day-long event, jointly organised by Eatern University and Yunus Centre, took place at the university campus in the capital’s Dhanmondi area yesterday. The theme of the programme was “Implanting Social Business in Academia.” The keynote speaker at the event, Yunus recalled the history of introducing social business and elaborated its meaning

and scope of implementations using different examples. Stressing on the need to redesign the world’s economic system to eradicate poverty, he said students should be advised to become entrepreneurs, not job-seekers, describing entrepreneurship as a natural trait of human character. Yunus said young people had the creative power and ability to understand things in a way that was different from that of the old generation. They should not be polluted with the old-fashioned thinking, he said. Eastern University’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Abdur Rab also spoke at the programme and said today’s students were leaders of tomorrow, and through implanting the concept of social business in academia, the young minds could be imbued with the spirit of social services. “I hope that the conclave is going to be a platform for students, academicians and social entrepreneurs for better understanding of the concept of social business,” he said. l

Announcement for missing migrant workers n Tribune Report CARAM Asia, the alliance of non-government organisations work for migrant workers rights in Asia, has recently started recording the Bangladeshis who had been missing during enroute to Malaysia, Tailand, Indonesia as well as other countries, says a press

release issued by the organisation. Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), Brac and some other NGOs are going help the institution in the move. The victims‘ family members have been requested to give necessary information over 01984-766346, 01984766347, 01984-766348. l

Advocate receives human rights award n Tribune Report Advocate Khalid Yahyea, lecturer of law at Bangladesh University, has been honoured with Human Rights Award 2015 for his contribution to the promotion and protection of the human rights at both national and international levels.

Dr Md Shahjahan, convener of Federation of Bangladesh Human Rights Organisations, handed over a crest and a certificate to Khalid at a award ceremony organised by the Centre for Human Rights Movement, a leading government registered human rights organisation. l

Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus explains the merits of social business to the participants of Social Business Academic Conclave 2015 at Eastern University’s Dhanmondi campus in Dhaka yesterday RAJIB DHAR




Human smuggling gang busted in city, 18 rescued n Mohammad Jamil Khan Detectives yesterday busted a human trafficking gang who lured people with false promises of high-paid jobs before smuggling them to countries in Southeast Asia or Oceania. The traffickers charged their clients around Tk7 lakh each to be smuggled into Indonesia, Australia, or Malaysia. But prior to reaching their destination, the clients were flown to the island of Palau, located northeast of Indonesia, as the country offered on-arrival visa. After reaching Palau, the smuggled persons were held hostage for ransom. Once

their families back home paid the money, local traffickers arranged passage to nearby countries. The details were revealed following the arrest of three people – Golam Rabbani, Shahadat Hossain alias Masud and Shafiqul Islam – from the capital’s Dakkhinkhan and Fakirapul areas. Passports and other documents were also recovered from their possession. Eighteen people who were set to be trafficked to other countries were also rescued by the police from Dakkhinkhan, said Detective Branch Deputy Commissioner Shaikh Nazmul Alam.

Addressing a press conference at the DMP media centre, he said while investigating a case by a trafficking victim named Kabir Ahmed, the police raided a residential hotel named Dirifaz in Dakkhinkhan’s Ashkona and arrested Rabbani and Masud. The trafficking victims were also rescued from the hotel. “Sensing the presence of police, the illegal trafficking organisation GLC Private Limited’s Managing Director Mahmudur, Manager Babul Hossain, Cashier Mahfuzur Rahman, Mahbub, and Obaidur fled the spot,” said DC Nazmul. Later in the day, based on another victim’s complaint, detectives raided a residen-

tial house behind Fakirapool’s G-Nat tower, where they detained Shafiq and recovered Tk50,000 from his possession. Shafiq’s arrest came after a person named Raju notified the police that one of his relatives was swindled by Shafiq, who charged Tk5.4 lakh to send that relative named Rob to Malaysia on a tourist visa. However, once he had reached there, Rob was held captive and his family was asked to pay a further Tk2.60 lakh for his release, said the DB official. “Once the associates of Shafiq received information about his arrest in Bangladesh, they released Rob in Malaysia,” added Nazmul. l

Suranjit: BNP leadership proved earlier it is anti-Indian n Tribune Report

The remarks of BNP leadership have exposed and also proved earlier that it is an anti-Indian political party, remarked Awami League Advisory Council member Suranjit Sengupta yesterday. Referring to a statement of BNP international affairs Secretary Asaduzzaman Ripon, Suranjit further said it could be easily realised from statements of BNP leadership that they opposed India in the past, are opposing at present and would oppose in future. However, BNP leader Asaduzzaman at a recent press conference BNP all those claims by Suranjit. Suranjit made the remarks while speaking as chief guest at a discussion on current politics organised by Bangabandhu Academy at Institution of Diploma Engineers in the capital. The senior Awami League leader, also chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, said BNP have been following Pakistani philosophy since its inception. “BNP has to go forward confessing that they have committed a mistake by opposing India, because they have no option left but to deceive people by saying that they hadn’t opposed India,” added Suranjit. The former rail minister said much enthusiasm along with hopes and expectations have arisen among the people over Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bangladesh visit on June 6, the second premier of India to visit the country after Indira Gandhi. l

Officials of the Detective Branch of Police arrest three human traffickers in the capital yesterday. They also recovered passports and other travel documents from the arrestees and rescued 18 of their victims from a residential hotel in Dakkhinkhan area DHAKA TRIBUNE

Export to India to become less complex n Tribune Report/Shohel Mamun

Exporting Bangladeshi goods to the Indian market would become hassle free as complexity over testing the standard of goods will be made easier. Previously India did not accept the standard tests done by Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institutions (BSTI). To export goods Bangladeshi traders had to send samples to Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS), after which the goods could be exported if BIS gave the nod. Yesterday, the cabinet here has approved an agreement between the BSTI and BIS with a view to ensuring standardisation of exportimportable products of the two countries.

As per the agreement, both the institutions will recognise each other’s certificates of standard. The agreement got cabinet nod in the regular meeting presided over by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. It is likely to be signed during Indian Prime Minister Norendra Modi’s upcoming visit to Bangladesh. Cabinet Secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan briefed reporters after the meeting at the secretariat. He said as per the agreement both the institutions will recognise each other’s certificates. The testing institutions will have to complete their testing of export products within a set time. Besides, the two organisations would

coordinate with each other the quality control methods so that both the countries can maintain the same standard. “Trade between the countries will increase further once the agreement is effective,” said the cabinet secretary. In the FY 2013-2014 India imported goods worth $450bn from different countries while their imports from Bangladesh were worth only $4.5bn. On the other hand, Bangladesh’s import from India were worth $6.03bn from India. According to commerce ministry officials, India is a big market for Bangladesh but it could not export expected amount of goods because of the testing standard complexity. l

Women found dead n FM Mizanur Rahaman, Chittagong

Police recovered body of a woman from her house at East Pahartali area under Double Mooring police station in Chittagong city early yesterday. The deceased was identified as Shamsunnahar, 55, wife of late Enamul Kabir, said Double Mooring police station’s Sub-Inspector Dulal Kishor Majumdar. The SI said Shamsunnahar, mother of two sons and two daughters, “committed suicide” “She went to the kitchen at night and stabbed herself in the throat by a sharp object. She died on the spot,” added the SI. Upon receiving information, police went to the house and recovered the body l




A school on the verge of extinction n Our Correspondent, Tangail Teachers and students of KBN Bahumukhi High School located in Basail upazila of Tangail are in grave anxiety as 200 decimals land of the educational institution, including a playground, has already devoured. Currently, one building, one tin-shed building, six tin-shed houses and a mosque situated on the campus are under serious threat of erosion. Teachers and students demanded construction of an embankment to protect the school from erosion. Meherun Nesa, a student of Class v11, said: “We always pass our time in anxiety for our school. If the river devours it. Academic life of 500 students will be hampered badly.” Riya Akter, a student of class VII, said: “If

the school is devoured by the river, our educational life will be come to a halt as our parents will not send us to other schools which are situated far away form our residence.” Mujahidul Islam, a student of class X, said the ratio of education would be reduced in the locality if the school was devoured by the river. “We are urging the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to save the school from erosion.” Meer Abbas, peon of the school, said a hundred metre embankment was built a few years back. But, the embankment had been damaged severally due to dredging of the river in last two years. Ayub Khan, headmaster of the school, said: “All are in tension, including local people, students and guardians, as there is no alternate place to shift the school if the erosion devours

it. Education will be hampered of the students who come to the school from adjoining 10 to 12 villages. I hope that the authorities concern will take immediate steps to protect the institution.” Kazi Sahidul Islam, chairman of Basail upazila parishad, said: “A 100-metre long concrete embankment was built four years ago. We requested the Water Development Board repeatedly to take steps to construct concrete embankment to protect the education of the students of these areas”. Shahjahan Siraj, executive engineer of Water Development Board, said: “We have sent a proposal to the higher authority demanding fund to extend both side of the existing embankment. But there is no chance to construct it to protect the school as we could not manage the fund.” l

Girl raped by lover and his friends n Our Correspondent, Gopalganj

A schoolgirl, who has passed SSC examinations this year, was raped by her lover and his friends yesterday at Char Padmabila village in Kashiani upazila of the district. The girl sat for SCC exams from Bathan Bhanga High School and scored good result. On the day, she went out from home with her lover Hridoy and his two friends of the village to share the feelings of her result. Sub-Inspector Enamul Haque Chowdhury of Kashiani police station said: “Hridoy and his friends Markin and Biru took the girl forcefully to a nearby jungle of her uncle’s house in the evening and raped her before fleeing.” Later, the girl was rescued by her father and admitted to Gopalganj Hospital. A case was filed in this connection. l

BU student to die for killing female student n Our Correspondent, Barisal

A court yesterday sentenced a student of Barisal University (BU) to death for killing a female fellow classmate. The condemned convict is Russel Mia, a student of Management department. According to the prosecution, Sawda, the female student ,who came for higher studies at Accounting department of the university from the remote coastal area of Patharghata of Barguna district was hacked on September 4, 2013 by management department male student Russell of the upazila over breaking up of love their affairs. She was rushed to Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital and from where she was shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). She succumbed to her injuries on September 5 at DMCH. The university authorities expelled Russel following the incident. The victim’s mother Saheda Begum filed a murder case in this connection. Police arrested Russell from Chittagong Port area on September 12. Inspector Shakhawat Hossain, investigation officer of the case, submitted charge sheet against Russell on April 30, 2014. Md Anwarul Huq, district and session judge handed down the verdict after examining confessional statement of the killer. l

3 killed in road accident

n Our Correspondent, Jessore At least three people were killed in a road accident at Aladipur village in Bagherpara upazila of the district yesterday. The deceased was identified as Khayer Biswas, 28, Mohammad Rafique,30, and Abdul Halim,45. Bagherpara police station Officer-in-Charge Kayum Ali Sarder said the accident took place when a motorcycle carrying the trio hit a roadside tree leaving Khayer and Rafique dead on the spot and Halim critically injured. Halim died after he was admitted to local hospital. l

Litchi growers are seen waiting for customers at Awlia Bazar in Bijoynagar, Brahmanbaria in the early hours of yesterday. Litchi growers say they are getting good price of the seasonal fruit as rail and road communication remain smooth this year DHAKA TRIBUNE

Two students commit suicide

n FM Mizanur Rahaman, Chittagong Two students, including a HSC candidate, committed suicide in the port city yesterday. Double Mooring police station SI Md Saidur Rahman said Mahbubur who appeared failed in the recently-published SSC results shot himself with his rifle during duty in Nedaya Islamia Center in Double Mooring area around 3am, leaving him critically injured. The bullet pierced on his abdomen and he later succumbed to his injuries in Chittagong Medical College Hospital. Meanwhile, Minhaz killed himself by hanging from ceiling in his bedroom at Sheikh Baharullah Masjid Lane of Katalganj area in Panchlaish police station around 9am as his Higher Mathematics examination held on Sunday was not good. The family members rushed him to the CMCH in a critical condition where the duty doctors declared him dead, said Nayek Jahangir of the hospital’s police outpost. l




Illegal billboards pulled down in Ctg n Tribune Report

A mobile court of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) yesterday pulled down nine illegal billboards in Chittagong city’s Sholoshahar area. The mobile court also fined six advertisement farms with Tk26,000 during the drive. Executive Magistrate of the CCC Nazia Shirin led the drive at Sholoshahar, Biplob Udyan and Chittagong Zila police office areas. Nazia Shirin said the court had fined Hologram Ad with Tk10,000, Ad Care with Tk5,000, Ad Valley with Tk5,000, Will Ad with Tk5,000 and Bhuiyan Ad with Tk1,000 for setting up illegal billboards violating the CCC rules and regulations. Earlier, the CCC asked the illegal billboard owners to remove their structure by May 31, but they did not do so. According to CCC sources, the corporation has approved 6,170 billboards under 219 advertising farms till June 2013. Of them 3,964 are approved to be set up at the CCC’s own land while the rest are approved for Chittagong Port and Bangladesh Railway’s land. Taking charge as the Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) Commissioner Abdul Jalil Mandal had conducted several drives to evict the 422 illegal billboards as per as CCC list in bid to recover the natural beauty of Chittagong city. The CMP commissioner conducted the drive against the items on December 6 in last year while CCC and CMP also jointly carried out the drives in January this year and remove some illegal items. l



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Dhaka Chittagong Rajshahi Rangpur Khulna Barisal Sylhet Cox’s Bazar

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Gazipur RMG factory fire under control after 20 hours Excess heat collapses five floors n Our Correspondent, Gazipur



The top five floors of the seven-storey Dignity Textile Mills in Sreepur upazila, Gazipur collapsed early yesterday morning after burning for hours in the fire that started on Sunday afternoon. The collapse helped the fire fighters bring the fire under control, who had suspended the firefighting efforts on Sunday night fearing a collapse DHAKA TRIBUNE

Ishwardi Source: Accuweather/UNB

After a frantic efforts for about 20 hours at a stretch, the fire fighters have finally managed to extinguish the blaze that broke out in a seven-storey readymade garment factory in Sreepur upazila of the district on Sunday afternoon. However, no casualty was reported from the gigantic fire incident which claimed by the unit authorities saying, its all workers were out on lunch at that time. The factory authorities declared a seven-day holiday although it started giving wages to the workers from yesterday afternoon. Besides, the local administration formed a five-member probe committee, headed by Shreepur UNO Sadekur Rahman, to investigate the incident.

Landslide kills two workers, one injured n FM Mizanur Rahaman, Chittagong

PRAYER TIMES Fajr Sunrise Zohr Asr Magrib Esha

3:45am 5:11am 11:56am 4:36pm 6:41pm 8:07pm SourceL IslamicFinder.org

On the other hand, the five floors of the establishment made of steel sheets broke down due to excess heat. “The fire broke out on the second floor of the steel building, housing ‘Dignity Textile Mills Ltd’, around 1:45pm while lunch break was on and it soon engulfed the whole building,” said Akhtaruzzaman Liton, deputy director of Gazipur Fire Service. There are around 3,000 workers in the factory that basically produces T-shirt. Being informed, 16 firefighting units from Gazipur, Kaliakoir, Tongi, Mawna and Bhaluka rushed to the spot and started frantic efforts to to douse the blaze. Finally around 10am yesterday they enabled to control the fire although earlier the collapse of the floors took place. About the delay, fire service sources said

Two workers were killed and another was injured in a landslide while cutting hills in Banshkhali upazila of Chittagong yesterday. The deceased were identified as Mohammad Liakot, 27 and Mir Kamal, 32, both hailing from Choroti of Satkania upazila, said Officer in-Charge (OC) Swapan Kumar Majumdar of Banskhali police station. The injured, Helal, was admitted at Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH), said Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Pankaj Barua of CMCH police outpost.

OC Swapan Kumar told the Dhaka Tribune that while the workers were cutting earth from a hill at Dakshinpara area of Pukuria under Banskhali at noon, a big chunk fell on them, leaving Mir Kamal dead on the spot and two others injured. Liakot was first rushed to Anwara Health Complex in a critical condition. But he was later taken to CMCH as per the advise of on-duty doctor Salauddin. He, however, died on the way to the hospital, said the OC. Due legislative processes would be taken in this regard, the OC further added. l

water sprayed by them could not take position on the floors as the factory was made of steel sheets. Besides, the fire fighters could not stay inside the establishment to do their job when the sheets became excess hot, even there was no suitable place to run the task. Despite their frantic efforts, the water positioned beneath of the building making no fruitful results for long. When contacted, Deputy Director Akhtaruzzaman Liton went on: “There were all sophisticated equipment and necessary fire safely measures in the building. Unavailability of skilled manpower there to douse fire worsened the situation. I think electric short circuit caused the blaze.” The loss from the fire could not be ascertained immediately, the official continued. l

Biker killed in Ctg road mishap n CU Correspondent

A motorcyclist was killed in a road accident on Port Connecting road in Nimtala area of Bandar police station in the port city yesterday. The mishap killed Priyankar Debnath, 27, son of Ajit Debnath, from Kodurkhil of Boalkhali upazila in Chittagong, says Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) police outpost Pankaj Barua. Bandar police station SI Md Mohinuddin said the incident took place in front of Panama Truck Terminal that is also known as Bandar Truck Terminal in the area around 12:30pm when a speedy covered-van smashed the Priyankar’s motorbike, leaving him badly injured. l




UN: Over 6,400 killed amid ‘tremendous hardship’ in Ukraine

Islamic State suicide attack kills 38 Iraqi policemen n Reuters, Baghdad

Islamic State militants drove a tank rigged with explosives into a base south of the Iraqi city of Samarra yesterday, killing 38 policemen, military and police sources said. A further 46 people were wounded in the attack on the Muthanna bases in an area from which security forces and Shi’ite paramilitaries have been fighting to drive out the insurgents. Security forces seized the complex from the militants several days ago and were using it as a foothold in an offensive aimed at cutting Islamic State supply lines from the Samarra area to the western province of Anbar. Anbar’s capital, Ramadi, was overrun by the insurgents two weeks ago in the most significant setback for Iraqi forces since a U.S.led coalition began bombing the militants last summer. l

Libya fears Iraq-like jihadist scenario n AFP

Ukrainian servicemen fire on a position on the frontline of fighting against pro-Russian separatists near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Saturday



“Even with the decrease in hostilities, civilians continue to be killed and wounded,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement, calling for the Minsk agreement to be fully implemented. “We have documented alarming reports of summary executions by armed groups and are looking into similar allegations against Ukrainian armed forces,” he said. If confirmed, this “would represent clear evidence of war crimes,” Simonovic said. Zeid lamented “horrific accounts of torture and ill-treatment in detention” by both sides. l

The United Nations said yesterday that more than 6,400 people had been killed in conflict-wracked Ukraine, and despite a slowdown in fighting, millions more are suffering from abuses and hardship. The UN human rights office also said there was increasing evidence that Russian servicemen are taking part in the hostilities. In its latest report on the situation in Ukraine, the rights office said indiscriminate shelling had decreased significantly since a fragile truce was agreed in Minsk in February,

resulting in fewer civilian casualties. But nonetheless, at least 6,417 people have perished from the beginning of the conflict in mid-April 2014 to May 30, 2015, while another 15,962 had been wounded, UN human rights envoy to Ukraine Ivan Simonovic told reporters. He said the numbers were likely higher, since many people remain missing. Some five million others are meanwhile suffering the consequences of the conflict, including 1.2 million people who have been displaced inside the war-ravaged country, the report said.

Mauritius designates first woman president

Cardinal accused of ‘disregard’ for abused children


n Reuters, Sydney

The government of Mauritius yesterday designated Ameenah Gurib-Fakim as the Indian Ocean island nation’s new president, making her the first woman to hold the ceremonial position. The appointment of Gurib-Fakim, an internationally-renowned scientist and biologist, is subject to parliament approval, due to take place on Thursday. The opposition has said it will support her appointment, making the vote a mere formality. Her inauguration is expected to take place on Friday, officials said. Gurib-Fakim, 56, will be the first female president of the island, which gained independence from Britain in 1968. l

One of the Catholic Church’s commissioners for the protection of children has described the Vatican’s finance chief as having an almost sociopathic disregard for abused children, accusations the Australian cardinal rejected. Peter Saunders, a member of the 17-strong commission advising Pope Francis on how to root out sex abuse in the Church, said on Australian television the Vatican’s prefect for the Secretariat for the Economy, Australian-born Cardinal George Pell, should be dismissed over allegations he failed to take action to protect children from abuse in the church in Australia. “He is making a mockery of the papal commission (into child abuse), of the Pope himself, but most of all of the victims and the sur-

vivors,” Saunders said on Channel Nine’s 60 Minutes Australia on Sunday. “He has a catalogue of denigrating people, of acting with callousness, cold-heartedness, almost sociopathic I would go as far as to say, this lack of care,” said Saunders, a British victim of abuse. Pell issued a statement soon after the programme aired, describing Saunders’s comments as “false,” “misleading” and “outrageous,” and said he would consult legal advisers. Pell, the former archbishop of Sydney and Australia’s most senior Catholic, has repeatedly denied claims raised in the Australian inquiry that he moved priests accused of abuse between parishes and offered one victim inducements to drop a complaint. l

Libya’s internationally recognised government called for outside help against military advances in the country by the Islamic State jihadist group and warned of an Iraq-like scenario. “Libyan cities are coming under increased threat from this group and it will become difficult to confront them, like in Iraq,” Prime Minister Abdallah Thani told a press conference on Sunday in Al-Baida in eastern Libya where his administration is based. In remarks quoted on the government’s official Facebook page, Thani said: “We are surprised that the international community has not taken a firm stand on what is taking place in Libya.” Thani renewed demands for a lifting of the international arms embargo, in place since Libya’s 2011 NATO-backed uprising which toppled longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi, to defeat the IS jihadists, whose counterparts have seized control of swathes of Iraq and Syria. l

Azerbaijan jails opposition activist for 6 years n AFP

A court in Azerbaijan yesterday sentenced an opposition activist to six years in prison on drug charges which he denounced as politically motivated. A member of the Popular Front opposition party’s youth wing, Elvin Abdullazade said in the courtroom that charges against him were falsified and his jailing was aimed at silencing dissenters in the tightly-controlled ex-Soviet nation. “The goal of my arrest is to intimidate the youth,” the student said. Abdullazade, a student, was arrested in January for alleged possession of three grams of heroin. He said the drugs had been planted by police. l




German FM: Open Gaza border hinges on end to rocket fire n Reuters, Gaza

Germany’s foreign minister said during a visit to Gaza yesterday that any opening of the enclave’s borders and economic recovery from last year’s devastating war hinged mainly on ensuring no more rockets are fired at Israel. “We need local investments, and from abroad. Hence we also need the possibility to export the goods, which are being produced here (in Gaza). This can happen only by opening the borders,” Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters. “But the whole truth is: all this will, under most difficult circumstances, happen only when there is real certainty ... that (Gaza) is no longer a launching pad for rockets.” The region has been largely quiet since an August ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, although a rocket from Gaza struck a vacant area near the Israeli port city of Ashdod on May 26, and Israel replied with air strikes that also caused no casualties. Citing security concerns, Israel and Egypt tightly restrict the movement of people and goods through their borders with the Gaza Strip, a densely populated territory of 1.8 million Palestinians dominated by the Islamist Hamas movement. Israel, the United States and European Union shun Hamas over its hostility towards Israel. Steinmeier did not meet

n Reuters, Paris

Qatar said yesterday it was suing a senior member of France’s far-right National Front who accused it of funding Islamist extremism in the days after January’s deadly attacks in France on a satirical magazine and Jewish foodstore. Florian Philippot, the vice-president of the anti-immigrant party, accused Qatar and Saudi Arabia of “funding an Islamism that kills” during a radio interview aired on Jan. 9, two days after gunmen killed 12 during an attack on the Charlie Hebdo weekly known for its caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad. “Mr Philippot has repeatedly and publicly implied a link between these terrorist acts and the State of Qatar, affecting the reputation of Qatar and all its citizens,” the Gulf state said in a statement distributed by its Paris embassy. The action would be filed in France. l

A Palestinian man stands behind a fence as he waits for his relatives to return at the Rafah border in the Gaza Strip REUTERS officials of Hamas during his tour. Palestinian militants in Gaza launched thousands of rockets and mortar bombs into Israel during a 50-day war in July and August, in which Israeli shelling and air strikes battered the enclave and destroyed thousands of homes. More than 2,100 Palestinians, mainly

civilians, were killed while 67 soldiers and six civilians were killed on the Israeli side. Steinmeier, who met Israeli and West Bank-based Palestinian leaders before visiting Gaza, said all sides “recognise that we are sitting on a powder keg and are taking care that it doesn’t ignite.” l

Captors post first video of Frenchwoman kidnapped in Yemen n AFP The captors of Frenchwoman Isabelle Prime, kidnapped in war-ravaged Yemen on February 24, have posted the first video of her since her abduction. In the 21-second tape posted on YouTube, seated on the ground and dressed in black, Prime appeals to the French and Yemeni presidents to take action to secure her release. The 30-year-old, who worked as a consultant on a World Bank-funded project, was seized with her translator Sherine Makkaoui as they were driving to work in the capital Sanaa. There has been no word on the identity of her kidnappers, who were dressed in police uniforms. Makkaoui was later freed. She said she had been released in the southern city of Aden on March 10. French deputy foreign ministry spokesman Alexandre Giorgini confirmed the authenticity of the video, adding that authorities were “mobilised to secure the release of our compatriot ... with discretion and determination.” A number of foreigners have been taken hostage in Yemen over the past 15 years, mostly by tribesmen as bargaining chips in negotiations with the government. Almost all have been freed unharmed. But in December, US journalist Luke Somers and South African teacher Pierre Korkie died during a failed attempt by US commandos to rescue them from an Al-Qaeda hideout in southeastern Yemen. l

Qatar sues French far-right official for attacks comment

Georgia threatens to strip ex-leader’s citizenship n AFP

Georgia has threatened to revoke pro-Western former president Mikheil Saakashvili’s citizenship after he was granted a Ukrainian passport and appointed as governor of the strategic Odessa region. Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili said Saakashvili’s move, which according to the constitution, could lead to the loss of Georgian citizenship, “insulted our state.” “The (former) Georgian president should not have given up his Georgian citizenship,” he said in televised comments late Sunday. The appointment on Saturday of the flamboyant Saakashvili, who fought a war with Russia, as head of Ukraine’s southern coastal region is a pointed signal from Kiev to Moscow that it remains set on its pro-European course despite a bloody separatist conflict in the east blamed on the Kremlin. l

US Supreme Court backs hijab woman n AFP

A file photo taken on March 9, 2015 shows Yemeni women taking part in a rally in Sanaa calling for the release of French woman Isabelle Prime and her Yemeni interpreter Sherine Makkaoui who have been kidnapped last month in the capital by unidentified gunmen AFP

The US Supreme Court ruled yesterday in favor of a Muslim woman who claimed she was denied a sales job with fashion retailers Abercrombie & Fitch as a teen because of her headscarf. By an 8-1 vote, the high court sided with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a federal government agency that sued Abercrombie on behalf of Samantha Elauf, on the grounds she was discriminated against because of the firm’s dress code. Attorneys arguing Elauf’s case said she was protected by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bars anyone from being refused employment based on their religion, unless the employer cannot accommodate the person’s religious beliefs without adversely affecting business. The government and numerous religious organizations have taken up the cause of the Muslim woman, who was 17 at the time of her 2008 job interview. l




A 14-year-old Syrian boy hangs by his wrists in this video capture as Islamic State militants, one pictured with a gun, torture him BBC

IS militants ‘filmed torturing Syrian boy’ n BBC A graphic mobile phone video obtained by the BBC appears to show militants from Islamic State (IS) torturing a 14-year-old Syrian boy. The footage, filmed by a defector from the jihadist group, shows the boy being beaten while he hangs by his wrists. The UN has accused IS and other armed groups in Syria and Iraq of torturing and killing children. Children have also been recruited, trained and used on the battlefield. The mobile phone footage shows Ahmed hanging a foot or so off the ground. He is blindfolded, and two masked men, dressed head to toe in black, pace the ground in front of him. One has a knife and a pistol; the other strides around the room with an AK-47. They hung Ahmed from the ceiling by his arms and then the beating started. He was just 14 when IS captured and tortured him. From the safety of neighbouring Turkey, he relived the nightmare. “I thought about my parents. I thought about my mum,” he said. “They started lashing me, electrocuting me in order to confess. I told them everything.” In the IS-controlled northern Syrian city of Raqqa, Ahmed had sold bread to make a living. Two men he knew asked him to put a bag near an IS meeting place. Ahmed had been duped into planting a bomb. His age was unimportant to

his torturers. The abuse lasted two days. “They pretend they’re religious, but they’re infidels. They used to smoke. They pretend to be enforcing the rules of Muslims, but they’re not. They hit and kill people.” From prison, Ahmed was sentenced to death. But his executioner took pity on him, and allowed him to escape. “It’s rare that I’m able to sleep,” he explained. “When I first came to Turkey, I used to have nightmares all the time. I got some treatment. But I couldn’t sleep - I used to dream about it all the time. I met the man who filmed Ahmed’s beating. He has since defected from IS and says he is full of remorse. The film was made for propaganda purposes, he said. The fate of the two other men filmed being tortured at the same time as Ahmed is not known. “I am regretting every moment,” the man said. “When I joined IS, I wasn’t convinced of it but I had to.” “Although I wasn’t particularly heavy-handed with people, I hope that the people I hurt will forgive me.” Inside its self-declared caliphate, Islamic State has ended secular education and instead created military-style schools which indoctrinate children and train them to kill. The Islamic State has up-ended life in Syria and Iraq. This is the corruption of a generation. The children of the IS will grow into young men trained to kill and hate and they will trouble Syria and Iraq for years to come. l





Getting beyond boundaries? Done right, it can truly live up to the promise that if we build it, they will come PAGE 12

Leaping out of poverty It is not enough to just give the extreme poor assets or cash -- they need coaching, encouragement, and support from field officers PAGE 13

The moon and the broom Are we asking for too much? No, we are not. We do not expect the moon from the elected mayors PAGE 14

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Banks should promote equality, not double standards


e consider the Bangladesh Bank circular telling banks that they cannot force women employees to stay at offices after normal working hours at 6pm, mistaken in principle and counter-productive in practice. The central bank says it has issued a rule stating that if any woman official needs to work late, they must be paid extra and provided with special measures to ensure their safety, because women employees are being harassed or facing difficulty getting home, when they have to work late. It goes without saying this circular is only addressing the symptoms of two societal problems, not the illnesses themselves. No employee of any organisation, whether male or female, should have to face harassment at work or fear for their safety if they are working late or traveling home after normal hours. Eliminating harassment within offices is a challenge which needs to be tackled by all employing organisations and their staff. It will not be achieved through the issue of paternalistic rules, however well-intentioned. Likewise, it is for government and society to root out the attitudes which stigmatise and instill legitimate concerns for safety among women traveling alone, The Bangladesh Bank also needs to think twice about whether its measure might discourage banks from employing or promoting women employees. Such an outcome would be wholly contrary to the aim of improving equality in the workplace. All employees, both men and women would be better served by the central bank encouraging measures to promote flexible working and improve work-life balance. Poorly conceived statements of good intent which embed challenge double standards harm equality and fail everybody.

Stopping only women employees from working late might discourage banks from promoting women





Getting beyond boundaries? n Niaz Alam


day can be a long time in politics. On Saturday, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi hyped up expectations in a newspaper interview ahead of his first visit to Bangladesh on June 6, by comparing the settling of the Land Boundary Agreement between Bangladesh and India with the fall of the Berlin Wall. By Sunday evening, his external affairs minister had squashed hopes that the Teesta water sharing agreement would be signed during his visit, citing a lack of internal consensus and agreement with the West Bengal government. This does not mean his visit will not generate new optimism for bilateral relations. Progress can still be expected to be made on deals relating to coastal shipping, security issues, and new lines of credit. Like all such diplomatic trips, it is likely to be choreographed to allow both the Bangladeshi and Indian governments to accentuate the positive. In this spirit, it is still worth hoping that Modi can live up to his proclaimed commitment to pursue “outcome-based diplomacy,” that delivers shared prosperity for both our nations. Hope is not lost that Bangladesh can eventually achieve mutually fair agreements on the vital issues of water sharing and removing non-tariff barriers to boost bilateral trade. Modi’s electoral support relies, in part, on commitments to corporate India to boost business and trade. To increase the pace of the transit deals, India desires to connect more efficiently with its north-eastern states, and it is in his interest to lower the barriers that exacerbate Bangladesh’s $5bn plus trade deficit with India. To live up to his promise of changing “the mood of the neighbourhood,” the Indian prime minister will need to use more of the political skills he showed in pushing through

the long stalled LBA, to address Bangladesh’s legitimate concerns. It will be mean going beyond the mindset which sees both our nations treating our long mutual border as a boundary to be rigorously defended. As commentators have long pointed out, India’s border walls and its desire for transit are mutually incompatible. To be practically viable, it can have one or the other, but not both. This poses a challenge to Modi’s traditional base of support among Hindu nationalists -- a group to which he recently threw a carrot by promising residency rights to Bangladeshi Hindus in India. It is of course up to Indian voters to determine whether this is desirable or fair to Bangladeshi Muslims in India, I couldn’t possibly comment. Whatever one’s view on this promise, it highlights the constraints Modi faces in holding together his presently dominant electoral base. It will take both pragmatism and far-sightedness to effectively refocus India and Bangladesh’s foreign policies on lowering borders and boosting mutual relations. Transit ought to be a win-win scenario for both countries. If India gains corridors to the North East, Bangladesh should be able to boost trade access to Bhutan, Nepal, and India. Both states can benefit by improving connectivity and giving a boost to the BCIM corridor and Bimstec initiatives. As yet, there is no certainty that mutual caution is diminishing to the extent needed to allow this to happen. If we are to give Mr Modi’s Cold War metaphor the benefit of the doubt, however, then, rather than try and unpick who is the Gorbachev and who is the Thatcher and Honecker, we should look, as he infers, to the EU as a point of reference. For all the uncertainty surrounding the Eurozone and high profile political opposition to further integration, the EU has succeeded beyond its founders’ dreams in

providing a platform to secure peace and prosperity for a continent riven by conflict for centuries and which gave rise to two World Wars within the space of a generation. European citizens are not going to be giving up their visa free travel (border control free within Schengen) and freedom to move and invest, any time soon, however Eurosceptic its politics becomes. The advantages in lowering barriers to free movement of goods, people, and services generally far outweigh the costs. It will be good, then, for all the peoples of South Asia, if Bangladesh and India can improve relations and set an example to allow Saarc and SAFTA to move in the same direction. One small but symbolic illustration of our region’s dysfunction can be seen in the contrast between the journey times by train between Dhaka and Kolkata and between London and Paris, which are roughly comparable distances. Whereas the Maitree express has only latterly got round to three services a week and takes a minimum scheduled time of 10 hours, entailing multiple stops for border checks, Eurostar shuttles people between three European capitals in two hours dozens of times a day. It cannot be beyond the wit of Bangladesh and Indian railways to slash journey times in half and profitably run multiple, daily services. The latter runs a huge network and one of the planet’s great commuter railroads in Mumbai, and Bangladeshis are well practiced in overcoming logistical difficulties. The roadblock lies in deep-seated inertia and a lack of mutual willingness to simplify border regulations. The opportunity costs of not improving land-links between two of the world’s largest cities should speak for themselves, but political myopia still keeps this so-called express service from reaching its potential. The fact that some people may think trains

are irrelevant or scoff that genuine free-trade and mutually beneficial relations are a pipe dream, is, to me, an indication of how far we still have to go. Vision is the one thing Bangladesh needs more than ever to fulfill the hopes and potential of its people. We should not, in 2015, still be having the same debates about whether Bangladesh needs a new deep sea port or improved railway and road connections. The government should be prioritising our own infrastructure anyway to meet the demands of our own growing market as well as reaching out to other countries to increase investment. Bangladesh’s challenge is not India -- or China for that matter -- wanting to do deals for corridors which further their own interests, but in persuading our own politicians and planners to do more to improve national infrastructure. There is no reason why we should not aspire to be building a new deep sea port and faster highways and railways ourselves already. Our large domestic market is growing fast and geography places us at the crossroads of South and South East Asia. Regardless of the speed at which politics permits diplomatic efforts to progress, Bangladesh should still be moving ahead to speed up internal communications and opportunities anyway, to match our economy’s potential. Investing in infrastructure is a proven path to generating a virtuous cycle of higher growth and investment. Of course, we should hope that improving bilateral and regional relations will lower barriers and boost trade and investment, but Bangladesh can and must still get on with much of the task ourselves. Done right, it can truly live up to the promise that if we build it, they will come. l Niaz Alam has worked on ethical business issues since 1992 and is a former vice-chair of War on Want. He is Chief Editorial Writer at the Dhaka Tribune.




Leaping out of poverty n Shazia Omar


o achieve the ambitious objective that Bangladesh has accepted, of eradicating extreme poverty within the period of the next Five Year Plan, as a stop on the route towards making Bangladesh a poverty free nation, it is necessary to move now. The government needs to start re-prioritising the national budget and talking to donors and multi-national institutions about their next programs which are being designed right now. The government has already made major strides in reducing extreme poverty and poverty related challenges in Bangladesh, now it’s about finishing the job. Bangladesh needs to drive the process and pull all the competing agencies and bureaucrats into line -- in time to actually make this happen! This can be Sheikh Hasina’s legacy, contributing to economic growth, justice, compassion and social harmony, embedded in the vision of a middle-income Bangladesh. To achieve the eradication of extreme poverty, the Manifesto for the Extreme Poor, a civil society document produced by various organisations and poverty experts together, called for three actions: (i) A national-scale graduation program to enable 15 million people to climb out of extreme poverty and into the mainstream economy, (ii) reformation of social-protection to ensure it reaches the poorest, and (iii) pro-poor policies. Of these three, I want to focus on the first point.

Enable the poorest to join the mainstream economy -- the graduation model

The graduation model -- followed by several extreme poverty focused programs including Shiree (a multi-donor program in partnership with GOB, LGRD under the RDCD Ministry) as well as Brac Targeting the Ultra Poor (TUP) -- has been very successful in transforming the lives of extremely poor clients. This model is already being copied and sold to donors and governments around the world, but it was invented and first delivered at scale in Bangladesh, and Bangladesh has the chance to be the first to take the approach to its logical conclusion, the complete eradication of extreme poverty. The graduation model embraces a combined strategy at the household level. To get out of extreme poverty each household needs: (i) At least one micro-enterprise established through the transfer of income generating assets (preferably diversified over time), (ii) a regular cash transfer to meet initial consumption needs as the micro-enterprise is getting up and running, (iii) access to a longer-term social-protection benefit, depending on their circumstances and eligibility, provided by the state (such as a small pension, widows or disability allowance), (iv) one external income source from formal employment (eg one family member working in garments and remitting funds back into the household), (v) a bank account with steadily accumulating savings (mobile bank account is an option), (vi) access to affordable and effective health services, (vii) support during external shocks such as floods to prevent distress sale of assets, and (viii) a recognised place in the community (eg a vote!) -- this


especially applies to currently marginalised groups. This list of requirements is challenging but affordable and achievable. More than anything, it requires a combined response that knits together aspects that currently fall into different spheres of responsibility. Hence, targeted extreme poor programs are now largely donor funded and NGO implemented. These need to be scaled up and linked into the reform of social-protection benefits -- a government responsibility -- as is the delivery of public services (especially health). While the development of large-scale programs of vocational training, appropriate to members of extreme poor households, is of most direct relevance to private-sector companies who will provide the jobs. This cross-sectoral aspect means that the program can only succeed with a strong, unifying national vision and leadership. As I learned from my experience at Shiree, it is not enough to just give the extreme poor assets or cash -- they need coaching, encouragement, and support from field officers. Realising that many extremely poor families are headed by young women (who were victims of child marriage and drop-outs from school with no skills or knowledge of markets) makes it clear why such hand-holding and confidence building is necessary. It also often helps to organise these extremely poor clients into groups to help them overcome challenges. I will refer to the targeted extremely poor beneficiaries as “clients” -- as Rubayat Khan pointed out in his recent article in The Guardian -- it is more appropriate to refer to them as clients because that implies that they should have the right to demand efficiency and results from the NGOs/donors/governments striving to serve them. This private

sector attitude can be helpful also in eliminating wastage and optimising resources in the development sector.

ICT -- a potential game-changer

The challenge most graduation programs face is that, often clients, “fall between the cracks.” To ensure that all clients are able to meet their needs and face their context-specific challenges, programs need to be responsive and adaptable. The reality is, extreme poverty is a dynamic and complex condition, so families require individual, customised support to overcome challenges and make the climb out of poverty. Transfer programs (cash/assets/skills) must provide personal support to create sustainable results. To manage a large-scale transfer program, providing support on a household-by-household basis, to millions of people, without leaving anyone behind, information and communication is necessary. Real time data can enhance management’s decision-making capacity, changing the way programs are managed. Using mobile phones to collect data from the field is possible in Bangladesh due to the government’s drive and commitment to building a Digital Bangladesh. The ICT Ministry and A2I have made innovations in ICT commonplace and doable in “backwards” Bangladesh. The widespread availability of mobile banking also provides a huge opportunity in Bangladesh. We should take advantage of our infrastructure to lead in the race to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals currently being finalised. The first of which will be about eradicating extreme poverty. However, one of the key lessons from Shiree was that management is key. Managers who are unable to innovate, or worse, un-

scrupulous managers who are only interested in personal rewards, may abuse new technology. Implementing ICT solutions requires overcoming entrenched resistance to change. Managers need to see new technology not as a threat but as an opportunity. Proper incentives need to be in place to encourage organisations to adopt new approaches.

Learning from the best practices -coordinated effort

One of the few global female leaders, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, has successfully led the process to eradicate the ebola virus for her country. How? By making sure that there were sufficient resources in place and by being strong with all the implementing agencies to ensure that effective strategies were being urgently implemented with close co-ordination and frequent monitoring. Our prime minister now faces a similar challenge of many programs and little coordination. Similarly, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil brought together several pre-existing social-protection programs into one aligned effort, Bolsa Familia, which could be scaled up massively. It’s no secret that the welfare program played a huge role in his re-election victory in 2006. These are just two examples where a committed national leadership has demonstrated the ability to achieve truly transformative results by defining the national vision and ensuring that resources are available and aligned behind this vision. Could Bangladesh astound the world by reaching even greater heights and banishing forever the image of our country as poverty-stricken? l Shazia Omar is a poverty activist and Head of Poverty Tracker, mPower Social.




The moon and the broom n Abdul Matin


agar, a Scandinavian medieval Viking warrior, was the main character of a cartoon serial, “Hagar the Horrible.” His wife was Helga Horrible, a bossy woman. The cartoon was very popular during the late 20th century. In one episode, an angry Helga appeared in front of Hagar with an old and worn-out broom in her hand and said: “Before our wedding, you promised me the moon. Now, I am ready to settle for a new broom!” How reasonable! Just before the last Dhaka City Corporation elections, we were happy to see one mayoral candidate, together with some celebrities, sweeping the streets in Gulshan. Their pictures were flashed in most electronic media and newspapers. Alas! We did not see him or the celebrities with the brooms on the streets again! Where have all the brooms gone? Soon after the election, one of the mayors disclosed a plan to build an office for the corporation at a cost of Tk500cr, though it was not in his election manifesto. How could such an item receive his top priority while it was not a part of his agenda? Has he not got his priorities wrong? The residents of Dhaka are besieged with many problems. The traffic is our number one problem. The lost man-hours due to traffic jams constitutes a huge loss to the national economy. The condition of the roads of the city, except for a few, has been very poor for a long time. Many roads have no footpaths or drains. Without maintenance for years, the roads are full of potholes. Many roads are poorly illuminated. Municipal waste, construction material, and uncollected debris pile up on the roads and footpaths creating obstructions to vehicles and pedestrians alike. Many roads, footpaths, parks, playgrounds, lakes, and canals are occupied, partly or wholly, by land-grabbers all over the city. The residents of the slum areas are deprived of basic civic amenities like clean water, sanitation, electricity, and gas. Security has deteriorated to the extent that robbery, mugging, killing, kidnapping, etc take place in broad daylight and the culprits get away scot-free. The cost of living in the capital city has sky-rocketed. Anything we buy in Dhaka costs five to 10 times of what it costs at the growers’ level. For example, it was reported that guavas were being sold at Tk100 per maund, ie Tk2.50 per kg in Barisal, while we paid Tk60 to Tk100 per kg in Dhaka. It means that the lion’s share of the retail price in Dhaka goes mainly to the middle-men. Growers hardly get their toil’s worth. It is believed that the wholesale markets in the capital city are controlled by a few syndicates. They determine the retail price of any item. The government machineries have very little control over them. Similarly, the rent for small apartments, where the vast majority of the people live, is under the control of land-lords. They increase the rent as they wish. The costs of transportation, education, and health services are also exorbitantly high. To make Dhaka a liveable city, it is necessary to bring down


Are we asking for too much? No, we are not. We do not expect the moon from the elected mayors

the cost of living to an affordable level. The mayoral candidates promised to make Dhaka a clean, green, healthy, and digital city free of corruption and traffic jams. They also promised to ensure Wi-Fi facilities in public transportation, mobile apps for utility services, improved drainage and sewerage systems, better waste management and recycling facilities, and more public toilets and accommodations for low-income people, including slum-dwellers. Some candidates wanted to make Dhaka a safe, modern, and world-class city with adequate supply of water, gas, and electricity. They promised to wage a war against corruption, terrorism, and extortion and pledged to make Dhaka pollution-free and to clean the Buriganga river. Sounds fantastic! If the elected mayors keep their promises, the city will perhaps look like Paris. The bumpy roads with

potholes, the dirty drains clogged with solid wastes, the stinky heaps of municipal waste, bumper-to-bumper traffic, mugging, extortion, etc will disappear in no time. One walking along the Buckland Bund will feel like having a promenade on the bank of La Seine. Gulshan Avenue will look like Avenue des Champs-Elysees. I vaguely remember one of our former ministers once promised to make Dhaka look like Paris. It is possible that our new mayors intend to realise his dream. Was I day-dreaming? Perhaps I was. Let us be practical. We shall be all too happy if the elected mayors simply rebuild the roads, footpaths, and drains and keep them clean, streamline the traffic, build more elevated highways and multi-storied car parks, provide more public transportation, build more public toilets and maintain them, arrange efficient collection of municipal waste, pro-

vide the basic civic amenities to all residents including the slum-dwellers, take possession of all illegally occupied roads, footpaths, parks, playgrounds, lakes, and canals and maintain them properly and ensure the security of citizens. While doing any work, it is most important to maintain the quality of workmanship. It is missing in most public work. Often, I observe from my balcony, how the repair work is carried out on the road in front of my house. There is hardly any supervision of the contractor’s work. The responsible engineers or the junior supervisors are not normally seen at the site. Nobody notices when a contractor fills a trench with local clay while it is supposed to be filled with sand. As a result, patches of roads subside in no time. Because of poor workmanship, a repaired road is damaged again just after one monsoon. Maintenance of the quality does not cost any extra money. The responsible engineers and the supervisors only need to do their jobs properly and sincerely. Are we asking for too much? No, we are not. We do not expect the moon from the elected mayors. Helga wanted to settle for a new broom. We shall remain content with a clean, safe, and liveable city. If our young and energetic mayors can do more, they are most welcome, but let them deliver the basic amenities first. l Abdul Matin is a retired nuclear engineer.


Faster than China? India’s road, rail drive could lay doubts to rest


Fed’s Fischer warns against complacency on financial crisis risks


DSE turnover crosses Tk1,000 crore

FY16 export target set at $33.56bn n Ibrahim Hossain Ovi Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) initially has set $33.56bn as export target for the financial year 2015-16. In the outgoing fiscal year, the target was $33.2bn. The primary decision was made at a meeting with the stakeholders yesterday, said official sources. The meeting was attended by representatives from Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association, Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, jute goods and leather goods manufacturers and exporters. The EPB will send the export target proposal to the Ministry of Commerce. After a review, commerce minister will formally announce the target. “We have sought opinions from the stakeholders concerned about setting export target for the next fiscal year. On the basis of their opinions and considering global and local economic situations, we have set the initial target $33.56bn with a growth of 7.49%,” EPB Vice-Chairman Shubhashish Bose told the Dhaka Tribune. The target will be finalised reviewing the export growth of the current fiscal year, he added. About the export growth during July-April period of the current fiscal year, EPB vice chairman said the export growth did not reach up to the mark as it was expected, due to some factors like political unrest, devalu-

ation of euro against greenback, compliance issue in the country’s garment industry and weak global consumers demand. As per the latest EPB data, during July-April of the FY2014-15, Bangladesh earned $25.30bn from exports, registering 2.63% growth compared to the same period a year earlier. The country will have to earn $7.9bn more in the final two months of the fiscal to reach the year’s target of $33.2bn. The RMG sector, the largest export earner of the country, already has failed to reach the target. In the first 10 months, the garment exports totalled $20.56bn although the target was set at $26.89bn for the year. As per the EPB data, the woven sector

earned $10.55bn with still 4.53% short of target and the knitwear fetched over $10bn which was also 6.3% less than the target. About setting export target, Centre for Policy Dialogue executive director Prof Mustafizur Rahman suggested considering global economic growth, demands, local production capacity, new development in global market, recent trade agreements, free trade agreement and supply chain in fixing target. He said Bangladesh should see its competitors’ targets and their achievement process. About the target set for the next fiscal year, the economist said, “The target is conservative and achievable. But we have to focus on exploring new horizons. If there is any major development in global economic arena, the target could be revised.” l






CPD: Statistical mismatch deteriorates fiscal planning

Asia Energy’s parent company signs £3m loan agreement n Aminur Rahman Rasel GCM Resources plc, the parent company of Asia Energy Corporation Bangladesh Pty Ltd, has entered into a convertible loan agreement with a Malaysian-based investor for a two year unsecured financing facility of £3m with no interest payable. The agreement was reached last Friday between the UK-based resource exploration and development company and Malaysia-based investor Revenue Anchor Sdn Bhd, said a press release. Asia Energy is planning to develop and operate a world class open pit coal mine in its Phulbari Coal Project in Dinajpur. “It is with great pleasure that I am welcoming Revenue Anchor Sdn Bhd as an important financing partner for GCM. The funding we have secured will be sufficient for GCM to pursue its goals of furthering the Phulbari Coal Project for the foreseeable future,” said Michael Tang, executive chairman of GCM Resources. Under the agreement, the lender has the right to convert the outstanding balance of the Loan any time at a subscription price of 11p (penny) per share provided that the lender’s interest does not reach or exceed 30% of the company’s issued capital. If the lender exercises its right to convert, following conversion the shares are immediately locked-up and may not be disposed of for a period of two years from the date of conversion. l

CPD study: 60% entrepreneurs agree money laundering taking place through banking system n Tribune Report More than 60% large entrepreneurs strongly agreed that money laundering was taking place through formal banking system in Bangladesh extensively, according to a Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) survey. Nearly 61% entrepreneurs feared that the investment environment could deteriorate further in coming days, said the survey made between January and April this year. They (entrepreneurs) also mentioned that corruption, inadequate infrastructure, inefficient government bureaucracy, government instability and limited access to financing are the major impediments towards private investment. CPD research fellow Towfiqul Islam Khan presented the survey report at a media briefing on State of the Bangladesh Economy in

FY2014-15 (Third Reading) as part of CPD’s Independent Review of Bangladesh’s Development (IRBD) programme in the city yesterday. Given the high interest on lending charged by the domestic banking sector, over 53% supported allowing foreign loans for private investment to a great extent. The survey also revealed that 67.8% respondents possessed a rather pessimistic view as regards the ongoing initiatives to improve infrastructure in Bangladesh and 76.7% expressed doubt over the prospects of timely implementation of infrastructure projects. “Much of the capital flight might occur through under-invoicing of capital machinery and those items with zero duty,” said CPD Executive Director Professor Mustafizur Rahman. After analysing import shipment data of 30 items for July-March, the CPD like previ-

ous year indicated that the possibility of illicit financial flow through import of capital machinery was taking place. It found that growth payments jumped abnormally 23% against capital machinery import during the first nine months of the current fiscal year. This rise in imports of capital machinery failed to reflect in private investment, which is still perceived to be stagnating, it said. The survey was also identified that 30 import items valued more than Tk100 crore witnessed 100% growth during the period. More precisely, four of the items in categories of aero-

planes and other aircraft, compression-ignition internal combustion piston engines, and machines for treating metal including electric wire and transformers, showed very high growth in their value, it said. l




Faster than China? India’s road, rail drive could lay doubts to rest n Reuters, New Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reformist, but hard-up government has begun a splurge on road and rail building that analysts say could remove doubts over whether economic growth in India really is overtaking China. Having roughly doubled spending allocations for roads and bridges in fiscal 2015/16, and raised the rail budget by a third, Modi is banking on India going faster. “They have acknowledged that infrastructure is the big elephant in the room,” said Vinayak Chatterjee, head of infrastructure services company Feedback Infra. “Once these measures are implemented, the elephant would start dancing, and with it the overall economy.” Modi’s chief economic advisor, Arvind Subramanian, reckons growth could increase by more than one percentage point this year provided ministries don’t underspend, though the central bank saw it adding just half a point. Data released on Friday showed the economy grew 7.5% in the quarter ending in March, easily outpacing China. Many economists suspect, however, that the government statisticians’ new way of counting GDP overstates how well India is doing. Those worries might fade if Subramanian is right about the impact infrastructure spending will have on India’s under-achieving economy. Success rests on whether ministries spend the extra $11bn they were allocated for infrastructure this fiscal year. They got off to a fast start in April, spending $6bn of the $38bn capital expenditure budget for 2015/16.

Stepping up

The government has prioritised unblocking infrastructure projects that had gathered dust because of either an obstructive bureaucracy, a lack of private sector investment, or in some cases public interest litigation. Weighed down with heavy debt, and having posted their worst results in five years, big Indian corporates are in little rush to make fresh investments, while public sector banks may require recapitalisation before they are

India state files case against Nestle for noodles lead recall n AFP, New Delhi

Workers stand on a crane at the construction site of a residential complex in Mumbai, India ready to lend the sums needed. That has made the government step up to the plate. Take Delhi’s Eastern Peripheral Expressway, for example. Part of a six-lane ring-road for the capital, the project was first mooted nine years ago but failed to attract private bidders. Unwilling to wait any longer, the road ministry intends spending almost $1bn building the 135 kilometre loop. Last month, the cabinet approved a policy that will provide private developers with a $470m bailout in order to complete 16 highways. The government has also put $3bn of seed capital into a new infrastructure fund, with the hope of attracting up to $30bn of private money. Some rules have been eased for the private sector, and financially stressed companies are now allowed to exit projects. And in future, public tenders will only be launched after all approvals have been secured - addressing a major reason why so


many projects stalled. As a result the government hopes road building will accelerate to 30 km a day by the end of next year from 12 km at present, as it plans to award projects for 10,000 km of road this year, up 25% from a year earlier. Some bureaucrats suspect that the government has underestimated how much money is needed. Planned road projects alone will cost $17bn this year compared with a budget allocation of about $7bn. To cover most of the gap, the road ministry plans to raise a $7bn loan. “We don’t have enough money to build all these roads,” Rohit Kumar Singh, a mid-level bureaucrat at the ministry, told Reuters. “We need to leverage private sector funding.” A clear, consistent policy on tolls needs to be put in place for the private sector to become more active, Virendra Mhaiskar, managing director of IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd, one of India’s largest road builders, told Reuters. “You have to create an environment where investors and lenders can make a return,” Mhaiskar said. l

Authorities in a north Indian state have filed a criminal case against Nestle India after finding dangerous levels of lead in a batch of Maggi noodles, an official said Sunday. The Food Safety and Drug Administration (FDA) in northern Uttar Pradesh state has said high lead levels were found during routine tests in two dozen packets of instant noodles, along with flavour enhancer MSG, in March. The FDA earlier this month ordered the company to recall the batch from stores in the state. Vijay Bahadur, the state’s deputy food safety commissioner, said the case was lodged on Saturday in a local magistrate’s court against Nestle India for using misleading packaging and manufacturing potentially harmful products. “We have filed a case against Nestle India and the store owner for manufacturing and selling the harmful product,” Bahadur told AFP. He said the company faced a fine and officials a possible jail term if the court went ahead with a hearing and found them guilty of breaching the national Food Safety and Standards Act. Officials of Nestle India, a subsidiary of Swiss-based Nestle, have been asked to appear before the court on July 1, he said. Nestle India, which sells a vast number of products in India including two-minute noodles, has rejected the FDA’s findings and has been conducting its own tests of the batch. “We will share our results with authorities and continue to collaborate fully with them to bring this matter to a conclusion,” the company said in a statement on Friday. It said it did not use MSG or monosodium glutamate in its Maggi products sold in India. The company could not be immediately contacted for comment over the case. A lawyer has also lodged a case against three Bollywood actors, including megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who advertise Maggi noodles, claiming they were endorsing a harmful product and misleading the public. l

China manufacturing index at six-month high but strains remain n AFP, Beijing China’s official manufacturing index hit a six-month high in May but the industry still faces multiple strains, the government said yesterday, while a closely watched private survey pointed to continued deterioration as the world’s second-largest economy battles a broad slowdown. The Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) came in at 50.2 for May, the strongest since 50.3 in November and the third consecutive month of expansion. The index, which tracks activity in factories and workshops, is seen as a key barometer of the country’s economic health. A figure above 50 signals growth, while anything be-

low indicates contraction. Despite the improvement in the headline figure, Zhao Qinghe, a senior analyst with the NBS, cautioned that it remained at a “relatively low level” and that industry is still “under rather big downward pressures”. “The survey result showed that companies are still beset with strapped finances, insufficient market demand and rising labour costs,” Zhao said in a separate statement released by the NBS. Sub-indexes covering production and new orders both expanded, while those for employment and raw material inventory remained below the break-even point, according to the NBS. A separate survey by British banking giant HSBC was more pessimistic, with its final PMI

reading standing at 49.2 in May for the third straight month of contraction. Compared with the official reading, the HSBC survey uses a smaller sample. According to the survey, production contracted for the first time in 2015 partly due to a fall in new export work, which was the sharpest in two years, according to the bank’s statement. “The headline PMI signalled a further deterioration in the health of China’s manufacturing sector in May,” said Annabel Fiddes, an economist at Markit, the information services provider that compiles the index, said in the statement. Softening demand, falling output, sustained job cuts, ongoing destocking activities and reduced purchasing activity all suggest

that the sector may “remain in contractionary territory as we head into mid-year”, she said. “More stimulus measures may be required to help boost domestic demand and recover some growth momentum,” she added. China’s gross domestic product expanded 7.4% last year, the slowest since 1990. Growth weakened further to 7% in the January-March period, the worst quarterly result in six years. The frailty looks to have extended into the current second quarter after indicators for April such as trade and industrial output came in weaker than expected. Authorities have taken a series of steps to stimulate the economy, including three interest rate cuts since November and two reductions in the amount of cash banks must keep in reserve, in a bid to boost lending. l




OPEC likely to keep output unchanged at June 5 meeting n Reuters, Vienna OPEC is likely to keep its output target unchanged when it meets on Friday because the global oil market appears to be in good shape and prices are expected to firm up from current levels, a senior Gulf OPEC delegate told Reuters. Two more OPEC delegates said they expect no change in policy on June 5 when oil ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are scheduled to meet in Vienna. Oil prices have rallied after falling to a near six-year low close to $45 a barrel in January due to a global glut. Brent crude settled at $65.56 on Friday, up $2.98, or 4.8%, on the day. “It is unlikely that OPEC will make a decision regarding its production ceiling for two reasons: the first one that Russia and other non-OPEC producers have expressed their non-desire to cooperate in any idea of a production cut,” the Gulf delegate said on Sunday. “And the second one is that the market is firming up. Prices are expected to continue at

current levels and most likely will go higher. Demand is also strong and the inventories are balanced. The market seems to be in good shape,” the delegate said. Crude oil inventories are above the fiveyear average but oil products stocks are within the five-year average, the delegate added. “At the end, of course the final decision will be made by the ministers when they meet,” the senior Gulf delegate added. Two officials from other OPEC producers made similar remarks. “I don’t think there will be any changes,” said an official from an African OPEC member, referring to OPEC’s output policy decision on June 5.

Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi talks to journalists before a meeting of OPEC oil ministers at OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna REUTERS

Dollar steady in Asia n AFP, Tokyo The dollar was steady on yesterday despite a first-quarter contraction in the US economy as investors look for clues of a pickup that would justify an interest rate hike this year. In Tokyo midday trading, the greenback bought 124.15 yen, slightly up from 124.12 yen in New York on Friday, but well off the 12-year high of 124.46 yen touched last week. Investors are now waiting for US jobs data for a clue about the state of the world’s top economy, after revised data Friday showed it contracted 0.7% in the first three months of the year. “Traders will look at this week’s data with a little bit of caution, but the main thing is if the euro is losing ground, naturally you find the US dollar tends to benefit from that,” Stan Shamu, a markets strategist IG Ltd., told Bloomberg News. “Traders will probably stay

long heading into payrolls data.” The euro weakened to $1.0950 and 135.95 yen, from $1.0991 and 136.42 yen in New York, as Greece’s bailout talks drag on with the cashstrapped country facing a debt repayment deadline on June 5. Time is running out for Greece to reach a deal with its international creditors to unlock 7.2bn euros in bailout cash. There are fears that if it defaults the country could end up leaving the eurozone. Athens’ debt crisis dominated a three-day meeting of Group of Seven finance ministers in Germany, where Greece and its European partners came under pressure to end a crisis that has rattled the the global economy. “There’s a lot of uncertainty on that front and traders just aren’t willing to take the risk,” Shamu said, referring to a

“Prices ... are within $60-$65, at least they are improving from where they were at before,” another Gulf OPEC delegate said. “There is still an oversupply in the market, but the oversupply is less than what it was in November.” OPEC refused to cut output to shore up prices at its last meeting in November despite the glut, seeking to defend market share

against higher-cost producers such as the United States. It left its output target at 30 million barrels per day. The decision exacerbated the price fall from as high as $115 in June 2014. However, early signs of slowing production in the United States and higher-than-expected growth in demand have helped drive the rally in prices from January’s low. l










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Fed’s Fischer warns against complacency on financial crisis risks n Reuters, Toronto Financial regulators need to be on guard against the threat of future financial crises, particularly as banks boost pressure to roll back rules designed to shore up the financial system, a top Federal Reserve official said yesterday. “Regulations have been strengthened and the bankers’ backlash is both evident and making headway,” Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said at the International Monetary Conference in Toronto. “But often when bankers complain about regulations, they give the impression that financial crises are now a thing of the past, and furthermore in many cases, that they played no role in the previous crisis.” Neither is the case, said Fischer, who in his prepared remarks outlined the lessons he has learned from decades as a crisis-fighter in various global policymaking roles. He did not address the current stance of monetary policy or the state of the economy. Bond-buying, he said, can effectively stimulate the economy when central banks have already knocked interest rates down to zero, Fischer said. Central banks have also learned they can reduce interest rates even below zero, previously thought to be an impossibility. But with extraordinary stimulus also comes the risk of potential financial instability, many economists have observed, and indeed even some Fed policymakers have cited financial stability risks as a main reason to begin raising rates sooner than later. Fischer did not take that view, although he did say that monetary policy should not be ruled out to fight bubbles because it is not

clear that regulators have all the tools they need to otherwise prevent crises. Most strongly Fischer warned against

Oil prices fall as OPEC output seen staying high

Expert views on India’s economy growing 7.5% in Jan-March

n Reuters, Singapore

n Reuters, Mumbai

Crude oil prices dipped early yesterday on expectations OPEC output would remain high after rising in May, stoking worries of oversupply despite declining US rig operations. Crude oil prices jumped almost 5% on Friday, their biggest rally in over a month, as a bigger than expected drop in US oil rigs in operation set off a renewed rush of bullish bets. But prices eased yesterday due to near-record production in most oil-producing regions, especially the Middle East. Front-month Brent crude futures LCOc1 had fallen 51 cents to $65.05 (43 pounds) per barrel at 0129 GMT (2:29 am) on Monday. US crude futures CLc1 were down 52 cents at $59.78 a barrel. Oil output by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) likely hit a two-and-a-half year high of 31.22 million barrels per day (bpd) in May and production is not expected to be cut during a meeting of the group this Friday. US bank Morgan Stanley said that prices could fall in the second half of the year, although it said it was unlikely they would drop back to their six-year lows from January. l

India’s economic growth accelerated to 7.5% in the three months through March from a year earlier, while the annual October-December growth was revised to 6.6 percent from the previously reported 7.5%, according to government data on Friday. Below are comments from analysts on the data:

US Federal Reserve Vice Chair Stanley Fischer addresses The Economic Club of New York in New York

Dk joshi, chief economist, crisil, mumbai

“There is some disconnect between the GDP numbers and the situation on the ground. “I think there are methodological issues. That is why there is a variance between the volume indicators available at the ground level and value indicators which are being increasingly used in the computation of the GDP. “It will take us some time to understand that. These numbers should not influence the central bank. “We expect the central banks to cut rates by 25 bps on June 2.”

Radhika rao, economist, dbs, singapore

“The RBI Governor has highlighted his reservations on the new data series. “Hence policy makers are likely to infer the growth momentum from other lead indicators like industrial

thinking the problems are in hand. “We should not make the mistake of believing that we have put an end to financial

production, non-oil non-gold imports, and PMIs (purchasing managers indexes). The common undercurrents there are that a recovery is taking place, but it has been a very gradual process. “To that extent, the recovery trend will be interpreted as modestly positive and not as strong as the new headline GDP seems to suggest. We reckon Tuesday’s rate cut is still on the table.

Abhishek upadhyay, economist, icici securities primary dealership ltd, mumbai

“This data is based on value-added, so it is difficult to feel and correlate with what is happening to high frequency data like credit growth, rural and urban wages and passenger car sales, which are all still weak. “RBI will have to feel its way in the economy to get an idea about prices and be confident about their inflation projection. We expect the RBI to cut the repo rate by 25 basis points.”

Shilan shah, india economist, capital economics, london

“At face value, today’s GDP figures for (January-March) suggest that India is the fastest-growing major economy in the world. In reality though, the GDP data remain wildly


crises,” he said. “One reason we should worry about future crises is that successful reforms can breed complacency about risks.” l

inconsistent with numerous other indicators that point to continued slack in the economy. “The big picture is that the official GDP data are overstating the strength of the economy, most probably by a significant margin. “The Reserve Bank (of India) appears to be putting more emphasis on indicators such as capacity utilisation, bank lending, sales of consumer goods and core inflation in policy decisions. On these measures, the case for further policy loosening remains strong.

Shubhada rao, chief economist, yes bank, mumbai

“The downward revision in Q3 suggests some loss of momentum began in the second half of FY2015. “The GVA (gross value added), however, has a different story to tell, showing a marked sequential slowdown from Q2 onwards, implying that larger growth has come on account of net taxes on products. “Agriculture, electricity, construction, finance and public services sectors have slowed in the last quarter. “Worries of disconnect persist. High frequency data suggests a larger slowdown in Q4 and not in Q3. We continue to rely on high frequency indicators. Challenges remain for understanding the deviations”. l




News, analysis and recent disclosures ISNLTD: No dividend, AGM: 28.06.2015, Record date: 16.06.2015. PURABIGEN: 15% stock dividend, AGM: 30.07.2015, Record date: 07.06.2015. JANATAINS: 10% stock dividend, AGM: 25.07.2015, Record Date: 21.05.2015. AMBEEPHA: 28% cash dividend, AGM: 14.06.2015, Record Date: 25.05.2015. ISLAMIINS: 5% cash and 10% stock, AGM: 13.06.2015, Record Date: 19.05.2015. NCCBANK: 10% stock dividend, AGM: 24.06.2015, Record Date: 18.05.2015. PEOPLESINS: 13% cash dividend, AGM: 09.06.2015, Record Date: 18.05.2015. LEGACYFOOT: 5% stock, AGM: 13.06.2015, Record Date: 14.05.2015. UNIQUEHRL: 20% cash dividend, AGM: 25.06.2015, Record Date: 24.05.2015. WATACHEM: 5% cash and 25% stock dividend, AGM: 11.06.2015, Record Date: 14.05.2015. ARAMITCEM: 10% cash dividend, AGM: 13.06.2015, Record Date: 13.05.2015. GOLDENSON: 12.50% cash dividend, AGM: 27.06.2015, Record Date: 14.05.2015. GQBALLPEN: 10% cash dividend, AGM: 25.06.2015, Record Date: 14.05.2015. SUMITPOWER: 10% cash and 5% stock dividend, AGM: 28.06.2014, Record Date: 17.05.2015. SPPCL: 25% cash dividend, AGM: 28.06.2015. Record Date: 17.05.2015.

Olympic Accessories Ltd.: All concerned are hereby informed that the Refund Warrants & Allotment Letters of the shares of Olympic Accessories Ltd. have been distributed as follows: 691,247 no. of application through online distribution, 725,347 no. of applications through Hand Delivery and 8,297 no. of applications through Courier Service. The undelivered Refund Warrants & Allotment Letters have been dispatched on 28 May 2015 through Bangla Courier Service Ltd., Vision Express Ltd., R. M. Courier, Top Express, Continent Express, Ekushe Express, Somoy Express Ltd. and Faith Courier Service Ltd. for delivery to the respective applicants. IPO Subscription: Aman Feed Limited Subscription 25.05.2015 TO 04.06.2015. Offer Price per share Tk. 36.00, Market Lot (Shares) 200. Dividend/AGM DELTALIFE: 20% cash dividend, AGM: 21.06.2015, Record Date: 02.06.2015. FAMILYTEX: 10% stock dividend,EGM & AGM: 07.08.2015, Record Date: 09.07.2015. KPCL: 40% cash, AGM: 25.06.2015, Record Date: 31.05.2015. BDWELDING: 5% stock dividend AGM: 25.06.2015, Record Date: 09.06.2015. NBL: 10% stock dividend, AGM: 14.09.2015, Record date: 30.08.2015. ORIONPHARM: 15% cash dividend, AGM: 28.06.2015, Record Date: 21.05.2015.

Turnover (Volume) Number of Contract

Company Orion Pharma-N Union Capital -A Golden Son -A National Housing Fin.-B MeghnaCement -A GPH Ispat Ltd-A ICB AMCL 1st NRB -A BD Fixed Income MF-A Rupali Bank - A Marico BD Ltd-A

Closing (% Change) 9.87 8.16 7.28 6.81 6.78 6.67 6.63 6.45 6.37 6.15

CSE GAINER Company Aziz PipesZ Orion Pharma-N Prime Textile -A Rupali Bank - A Golden Son -A Union Capital -A GPH Ispat Ltd-A Shurwid Ind. -N Eastern Cables-A Marico BD Ltd-A

Closing (% Change) 9.93 9.64 9.09 8.41 8.31 8.22 7.42 7.05 6.67 5.92

DSE LOSER Company Savar Refractories-Z BSRM Ltd. -N Imam Button -Z ACI Formulations-A Standard Insurance-A FAR Chemical-N SAIF Powertec-N 5th ICB M F-A S Purbanchol Power-N SummitAlliancePort.-A

Closing (% Change) -9.44 -7.62 -7.45 -6.59 -6.31 -6.20 -6.00 -5.26 -4.80 -4.56

CSE LOSER Company Rupali InsurA Anwar Galvanizing-B Imam Button -Z SAIF Powertec-N ICB AMCL 1st NRB -A ACI Formulations-A Reliance1 M.F.-A FAR Chemical-N Rupali Life Insur.-B BSRM Steels-A

Closing (% Change) -9.23 -8.75 -8.16 -7.20 -7.14 -7.12 -6.67 -6.23 -5.39 -4.98


DSE key features June 1, 2015 Turnover (Million Taka)



10,023.39 236,141,627 182,751

Traded Issues


Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)


Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)


Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)


Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)


Bank NBFI Investment Engineering Food & Allied Fuel & Power Jute Textile Pharma & Chemical Paper & Packaging Service Leather Ceramic Cement Information Technology General Insurance Life Insurance Telecom Travel & Leisure Miscellaneous Debenture

DSE Million Taka 580.34 281.96 35.28 1466.58 161.07 2712.54 1.17 617.09 1603.90 14.29 453.53 19.45 196.36 282.87 257.63 29.79 102.41 559.96 234.49 411.44 1.22

% change 5.79 2.81 0.35 14.63 1.61 27.06 0.01 6.16 16.00 0.14 4.52 0.19 1.96 2.82 2.57 0.30 1.02 5.59 2.34 4.10 0.01

Million Taka 31.08 25.98 2.31 150.76 8.89 201.99 44.99 94.94 1.71 22.35 0.99 12.52 20.78 22.91 0.45 8.55 43.59 22.67 49.77 0.00

Average (% Change) 8.83 7.45 9.09 4.10 4.75 6.50 (4.20) 5.60 6.30 3.96

Average (% Change) 9.93 8.84 8.59 8.41 9.30 5.40 4.84 6.18 6.67 5.92

Average (% Change) -9.44 0.83 0.98 -3.33 -6.45 -4.51 0.75 -5.26 -0.62 -3.06

Average (% Change) -6.56 -8.75 -4.80 -1.35 -7.23 -4.23 -6.67 -4.52 -1.34 -0.34


ClosingAvg. 41.91 15.86 33.74 24.60 112.19 48.01 19.39 6.60 50.09 1,304.35

ClosingAvg. 16.60 41.85 15.55 49.00 33.95 15.41 47.65 24.41 120.00 1313.43

ClosingAvg. 47.00 79.79 9.26 244.37 19.29 50.43 91.93 180.00 66.07 67.22


% change 4.05 3.39 0.30 19.65 1.16 26.33 0.00 5.86 12.37 0.22 2.91 0.13 1.63 2.71 2.99 0.06 1.11 5.68 2.96 6.49 0.00

18.22 36.50 9.33 90.32 19.50 243.48 7.00 50.25 39.65 78.65

Closing 42.30 15.90 33.90 25.10 113.40 48.00 19.30 6.60 50.10 1,329.90

Closing 16.60 42.10 15.60 49.00 33.90 15.80 47.80 24.30 120.00 1313.40

Closing 47.00 76.40 8.70 238.20 19.30 48.40 87.70 180.00 63.50 64.90

Closing 17.70 36.50 9.00 86.30 19.50 237.30 7.00 48.20 38.60 76.40

Million Taka 611.43 307.94 37.59 1617.33 169.97 2914.53 1.17 662.08 1698.84 16.00 475.88 20.45 208.88 303.64 280.54 30.25 110.96 603.55 257.17 461.21 1.23

DHIGH 42.30 16.10 34.60 25.40 114.00 49.50 19.90 6.60 50.50 1,331.10

DHIGH 16.60 42.20 15.60 49.00 34.40 15.90 48.90 24.90 120.00 1317.50


DLOW 38.70 14.80 31.90 23.70 108.20 46.00 18.20 6.60 49.00 1,278.00

DLOW 16.60 39.40 15.50 49.00 32.00 14.70 46.30 23.50 120.00 1300.00


47.00 84.80 10.10 255.00 19.50 53.20 95.20 180.00 68.80 70.00


47.00 74.50 8.60 235.30 18.70 48.00 85.10 180.00 62.80 64.50


19.00 36.50 9.90 95.50 19.60 255.00 7.00 53.70 41.90 82.90


17.70 36.50 8.90 84.30 19.50 233.30 7.00 48.00 37.00 76.00

% change 5.67 2.85 0.35 14.99 1.58 27.01 0.01 6.14 15.74 0.15 4.41 0.19 1.94 2.81 2.60 0.28 1.03 5.59 2.38 4.27 0.01

Prepared exclusively for Dhaka Tribune by Business Information Automation Service Line (BIASL), on the basis of information collected from daily stock quotations and audited reports of the listed companies. High level of caution has been taken to collect and present the above information and data. The publisher will not take any responsibility if any body uses this information and data for his/her investment decision. For any query please email to biasl@bol-online.com or call 01552153562 or go to www.biasl.net

Turnover in Million

Latest EPS

130.993 8.128 80.257 2.884 23.804 33.772 0.737 0.001 0.407 12.365

Turnover in Million

5.64 0.60 1.20 1.32 8.52 2.52 2.61 0.51 5.84 42.69

Latest EPS

0.001 7.448 0.031 0.007 11.908 0.409 3.482 3.601 0.012 0.177

Turnover in Million

7.4 26.4 28.1 18.6 13.2 19.1 7.4 12.9 8.6 30.6

Latest PE

-2.64 5.64 0.99 5.84 1.20 0.60 2.52 0.53 1.12 42.69

Latest EPS

0.002 116.597 0.213 176.991 0.181 128.840 246.919 0.018 236.152 174.604

Turnover in Million

Latest PE

-ve 7.4 15.7 8.4 28.3 25.7 18.9 46.1 107.1 30.8

Latest PE

-0.64 0.73 -1.21 6.80 2.88 3.23 2.69 15.37 5.92 1.00

Latest EPS

0.046 0.007 0.172 9.628 0.018 5.337 0.142 17.565 0.561 4.232

-ve 109.3 -ve 35.9 6.7 15.6 34.2 11.7 11.2 67.2

Latest PE

2.60 0.68 -1.21 2.69 2.61 6.80 0.62 3.23 5.33 3.56

7.0 53.7 -ve 33.6 7.5 35.8 11.3 15.6 7.4 22.1

CSE key features June 1, 2015 Turnover (Million Taka) Turnover (Volume) Number of Contract

767.24 21,117,819 29,380

Traded Issues


Issue Gain (Avg. Price Basis)


Issue Loss (Avg. Price Basis)


Unchanged Issue (Avg. Price Basis)


Market Capital Equity (Billion. Tk.)


Market Capital Equity (Billion US$)





DSE turnover crosses Tk1,000 crore n Tribune Report

DSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Khulna Power-A Summit Power -A Grameenphone-A BEXIMCO Ltd. -A Square Pharma -A SAIF Powertec-N Baraka Power-A S Purbanchol Power-N United Power-N LafargeS Cement-Z

MJL BD Ltd.-A RAK Ceramics-A BD Building Systems -A WesternMarine -N ACI Formulations-A

VolumeShares 11,747,989 11,084,546 1,200,880 9,095,713 1,151,457 2,685,920 6,259,288 3,574,345 1,168,128 1,580,236

Value in Million 1027.84 485.80 394.85 330.65 283.86 246.92 237.17 236.15 217.83 192.06

% of TotalTurnover 10.25 4.85 3.94 3.30 2.83 2.46 2.37 2.36 2.17 1.92


Value in Million

% of TotalTurnover

1,574,522 2,290,397 3,448,763 3,526,115 724,270

CSE TURNOVER LEADERS Company Khulna Power-A Summit Power -A BEXIMCO Ltd. -A WesternMarine -N BSRM Ltd. -N BD Submarine Cable-A MJL BD Ltd.-A United Power-N UNITED AIR-A FAR Chemical-N

Grameenphone-A LafargeS Cement-Z Keya Cosmetics -A Appollo Ispat CL -N Baraka Power-A

682,000 1,004,561 1,155,711 678,985 350,885 165,468 222,280 125,307 2,121,496 349,573

51,296 136,230 729,217 770,546 408,269

181.20 180.83 179.34 177.14 176.99

59.44 44.19 41.53 34.00 27.84 26.66 25.72 23.31 19.66 17.57

16.92 16.80 16.37 15.47 15.38

1.81 1.80 1.79 1.77 1.77

7.75 5.76 5.41 4.43 3.63 3.48 3.35 3.04 2.56 2.29

2.21 2.19 2.13 2.02 2.00

ClosingP 84.50 42.80 325.90 35.30 244.70 87.70 36.80 63.50 182.30 121.90

113.30 77.10 50.60 48.70 238.20


Change % 0.12 5.16 0.74 -2.75 -0.77 -6.00 -0.27 -4.80 -0.60 4.19

-1.56 -3.99 0.00 -4.13 -6.59

Change %

83.30 43.10 34.70 48.60 76.20 158.30 113.20 182.20 9.10 48.20

327.20 123.40 21.60 19.80 36.80

-1.30 5.64 -3.61 -4.14 -7.19 -1.86 -1.57 -0.49 -4.21 -6.23

0.80 4.14 -3.14 1.54 -0.54

ClosingY 84.40 40.70 323.50 36.30 246.60 93.30 36.90 66.70 183.40 117.00

115.10 80.30 50.60 50.80 255.00


84.40 40.80 36.00 50.70 82.10 161.30 115.00 183.10 9.50 51.40

324.60 118.50 22.30 19.50 37.00

DHIGH 92.50 44.70 333.40 37.30 248.80 95.20 38.90 68.80 193.00 124.00

118.00 81.20 53.90 52.00 255.00


92.50 44.80 37.30 51.70 84.40 165.70 118.00 192.00 9.70 53.70

333.30 125.00 23.10 20.60 38.70

DLOW 83.30 42.10 323.20 34.80 244.00 85.10 36.50 62.80 180.70 118.00

112.40 76.20 50.10 48.30 235.30


81.00 42.60 34.20 48.10 75.00 156.00 112.00 181.00 9.10 48.00

324.10 120.00 21.40 19.50 36.50

AvgPrice 87.49 43.83 328.80 36.35 246.52 91.93 37.89 66.07 186.47 121.54

115.08 78.95 52.00 50.24 244.37


87.16 43.99 35.93 50.08 79.34 161.14 115.69 186.02 9.27 50.25

329.91 123.30 22.45 20.08 37.67

Daily capital market highlights DSE Broad Index : DSE - 30 Index : CSE All Share Index: CSE - 30 Index : CSE Selected Index :


(+) 0.80%


(+) 0.45%


(+) 0.40%


(+) 0.41%


(+) 0.18%

▲ ▲ ▲ ▲ ▲

The Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) turnover crossed Tk1,000 crore-mark after more than seven months as investors poured funds ahead of annual budget to be announced on June 4. Stock prices also continued to rally for the second consecutive session, led by non-aromatic banking financial institutions, bank, cement, and food and allied, which gained more than 2% each. The benchmark index of Dhaka Stock Exchange, DSEX, rose 36 points or 0.8% to finish at 4,623. The Shariah Index DSES was up 6 points or 0.6% to 1,118. The comprising blue chips DS30 gained 8 points or 0.5% to 1,765. Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) Selective Categories Index, CSCX, ended at 8,669 with a rise of 15 points. Trading activities continued to grow robust at the DSE as its turnover stood at Tk1,000 crore, up more than 27% over the previous session and highest since October 14 last year. Lanka Bangla Securities said stocks extended the rally on the opening day of the month of budget announcement.

As budget news rained down on the stock market, bulls staged to break out upside, it said. IDLC Investments said trade began with high hopes where index added more than 75 points in the morning hour before fading to only 36 points.

Stocks extended the rally on the opening day of the month of budget announcement “This pattern might also be interpreted as large investors are realising some gains before sector reallocation.” Engineering, IT and stocks were the negative performers. Top turnover was dominated by energy stocks where five out of ten came from this sector. Khulna Power Company Limited topped the turnover list followed by Summit Power, Grameenphone, Beximco Limited, Saif Powertech and Baraka Power. l


Trade began with high hopes where index added more than 75 points in the morning hour before fading to only 36 points




Citycell continues to lose subscribers n Tribune Report

Bangladesh’s oldest mobile phone operator Citycell continues to see loss of subscribers as the company is apparently doing nothing to boost services. The operator witnessed loss of around 2 lakh subscribers in last one year (April 2014 to April 2015), according to the latest statistics of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).

Citycell service quality has deteriorated, which leads to loss of its market share

CPD holds a media briefing on Independent Review of Bangladesh’s Development programme yesterday at CIRDAP in the city


CPD: Statistical mismatch deteriorates fiscal planning n Tribune Report A marked difference in statistics among government key agencies concerned has deteriorated the quality of fiscal planning over the last four years, says Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) yesterday. Resultantly, targets of fiscal framework of all indicators, including revenue mobilisation, public expenditure and deficit financing, remained largely unattained, it said in a media briefing on the upcoming national budget and state of the economy in the city. “Gap between fiscal plan and its implementation is increasingly widening just because of confusing statistics,” said CPD distinguished fellow Debapriya Bhattacharya. He said there is a gross mismatch between the NBR and the Finance Ministry data failing to gauge true picture of the economy. There is a growing concern over the quality of term loan data as loans against trust receipts were also often accounted under the term loan, he said. Paddy farmers fail to get fair prices of their produces due to insufficient rice production data, he said. CPD research fellow Towfiqul Islam Khan in his presentation paper said Bangladesh has become self-sufficient in rice production. However, in recent years, it is also observed that Bangladesh has been importing significant amount of rice, particularly from India, despite demand-supply miscalculation. “The accurate measurement of demand-supply gap of food grains has become elusive for the policymakers since available

estimates based on Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics data do not conform to the reality on the ground.” CPD said the weakest link among all the indicators is net foreign borrowing.

‘If there is any law about it, revenue income will be increased and transparency will be established’ According to the CPD, fiscal gap of total expenditure increased to abnormally 15.4% in fiscal year 2014 from 9.2% of GDP in fiscal year 2013, and likewise during the period, ADP to 13.9% from 9%, total revenue to 16.2% from 8.3%, NBR revenue to 18.1% from 8%, deficit to 13.1% from 11.9%, net foreign borrowing to 76.7% from 50.4% and net domestic borrowing fell to 12.3% from positive 4.4%. Fiscal gap is calculated as budget figures minus actual figures compiling data from the Ministry of Finance. To come out of 6% growth cycle, Debapriya said a big push is needed for institutional reform. “But nothing is sustainable without political settlement as we can gain experience from neighbouring country India and Latin America where national consensus existed,” he said, terming the outgoing fiscal year a dem-

ocratic discomfort year. The civil society think tank opined that the country may break its stagnant growth, taking the advantages of lower inflation, declining interest rate, stable exchange rate, manageable fiscal deficit, positive balance of payment, foreign exchange reserve and low level of global commodity prices. The think tanks recommended forming five independent commissions for statistics, agriculture price, local government financing, public expenditure review and financial sector reform towards better macroeconomic management. It also advocated for expediting the reform agendas such as public services act, PPP act, privatisation, financial reporting act and others, which remain stalled. The CPD distinguished fellow also urged the government to formulate a law regarding untaxed money. “If there is any law about it, revenue income will be increased and transparency will be established.” About the “fast tracked projects”, the CPD said out of six projects, four are on track and would be successful while the status of another two is conditional. CPD Executive Director Mustafizur Rahman laid emphasis on increasing investment and productivity to attain the goal of ‘Vision 2021’ envisaged by the government, as the country is still far behind attaining the desired GDP growth. “Good governance, strengthening local government and infrastructure development are also important to accelerate the growth.” l

Presently, the number of Citycell subscribers stood at 12.30 lakh, reducing from 14.25 lakh in April last year. On the contrary, most of the mobile phone operators of country are enjoying increase of subscribers with Grameenphone leading the market. The number of Grameenphone subscribers is 5.23 crore. During the period, Banglalink’s subscribers inched up to 1 lakh, Robi 2.66 crore, Airtel 83.51 lakh and the only state-owned operator Teletalk 40.96 lakh. “Citycell service quality has deteriorated, which leads to loss of its market share. If the trend continuous, the operator will face drastic fall in the number of subscribers in a year,” said a BTRC official. The operator lost 16,000 subscribers in April from March, he said. Citycell CEO Mehboob Chowdhury could not be reached despite several attempts. Citycell is the only CDMA network operator in the country. It is currently owned by Singtel with 45% stake and the remaining 55% is owned by the Pacific Group and Far East Telecom. l

Job portal Everjobs launched n Tribune Report

Everjobs, the fastest growing job portal in emerging markets, launched operations in Bangladesh yesterday at a ceremony in the city, Everjobs.com.bd said in a statement. The job portal specialises in simplifying job-search and recruitment process by connecting job seekers with prospective employers in a matter of clicks. Everjobs successfully launched its first operations in Myanmar with work.com.mm, which was the first job portal in the country and continues to be the most popular. In Sri Lanka, it launched a website – everjobs.lk – with more than 1,000 job listings. Everjobs Bangladesh kicked off in large scale, with over 2,000 career opportunities overall. Gijs Verheijke, managing director of Everjobs, Bangladesh, emphasised the immense potential of the market. “Bangladesh has enormous potential as one of the largest growth markets in the world. We believe that with our simple interface and mobile-friendly site we can help increase the transparency of job market in this country and provide higher quality service to job seekers and companies.” l





Digital delight PHOTO: BIGSTOCK


26 event

4th Bangladesh Fashion Carnival will begin on 3rd June 2015

As Ramadan rolls closer, the second fashion season kicks off in the country. What better way to usher in the hot new collections than with an all-out expo? The 4th Bangladesh Fashion Carnival aims to do just that, by bringing in some of the hottest names and brands in the industry all under one roof, for one week of sizzling style .

28 gaming

Taking the Hard Line There’s your war-themed RPG game, and there is your fast-cars and crime-lords packed GTA series. And then there is Hardline, an unbelievably realistic new gaming experience, taking you straight into the action-packed war between the cops and the criminals, and sometimes there’s a very fine line.

26 news

BRAC goes theatrical



Wake up! Selfie time software

Browse like the Russians






4th Bangladesh Fashion Carnival will begin on 3rd June 2015

A five-day international exhibition of branded clothing and fashion products will begin on June 3, 2015 at Emmanuell’s Banquet Hall at Gulshan-1 in the city. Over 45 companies from home and abroad are participating in this exhibition titled, 4th Bangladesh Fashion Carnival 2015, the fourth of its kind and will run until the 7th of June. Redcarpet365 Ltd and Freelancerz, an event management firm, is organizing the event with the theme ‘Do Your Eid Shopping with Us’. One of the organisers, Ahmed Imtiaz, said this exhibition will encourage local

manufacturers and producers to export their goods in foreign markets, giving a big boost to the country’s export earnings. GulAhmed is the Global Brand of this expo, with their exclusive collection of Original Lawn. Dhaka Tribune is the Print Media Partner for this event, Radio Aamar 88.4fm is the radio partner, SA TV is the broadcast partner and BD24Live.com became the online partner of this said expo. This Expo will be open for General & Trade Visitors from 3 to 7 June 2015 [10.00am to 9.30pm] l


BRACU ENH goes theatrical The department of English and Humanities (ENH) of BRAC University buzzed with drama and excitement on May 27 and 28, when the students were given a chance to participate in a bilingual script writing workshop titled, The Play’s the Thing. The main objective of the workshop was to impart the skill of creating a drama script from scratch. The participants spent two days of grappling with the tricks and techniques of writing scripts, and finally transforming the work into a performance. The workshop was conducted by Ikhtisad

Ahmed, Shaan Rahman, Anika Mahin and Rukhsana R Chowdhury, all of whom are involved with either teaching, performing or writing plays for the stage. The workshop was followed by a very successful student performance where two plays, one each in Bangla and English, were put up. The BRAC University Drama and Theatre Forum (BUDTF) worked in collaboration with the English department and presented a display of musical mime which was highly entertaining. l






Wouldn’t that be nice

Here’s a couple of apps to get the day started off right

n Mahmood Hossain

Wake me up, before you go, go! No, this isn’t an app created by Wham!, sorry to break your hearts George Michael fans. Snap Me Up for Android sets alarms on your phone in an easy and elegant way. This might be loved by all those selfie takers out there. Why you ask? In order to turn the alarm off, you’ll have to open your eyes, turn the lights on and take a photo of your face. Each snap, after every alarm, is saved into an album called “My sleepy snaps”. If you’d like you can view through them and even share it with the rest of the world. Not sure how many people would be keen

to show their pretty faces (or not so pretty ones) in the morning to the world, but this app is a sure fun way to wake up. The process can also be used for naps and setting timers throughout the day. And keep in mind, your snaps are absolutely private so snap away. Snap Me Up for Android is free to download. The kingdom for Wi-fi! WiFi Mapper for iOS is an incredible tool to have on your phone. Unless you have unlimited data on your phone, this is an app that might become one of your best friends. The developers claim this app possesses the largest Wi-Fi database in the world, alongside over two-million recommended hotspots. The free hotspots are to be recognised in every major city in the world. Airports maybe a given, but we haven’t tested it around restaurants or other Wi-Fi enabled locations of how good this app really is. One of the impressive features of WiFiMapper is that it can tell you the type of venue the hotspot can be found in, how strong the signal is and even if they serve good coffee. What more can you ask for? Now, saving data won’t be too much of a problem when there is Wi-Fi nearby. Whether the Wi-Fi is free or not, well, that’s another headache. WiFiMapper is free to download from the App Store. l


A Russian summer Nothing for Napoleon to worry about, but perhaps Google might

n Mahmood Hossain There’s a new browser in town and it’s making quite some noise, in the classiest way possible. A Russian company named Yandex released their streamlined Yandex. Browser in mid-May that just might rival the likes of Google Chrome and Apple’s Safari. Now, it may not be an immediate threat, but it’s something the other companies will keep a careful eye on. This is a browser that will have others looking over their shoulders. The browser’s interface is aesthetically brilliant. And that’s one of the main obvious differences in functionality as well. This new upstart has dramatically stripped down on the clutter that other browsers may have. It puts more focus on websites themselves, rather than control buttons and search bars. The tabs, for example, are moved to the bottom of the page. It diverts the attention away from the subordinate subjects so that you remain focused on the Web content presented in front of you. Competition is key here. Perhaps the introduction of Yandex will have the leading brands to rethink their own design and functionalities. Naturally, leading companies will take newer plans into consideration, leaving their desire to devour the entire market. The fact remains that Chrome, Safari, and Firefox continue to lead the way, but Yandex has plenty of hope of taking a significant shot at the big boys. The reason

they’ve decided on their own browser is to capture more advertising gems in search-ads that present themselves alongside search results. Don’t be surprised if Google decides to buy the browser out, as Yandex relies on piggybacking on the Chromium browser project. It’s an open-source software that can be freely used and modified by anyone. The reliance on Chromium is vital for Yandex. So far, Yandex has no real effect in the Web market outside of Russia, Ukraine and Turkey. It’s entered in at the seventh most used browser in the world, which accounts for only 0.4% of users online. We can only hope the giants take notice and quickly implement ideas that will improve the market as a whole. Perhaps, Yandex can be the next big thing. l






Battlefield Hardline 2015 From military gun slingers to hardwired cops

n Chisty Rahim The battlefield frenzy that dominates every other game in the market has taken a new leap with their latest addition to the series. Hardline is a must-play first person shooter video game with a different hold of law. Instead of military warfare, this game has more policing elements. Solving all sorts of crimes and going on police missions, it’s completely new and hasn’t been done before by the makers. And they’ve done an outstanding job. Visceral games collaborated with EA digital illusions CE to produce this virtually realistic piece. With 2K sports producing remarkable games in the market and GTA: V going at the top of the chart, battlefield hard line not only retained their position but also upped their game to an equal standard. The game was released on March this year for Microsoft windows, playstation3 and 4, Xbox 360, Xbox one. Many new game modes are featured in Hardline, for instance: Heist, Rescue, Hotwire Mode, Blood Money and Crosshair Mode. The Heist and Rescue modes are predictable but the rest are a bit tricky. In Rescue mode, you get a limited amount of time to fight with small number of criminals, heist on the other hand is criminals stealing and looting while being followed and chased by cops. They get a drop off point where they have to deliver the package to win. The Blood Money mode is a battle for 5 million dollars. Both teams get to collect the money either from a point location or from the opposition team. And they shoot, kill and grab what they can to win. Works best as multiplayer stimulator modes. Crosshair is where a player controlled VIP is targeted to kill, the job is to protect him from getting killed and whoever kills the VIP wins. It is similar to that of the rescue mode where you get limited amount of time and a fixed number of opponents. The story starts from a series of incidents starting from 2012, with Nick Mendoza and

detective Cart Stoddard making a drug bust that goes haywire and in cue course, they find out about a new drug being sold in the streets called hot shot. After that the two is ordered to bring in leo ray from elmore hotel where they find the drug dealer who is distributing “hot shot”. Later, the story takes a shocking turn of event when the nick gets betrayed by his fellow mates and is framed for being connected with the drug deal. Hence he is sent to prison. Three years later nick escapes from a prison bus with the help of Tyson, tap and khai. The gradual and intriguing progression of the story is sure to hook you to your computer. Play the game to find out the rest! And check out the following link for more info on the game: http://www.battlefield.com/hardline

Minimum System Requirements • Operating System: Windows Vista SP2 64-BIT (with KB971512 Update) • Processor: Intel Core i3/i5 2.4GHz or Athlon II/Phenom II 2.8 GHz. • RAM: 4 GB. • Graphics Cards: NVIDIA GTX 260 896MB or ATI 5770 1GB. • Hard Drive: 60 GB. • DirectX: 11.0.

Lionel Messi will have a new pair of ice blue Adidas boots for the Champions League final. He will wear the Messi15s for the first time in the Berlin showpiece

Sport 30










WHAT THEY SAID Bangladesh coach Lodewijk de Kruif We can do a few experiments and give them 90 minutes of game experience because we are not going to collect points from the friendly match. Our focus is to see the tactical behaviour before facing Kyrgyzstan. So this friendly is important. Bangladesh captain Mamunul Islam Afghanistan are a strong side but we never lost to them and want to continue it. We have the capability to beat them and we want to do it and carry the good memory to the World Cup qualifiers. Afghanistan coach Slaven Skeledzic I expect it to be a good match. The better team will win and hopefully we will be the better side. We are prepared with no injury problem and have confidence. Afghanistan captain Djelaludin Sharityar We want to try to play our new system. We have many new players in the team. Hopefully, tomorrow (today) will be a good match for the fans and the people in front of TV watching the game.

Bangladesh footballers put the finishing touches to their preparation yesterday at Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club ground ahead of their Fifa international friendly against Afghanistan today MAINOOR ISLAM MANIK

Experimental hosts up against Saff holders n Shishir Hoque

An experienced yet tired Bangladesh side will be in the mood to experiment when they face south Asian neighbours Afghanistan in a Fifa international friendly at Bangabandhu National Stadium today. Less than 72 hours after tasting an undeserved defeat against Singapore in another friendly, the Bangladesh footballers did not get enough time to recover so Dutch head coach Lodewijk de Kruif will have a lot to ponder ahead of today’s friendly. History favours the men in red and green as they have never lost to the Afghans in four matches. Bangladesh have won once with the other three matches ending in draws but recent performances and the latest Fifa rankings clearly gives the edge to the Lions of Khorasan. The visitors are the reigning Saff cham-


BANGLADESH v AFGHANISTAN Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka 02 June 2015, 4pm HEAD-TO-HEAD Matches - 4, Draws - 3 Bangladesh - 1, Afghanistan - 0 pions and are ranked 135th, 34 places ahead of Bangladesh. The Afghans however, are in transition. German-Bosnian coach Slaven Skeledzic has only been at the helm for three months so the team are yet to gel fully. They will re-

quire some rebuilding as there are more German-based players in the team in comparison with the locals. Bangladesh, in contrast, started their rebuilding process two years ago under the stewardship of De Kruif. De Kruif, who injected the Dutch philosophy into his charges, has done a commendable job. The two sides will meet each other for the first time in seven years and both the teams will treat this friendly with the utmost importance. Ahead of their respective campaigns in the 2018 Fifa World Cup second round qualifiers, both the hosts and the visitors will look to put the finishing touches to their preparation with their first qualifier slated for June 11. Mohammedan goalkeeper Ashraful Islam Rana is likely to make his international bow today as Mazharul Islam Hemel was excluded from the 23-man squad. l


30 Sport


Ifs and buts circle around Mushy’s finger n Minhaz Uddin Khan

The Tigers think-tank will have to make a crucial decision while naming the Bangladesh squad tomorrow for the one-off Test match against India starting on June 10 at Fatullah. Paceman Rubel Hossain is a certainty in place of the injured Shahadat Hossain, but the tricky decision that can cause some headache involves Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim, uncapped wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Kumar Das and Anamul Haque. All depends on Mushfiq who sprained his right ring finger during the first innings of the first Test against Pakistan in Khulna in April. He avoided his duty behind the stumps, but ignored the physician’s advice and kept wickets in the second Test which only rubbed salt into his wounds. As a result he still feels pain while wicketkeeping and as a masterclass batsman, Mushfiq will lead the team and only bat if the current condition persists. Automatically, Liton, who scored heavily in the longer-version domestic season and a part of the existing 14-man squad, is the second choice but the twist might come in the shape of Anamul, who is fit for the Tests. Anamul, who recovered from a shoulder injury sustained during Bangladesh’s World Cup campaign, also keeps wicket and the right-hander is a proven batsman in the international arena. However, his inclusion in the squad might come in the expense of Liton giv-

en that the selectors feel Anamul, who has not been a regular wicket-keeper for the Tigers, is ready to handle the pressure on his return to international cricket. The top-three – Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes and Mominul Haque – will not be tinkered with. Thus, whoever plays – Liton or Anamul – will be batting out of their usual place. Meanwhile, if the scenario turns out with Mushfiq playing only as a batsman, Soumya Sarkar’s place might come under the radar and he can lose his place to a genuine bowler. In that case Tamim, Imrul, Mominul, Mahmudullah, Mushfiq, Shakib al Hasan and Anamul/Liton will complete the top seven. It will be interesting to see if the think-tank still opts for Shuvagata Hom to complement the two seamers, Mohammad Shohid and Rubel, and left-arm spinner Taijul Islam. Given that the Indian line-up is filled with right-handed batsmen – Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, MS Dhoni – it will be wise to get leg-spinner Jubair Hossain in action. The 19-year old leggie should replace Shuvagata as Mahmudullah has the capability of filling the offie’s vacuum. The Bangladesh squad might not see a lot of changes, but picking the right combination in the playing XI will turn out to be very crucial if, and only if, Mushfiq does not keep wickets. l

Bangladesh Test captain Mushfiqur Rahim throws the ball during training at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday MAINOOR ISLAM MANIK

Tigers-Robi partnership underway n Tribune Desk

Ace cricketers Mashrafe bin Mortaza, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Shakib al Hasan and Rubel Hossain unveiled the new jersey of the national team containing the logo of sponsors Robi at Mirpur yesterday. The cricketers were flanked by top officials of the Bangladesh Cricket Board and Robi Axiata Limited, the telecommunication company who holds the sponsorship rights for two years starting yesterday.

During the occasion, BCB president Nazmul Hasan welcomed Robi and hoped the association with the country’s leading mobile phone brand will help consolidate the country-wide cricket infrastructure which is critical for the future. BCB’s chairman of marketing and commercial committee Kazi Inam Ahmed echoed his chief and said, “BCB is very excited to work with a young and vibrant brand like Robi. Robi’s youthful exuberance nicely complements

Bangladesh cricketers pose in their new ODI jersey at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday

the competitive spirit of the national cricket team. We look forward to working with Robi for the continued development of cricket in the country.” Robi’s MD and CEO Supun Weerasinghe said, “It is a privilege to join our customers and fellow countrymen in their passion for cricket. We intend to work closely with the BCB for the development of cricket in the country over the next two years.” Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, Robi’s COO, BCB

vice-president Mahbubul Anam, media and communication committee chairman Jalal Yunus, cricket operations committee chairman Naimur Rahman and CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury were also present during the jersey-unveiling event. Robi also has the rights of sponsoring the national cricket team, under-19 team and Bangladesh A team. However, Robi’s sponsorship right will not cover the ICC-organised tournaments. l



Sport 31


QUICK BYTES Former FIFA VP uses spoof article to attack US Former FIFA vice president Jack Warner has blasted the United States saying charges against him and other FIFA officials are motivated by the Americans’ desire to host the World Cup. “All of this stems from a lost bid to host the 2022 World Cup,” said Warner, who is one of nine FIFA officials indicted on corruption charges by Swiss and US authorities. AFP

Derby appoint Real assistant as new boss English second tier outfit Derby County have appointed in-demand Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement as their new head coach after dispensing with the services of former England boss Steve McClaren. Englishman Clement had been assistant to Real boss Carlo Ancelotti, who was dismissed by the Spanish giants last week, but signed a three-year deal with the Rams. REUTERS

Sethi withdraws ICC president nomination Former Pakistan cricket chief Najam Sethi on Monday withdrew as sole nominee for the presidency of the game’s world governing body, calling for a top former player to take his place. Sethi, who quit as chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) last year after a long series of court battles in a power struggle with his predecessor, had been nominated for the post of International Cricket Council (ICC) president. AFP

Chile aiming for first Copa Fleet-footed striker Edson Puch was a surprise inclusion in the Chile squad that have been tasked with winning a maiden Copa America title on home soil. Puch has earned his place on the 23-man list announced before Monday’s deadline following impressive performances for Huracan in the Argentine first division and South American Libertadores Cup. REUTERS

S. Africa denies $10 mn payment was FIFA bribe South Africa denied that a $10 million payment it made in 2008 was in any way a bribe to FIFA for the 2010 World Cup, in the latest twist to the massive corruption scandal engulfing world football’s governing body. Two separate investigations are being carried out by American and Swiss authorities for alleged rampant and long-running corruption within FIFA. AFP

I will definitely stay: Toure Midfield lynchpin Yaya Toure has cooled speculation surrounding his future at Manchester City, the Ivorian saying he will “definitely stay” because he wants to win more silverware at the Premier League club. Toure’s agent Dimitri Seluk said last month his client was “90 percent certain” to leave the Etihad Stadium but backtracked last week and suggested the player would remain in Manchester following a meeting with the club. REUTERS

No DRS in India series n Mazhar Uddin Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan yesterday informed that the upcoming bilateral home series against India will be devoid of the Decision Review System. The DRS was in place in the last two home series against Pakistan and Zimbabwe but Nazmul said the India series will not have the system after consultations with the Board of Control for Cricket in India. “Following discussions between the two boards, we have decided not to take the DRS for the upcoming home series against India. As far as I know, no team goes for the DRS while playing against India,” Nazmul told the media during the Tigers’ jersey-unveiling ceremony at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. The BCB supremo added that the board will not take any decision with regards to the captaincy of Mushfiqur Rahim. Much has been said about Mushfiq recently with many questioning if the national team’s best batsman should shoulder added responsibilities of being the captain and wicket-keeper of the side. Nazmul however, stated that it will depend on Mushfiq himself to take the ultimate decision. “There has been a few questions asked as to whether we should keep him out of captaincy. But, we are not thinking of this at the moment. If he feels pressure while leading the

Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan briefs the media during the jersey-unveiling ceremony at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday MAINOOR ISLAM MANIK decide, it is Mushfiq who will decide what to do. I think he should forego wicket-keeping as he is injured at the moment. The chances of him keeping in the upcoming series is slim,” he said, alluding to Mushfiq’s injury in his right ring finger which was incurred during the first Test against Pakistan recently.

As far as the national women’s tour to terror-stricken Pakistan is concerned, Nazmul informed that the final decision would rest with the cricketers themselves over whether they should travel or cancel the tour. According to sources, the women cricketers are not willing to take a risk and tour Pakistan. l

Pakistan celebrate Zimbabwe tour but challenges remain n AFP, Lahore Pakistan gave a huge sigh of relief Monday after Zimbabwe’s high-stakes, high-security tour ended without major incident, the first top-level international cricket in the insurgency-hit country in six years. Cricket-mad Pakistani fans, starved of action at home since gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009, packed Lahore’s Gaddafi stadium for the two Twenty20s and three one-day internationals. The home side dominated, winning both T20s and two of the ODIs, with the third

rained off, but the symbolism of the matches mattered far more than the results. And as the Africans flew out early on Monday, the Pakistan Cricket Board was already talking up the chances of luring more international teams. But much remains to be done to convince foreign boards, players and umpires that the country is once again safe to tour. Zimbabwe are a fairly low-profile team but they still needed a mammoth security operation - reportedly bigger than for visiting heads of state - with 4,000 policemen guarding the stadium and another 2,000 at the team hotel and on their route to the ground. l

Maruf returns to Sheikh Russel n Tribune Report Sacked from Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club a week ago, Maruful Haque was named the new head coach of Sheikh Russel Krira Chakra yesterday. Former premier league champions Sheikh Russel decided to appoint Maruf after terminating the contract of previous head coach, Dragan Djukanovic of Montenegro. Maruf earlier guided Sheikh Russel to a memorable treble in the 2012-13 season but was unable to continue weaving his magic upon the Blues in the following season. After his contract with Sheikh Russel was terminated, he joined Sheikh Jamal as a technical director. Maruf later became the head coach of Sheikh Jamal and inspired them to premier league victory last season. But, despite suffering just a single defeat in the first phase of the top-flight, Maruf was given the boot. Joseph Afusi is likely to be appointed the new coach of Sheikh Jamal. “I want to win trophies again with Sheikh Russel,” said Maruf yesterday. Sheikh Russel trail table-toppers and holders Sheikh Jamal by three points following the conclusion of the first-phase. The second phase will get underway on June 20. l


32 Sport


Boy wakes from coma, asks if Juve are still in Champions League n Agencies A 14-year-old Italian boy who fell into a canal has survived, despite being held under water for 42 minutes. The youngster, only identified as ‘Michael’, is said to have jumped off a bridge into water that was only 6.5-feet deep. His heart stopped beating whilst submerged in water and he was assumed dead until paramedics brought him back to life using a defibrillator. The teenager spent one month in hospital in a coma, hooked up to a life support machine in the hope that his heart and lungs would recover from the terrifying ordeal. And after four weeks in the Milan hospital of San Raffaele, he is said to have woken, with the first words out of his mouth asking whether his favourite team Juventus were still in the Champions League. l Juventus’ Patrice Evra (C) jokes with Carlos Tevez (R) during a training session at the Juventus Stadium in Turin yesterday, five days before the UEFA Champions League final against Barcelona AFP

Lazio stun Napoli to reach CL n AFP, Milan

Coach Pedro Faria (R) of Santos chats with Ronaldinho of Queretaro in Mexico, on Sunday

Santos win Mexico title as King Midas fails to touch gold n Reuters, Mexico City Santos Laguna wrapped up their fifth Mexican league title despite slumping to a 3-0 defeat at Queretaro in Sunday’s second leg of the final, winning the championship showdown 5-3 on aggregate. Their Portuguese coach Pedro Caixinha suggested the success might help him with his ambition of working at a European club. Queretaro scored all three goals in the first half, through midfielder Mario Osuna with a penalty, defender Yasser Corona with a header at a corner and striker Angel Sepulveda. But even the introduction of Brazilian Ronaldinho for the last half hour failed to produce the two more they needed to take the Clausura championship decider to penalties. Queretaro’s veteran coach Victor Manuel Vucetich, who earned the nickname “King Midas” for his ability to win finals, was unable to touch gold this time and conceded his second loss to Santos in a title decider. l

Late goals by Ogenyi Onazi and Miroslav Klose rubber-stamped Lazio’s third-place finish in Serie A on Sunday after a thrilling 4-2 win at Napoli that secured a place in next season’s Champions League playoffs. With Juventus and Roma having secured automatic entry to the Champions League, Napoli required no less than a win at the San Paolo to leapfrog Lazio into third place and qualify for the competition’s playoffs at the capital club’s expense.

TOP SCORERS IN SERIE A 22 Icardi (Inter Milan), Toni (Hellas Verona); 20 Tevez (Juventus); 18 Higuain (Napoli); 16 Ménez (AC Milan); 15 Berardi (Sassuolo), Gabbiadini (Napoli); 14 Di Natale (Udinese); 13 Dybala (Palermo), Iago Falqué (Genoa), Klose (Lazio), Quagliarella (Torino)

But after launching a second-half fightback thanks to a Gonzalo Higuain brace after early goals from Marco Parolo and Antonio Candreva had given Lazio a 2-0 half-time lead, the Argentinian blazed over a penalty minutes later - his fourth miss from the spot this season - to allow Lazio back into the game. With the game delicately balanced at 2-2 and with both teams down to 10 men, Lazio had done enough to hold on to third spot. But the visitors pushed to make it sure, and with five minutes remaining Onazi put the match beyond Napoli’s reach by firing across Mariano Andujar and inside the ‘keeper’s far post. German veteran Klose added a fourth for Lazio in injury time to ensure a happy ending to a rollercoaster season for the Biancocelesti, who recently lost the Italian Cup final to Juventus and were stunned late against Roma last week to lose the city derby. l

Cosmos and Pele arrive in Cuba n AFP, Havana The New York Cosmos will kick off a new era in sporting relations between the United States and Cuba on Tuesday when they become the first professional American sports team in 16 years to play in the Communist-ruled island. A blizzard of camera flashbulbs from local media and fans greeted a Cosmos delegation led by Brazilian legend Pele after the soccer team touched down late Sunday in Havana on a private charter flight. Former Cosmos star Pele, who has battled a series of health problems in recent months, was mobbed by well-wishers before being whisked through security with the rest of the squad.

Tuesday’s exhibition match against the Cuban national team at the Pedro Marrero Stadium reflects the rapidly thawing ties between the United States and Cuba. Moves to normalize relations after a bitter five-decade schism began last year when the two nations announced a historic rapprochement. The diplomatic milestone has already shown several signs of extending into the sporting arena. Cuban officials announced last week that the Baltimore Orioles baseball team - the last professional US team to play in Cuba back in 1999 - would return later this year to play against the Cuban national team. l




(Sau 13, Joao Pedro 19, M’Poku 79, Fernandes 85-og)

Piris 44, Fernandes 81, Thereau 88




Fiorentina Ilicic 12, Bernardeschi 31, Badelj 90+3

Inter Milan


Palacio 49, Icardi 53, 77, Brozovic 70



Higuain 55, 64


Empoli Mchedlidze 59, 88, Pucciarelli 62

Lazio Parolo 33, Candreva 45+1, Onazi 85, Klose 90+2


Totti 85

Palermo Vazquez 35-P, Belotti 90+4



(Romagnoli 53, De Silvestri 79

Palladino 74, Varela 88

Sampdoria Sassuolo


Berardi 3, Zaza 18, 32


Genoa Pavoletti 41


Martinez 10, Lopez 16, 70, Benassi 31, Moretti 49



Sport 33


US grandma, 92, sets record for oldest woman marathoner n AFP, San Diego A 92-year-old US grandmother has become the oldest woman to finish a marathon, when she crossed the finish line of a San Diego 26-miler on Sunday, race organizers said. A smiling Harriette Thompson, aged 92 years and 65 days, was cheered by dozens of onlookers and supporters as she completed the Southern California event in seven hours, 24 minutes and 36 seconds. Speaking to her hometown newspaper, the Charlotte Observer, Thompson said she felt “a little stiff ” after the race. “I was really tired at one point. Around mile 21, I was going up a hill and it was like a mountain,” she told the Observer. “I was thinking, ‘This is sort of crazy at my age.’ But then I felt better coming down the hill. And my son Brenny kept feeding me all this wonderful carbohydrates that kept me going.” The previous oldest woman marathon runner was another American, Gladys “Gladyator” Burrill, who was 92 years and 19 days old when she did the Honolulu event in 2010. Thompson participated in the marathon to raise money for cancer research, a disease she has herself survived. The grandmother to 10 grandkids also completed the race last year with a time of seven hours, seven minutes and 42 seconds. The oldest male marathon runner is Fauja Singh, who was 101 when he retired from racing in 2013. l


Channel 9 4:00PM Fifa International Friendly Bangladesh v Afghanistan

Star Sports 2 4:00PM New Zealand Tour of England 2nd Test, Day 5 Tomorrow

Start Sports 1 Men’s FIH Hockey World League 2015 11:00PM New Zealand v Egypt 1:00AM Korea v Japan 3:00AM Spain v Canada 5:00AM Argentina v Austria

Sharapova bounced out by Czech Safarova n Reuters, Paris

Russia’s Maria Sharapova (L) congratulates Czech Republic’s Lucie Safarova on winning the women’s fourth round of the French Tennis Open in Paris yesterday AFP

Maria Sharapova’s impressive sequence of French Open results ended when the defending champion was knocked out 7-6 (3) 6-4 by 13th-seeded Czech Lucie Safarova in the fourth round on Monday. The second-seeded Russian had reached the previous three finals at Roland Garros, winning in 2012 and 2014, but could not handle her opponent’s steely forehand. Safarova, who had never progressed to the quarter-finals on the Paris clay in 10 previous attempts, hit 20 forehand winners to unsettle the former world number one on Court Philippe Chatrier. She next faces 21st seed Garbine Muguruza after the Spaniard went through to the last eight for the second year in a row by defeating Italy’s Flavia Pennetta in straight sets. Sharapova, who had lost only one of her previous 24 matches at Roland Garros, dropped her serve in the third game but broke back in the eighth when her opponent double-faulted. l

McCullum, Hesson honoured for success n AFP, Wellington

New Zealand’s unprecedented success in reaching the Cricket World Cup final earlier this year has resulted in honours for captain Brendon McCullum and coach Mike Hesson. Both were appointed Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit (NZOM) in the Queen Elizabeth II Birthday Honours list released Monday. Therese Walsh, head of the New Zealand organising committee for the 2015 World Cup, which was co-hosted with Australia, was made a Dame Companion of the NZOM. The honours were announced as McCullum eyed a series-levelling Test victory over England after leading his side to a commanding position on the third day of the second Test at Headingley. Hesson said he hoped the accolades would

be seen as recognition for the entire New Zealand team, both on and off the field. “We front the team from a coach and captain’s perspective but we wouldn’t be here receiving this honour without a very good group of cricketers and really good support staff around us. I feel honoured, privileged and surprised,” he said.

Gayle century not enough for Somerset n AFP, London Chris Gayle ended up on the losing side despite marking his home debut for county side Somerset with a remarkable hundred in their Twenty20 Blast match against Kent on Sunday. The 35-year-old West Indies left-hander, renowned as one of the most dynamic batsmen in world cricket today, struck 10 fours and 15 sixes as he made a stunning 151 not out off just 62 balls at Taunton’s County Ground. Yet Kent still came away with a three-run win after they defended a total of 227 for seven that featured Sam Northeast’s 114. Gayle could only watch as Somerset slumped to 22 for two before the powerful Jamaican smashed three sixes in eight balls. The big hits kept coming, three balls disappearing out of the ground landing in the nearby River Tone. But Australian seamer Mitchell Claydon starred with the ball, the seamer do-

ing well at both ends of the innings on his way to two for 23 in his maximum four overs. Somerset coach Matthew Maynard, an aggressive batsman in his playing days, said: “I thought Sam Northeast played a sensational innings, but then the world boss came in and it’s different gravy. “Words can’t explain exactly what we have seen today. He makes it looks so easy and strikes the ball so cleanly. His knock almost brought off an incredible win today, but it just wasn’t to be,” former England international Maynard added. Gayle kept Somerset in sight of victory until the penultimate ball and disbelieving Kent skipper Northeast said: “I don’t know where to start. “It was an incredible game and Chris’s innings was one of the best things I have ever seen. “But special credit has to go to our bowlers, who stuck to their plan and kept believing.” l

McCullum, who made his international debut in a one-day international against Australia in 2002 and played his first Test against South Africa two years later, said he was “humbled” to be recognised. “It feels funny accepting one of these but I’m sure the rest of the guys will enjoy it too,” he said. “We’re trying to make an impact on sport while we have an opportunity, and leave it in a better space than when we took over.” New Zealand surprised the cricket world when they went into the World Cup in February as outsiders and were the only unbeaten team in pool play before eventually losing the final to Australia a month later. McCullum and Hesson have been New Zealand’s captain and coach since 2012 and in addition to taking the side to the World Cup final for the first time. l




CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Flows back (4) 3 Ensign (4) 7 First woman (3) 8 Roofing items (5) 11 Judge (4) 12 Call up (5) 13 Innermost parts (5) 15 Employer (4) 18 English boys’ college (4) 19 Place of refuge (5) 20 Hackneyed (5) 21 Stoops (4) 23 Concise (5) 24 Employ (3) 25 Prophet (4) 26 Intellect (4)

DOWN 1 Tempt (6) 2 Spanish dance (6) 4 Sheltered side (3) 5 Reluctant (6) 6 Precious stone (3) 9 Happenings (6) 10 Distress call (3) 11 Discussion (6) 14 Superfluous (6) 16 Carry too far (6) 17 Shows contempt (6) 19 Success (3) 21 Public transport (3) 22 Tiny (3)

CODE-CRACKER How to solve: Each number in our CODECRACKER grid represents a different letter of the alphabet. For example, today 17 represents S so fill S every time the figure 17 appears. You have two letters in the control grid to start you off. Enter them in the appropriate squares in the main grid, then use your knowledge of words to work out which letters go in the missing squares. Some letters of the alphabet may not be used. As you get the letters, fill in the other squares with the same number in the main grid, and the control grid. Check off the list of alphabetical letters as you identify them. A B C D E FG H I J K L M N O P Q RST UVWXYZ


SUDOKU How to solve: Fill in the blank spaces with the numbers 1 – 9. Every row, column and 3 x 3 box must contain all nine digits with no number repeating.









Aupee’s hosting revival


Eight Below Zee Studio 5:00pm Brutal cold forces two Antarctic explorers to leave their team of sled dogs behind as they fend for their survival.. Cast: Paul Walker, Jason Biggs, Bruce Greenwood World War Z HBO 9:30pm United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself. Cast: Brad Pitt, Mirelle Enos, Daniella Kertesz

n Showtime Desk Celebrated actor Aupee Karim has returned to host a TV chatshow. Aptly titled Aupee’s Glowing Chair, the celebrity chatshow will feature a total of 23 potential guests in the complete series from different spheres of the creative-

Box office hit

arena including acting, music and literature. Shahriar Shakil has planned and directed the show. “Aupee’s Glowing Chair is unlike the other chatshows that are usually aired on Bangladeshi TV channels. Audience would get the idea from the first episode we expect,” said the director.

While sharing her thought to return in hosting Aupee Karim said, “In essence, it’s the show’s content which largely has influenced me to work with it.” Aupee’s Glowing Chair will start on GTV, every Friday, from June 12 at 9:10pm. l


The Chroniscles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Star Movies 9:30pm Lucy and Edmund Pevensie return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace where they meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk, and a band of lost warriors before reaching the edge of the world. Cast: Ben Barnes, Skandar Keynes, Georgie Henley

CELEBS ON SOCIAL Arjun Kapoor @arjunk26 I feel on top of the world after watchin #DilDhadakneDo @ritesh_sid pls convince Zoya to make more films more often !!!

n Showtime Desk

n Mahmood Hossain

The big numbers continue to roll in for Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, as this past weekend in the Hollywood box office shows promising figures for the weeks to come. Here are the top runners at the box office, up to date (all are US domestic numbers):

The HBO original show Silicon Valley is, simply put, brilliantly funny. Tech-heads, nerds and geeks alike will put this on their top three favourite shows list. Mike Judge, director of Office Space, and creator of Beavis & Butthead and King of the Hill, has finally given the world something from his own backyard. Silicon Valley is a look into a close knit group of young men who launch a startup company in the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay Area (Santa Clara Valley) - nicknamed Silicon Valley. The comedic timing of each actor is, in an atmosphere of high intellect, impressively on point. The on-location sitcom, situated in Palo Alto, California, is unmistakably accurate. What’s new to everyone’s eyes is something we might only hear about. From step one, the show takes a look into how

San Andreas Week 1 total: $53.2 million Pitch Perfect 2 Week 3 total: $147.5 million Tomorrowland Week 2 total: $63.1 million Mad Max: Fury Road Week 3 total: $115.9 million Avengers: Age of Ultron Week 5 total: $427 million

Ben Stiller @RedHourBen Incredible to shoot at the Caracalla baths...#zoolander2#roma

exactly a startup tech company is made. With plenty of adult humour, of course. And with two seasons in the bag, a third is in development. Whoever thought the interworks of programming geniuses could be so funny? l

Kevin Hart @ KevinHart4real I deserve a cheat day damn it....I’m about to destroy a double bacon cheeseburger & smash a basket of French fries in my mouth







Drowning among leading child death causes n Mohammad Al-Masum Molla On March 10, housewife Runa was busy with her household chores and her two-year-old daughter Mehzabin was playing with toys in the bedroom. The bathroom door was open. After finishing her cooking for the day, Runa went to their bedroom but could not see her daughter. She searched the entire house but little Mehzabin was nowhere to be found. It did not occur to her that Mehzabin might have gone into the bathroom. But finally, when she looked, Runa was horrified to find her daughter in a bucket of water with her head deep in it. Runa took Mehzabin to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital immediately but the doctors said she was already dead. This is just one of many such incidents of children drowning, which emerged as the leading cause of deaths among children between the age of one and four.

In fact, there is one case of drowning every half an hour in Bangladesh. According to Bangladesh Health and Injury Survey (BHIS), drowning is the leading cause of the 30,000 injury-related deaths in the country every year, as many as 17,000 to be specific. Research organisations have found that most drownings occur in ponds or ditches. Most of these children drown during the monsoon – April to September – because at this season even the driest of places remain under water. A recent Health and Demographic Surveillance System mapping exercise of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDRB) found that there were more than 6,500 ponds and 4,000 ditches in just one upazila, Motlob, under the Chandpur district. The exercise covered 225,000 people from 143 villages. Studies have also shown that most cases of drowning occur between 9am and noon when

mothers remain busy with household chores and fathers at work. Although Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in reducing child mortality over the last two decades, injuries, especially drowning, have emerged as a great threat to children. Bangladesh is geographically dominated by water bodies belonging to the Ganges system and innumerable natural and man-made ponds. The annual monsoon floods and frequent cyclones in the world’s highest density of rivers – 7% of Bangladesh is covered with water and nearly two-thirds are frequently flooded – also contribute to creating an environment conducive for child injuries. The number of children drowning has remained stable since the 1980s, but drowning as a proportion of all deaths in children between one and four years of age has increased from 9% in 1983 to 59% in 2003. According to a research by the Internation-

New office hours announced for Ramadan

PRE-BUDGET 2015-16

Education sector to get 10.5% of budget

n Tribune Report

n Asif Showkat Kallol

Under the next national budget, the education sector is reportedly set to receive an allocation of around Tk31,618.06 crore, which is around 10.5% of the total budget The allocation would be an increase of Tk2,405.06 crore from the ongoing fiscal year, but would fall far short of expectations, well placed sources said. In terms of Gross Domestic Product, Bangladesh will be spending only around 1.8% of its GDP on education; the number has hovered between 1.8% to 2.2% for the past few years. Of the total allocation, the Primary and Mass Education Ministry will get around Tk14,540 crore, while the rest of the amount is designated for the Education Ministry. A Finance Division official said that around Tk12,911.27 crore would be used to pay the salaries of teachers and other officials, while Tk5,000 crore block allocations would be used to pay monthly pay orders (MPO) to the employees of schools and colleges. Some 8,000 new schools and colleges are waiting to be included under the MPO system. Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid told the Dhaka Tribune: “We will ensure proper use of the budget funds which will be used for MPO of schools and colleges.” According to the latest budget documents, around Tk4,197.34 crore would be used for development expenditure in the 2015-16 fiscal year. l

al Drowning Research Centre Bangladesh, most cases of drowning take place in ponds that are close to houses. The study found that the rate of child mortality from drowning is higher among the rural population, most likely because of the higher number of water bodies in such areas. Bangladesh Health and Injury Survey (BHIS) data also shows that more than threefourths of the drownings take place within 20 metres of the home and almost half (46%) the victims are under four and too young to be able to swim. Tested and effective interventions to prevent drowning are not yet available and understanding of the behavioral factors that contribute to drowning is limited. The studies said possible interventions including playpens and crèches could be evaluated now. Still, it is likely to be a few more years before effective interventions can be scaled up. l

Abdullah Al Baki, a postman of Dhaka GPO, collects letters from a post box at Bangla Motor in the capital yesterday. He found 25 letters in the three boxes adding to the almost 800 letters that he usually collects from 29 spots every day. According to him, people are still fond of writing and receiving hand-written letters in this age of e-mails and the internet SYED ZAKIR HOSSAIN

The government has announced new office hours for the month of Ramadan. All government, semi-government and autonomous offices will be open from 9am until 3:30pm, with a 15-minute break from 1:15pm to 1:30pm. The schedule was finalised at a regular cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday. Cabinet Secretary M Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan briefed the reporters after the meeting at the Secretariat. However, banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions, and emergency services would decide their own timing for Ramadan, the cabinet secretary said. l

400 shops evicted in DSCC drive n Abu Hayat Mahmud

Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) yesterday evicted around 400 makeshift shops set up on roads and footpaths in the capital’s Gulistan area. The drive was conducted in areas near Baitul Mukarram mosque, Bangabandhu National Stadium, Maulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium, Kaptan Bazar, Awami League’s office in Bangabandhu Avenue and Gulistan intersection. DSCC Executive Magistrate Mamunur Rashid told the Dhaka Tribune the stalls were evicted as part of a special drive against illegal

occupation of roads. He said the roads would be observed regularly to prevent traders from setting up shops again after a few days. The drive will be carried out today as well. On May 28, after a meeting with two mayors and officials of Dhaka’s two city corporations, and Narayanganj mayor, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said eviction drives would be conducted in all areas under the jurisdiction of both city corporations. He said illegal billboards would also be removed from the capital. Dhaka North City Corporation will start a similar drive from Farmgate area on June 12.

Sources said Minister Quader would sit with officials of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha, Local Government Division, Local Government Engineering Department, Roads and Highways Department, and Bangladesh Railway to discuss steps for recovering government lands from the clutches of illegal occupiers. The meeting is likely to be held on June 15. A Dhaka North City Corporation press release said its mayor Annisul Huq would visit Wards 9 and 11 to exchange views with locals and inform them of the city corporation’s services such as mosquito control, waste management and road and drainage maintenance. l

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