London, 26 June 2017

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office on Monday, quoting the London Metropolitan Police Service, said that two people, who died in the tragic Grenfell Tower inferno, were "believed to be dual British/Bangladeshi nationals."

They were identified as Ms Husna BEGUM (Date of Birth 04/02/1995), 142 Grenfell Tower; and Ms Rabeya BEGUM, (Date of Birth 15/11/1952), 142 Grenfell Tower.

At least 79 people were missing or killed in the fire earlier this month.

Nadeem Qadir
Minister (Press)

LONDON, 23 JUNE 2017

The London Metropolitan Police today (Friday, 23 June 2017) confirmed that the man who died in a terror attack in front of the Finsbury Mosque in London several days ago is a British-Bangladeshi.

He was identified as Mr.Makram Ali, 51, and originally from Sylhet and he died of multiple injuries.

 His family issued a STATEMENT saying they did not want any retaliation but for everyone to pray for peace.

Mr. Ali was the only death in the incident and few others are being treated in hospitals.

Nadeem Qadir
Minister (Press)

London, 20 June 2017

The cabinet approved the draft of the National Online Mass Media Policy, 2017 incorporating a proposal for setting up a National Broadcast Commission to facilitate the operation of online mass media in a well-organised manner. The approval was given at the weekly cabinet meeting at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban yesterday with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. The new draft policy contained detailed guidelines for smooth running of online mass media including radio, TV and newspapers. The cabinet meeting also approved a proposal for an amendment to the Nationalised Private Primary Schools (fixation of conditions for services) Policy 2013. The meeting also gave final nod to the Groundwater Management in Agricultural Activities Bill, 2017. The meeting approved a proposal for ratifying the statute of the Islamic Organisation for Food Security, a specialised organisation under the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The Cabinet meeting also approved a proposal for ratifying the Agreement between Bangladesh and Bahrain and Kuwait for the avoidance of double taxation.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought Moroccan investment in Bangladesh's economic zones (EZs) for mutual benefits of the two countries. The Premier made the request when newly-appointed Moroccan ambassador to Bangladesh Majid Halim paid a call on her at her Jatiya Sangsad office yesterday. The Moroccan ambassador expressed his country's interest in enhancing economic cooperation with Bangladesh and offered assistance in the areas of tourism, power and renewable energy.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hosted an Iftar party for the leaders of different political parties at her official residence Ganobhaban yesterday. The PM went round different tables set for the guests, exchanged pleasantries with them and enquired about their well-being.

Outgoing Afghan Ambassador to Bangladesh Abdul Rahim Oraz made a farewell call on President Md. Abdul Hamid at Bangabhaban yesterday. During the meeting, the President said Afghanistan is a Muslim brotherly country of Bangladesh and the existing relations between the two countries are excellent.

Indian President Pranab Mukherjee praised Bangladesh for its spectacular development and enormous achievement over the last few years. The Indian President made the remarks while talking to BCS Freedom Fighters and Mujibnagar Officers and Employees Association Secretary General Muhammad Musa when the latter called on him at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

The number of refugees from Myanmar were 490,300 by the end of last year, with Bangladesh hosting the largest number of 276,200, says a global report. Out of the 276,200 refugees, 243,000 are in a refugee-like situation, according to the report published yesterday by UNHCR ahead of the World Refugee Day today.

The Turkish government has expressed condolence over the deaths of Bangladeshi citizens caused by landslides in hill districts, said a press release of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Huq said in parliament that the government would build a statue to express hate towards the Pakistani collaborators of the 1971 Liberation War. He also said Bangalees would never forget the brutality of the Pakistani occupation army and its local collaborators. Minister Haque also informed the house yesterday that the government will construct 8,000 flats across the country for insolvent freedom fighters.

The government launched the 2nd National Strategy for Adolescent Health (NSAH)) 2017-2030. The strategy was launched at a dissemination programme in Dhaka yesterday. DGFP, UNFPA, World Health Organisation and UNICEF with support from the Netherlands embassy organised the programme. Health Minister Mohammed Nasim was present as the chief guest at the programme.

The central bank instructed banks to allow private traders to import rice without any deposit against letters of credit or LC margin, in view to ensure rice supply to local markets in the aftermath of crop losses in recent floods. The Bangladesh Bank in a notice said the new rules will remain in force until December 31, which will allow the traders to import rice first and make the payments afterwards.

London, 19 June 2017

President Md. Abdul Hamid has asked the Information Commission to ease its procedures so that general people can easily have information applying the Right to Information Act 2009. The President said this when a three-member delegation of the Commission, led by Chief Information Commissioner Prof Dr Md Golam Rahman, submitted its Annual Report-2016 to him at Bangabhaban yesterday.

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the decision on the proposed excise duty on the bank deposits would be changed when the budget will be passed in the Jatiya Sangsad. "The National Budget has been proposed. When the proposed budget will be passed, many things will change. Excise duty on bank deposits will also be changed," he told the journalists while addressing Annual Performance Agreement (APA) signing ceremony with state run-banks and financial institutions at Finance Ministry.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday termed the rice price hike an "artificial and temporary crisis" and claimed there is an adequate rice stock in the country. He said while addressing a postbudget seminar organised by Bangladesh Krishi Orthonithibid Samiti at Krishibid Institution Bangladesh. He, however, said the government has decided to import 2.5 lakh metric tonnes of rice to keep the rice market stable and a tender is being floated to import another consignment of 6 lakh metric tonnes of rice.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan has informed that garment workers will go on Eid holidays from June 22 in phases to avoid traffic jams on highways. The decision was taken at a meeting on law and order during the upcoming Eid holidays at the Home Ministry. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan chaired the meeting. He said the garment owners have agreed to pay arrears and Eid bonus by June 22- 25.

The Ministry of Public Administration has proposed six days for Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha respectively. The summary of the proposal has been sent to the Prime Minister's office for approval.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Mohammed Nasim yesterday said the existing drug act is being amended keeping some provisions of harsher punishments and major penalties to discourage all sorts of irregularities in this sector. The Minister said this while responding to a tabled question in the House yesterday.

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan yesterday said the government has taken programmes to reexcavate the unusable rivers of the country to revive their navigability. "The capital dredging of all 53 river routes of the country would be done," he said after inaugurating the dredging work of HazratpurZabra route of the Dhaleshwari and Kaliganga rivers on Jamsha bridge side in Manikganj district.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has prepared the largest ever digital database of over 2 lakh 53 thousand identified criminals, including a large number of militants. The database contains 150 types of information such as photographs, biometric finger prints, irises and previous criminal records and punishments in criminal offences.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Md Asaduzzaman Miah yesterday donated cheques of Taka 36 lakh to family members of 12 police, who were killed and injured on-duty. The DMP police chief handed over the cheque from the Prime Minister announced fund at a function held at its headquarters in the capital.

At least five people, including two siblings, were killed in landslides triggered by heavy downpour in Khagrachhari and Moulvibazar districts yesterday.

According to Bangladesh Bank data, Farm and non-farm credit disbursement witnessed a massive 107.89 percent growth in the 11 months of fiscal year 2016-17 (FY17) as banks in public and private sectors, including the specialized and foreign ones, disbursed about Taka 18,900 crore till May against their total target of Taka 17,550 crore during the period.

PM-London, 14 June 2017

LONDON, JUNE 14 -- Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said she was deeply grieved by the loss of lives due to landslides and wished she could be at the side of the distressed at this hour of need.

"I am deeply grieved at this tragedy that has taken away so many valuable lives and I would have immediately returned to the country to be with the distressed, but I cannot cancel my visit to Sweden as it is an official bilateral visit," she told a gathering of leaders and activists of the ruling Awami League and its affiliated organisations.

Sheikh Hasina also expressed her sadness at the tragedy in London on Wednesday where several people were killed in a huge fire in an apartment building.

The prime minister was accompanied by Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmud Ali, MP, British Bangladeshi MPs Tulip Siddique and Rushna Ali. Press Secretary to the prime minister Ihsanul Karim and Bangladesh High Commissioner to London M. Nazmul Quaunine among others were also present at the grounds of the hotel where she stayed.

Sheikh Hasina asked the British-Bangladeshis to abide by the rules and laws of their adopted country and work hard.

"We are a proud nation now and a role model of development in the comity of nations," she said adding "there is no magic, it is the hard work and commitment which brings success."

Earlier on the day, British-Bangladeshi MPs Tulip Siddque, elected for the second time, and Rushna Ali, elected for the third time called on the prime minister and exchanged pleasantries.

The prime minister then left London for Sweden.


Nadeem Qadir

Minister (Press)

London, 13 June 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leaves Dhaka today for London en route to Sweden on a three-day bilateral tour to the Scandinavian country at the invitation of her Swedish counterpart Stefan Löfven. This will be the first-ever bilateral visit by any head of state or government of Bangladesh to Sweden, which is expected to expand cooperation between the two countries on a number of bilateral and regional issues. A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the Prime Minister and her entourage will depart Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 12 noon. The flight is expected to land at Heathrow International Airport at 6:00 pm (local time).

Seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region will extend duty facilities to 6,029 more goods exported by Bangladesh in line with a revised free trade agreement. The proposal for the second revision of the Asia Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA) received its final approval from the cabinet led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday. Under the existing APTA, India, China and five other countries grant duty benefits to 4,648 products from Bangladesh. The revision will increase the number to 10,677. The cabinet also approved, in principle, the draft of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute Act-2017. The Cabinet members congratulated three Bangladesh-origin British nationals Tulip Rezwana Siddique, Rushnara Ali and Rupa Haque for their win as member of the House of Commons in the recently held polls in the UK.

Bangladesh Armed Forces jointly hosted an Iftar party in honour of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Senakunja of Dhaka Cantonment yesterday. Before the Iftar, the Prime Minister exchanged pleasantries with the members of the armed forces and other dignitaries, and enquired about their wellbeing.

Bangladesh has taken initiatives to amend the labour law to protect the interests of workers in line with instructions from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), said Law Minister Anisul Huq yesterday. The draft of the Export Processing Zone Act has been brought back from the parliamentary standing committee to incorporate provisions aimed at easing formation of trade unions, he said. Minister Huq made the comments during a meeting with ILO Director General Guy Ryder at the United Nations building in Geneva.

Prime Minister’s Adviser for International Affairs Gowher Rizvi has felicitated the extraordinary growth of the Bangladesh German Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BGCCI). The chamber started officially in June 2003. The two-way trade between the countries is more than $5 billion with Bangladesh’s exports making up most of it.

Russian Ambassador in Dhaka Alexander Ignatov has said that they are looking forward to working closely with Bangladesh for the sake of progress and stability. The Russian ambassador made the remarks in a message marking the Russia Day - the national day of the Russian Federation. He said this year Russia and Bangladesh celebrate the 45th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations. The economic collaboration between the two countries is on the rise, he added. "Till the end of 2016, we had a record-high trade turnover for two years in a row, which exceeded $1.4 billion."

The government has appointed Md Zulfiqur Rahman as the next Ambassador of Bangladesh to Brazil. Currently he is serving as the Ambassador of Bangladesh to Republic of Korea.

The government appointed 27 new assistant attorney generals (AAGs) and relieved 23 of their duties from the same post.

The annual flagship event for the South and Southeast Asian nations to promote regional trade and investment kicked off in Kunming yesterday. Twelve Bangladeshi entrepreneurs are participating in the expo showcasing their products mainly clothing and handicrafts.

The Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh, a five-year programme funded with UK aid, will invest Tk 333 crore to develop the country's micro and small enterprises. Private companies and individuals can now submit business concepts to avail funds from the project. The information was shared yesterday at a roundtable at The Daily Star Centre in Dhaka.

London, 12 June 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hoped that people will reelect Awami League in the next general election to maintain the continuity of development in the country. "In the next election, I believe the people who are now getting the benefits of development will surely vote for 'boat' and reelect Awami League to maintain the continuity of development and thus turn Bangladesh into a mid-income country by 2021 and a prosperous one by 2041," she said. The PM said this when leaders of Awami League and its associate bodies met her at Gono Bhaban yesterday, marking the ninth anniversary of her release from prison.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the ulema of Qawmi madrasas to motivate people against the spread of terrorism and to help the government's efforts to eliminate this social menace from the country. The PM made the call when a group of ulema (Islamic scholars) of Qawmi madrasas, met her at her parliament office. The PM said a huge number of students who were receiving education in Qawmi madrasas across the country should be brought into the mainstream. The PM also assured the ulema of extending all-out support from the government to develop the country's Qawmi education.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reaffirmed Bangladesh’s commitment to stay beside Afghanistan for establishing peace in the war torn country. When Afghan Ambassador in Dhaka Abdul Rahim Oraz paid a farewell call on the Prime Minister at her Jatiya Sangsad Office yesterday, the latter said, “We have a historical and wonderful relation with Afghanistan. We will continue our support and stay beside Afghanistan to establish peace in the country.”

Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said the Prime Minister’s upcoming Sweden visit will help expand cooperation between the two countries on a number of bilateral and regional issues, including climate change, SDGs implementation and combatting terrorism. Addressing a press briefing at the Foreign Ministry, Mahmood Ali said the visit will also help bring a momentum in bilateral trade and investment, cooperation on migration, UN peacekeeping missions and Global Deal Initiative. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will leave for Sweden tomorrow on a bilateral 3 day visit upon an invitation by her Swedish counterpart Stefan Löfven. She will lead a high-powered business delegation on the first ever such high level visit to Sweden.

Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) signed an agreement with four consulting firms on expanding the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) at the CAAB office in Dhaka yesterday. The cost of HSIA expansion project, which has been estimated at Tk 136.10 billion, would be funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for which another agreement is expected to be signed on 21June. The cost of consultancy service is Tk 5.70 billion,which will be provided from the JICA fund. Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon was present at the function.

Law Minister Anisul Huq left for Geneva yesterday to attend the ongoing 106th International Labour Conference, where Bangladesh will make clear its stance on implementing ILO conventions and protecting labour rights. The conference of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) member states began on June 4 and issues concerning Bangladesh will be discussed on June 14.

State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid told parliament yesterday that nine power plants under construction will go into production by 2017. State Minister said some 8,500 to 9,500 megawatt of electricity is being generated a day to meet the country’s demand.

Bangladesh has topped a global list of countries that have installed the highest number of Solar Home Systems (SHS). With four million of the systems set up so far, the country is also at the forefront of nations using clean stoves and biogas plants, and promoting renewable energy. “As of 2016, more than 6 million SHS and kits were in operation worldwide, with 25 million people benefiting from them. Bangladesh, the largest SHS market worldwide, now has more than 4 million units installed,” said “Renewables 2017 Global Status Report”.

London, 08 June 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government has taken necessary measures for ensuring people's smooth journey during Eid-ul-Fitr as it issued a 29-point directive to make the travel safe and comfortable in the highways. In reply to lawmakers' queries in parliament, she hoped that peoples' journey to their home during Eid would be better than in the past due to the government's various measures. On the development of the railways, the PM said 53 projects, involving Tk 97,623.47 crore, are being implemented in the railway sector that would play a significant role in improving the rail communications along with changing the country's socioeconomic condition. PM also said a process is underway for procuring 700 passenger coaches and 100 metre-gauge locomotives. In reply to another query, the premier said the government has taken a project to introduce electronic passport (e-passport). She also informed the house that National Service Programme would be extended in 64 upazilas in fiscal 2017-2018. A total of 1,14,660 youths were given training under the National Service Programme and out of them 1,11,625 youths were given services in different government offices, she added.

President Md. Abdul Hamid has urged the authorities concerned to ensure transparency and accountability in spending public money. The President said this when a delegation led by Comptroller and Auditor General of Bangladesh Masud Ahmed submitted the Annual Audit Reports to him at Bangabhaban yesterday.

Bangladesh's labour market in Qatar will not be affected as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other countries snapped diplomatic relations with the Gulf country, Expatriates' Welfare Minister Nurul Islam said. He was speaking at a consultation on 'Challenges of Women Migrant Workers of Bangladesh and Addressing the Role of Intermediaries' in Dhaka yesterday.

Bangladeshis living in Qatar have been requested to consult with Bangladesh embassy in Doha for necessary advice before taking any decision individually. The contact phone number in Bangladesh Embassy in Doha, Qatar is +97444671927.

The newly appointed representative of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Dhaka has termed Bangladesh a 'hope for the region' referring to its success and achievements in food and agriculture. Susan Lorraine Lautze expressed her deep satisfaction over the FAO's partnership with the government and also hoped that the success of Bangladesh can be a model for other countries of the world. She was presenting her credential to Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali yesterday.

Japan has assured Bangladesh that they are ready to assist it in all possible ways to fight terrorism. Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Nobou Kishi conveyed his country's position when his Bangladesh counterpart M Shahriar Alam met him in Tokyo. State Minister Alam informed his Japanese counterpart about various measures taken by Bangladesh government to combat terrorism. He also requested Kishi to consider the withdrawal of travel alert. Shahriar Alam attended meetings with Japanese high officials on the third day of his visit to Tokyo. Meanwhile, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President Shinichi Kitaoka has responded positively to Bangladesh's idea of funding regional infrastructure projects that will establish connectivity among potential countries in the region and expand the market. Shahriar Alam shared the idea with the JICA president yesterday.

Road, Transport Minister Obaidul Quader has said a Teesta water treaty would be signed during the current tenure of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. Quader came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after a meeting with Indian High Commissioner Harsh Vardhan Shringla at the Shetu Bhaban in Dhaka yesterday.

The United Kingdom will vote for a new Parliament and government today. The voters will elect the 650 members who comprise the House of Commons. Fourteen candidates of Bangladeshi origin are contesting in the polls, however, Bangabandhu's granddaughter Tulip Rizwana Siddiq and also Rushanara Ali and Rupa Huq grabbed most public attention.

London, 06 June 2017

The cabinet yesterday approved in principle the draft of 'The Law and Order Disruption (Speedy Trial) (Amendment) Act-2017' increasing the punishment up to seven-year jail sentence for law and order disruption-related crimes. The approval was given at the weekly meeting of the Cabinet held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair. According to the law, disruption to vehicular movement, blocking of roads, tender manipulation, issuing threats, extortion, mugging, terrorising people and vandalism of public properties will be treated as offences. The cabinet also approved a proposal for ratifying the 'Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and Nuclear Facilities'. The Cabinet meeting also approved the draft of the agreement titled 'Agreement between the Russian Federation and Bangladesh on cooperation concerning return of spent nuclear fuel from Rooppur nuclear power plant to the Russian Federation'.

Bangladesh has decided to provide a cash assistance of US $500,000 to support the victims of recent flood and landslides in Sri Lanka. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina declared this cash donation yesterday, said a Foreign Ministry press release.

Bangladesh will continue to maintain a steady economic growth supported by solid agricultural activity and robust services, despite external and domestic challenges, according to a World Bank report.

The Indian government has eased the entry and exit restrictions for visitors from Bangladesh. 'As per revised guidelines, entry or exit restrictions have been removed on visas issued to Bangladesh nationals from 24 International Airports and Integrated Check Posts at Haridaspur and Gede,' the Indian High Commission to Bangladesh said in a statement yesterday.

Canada is providing CAD 20,000 through the Emergency Disaster Assistance Fund (EDAF) for the cyclone 'Mora' affected people of Bangladesh. The Danish government has allocated Tk 36 lakh to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for disaster relief of Rohingya settlements near Cox's Bazar in the wake of the cyclone Mora.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the USA has expressed its readiness to help Bangladesh combat cyber crime and other crimes like money-laundering etc. Visiting FBI representatives James Price and David J Eaton expressed their readiness when they called on the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) chairman Iqbal Mahmood in Dhaka yesterday.

Bangladesh is closely monitoring the evolving situation after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and a growing list of other countries have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar over its alleged support to terrorism which Qatar says baseless, a diplomat told a news agency yesterday.

The government has taken a labour market research programme to formulate a future plan for sending skilled manpower to 50 potential countries, says the Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam BSc. In reply to a query to the Parliament on Monday the minister said, the government has already increased the number of training centres to 70 from earlier 38 for creating skilled manpower for overseas employment.

London, 05 June 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has expressed her deep shock at the barbaric attack in London. “I am deeply shocked at the barbaric attacks in London Bridge and Borough Market of the central London..."We strongly condemn such mindless act of cowardice. We stand in solidarity with the people of the UK,” she said in a condolence message to British Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, highlighting the importance of the Sundarbans for the country's existence, said whatever project the government takes for development it does that keeping this mangrove forest in mind so that it does not get affected in any way. The Prime Minister was speaking at the function of World Environment Day, Tree Fair and Campaign for Tree Plantation at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in Dhaka yesterday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday assured of addressing concerns of business community and commoners about some provisions of tax, VAT and excise duty in the proposed budget. "We have proposed a budget, which will be discussed in the Parliament. There might be some problems for some people. We'll look into and resolve those," she said. The Premier came up with the remarks while addressing an iftar party hosted jointly by the Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists (BFUJ) and Dhaka Union of Journalists (DUJ) at the National Press Club in the city.

President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon all to make effective contributions to the preservation of environment and biodiversity along with government efforts. In separate messages on the eve of the World Environment Day-2017, they said this year's theme of the day - 'Connecting People to Nature' is time-befitting.

Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu said Lalon songs in Hindi would help to make the sub-continent free from communalism, terrorism and discrimination. The Minister said this on Saturday while speaking at the ceremony of presenting first copy of the book titled 'Lalan Shah Fakir Ke Geet', to the President of India Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.

The present government has increased climate relevance allocation by 55 percent in last three years to Taka 14,633 crore from Taka 9,404 crore. The government has proposed Taka 14,633 crore for 2017-18 fiscal year that is more Taka 1,000 crore compared with Taka 13,773 crore allocation in FY 2016-17. This was revealed by Finance Minister AMA Muhith while he was placing the proposed budget last week.

The month of May saw the highest remittance inflow of $1.26 billion in 11 months, according to data from the Bangladesh Bank.

Primary and Mass Education Minister Md Mostafizur Rahman yesterday said the government has recruited 1, 69,635 teachers at primary education level in the past eight years. He told this at a meeting with leaders of Bangladesh Primary Teachers Association in the ministry.

BRAC Onnesha, the nation’s first nano-satellite, was launched by SpaceX, FALCON 9 Rocket by its CRS-11 mission to International Space Station (ISS) yesterday. The launch took place from Kennedy Space Center, USA. The same “launch site” was used for Apollo-11 lunar mission, which took humans to achieve its first footprint on the Moon.

The state-owned New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT) of Chittagong Port will begin its full operation in January next. The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) has already completed all formalities to procure container handling equipment at a cost of Taka 1,200 crore.

State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki yesterday said the government will impart training to some 61,800 parents as part of raising awareness among the parents for promoting sound health of the children. The State Minister said this as the Chief Guest while she was inaugurating a training of 30 officials of the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA).

Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry yesterday formed an eight-member committee for framing ground handling regulations for different airports of the country including the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

London, 01 June 2017

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday told parliament that cyclone Mora-affected people would not face any shortage of food. She said steps are being taken to reconstruct the houses damaged by the cyclone Mora.“There will be no crisis of food. Besides, measures are being taken to rebuild the houses,” she told parliament while responding to a supplementary question.

Irked by the very slow pace of repatriation of Myanmar nationals Rohingya from Bangladesh, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sought help from friendly countries to gear up the process."The visible progress on taking back the Rohingya people to Myanmar is very slow till today. I seek the cooperation of our friendly countries in this regard," she said. The Prime Minister made the request to Austrian Federal Chancellor Khristian Kern during their formal bilateral talks between the two leaders at the Federal Chancellery in Vienna on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said activities have been underway for increasing power generation capacity to 24,000 MW by 2021, adding, "34 power plants having 11,363MW capacity are under construction and these plants would come into operation from 2017 to 2021."Awami League government has undertaken time befitting, realistic and sustainable plan for constructing new power plants aimed at ensuring power for all," she told this while replying to a question in parliament.

Finance Minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith is set to place the national budget for the coming 2017-18 financial year before the Parliament today.  The size of the budget is likely to be Tk 4.2 trillion with a projected GDP growth at 7.4 per cent.

In a very quick response to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit, Austrian government is sending an official team to Dhaka next month to explore the areas of cooperation between the two countries. An Austrian official team will visit Bangladesh next month to initiate the Foreign Office Consultation aimed at boosting ties of the two countries in different areas, said Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque yesterday.

The new gas price is going be effective from today as the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the High Court order that stayed for six months a government decision for raising gas prices for all consumers with effect from June 1.

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed left Dhaka for Russia to attend an international economic forum beginning today (Thursday).The minister is attending the three-day Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum at the invitation of Russian Federation Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko.

The government plans to start construction work on an elevated expressway from Dhaka airport to Export Processing Zone (EPZ) at Savar in December."...The construction work will begin in December with the financial support from China,” Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said while responding to a supplementary question at Jatiya Sangsad yesterday.

The government plans to build the country’s first mega solar power hub, having a generation capacity of about 600MW of electricity, on 2000 acres of land at Mirersharai Economic Zone in Chittagong.“We will float tender shortly inviting qualified firms to build the solar hub at the newly established Mirersharai Economic Zone,” Power Division Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus said.

Malaysian entrepreneurs are very keen to invest in various potential sectors in Bangladesh, said Malaysian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Nur Ashikin Mohd Taib in Dhaka yesterday."The Malaysian investors are keen to invest in various potential sectors in Bangladesh, including manufacturing, agriculture, food-processing and machineries," said Nur Ashikin Mohd Taib while she called on Executive Chairman of Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) at his office.

One Stop Service' will be made operational within the next six months to ensure all necessary services for investors quickly, said BIDA Executive Chairman Kazi Md Aminul Islam. "Investors will get all necessary services from here . . . we'll ensure hassle-free services for investors," he told a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.