London, 15 January 2019

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has retained her five advisers in her new government. They are H T Imam, Mashiur Rahman, Gowher Rizvi, Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury and Tarique Ahmed Siddique. According to a gazette notification issued by the Cabinet Division yesterday, the advisers to the Prime Minister would have the same status of minister and get the same salaries, allowances and other facilities.

The first meeting of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s new cabinet will be held at 10 am on January 21 at the Prime Minister’s Office. Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam informed this to the media yesterday.

More heads of state and government have greeted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her reappointment as the Bangladesh Prime Minister for the fourth time. Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah , Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and Estonian Prime Minister Juri Ratas in their congratulatory messages have expressed their eagerness to work with the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladesh and India will hold the next round of foreign minister-level bilateral talks in the first week of February, aiming to take the relations between the two countries to newer heights. The meeting - 5th Joint Consultative Commission - will be held in New Delhi, paving the way for new Foreign Minister Dr. A K Abdul Momen to make his maiden foreign tour to India after formation of the new government in Bangladesh.

The Election Commission is likely to announce the schedule for the upazila parishad polls in the first week of February. The Commission may start holding the election in phases from the first week of March, Election Commission Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said this at Nirbachan Bhaban in Dhaka yesterday. The schedule for election to 50 women reserved seats in the 11th parliament will be announced on February 17, he added.

Information Minister Dr. Hasan Mahmud has assured newsmen that the new Wage Board Award for newspaper and news agency journalists and employees would be announced within specified period. The Minister said this while exchanging views with leaders of Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists and Dhaka Union of Journalists at National Press Club in Dhaka yesterday.

ILO Country Office in Bangladesh has said, it is encouraged by the Bangladesh government’s decision to revisit the minimum wages for readymade garment workers through an agreement reached by a special tripartite committee set to examine and resolve the issue. Tuomo Poutiainen, ILO Country Director for Bangladesh in a statement yesterday called all parties to help the industry resume its activity.

Bangladesh Railway signed an agreement with a US-based company yesterday for procuring 40 broad gauge locomotives at a cost of Taka 1,123.05 crore. All the locomotives will be added to the Bangladesh Railway fleet after 24 to 36 months as per the contract with US-based company Progress Rail. Asian Development Bank is financing for the project.

The Payra Port Authority signed a deal with a Belgium-based company yesterday to start capital dredging of the port's main channel to facilitate entries of large ships at the Chattogram and Mongla ports. The dredging of the 75 kilometre long and 100 to 125 metres wide channel is expected to begin in the next six months at the cost of Tk 8,643 crore.

Press Wing