Malaysia’s median monthly wages up 4.9 pct in December 2023

The median monthly wages for the formal sector in Malaysia increased by 4.9 percent year-on-year to 2,900 ringgits (616 U.S. dollars) in December 2023, according to official data. The median monthly wages for male formal employees, which accounted for 55.5 percent of the total formal employees, stood at 2,945 ringgits, the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM) said in a statement on Friday. Meanwhile, female formal employees, which comprised 44.5 percent of the total formal employees, received 2,845 ringgits. The age group of 45 to 49 years received the highest median monthly wages at an average of 3,927 ringgits in December 2023. Overall, the number of Malaysian formal employees was 6.67 million persons in December 2023, an increase of 1.8 percent as compared to the same month in the previous year. (1 ringgit equals 0.21 U.S. dollar). Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

BGMEA seeks policy support, pushes for making tax at source at 0.50pc

The country's apparel manufacturers and exporters today sought policy support from the government in the ensuing budget for the next fiscal year (FY25), including making effective the tax at source at the previous 0.50 percent instead of 1 percent against exports and thus keeping it intact for next five years. The Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) also proposed for keeping intact the government incentives till 2029 as well as reducing the tax on cash incentives at 5 percent from the existing 10 percent. BGMEA president S.M. Mannan (Kochi) made this proposal while addressing a view-exchange meeting with the journalists at a city hotel. The entire newly-elected BGMEA board, after assumption of its office on April 4 this year, was present on the occasion. Besides, former BGMEA president and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam, former BGMEA president Abdus Salam Murshedy, MP, and former BGMEA president and Awami League Industries and Commerce Secretary Sidd iqur Rahman spoke, among others, on the occasion. Highlighting the future plans of the BGMEA board to further move forward this sector, SM Mannan also urged the government to keep various products and services related to RMG industry free from VAT, providing tax rebate on import of fire safety equipments, providing special allocation as food rationing for the workers, extending support in export and investment of non-cotton items. "We hope that these recommendations will be reflected in the ensuing budget," he added. Mentioning that the country's apparel export target has been set at $100 billion by 2030, Mannan said it would not be possible to attain this export target unless the government policy support is available. The BGMEA president said the number of direct export-oriented RMG factories in the country has now declined to 2,200 from the previous 5,000. Had had the direct export-oriented RMG factories remained in operation, then the export volume could have been much higher and thus could create mor e newer employments, he added. Mannan said there is immense potential for raising further the global share of Bangladesh's RMG industry as it now represents only 7.87 percent of the international chunk. "If, all kinds of government support remains intact, then our RMG sector will be able to play a pioneering role in building Smart Bangladesh as envisioned by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and a poverty-free Sonar Bangla as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," he said. The BGMEA president said the new board is putting priority on a number of issues which include resolving RSC related complexities, simplification of business, continuing cash incentives till 2029 and providing alternative support, taking bank and financial sector service related initiatives, introducing exit policy and export credit guaranty facilities, bringing in the SMEs under special policy support and financing schemes, increasing competitive edge through automation and digitalization, taking initiatives on pr oduct and market diversification, food rationing and welfare of the workers, fixing fair price of products and floor price, formulating unified code of conduct, increasing capacity of the industry for building environment-friendly factories, and providing special policy support for motivating investment in man-made fiber -based industry. Mannan also vowed to reintroduce the BGMEA's journalism fellowship, sought government interventions in resolving customs, VAT and bond related complexities at the NBR, listed various steps in diversification of product and market, sought government's attention in addressing the power and energy crisis as well as addressing the complexities on HS code and on the weight of woven fabric, not giving gas and power connections to industries outside the industrial areas. The BGMEA president said they have already urged the government to bring those people under the purview of the law who deter the export operations, harass the exporters, and cause harm to the country's economy. F ormer BGMEA president and DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam said since the country's independence, no other sector in the country could become parallel to the RMG sector. He urged the industry leaders to move forward in comparison with standards of the RMG industry of the neighboring countries. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Boosting milk production, consumption important to prevent malnutrition

Livestock experts at a discussion unequivocally called for boosting milk production and its consumption to eradicate the malnutrition problems for building a healthy society and the nation as a whole. Highlighting the enormous aspects of milk to the nation-building process, they unanimously viewed that milk consumption is very important for both physical and mental development of the children. So, utmost emphasis should be given on ensuring fair price of milk and its safe supply. District Administration and the Department of Livestock Services (DLS), Rajshahi jointly organised the discussion at the conference hall of Deputy Commissioner (DC) to mark the "World Milk Day-2024" supported by the Livestock and Dairy Development Project today. This year, World Milk Day was celebrated with the theme of focusing on celebrating the vital role dairy plays in delivering quality nutrition to nourish the world. The theme aims to encourage people to learn about the important contributions of the dairy sect or to good food, health, and nutrition. World Milk Day is observed annually on June 1 to promote the importance of milk and dairy products in our diets. It has also been celebrated every year since 2000, to raise awareness about the benefits of milk for overall health. Milk has great nourishing value and contains valuable nutrients, including calcium, protein and fat. Additional District Magistrate Mirja Imam Uddin and Additional Superintendent of Police Abu Saleh Muhammad Ashraful Alam addressed the discussion as the chief and special guests respectively with District Livestock Officer Dr Zulfiker Muhammad Akhter Hossain in the chair. Two dairy farmers-- Muhammad Asaduzzaman and Foisal Bin Mamud-- also spoke on the occasion. Deputy Director of Dairy Development Farm Dr Ismail Haque welcomed the participants. Additional District Livestock Officer Dr Fazley Rabbi highlighted the aspects of milk consumption in terms of building a healthy and knowledgeable nation during his keynote presentation. H e defined that protein is the vital nutrition for normal growth and development of the brain and other essential nutrients of the human body while livestock is the pivotal source of nutrition. Illustrating the importance and significance of the day besides giving an overview of milk production in the region Dr Zulfiker Muhammad Akhter Hossain mentioned that large-scale promotion of the livestock sector is very important to remove the existing protein deficiency alongside ensuring food security. Many of the people suffer from malnutrition, especially lack of animal protein like milk, meat and egg. He revealed that production of huge amounts of meat through the indigenous beef-cattle improvement would supply low cost meat for people and it will ultimately protect them from malnutrition. Dr Zulfiker Hossain attributed that the present government under the prudent and visionary leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been implementing the gigantic LDDP at present to mitigate the country's pro tein deficiency through boosting the livestock sector. He urged the field level officials and staff concerned to supplement the government endeavor through discharging their respective duties with utmost sincerity and honesty. Earlier, the administrative, police and DLS officials and others concerned brought out a colourful rally at the collectorate building premises marking the day. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Govt works to revive jute sector: Nanak

Textiles and Jute Minister Jahangir Kabir Nanak today said the government is working to revive the jute sector as per the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The government has a plan to organize a conference of jute farmers at the end of the year at the presence of the premier, he said while addressing a view exchange meeting with the stakeholders of jute sector organized by Department of Jute at the Shishu Academy auditorium here. Jute farmers, mills owners, businessmen and other stakeholders related to jute sector joined the meeting. Nanak said the Prime Minister has put special emphasize on jute and jute-made products. It was included in Awami League's election manifesto also with utmost sincerity and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is giving different directives to take all out steps for multipurpose uses of jute, he added. He said the government wants to be self-depended on producing jute seeds. Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Mohammad Nazrul Islam Hiru, MP, Dr Anowarul Ashraf Khan Dilip, MP, Farid a Yesmin, MP, secretary of jute ministry Md Abdur Rouf, DG of Department of Jute Zinat Ara, police super Mohammad Mostafizur Rahman and Awami League Narsingdi district unit president GM Taleb Hossain, among others, addressed the meeting with deputy commissioner Dr Badiul Alam in the chair. Later, the minister inaugurated three-day long jute fair and Narsingdi Municipality Park. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Light rainfall in Koshi

The weather today is partly cloudy in the hilly areas and mostly clear in the rest of the country. This is due to partial influence of local winds, westerly winds and a low pressure area extending from Uttar Pradesh to West Bengal in India, says the Hydrology and Weather Forecasting Division. At present, some places of Koshi are experiencing light rain with thunder and lightning. Later this afternoon, there is a possibility of light to moderate rain with thunder and lightning in a few places of Koshi and Bagmati provinces and one or two places in the rest of the hilly areas, according to the bulletin issued by the division this morning. There is also a possibility of light snowfall at one or two places in the high hills and mountain regions of Koshi and Bagmati provinces. Tonight, the weather will remain partly cloudy to mostly cloudy in Koshi, Madhesh, Bagmati, Gandaki and Sudurpaschim provinces, the department said. Source: National News Agency RSS

Dismal batting show leads Bangladesh’s defeat to India

Bangladesh ended its T20 World Cup preparation with another defeat when they suffered a 60-run defeat to India in their second and final warm-up game at Nassau County International Cricket Stadium in New York today. Rishab Pant hit a half-century to help India compile 182-5. Bangladesh, however, failed to challenge this total as they put up yet another reckless batting display to be restricted to 122-9. Veteran Mahmudullah Riyad top-scored for the side with 28 ball-40 with four fours and one six while Shakib Al Hasan made 28 off 34 with two fours. Opener Tanzid Hasan Tamim contributed 17 and Towhid Hridoy was the other one to reach double digits when he made 13. The rot began with the dismissal of Soumya Sarkar who got a second-ball duck in the first over. Fast bowler Arshdeep Singh who removed Soumya also extended the lean patch of Liton Das by rattling his stump for 6. Skipper Najmul Hossain Shanto, too, couldn't get out from the perpetual failure as he was out for duck when Mohammad Siraj had him cau ght by Hardik Pandya. The situation was further worsened when Tanzid and Hridoy were dismissed in the consecutive overs, leaving Bangladesh at a precarious 41-5 in the ninth over. Mahmudullah and Shakib then shared 70 runs for the sixth wicket stand but none of them could pace the innings as it was needed in the chase of such a big total. Mahmudullah took retirement after making 40 and Jasprit Bumrah got the better of Shakib. The likes of Jaker Ali Anik, Mahedi Hasan failed to go after the Indian bowlers, which eventually caused Bangladesh's big defeat ahead of the tournament proper. Earlier, Pant, who met a fatal accident 18 months ago, hammered 32 ball-53 before retiring hurt to pave the platform of a big total. Hardik Pandya gave the finishing touch astutely with 23 ball-40 not out with two fours and four sixes. On his first competitive game apart from the IPL since his accident Pant drove the side after India won the toss and chose to bat first. Fast bowler Shoriful Islam gave Bangladesh a good star t, having claimed the wicket of Sanju Samson for 1 in the second over before Pant and captain Rohit Sharman ensured the joy of the Tigers would be short lived. They combined for a 48-run for the second wicket after which Mahmudullah Riyad broke through with the wicket of Rohit who made 23 off 19 with two fours and one six. Surykumar Yadav also got a start but failed to convert it as left-arm spinner Tanvir Islam had him caught by Towhid Hridoy after he contributed 31 off 18 with four fours. Pant who looked in supreme touch then retired to give the other batters an opportunity to bat. The wicket-keeper batter hammered four fours and as many sixes in his knock. Shivam Duve however couldn't carry on for long as he was dismissed for 14 by the bowling of Mahedi Hasan. However Pandya ensured that India would get a good total to give Bangladesh a headache. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

‘National development possible by connecting politics with economics’

Kathmandu: Vice chair of CPN (UML) Surendra Pandey has said that the country will develop only if politics is connected with economics. While inaugurating the 12th convention of UML Parbat-Kathmandu Liaison Forum here today, the former Finance Minister said that with the promulgation of the Constitution, political issue is over and now is the time to connect politics with economic development. "For the economic development of the country, a new level of research, study, information generation and campaign is a must", he noted. UML Parbat committee chair Govinda Giri said the forum has played an important role in connecting people from the district in Kathmandu. Source: National News Agency RSS

Renewable energy will save 5,000 MW power: Saber

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Saber Hossain Chowdhury today said that if the country's agricultural irrigation pumps are converted to renewable energy, it could save 5,000 megawatts of electricity. The minister made the remarks at 2nd Dhaka Renewable Energy Financing Talk organized by Change Initiative at the Bangabandhu Military Museum in the capital today, a press release said. Aiming to combat climate change and promote sustainable development, the government is committed to increasing the production and use of renewable energy, he said. As part of implementing a green, clean, and climate-resilient economy, the government is working to reduce reliance on coal for electricity production and encourage the use of renewable energy, he added. Due to limited land availability, initiatives are being taken to install floating solar panels on ponds or water bodies for fish farming underneath or to place solar panels on rooftops, the minister said. The minister further said: "We are encouragi ng the private sector to invest in renewable energy projects. The government has set a goal to produce 40 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2041. This goal is crucial for ensuring energy security, economic growth, and environmental sustainability." Highlighting the need for cooperation across all sectors of society to achieve this vision, Saber said that investment in renewable energy infrastructure and technology, including solar, wind, biomass, and hydropower, is essential. "To attract both domestic and international investors, we must create a supportive environment with financial incentives and transparency," he added. The minister said that renewable energy not only reduces carbon emissions but also creates employment, improves public health, and enhances the quality of life. He stressed the importance of innovative financial instruments in this transformation, such as green bonds, climate funds, and public-private partnerships. He said:"We expect grants, not loans, from the devel oped world. The role of research and development in this sector is highly significant. By building strong partnerships and taking bold steps, we can make renewable energy the cornerstone of our nation's progress and prosperity." Abdulla Ali Abdulla Khaseif AlHmoudi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary UAE Ambassador to Bangladesh; Dr Md Mustafizur Rahman, Member (Secretary), Industry and Energy Division Planning Commission; Munira Sultana, Chairman, Sustainable Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA); Mamun Rashid Chairman, Financial Excellence; Professor A K Enamul Haque, Dean, Faculty of Business and Economics East West University and Zakir Hossain Khan, Chief Executive, Change Initiative also spoke in the occasion. Keynote paper was presented by Zain Moulvi Research Director, Alternative Law Collective. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

Demand for FNJ election in stipulated date

Kathmandu: Six different media trade uion organizations have demanded for the timely election of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists. In a joint statement today, the organizations - Press Chautari Nepal, Press Centre Nepal, Samajwadi Press Association Nepal, Progressive Journalists Association Nepal, People's Journalist Association Nepal and Revolutionary Press Association expressed concern over sluggish preparation in finalizing the name list of voters when the designated date of election is coming closer. They called for the concerned bodies to speed up the process to hold the election in time. It is also requested through the statement that the list of the updated members of the FNJ be submitted to the Election Committee immediately and the names of working journalists excluded in the list be incorporated. Though the three-year term of the working committee, elected by the 26th convention of the FNJ, has ended in April 2024, there is confusion in the process of selecting a new leadership and handing over the office to the new committee. Source: National News Agency RSS

Chief justice urges lawyers to contribute to ensure justice for all

Chief Justice Obaidul Hassan today called upon the lawyers to play a role in ensuring justice for everyone in society without keeping limited their fight for establish justice in court only. He made the call while addressing a reception ceremony of Mymensingh District Bar Association in the city's Town Hall auditorium. The chief justice also urged the lawyers to be imbued with the spirit of independence and non-communal ideology to make their marks in taking ahead country. He also called for following the ideology of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to build a non-communal Bangladesh. Mymensingh District Bar Association President Advocate Fazlul Haque chaired the meeting which was conducted by its General Secretary Advocate Abul Kalam. Justice Jahangir Hossain, Senior District and Session Judge Mamtaz Parvin, Supreme Court Bar Association General Secretary Advocate Shah Md Manjurul Haque, Mymensingh District Bar Association former President Advocate Jahirul Haque, Advocate AHM Khal equzzaman, Advocate Moslem Uddin and Public Prosecutor Advocate Kabir Uddin Bhuiyan spoke on the occasion, among others. Earlier, the chief justice inaugurated a waiting room named "Naykunjo" for justice seekers at Mymensingh District Judge Court. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha

CPN (US) to embrace socialist programmes

Kathmandu: The upcoming 10th National Convention of the CPN (Unified Socialist) will approve the socialist plan of action, policy, principle and programmes, the party's senior leader and former prime minister Jhala Nath Khanal said. At a party's programme on Saturday, Khanal stressed the need of party making based on ideology, system, working style and culture. The party should be united on political and ideological grounds, he added. Likewise, Khanal said that the communist parties' government should be formed in Koshi and Sudurpaschim provinces for unity among the leftist parties. On the occasion, Khanal said that there would be the participation of 1,300 representatives in the General Convention and he would participate in the gathering representing Ilam district. Meanwhile, the CPN (US) is holding a special news conference on Sunday to share further about the upcoming General Convention. Source: National News Agency RSS

AL distributes relief goods among cyclone-affected people in Satkhira

Awami League's Relief and Social Welfare Sub-Committee has distributed relief goods among cyclone Remal-affected people at Munshiganj under Shyamnagar upazila in the district. Dry foods were distributed among 1200 cyclone-affected families today. AL Joint General Secretary AFM Bahauddin Nasim joined the programme as the chief guest with Shyamnagar Upazila AL President and ex-MP Jaglul Haider in the chair. AL Organizing Secretaries SM Kamal Hossain, Relief and Social Welfare Affairs Secretary Aminul Islam Amin, central committee member Advocate Gloria Sarker Jharna, lawmaker Ataul Haque Dolon and Firoj Ahmed Swapan were present, among others. Bahauddin Nasim said AL always stayed beside people in any disaster and crisis and will do so in future too. At the directives of messenger of humanity Sheikh Hasina, the AL Relief and Social Welfare Committee rushed to the cyclone-affected people, he said. "We will stay beside you till the last moment to face this disaster," he told the cyclone-affected people. Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha