Kings face Abahani Limited in 2nd semifinal tomorrow

Star-studded Bashundhara Kings face Abahani Limited, Dhaka in the second semifinal of ABG Bashundhara Federation Cup Football scheduled to be held tomorrow (Tuesday) at Sheikh Fazlul Haque Mani Stadium in Gopalganj. The match kicks off at 3 pm. Bashundhara Kings, who set the new milestone in the country's domestic football by winning the record fifth consecutive Bangladesh Premier League title recently, are in good shape and must be expecting to reach the final of the tournament. They earlier confirmed the last four spot by beating Rahmatganj Muslim and Friends Society by 2-0 goals in the quarterfinal match held at the same venue. On the other hand, Abahani Limited earlier confirmed their spot of semifinal defeating Fortis Football Club by 3-1 goals held at Bashundhara Kings Arena. The winners of Tuesday's semifinal will meet Mohammedan Sporting Club in the final match which will be held on May 21 at Rafiq Uddin Bhuiyan Stadium in Mymensingh. Earlier, Mohammedan Sporting Club stormed into the final of the tournament beating Bangladesh Police Football Club by 2-1 goals in the first semifinal held at Bir Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman Stadium in Munshiganj. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Atarur Rahaman post emphatic win in women’s football

Sagorika slammed a brilliant hat- trick as Ataur Rahman Bhuiyan CSC posted emphatic win in the UCB Women's Football league when they thrashed Suddopuskorini JSC by 8-2 goals held at Birshreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in the city's Kamalapur on Monday. Apart from Sagorika's hat-trick with three goals in the 34th, 68th and 84th minutes of the match, Shaheda Akter Ripa, Tohura Khatun, Shopna Rani, Surma Jannat and Halima Akter supported her with a lone goal each in the 16th, 17th, 20th, 25th and 90+1st minutes respectively for the winning side. Taspia Akter Tisha netted two goals in the 60th and 63rd minutes for the lossers. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Nagad hands over Taka 5.5cr revenue to Postal Department

Like in previous years, Nagad, the country's one of the leading mobile financial service providers, has shared revenue with the Bangladesh Postal Department. Nagad authorities handed over a cheque of Taka 5,51,37,558 from its revenue generated in 2023 to the Postal Department at the Bangladesh secretariat here yesterday. Director General (DG) of Postal Department Tarun Kanti Sikder received the cheque for the said amount from Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Nagad Ltd. Tanvir A Mishuk, said a press release today. State Minister for Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Executive Director of Nagad Ltd. Md Shafayet Alam and other high officials of the two organisations were also present at the event. As per the agreement between both the entities, Bangladesh Postal Department is entitled to getting 51 per cent of the revenue earned by Nagad. Earlier, from Nagad's revenue earnings, Postal Department received Taka 4.5 crore in 2022, Taka 3.31 crore in 2021 and Taka 1.12 crore 2020. Palak, at the programme, lauded Nagad as a digital service provider of Bangladesh Postal Department. "Bangladesh is advancing towards a smarter nation following an enormous success in digitalisation, thanks mainly to this mobile financial service provider," he mentioned. Additionally, he expressed best wishes for the upcoming Nagad Digital Bank and hoped that the bank will lead the country towards a cashless society. At the end of the cheque handover, CEO of Nagad Tanvir A Mishuk said: "We always keep our promises. We have started our journey as a digital service of the Postal Department. According to the agreement, we share revenue with it. We hope that our public-private partnership will be extended further and many more doors will be opened." Since its launch in March 2019, Nagad has been able to gain people's trust with its innovative products and services. It has brought about a revolution in the country's digital financial sector by bringing millions of und erbanked and unbanked people into the fold of financial inclusion. Nagad has now become a leading MFS provider in Bangladesh, with a customer base of more than 9.5 crore. The mobile money carrier's daily transactions amount to BDT 1,800 crore on average now. The state-owned MFS carrier also changed the dynamics of the country's financial industry through its two ground-breaking innovations for customer acquisition in a simplified and quick way: One is e-KYC on smartphone, and another is USSD (*167#) on any phones. Moreover, Nagad has reshaped the country's financial sector, thanks to its offerings of diversified services at the lowest costs. The company also ensures the highest security of customer information and funds through state- of-the-art cyber security measures. Nagad is also responsible for reaching primary and secondary school stipends, social safety net allowances, PM's assistance out to beneficiaries in a transparent manner. The company has been entrusted with the job of disbursing funds of a total of 27 ministries. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

General point to point inflation slightly eases to 9.74 pc in April

The general point to point inflation rate in April has slightly eased to 9.74 percent from the previous month although the food inflation witnessed slight increase. According to the monthly consumer price index released by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the general point to point inflation rate in March was 9.81 percent while it was 9.67 percent in February this year. According to the data of the BBS, the point to point food inflation has slightly increased to 10.22 percent in April, 2024 which was 9.87 percent in March. The BBS data showed that the point to point non-food inflation rate declined slightly to 9.34 percent in April down from 9.64 percent in March. Besides, the general inflation rate at the urban level in April declined to 9.46 percent while it was 9.92 percent at the rural level. At the rural level, the food inflation increased to 10.25 percent in April, up from 9.86 percent in the previous month, while the non-food inflation also increased to 9.60 percent in April as against 9 .41 percent in March this year. In urban areas, the food inflation also increased to 10.19 percent in April, up from 9.98 percent in March. The non-food inflation rate, however witnessed a slight declining trend with 9.01 percent in April which was 9.71 percent in March last. The national wage index rate witnessed a 7.85 percent growth in April with 118.21 point against 7.80 percent growth with 118.00 point in March. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Stocks perform mixed

Stocks today performed mixed with major indices finishing flat. DSEX, the prime index of the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), went down by 29.96 points or 0.53 percent to 5,666.76. Two other indices also ended sharply lower with the DSE 30 Index, comprising blue chips, plunged 8.62 points to finish at 2,017.98 and the DSE Shariah Index (DSES) lost 8.94 points to close at 1,241.53. Turnover, a crucial indicator of the market, decreased to Taka 9,680.26 million, which was Taka 9858.88 million at the previous session of the week. Out of 393 issues traded, 221 declined, 135 advanced and 37 remained unchanged on the DSE trading floor. EGEN topped the turnover chart, followed by ASIATICLAB, LOVELLO, BESTHLDNG and GOLDENSON. PURABIGEN was the day's top gainer, posting 11.57 percent gain while ARAMIT was the worst loser, losing 2.99 per cent. But, the Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) also ended higher with the CSE All Share Price Index - CASPI -gaining 6.09 points to settle at 16,335.73 and the Selective Categories Index - CSCX- shedding 5.29 points to close at 9,838.48. Of the issues traded, 137 declined, 85 advanced and 30 issues remained unchanged on the CSE trading floor. The port city's bourse traded 1.98 crore shares and mutual fund units with turnover value worth about Taka 108.91 crore. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Bangladesh-Turkey can serve as gateway of trade between Europe, South and Southeast Asia: Mahbubul

Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) President Mahbubul Alam today said both Bangladesh and Turkey could serve as the gateway of trade and business between Europe and South and Southeast Asia. He said Bangladesh and Turkey offer huge untapped potentials of trade and business. "Turkey has a unique geographic position, lying partly in Asia and partly in Europe, a bridge between the two continents. Likewise, situated at the foothills of Himalayas, Bangladesh is also the gateway of regions like ASEAN and SAARC," he said. The FBCCI President opined this while addressing a visiting delegation from Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) and the Turkey-Bangladesh Business Council today at the FBCCI Icon in the capital, said a press release. Mahbubul said the relations between Turkey and Bangladesh are based on strong historical and cultural roots. "Today both nations have expanded beyond traditional ties into a prosperous trade and investment partnership," he added. In the fiscal year 2022-23, Bangladesh's exports to Turkey stood at US$ 495.81 million and imports from Turkey stood at US$ 380.3 million. At present, 15-20 large Turkish companies are directly operating in Bangladesh in the areas of garments and textiles, accessories, chemicals, engineering, construction and energy and more than 100 Turkish companies have representatives in Bangladesh. These companies have been significantly contributing towards creating jobs, bringing in their expertise in manufacturing, construction and engineering and diversifying trade for Bangladesh, Mahbubul added. The FBCCI President said that the present government of Bangladesh has been working relentlessly in order to bolster the economic growth of the country. He said the government has taken visible and prudent steps in implementing the SDG goals 2030, the national vision 2041 and a Delta Plan-2100. "We've a favorable investment policy with tax exemption, Duty Drawbacks, Access to working capital and many mo re," he added. The FBCCI President also expressed optimism about future cooperation between the two countries, suggesting areas such as pharmaceuticals, tourism, jute, and technology where Turkish investments could thrive. He also called for the activation of trade promotional activities and proposed cooperation in developing high-tech products and tourism infrastructure. The visiting delegation was led by the Chairperson of the Turkey-Bangladesh Business Council Hidayet Onur Ozden. Ozden said Bangladesh is like a second-home country to him. "We have been operating business in Bangladesh for a long time. There are many opportunities out there to strengthen the bilateral trade between the two countries. The trade and business ties between Bangladesh and Turkey are improving day by day and it is time to bolster the growth of economic prosperity of the two nations," he added. The Ambassador of Turkey to Bangladesh Ramis Sen appreciated the recent infrastructural development of the country. He al so invited the Bangladesh business leaders to visit Turkey in the upcoming months. FBCCI Senior Vice-president Md. Amin Helaly said Bangladesh offers huge investment potentials for Turkish investors. "The country will be the ninth largest consumer market in the world by 2030. Turkish businesses can take this opportunity to operate their business in Bangladesh. FBCCI will be more than willing to help where needed," he added. FBCCI Vice-president Dr. Joshoda Jibon Deb Nath, its Directors, Secretary General Md. Alamgir, Distinguished Members of the delegation from DEIK and Turkey-Bangladesh Business Council and business dignitaries from different sectors of Bangladesh were present, among others, at the meeting. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Chinese business delegation meets BGMEA leaders, discusses trade, investment opportunities

A high-level delegation comprising representatives of leading Chinese apparel and textile enterprises paid a visit to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) today. The Chinese delegation was led by Xie Qing, Executive Vice President of the China National Garment Association (CNGA), while the BGMEA side was headed by President S. M. Mannan (Kochi) with BGMEA Senior Vice President Vice Khandoker Rafiqul Islam, Vice President Arshad Jamal (Dipu), Vice President (Finance) Md. Nasir Uddin, Vice President Abdullah Hil Rakib, Directors Md. Imranur Rahman and Md. Nurul Islam present in the meeting. The meeting, held at the BGMEA Complex in Dhaka, aimed at exploring possible avenues of enhancing bilateral trade and investment between Bangladesh and China, said a press release. In the meeting, both sides exchanged insights, discussed industry trends, and explored potential areas of collaboration that would bring mutual benefits. They also discussed potential joint ventures, investme nt opportunities, and strategic partnerships aimed at enhancing competitiveness and facilitating sustainable growth in the apparel and textile sector. The delegation expressed keen interest in fostering partnerships with Bangladeshi counterparts to capitalize on mutual strengths and drive innovation and sustainability in the apparel industry. During the meeting, the BGMEA leaders shared insights into Bangladesh's garment industry landscape, highlighting the country's robust infrastructure, skilled workforce, and conducive business environment. They highlighted Bangladesh's commitment to sustainable practices and ethical manufacturing, aligning with global standards and consumer expectations. The BGMEA leaders pointed to the growing demand for man-made fiber-based fabrics in Bangladesh's garment industry, calling upon Chinese investors to consider investing in emerging sectors such as textile machinery, man-made fiber and technical textiles, and recycling industry. They emphasized the importance of exchan ging best practices and technical know-how to support the development of Bangladeshi garment factories. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Social safety net to get wider and better in FY25: Waseqa

State Minister for Finance Waseqa Ayesha Khan today informed that the government is going to increase the number of beneficiaries under its social safety net programmes in the upcoming budget for the next 2024-2025 fiscal year (FY25). "The number of beneficiaries under the social safety net programme is being increased to give relief to low-income people," she told BSS after a special meeting on the Prime Minister's direction on budget at the Prime Minister's office in the city. Talking to BSS at her Secretariat office, Waseqa mentioned that the government is also going to provide the most priority on inflation control in the budget. Referring to the Prime Minister's instructions on preparing the upcoming budget, Waseqa said, "The Prime Minister has given utmost importance on inflation control. She also directed that the implementation of Awami League's election manifesto should be given the highest importance in the budget". She said that education, health and rural infrastructure sectors will get maxim um allocation in the upcoming budget. Regarding the withdrawal of tax holiday benefits in the budget, she said that the government is specifically looking into the matter of removing the tax holiday benefits from those sectors which have been getting tax holiday benefits for a long time. "Some sectors have been getting tax holiday benefits for the last 20 to 25 years. Due to this advantage, now they have gained enough capacity and have captured the market of the country. In such a situation, they are supposed to focus on exports, but they are not doing it," she added. She thought that if the additional benefits of tax holidays are removed, the entrepreneurs of these sectors will focus on exports. Waseqa said if the tax holiday benefits are removed these sectors will lose additional benefits, but they can make up it through exports. "We need to go in that direction for the sake of sustainable economy," she added Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Garment industry making valuable contribution in social change: Nanak

Textiles and Jute Minister Jahangir Kabir Nanak today said ready-made garment (RMG) industry is playing an important role in social change alongside being the highest foreign currency earning sector in the country. 'Garment industry is playing a key role in eliminating poverty . . . nearly 42 lakh workers are involved with the ready-made garment industry,' he made the comments when a BGMEA delegation called on him at his ministry, an official release said. Newly elected President of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) SM Mannan, other senior leaders of the association, Textiles and Jute Secretary Md Abdur Rauf and Director General of Department of Textile Md Nuruzzaman, among others, were present at the meeting. Responding to demands of BGMEA, Nanak said the government will take necessary measures to ensure cooperation of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) and customs department. 'We will relax the policy regarding setting up new garment factories outside until prepari ng a full-fledged economic zone,' he said adding, 'You (BGMEA) have placed demand to continue cash assistance until 2026 . . .cash assistance facility must be available to survive in the global market.' Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Experts call for reforms in TVET design and implementation

Kathmandu: Various experts and advocates have called for meticulous reforms in the design and implementation of the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes. At a sharing of findings of four different studies undertaken by the Kathmandu University School of Education (KUSOED) on Sunday, the researchers highlighted reform needs in financing, investment, technical and non-technical skills enhancement, shared incentives and good governance in the operation of the sector. Presenting the findings of the research 'Household Financing in TVET in Nepal', Prof Dr Mahesh Nath Parajuli highlighted that households with limited earning have been bearing higher financial burden for TVET education. The research according to him revealed that households shared 49 percent of TVET education expenditure followed by government (37 percent), external donors (7 percent) and others (7 percent) The research recommended measures to reduce structural inequalities prohibiting access to TVET; lower household bur den to TVET; find cost partners and collaborators in the sector. Likewise, sharing the findings of another research 'Skills Gap: Exploring Education-to-Work Transition in Nepal's Construction Sector', Associate Prof Dr Prakash Chandra Bhattarai said skills gap have created multi-fold issues such as widening unemployment, creating difficulties for employees to obtain a skilled workforce and need for evidence-based policy/ practice. The study found that graduate employees entered the job market with minimal competencies, including technical and non-technical in the construction sector. The research called for the enhanced role of educational institutions in terms of curricula, pedagogy, assessment; linkage and collaboration with industry sectors and reforms in policy to match the demand side and supply sides of the sector. KUSOED Head of the Department, Dr Suresh Gautam in his research 'Youth Employment and Income: insights from the 2022 Youth Survey' underlined the need of skill-based education with quality , relevance, and good governance and realizing and enhancing the social/ cultural capital of the trainees. The research recommended developing an approach, drawing from socio-educational political, economic dynamics, to enhance youth employment and addressing social structure for developing role models of aspirant youth for TVET. Delivering his presentation to share the findings of his research entitled 'Local Governments Financing in TVET: A Study of Gandaki Province', Dr Prakash Kumar Paudel highlighted that TVET budget has been steadily increasing with volume but largely financed with external sources. According to the research findings, informal/non-formal TVET was found an area of priority; local governments yet to give a priority attention to take role on financing of TVET Commenting on the research papers, education reform advocate Dr Bishnu Karki suggested that they should impart a candid message that TVET involves certain costs but there are opportunities for higher returns rate. He advocated fo r the need of adopting the Swiss dual model (both general and technical and vocational education) in Nepal with careful design on incentives for attracting students. It demands engagement of multiple stakeholders, including technical training providers, employers and trainees to promote skill-based employment adopting apprenticeship approach. Likewise, Principal Social Sector Specialist of Asian Development Bank, Rudi Van Dael lauded emerging research on TVET in Nepal highlighting that the broader society needs to think towards lowering cost burden in its education in Nepal. The research was undertaken by KUSOED with support from the Linking Education and Labour Markets (LELAM) project financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Source: National News Agency RSS

Four put on two-day remand over Bandarban bank robberies

Four suspected operatives of the Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) were remanded for two days for quizzing in connection with the robberies at Sonali Bank and Krishi Bank of Thanchi upazila here. The detainees who were put on two-day remand each are Bhanunun Nuam Bawm of Rounin Para in Rowangchhari upazila, Gemineu Bawm and his brother Ame Loncheo Bawm of Simtmangpi Para and jeep driver Mohammad Kafiluddin Sagar of T andT Para in Thanchi upazila. The court sources said that Senior Judicial Magistrate Md Nurul Haque of Bandarban Chief Judicial Magistrate Court granted the plea of remand when the police produced them before the court for interrogation in the Bank robbery. On April 3, miscreants looted Sonali Bank and Krishi Bank in Khanchi Upazila of Bandarban. Earlier in the night, Sonali Bank in Ruma was robbed off where the manager was abducted and weapons and ammunition were looted from the police and Ansar. Meanwhile, after the incident, the law enforcement agencies started a joint operation in Ruma, Kh anchi and Rowangchari upazilas of Bandarban. Police detained as many as 85 members, including the accomplices of KNF, in the drive so far earlier. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Minister Basnet calls for early preparedness to deal with monsoon-induced disasters

Kathmandu: Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation Shakti Bahadur Basnet emphasized further streamlining and weather forecast and early warning system for effective risk management of monsoon-induced disasters. Minister Basnet called for enhancing disaster preparedness at a programme organized by the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology here today. The Department has predicted more than average rainfall in monsoon this year. The minimum precipitation in most parts of the country is likely to be more than average by 35-65 per cent in monsoon that generally starts from June 10 and lasts through September 23. Minister Basnet, speaking at the programme, expressed his concern over the increasing cases of monsoon-induced disasters due to climate change and pledged to make the early warning system more reliable and credible to mitigate risk of the disasters. In view of the rise in the disasters such as floods and landslides, the Minister highlighted the need for the stakeholders to take precaution ary measures and advance disaster preparedness for effective disaster response efforts. On the occasion, he instructed the Department to take feedback from target-community and other stakeholders and devise strategies, polices and plans accordingly to further organize early warning system. Basnet affirmed his commitment not to leave any stone unturned to minimize the potential risk of monsoon-induced disasters. Seeing the human resources crunch and financial resources constraints for development of early warning system, he highlighted the need for supplying adequate human resources and managing financial resources. According to him, climate change was also inducing disasters such as heavier rainfall, less rainfall and drought adversely affecting the agricultural production. Minister Basnet explained, "If the weather prediction is reliable, the farmers can make well-informed choices and decision regarding which paddy sapling to be planted in which time, when to harvest and when to consider farming." He al so saw the need for raising public awareness about disaster risk reduction to minimize the damages incurred by monsoon-induced disasters. The north-west part of the Sudurpaschim Province, the south-east part of Bagmati, the central part of Madhesh and the central and mid-west parts of Koshi Province are likely to witness more than (35.4 per cent to 65.5 per cent) than average this time. Similarly, the western part of the Karnali, central part of Gandaki and the north-east part of Koshi are likely to witness rain more by 35-45 per cent than average. Source: National News Agency RSS