Vol. 5 Num 368 Fri. June 10, 2005    
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Front Pagearrow Saifur spells out rural revamp recipe
Laconic on how he wants to chart the economy forward through reforms, Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman yesterday proposed a budget that tried to satisfy various electoral constituencies and at the same
 arrow Farm subsidy doubles
The government has doubled the subsidy and assistance to agriculture sector raising it to Tk 1,200 crore in a bid to further push up the agricultural growth.
 arrow Money-whitening scope stays for another year
Contrary to his earlier stand against black money, Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman yesterday proposed to extend the time limit for whitening black money for another year.
 arrow Safety net widens
In addition to the ongoing social safety net programmes, the government has proposed two more involving an expenditure of Tk 75 crore in the next fiscal year for the fully retarded, and seasonally unemployed
 arrow What's up, down
Some consumer items will become costlier while some others cheaper due to the new duty rates proposed in the budget for 2005-06 fiscal year.
 arrow Pay hike, dev expenditure inflate budget by 15.74pc
Ballooning pay and allowances bill and an increase in development expenditure will make the size of the budget for the next fiscal year bloated by 15.74 percent.
 arrow Primary praises by businesses
Top business leaders in their primary reaction hailed the proposed budget for the next fiscal year terming it pro-people and investment-friendly.
 arrow GDP to grow 5.4pc
The country's economic growth for the current fiscal year is expected to be 5.4 percent though it could have been 6 percent, Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman said yesterday.
 arrow Saifur skips defence fund in speech
For the first time in the country's history, the finance minister skipped the proposed defence allocation in the budget speech yesterday while official budget documents show that the government has proposed
 arrow Wahiduddin doubts revenue target
Eminent economist Wahiduddin Mahmud in his reaction yesterday said the budget has been tailored at the risk of ambitious and uncertain targets to meet various demands.
 arrow Budget ambitious, no vision to fight graft
Main opposition Awami League (AL) yesterday rejected the proposed budget for FY 2005-2006, and said it lacks 'visions' and would not bring about anything positive for the nation.
 arrow Zero income tax ceiling fixed at Tk 1.2 lakh
The government has raised the ceiling of zero tax on the individual income to Tk 1.2 lakh from Tk 1 lakh, which will be enforced from the 2005-06 fiscal year.
 arrow Time extension for whitening money "sad"
Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Executive Director Debapriya Bhattacharya in his budget reaction termed the extension of the time limit for whitening black money for another year "sad".
 arrow Bidisha scared to narrate police 'torture'
Bidisha, the estranged wife of former president HM Ershad, is too scared to tell her father and lawyers of police torture during the three-day remand, because she fears the police would kill her in case
 arrow Tax holiday for 18 sectors
Tax holiday for 18 industrial sectors has been extended for another three years in the proposed budget.
 arrow 10,000 to get Tk 200 each for higher edn
The new budget has proposed to award a monthly scholarship of Tk 200 to a further 10,000 female students to promote higher education for them, perusing studies in specialised subjects at graduation level.
 arrow SIM card costlier by Tk 1,200
The government has proposed to impose a duty of Tk 1,200 on mobile SIM (subscriber identity module) card in the budget for fiscal year 2005-06.
 arrow Govt claims success, but target far behind
Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman yesterday said that the country has been able to reduce substantially the level of poverty since early 1990s.
 arrow Non-Development & Development Budget: 2005-2006 (Tk 643.83 billion)..

 arrow Good governance gets less attention
The proposed budget is high on rhetoric but lacks specific directive or reform proposal to promote good governance.
 arrow SoE losses rise five times
The government counted Tk 2989.
 arrow Tax rate for non-listed companies ups to 40pc
The tax rate for non-listed companies has been fixed at 40 percent for the assessment year 2006-2007 instead of 37.
 arrow Pvt investors to get 57 acres of Ctg port land
The government has initiated a move to allocate 57 acres of Chittagong port land to private investors for establishing container freight and supply base stations and inland container depots (ICDs).
 arrow Experts refute power claim
Although the finance minister yesterday said the government increased power generation by 1,020 megawatt in the last three years, experts said it can claim production of only 105MW at a Tongi plant.
 arrow 4 ministries prepare own budget
In an unprecedented move, four ministries have prepared their individual budgets for the next fiscal year within their medium term resource-ceiling, a practice that will be continued in the future.
 arrow Gram Sarkar to get Tk 60cr, UPs Tk 120cr
The government has proposed a special allocation of Tk 60 crore in the new budget for the much-talked-about Gram Sarkar in a bid to strengthen the local government body.
 arrow CPD budget analysis on the web
A live webcast of Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) analysis on the proposed budget for 2005-06 will be made available in joint collaboration of the CPD, The Prothom Alo and The Daily Star from 11:00am
Businessarrow Dhaka, Tehran sign deal to boost trade
Bangladesh and Iran signed a trade agreement here yesterday to boost bilateral trade cooperation, with facilities to re-export products from the contracting countries to third countries.
 arrow Furniture, home appliance show kicks off in Dhaka
A three-day exhibition of local furniture and home appliances titled 'HomeShow-2005' started at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel yesterday.
 arrow G8 summit to discuss world economic inequality
Although ministers from the world's richest countries are officially meeting in London on Friday to discuss Africa ahead of July's G8 meeting at Gleneagles, Scotland, other issues such as Europe's political
 arrow After textiles, EU sounds alarm on China shoes
The European Union warned Wednesday it would not hesitate to slap import duties on Chinese footwear if it was clear that unfair trade practices were behind a triple-digit leap in shipments since the start
Sportsarrow Cricket: Whatmore's demand
Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore wants a kick-start from his boys in the first practice match before they launch their campaign in the triangular one-day series against hosts England at The Oval on June16.
 arrow Football: Tipu rescues Abahani
A late equaliser by substitute striker Shahajuddin Tipu salvaged one point for Abahani who slumped to a 1-1 draw against Arambagh Krira Sangha in the Premier Bank Premier Football League at the Bangaban-dhu
 arrow Cricket: Derby relish Tigers' visit
At the entrance of the Derbyshire County Cricket Club there was an announcement at the notice board --Visiting Bangladesh team will play a limited-overs game here on 10th June.
 arrow Football: Argentina book ticket via Brazil
Argentina qualified for the World Cup in the best possible manner on Wednesday, with a 3-1 home win over arch-rivals and world champions Brazil.
 arrow Football: First big match today
The third round of the Premier Football League ends today with Mohammedan Sporting Club taking on Muktijoddha Sangsad in the first big match of the most coveted domestic competition.
 arrow Cricket: Bangladesh to face Shoaib
Bangladesh's tour of England is not about to get any easier.
 arrow Volleyball: Pabna-Rajbari final today
Pabna will take on Rajbari in today's final of the Pepsi inter-district women's volleyball tournament at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex.
 arrow Football: Full mark for Mohakhali
Mohakhali Ekadash maintained their impressive run in the First Division Football League when they blanked Wari Club 3-0 at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.
 arrow Football: Asian lineup complete
Asian heavyweights Iran, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea lived up to their footballing reputations on Wednesday, all securing wins and clinching automatic qualifying spots for next year's World Cup
 arrow Football: Ukraine stymie Greece
Greece coach Otto Rehhagel worked a miracle in guiding his unheralded side to the European title last year but after a 1-0 home defeat to Ukraine on Wednesday he will need to pull off an even greaterachievement
 arrow Football: The God back in Naples
Hundreds of fans gathered at Capodichino airport in Naples on Thursday to welcome back Diego Maradona, 14 years after he last set foot in the city.
 arrow Football: Christiano Ronaldo to visit Aceh
Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo is to visit Indonesia's tsunami-hit province of Aceh this weekend to raise funds for victims of the massive December disaster, an event organizer said Thursday.
Metropolitanarrow 'HC verdict a setback for women's rights movement'
Samajik Protirodh Committee, a women rights group, yesterday termed the verdict of the High Court on reserved women seats as a setback for the movement of women rights and development.
 arrow PM to join South Summit in Doha June 15-16
Prime Minister Khaleda Zia flies to Qatar on Tuesday on a three-day visit to attend the second "South Summit" where leaders from some 50 developing countries will discuss their development challenges,
 arrow Launch social movement to check dowry menace
Speakers at a seminar yesterday called for launching a social movement to eliminate the dowry system from society in order to protect women from dowry-related violence.
 arrow Disqualify Ershad from next election
Leaders of six women's organisations yesterday called on the Election Commission (EC) to disqualify former president and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad from contesting the next election, terming himan
 arrow Children demand more access to media
Children yesterday demanded more access to the media to discuss their problems and share their opinion about their rights.
 arrow Govt urged to eliminate child labour
Leaders of six child rights organisations yesterday called upon the government to chalk out action plan to eliminate all kinds of child labour.
 arrow Budget anti-people
Different political parties yesterday rejected the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2005-06 terming it anti-people one.
 arrow Cabinet okays revised, proposed budgets
The cabinet at a special meeting at the Sangsad Bhaban yesterday approved the revised budget of 2004-05 fiscal and the proposed budget of 2005-06 financial year.
 arrow President authenticates national budget
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday authenticated the national budget for fiscal 2005-06 before it was presented in the Jatiya Sangsad by Finance and Planning Minister M Saifur Rahman.
 arrow Japanese senior vice-minister arrives today
Japanese Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Ichiro Aisawa arrives in Dhaka today on a two-day official visit.
 arrow Finance bill placed in JS
Finance Minister M Saifur Rahman yesterday introduced the Finance Bill, 2005 in the House after the presentation of the budget proposal for fiscal 2005-2006.
 arrow Attack on indigenous people condemned
Jatiya Adibashi Parishad (National Indigenous Council) yesterday condemned the attack on the indigenous people of Ratal Bazar under Singra upazila in Natore district.
 arrow Sunamganj by-polls July 20
By-election to Sunamganj-3 parliamentary seat will be held on July 20.
The Election Commission (EC) in a gazette notification yesterday announced the schedule for the by-election.

 arrow JS seat of Kazi Siraj declared vacant
Speaker Barrister Mohammad Jamiruddin Sircar yesterday declared parliamentary seat Faridpur-1 vacant following resignation of Kazi Sirajul Islam from Awami League.
Culturearrow Nacholer Rani
I grew up listening to the legends of rebellious Ila Mitra, who championed the cause of the indigenous Santals.
 arrow A homage to creativity: A display of 14 artists
The ongoing exhibition of 14 contemporary artists at Saju's Gallery is on a grand scale. This exhibition by the Dhaka Art Circle is dedicated to the memory of the late artist, Samsul Islam Nijami.
 arrow Biswaroner Nodi:Back from the Commonwealth film festival
Short filmmaker N Rashed Chowdhury's latest production Biswaroner Nodi (The River Lithe) has been screened at the Commonwealth Film Festival 2005 in UK.
 arrow Anandadhara and Shaptahik 2000 step into 8th year
Popular magazines, Shaptahik 2000 and Anandadhara stepped into their eighth year recently.
Generalarrow Two 'criminals' die in 'crossfire'
Two alleged criminals were killed in separate incidents of "crossfire" between the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and the associates of the criminals at Ataikula upazila in Pabna and Dohar upazila in Dhaka
 arrow 48 get Begum Rokeya Shining Award-2005
A total of 48 outstanding personalities--34 women and 14 men--received Begum Rokeya Shining Personality Award-2005 from Narikantha Foundation yesterday in recognition of their significant contributions
 arrow Tk 7.75 lakh looted in Chittagong
Robbers in the guise of hotel-boarders reportedly looted Tk 7.75 lakh from a business firm early Thursday at the city's Sadarghat area.
 arrow Revocation of fifth, eighth amendments demanded
Speakers at a rally yesterday demanded immediate revocation of the fifth and eighth amendments of the constitution with a view to establishing equal rights of all people.
 arrow Rab rescues girl, her 3 brothers
Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members yesterday arrested five abductors in Bogra and rescued a young girl and her three minor brothers.
 arrow Four killed in Comilla road accident
Four people, including a child and a woman, were killed yesterday as two passenger buses collided on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway at Mobarakpur area here.
The deceased could not be identified immediately.

 arrow Hasina condemns attack on Bogra AL office
Opposition leader Sheikh Hasina yesterday condemned the attack on Awami League office at Sonatala in Bogra.
 arrow 1,441 more held
Police arrested 1,441 people on various charges from different parts of the country in the last 24 hours as of 6:00am yesterday.
Editorialarrow Editorial: Apparel buyers' message
Representatives of apparel buyers and labour organisations on a mission here have sounded a note of warning that if working environment in our garment factories does not improve, they might have to rethink
 arrow Editorial: Enforcing rates more important
Not just bus fares but also those for launch journeys have been jacked up following the increase in fuel prices.
 arrow Rescuing our universities
Some of the problems of the country seem insoluble, and others by their very nature would require years of concerted effort and millions if not billions of taka in expense in order to resolve.
 arrow A superstitious mind
When he wakes up in the morning, he blows his nose before he opens his eyes, squeezing left side of his nose with left thumb to drive all the air through its right side.
 arrow Making buildings safe
Building codes are legal documents that provide a means to safeguard life and protect the public welfare through regulating the design, construction practices, construction material quality (including
Letters to Editorarrow Grenade attacks
Doesn't the sudden stop in grenade attacks and explosions prove that someone with power to do so has taken a decision to temporarily suspend these attacks due to international condemnation? Is it nota
 arrow Thoughts of a dying man
God bless you!! As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everyone will die some day. I am a merchant in Dubai in the U.A.E. I have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer.
 arrow The Red Bird
The strong winds of winter were blowing in December. The freezing cold, the grey skies and the winds continued for the next three months. We thought that we would never see the sun again.
 arrow World situation
The world is plagued by too much mistrust, fear and suspicion because people lack knowledge and information about other peoples.
 arrow Saddam Hossain
I was amused to view the photograph of Saddam Hossain in his underpants printed in the "Sun", reprinted widely in our newspapers for obviously other reasons. He looked quite helpless in that attire.
 arrow Sunday as holiday
I echo the same sentiment as expressed by Mr. S. N. Mamoon in The Daily Star on 26/5/05 on the subject.
 arrow Load shedding
Cox's Bazar is the holiday spot of Bangladesh, however, due to frequent load shedding, life has become miserable in this beautiful tourist resort.
 arrow Power plants
I would love to see more reports on the power plants in the country.
I especially appreciate your reporting on the ongoing bids scandal in power sector.

 arrow Learning English
Mr. Mujtaba Ahsan's letter on 26th May really provided some food for thought regarding English learning. As he lives in US, it's easier for him to find out and analyse the problem rather intellectually.
 arrow Launch disasters
Launch disasters have cost a huge number of lives. So someone should shoulder the responsibility of all these mishaps.
 arrow Are we civilised?
After reading the reports on the unrest in Dhaka University campus the first thing that strikes the mind is that Bangladesh is an uncivilised country.
 arrow Crossfire
The day before the murder of Suman in crossfire, I had a talk with my landlord about crossfire. He said that 90% of the educated people support crossfire and he also welcomed it.
 arrow Returning home!
Never stayed outside Bangladesh for more than two weeks until the year 2000 when I left for UAE on a professional assignment. By that time, my grey hair almost reached its peak.
 arrow Red alert!
All praises be to Allah who has given us such a beautiful country. Patriotism is something that every person has for his nation.
 arrow Rab crossfire
Yesterday another person was killed in the so-called Rab crossfire. There are different explanations of the killing of Abul Kalam Azad Sumon.
 arrow Teletalk
We know that Tele-talk lottery result is just out. But it is a matter of great regret that the winners are facing a lot of trouble to collect their sim. My father is one of the lottery winners.
 arrow Warn' innuendo
Shane 's latest innuendo against the youngest and the most inexperienced member of the international cricket family, Bangladesh, did not surprise me, given the fact that he is accustomed to courting media
 arrow Lack of harmony
We live in a civilised society, so we have various kinds of civil amenities like ordered and disciplined traffic system, police, hospitals, court, and above all good governance.
 arrow Homosexuality
I never thought of homosexual right in our country's context like I do now after reading Nagorik's letter. I can pretty well relate to what he tried to say.
Worldarrow 'India has no truce plans with Kashmiri militants'
The Indian army has no plans for a ceasefire with Islamic militants in the divided Himalayan state of Kashmir but is ready to encourage them to give up arms, India's army chief said yesterday.
 arrow JVP threatens to quit Lankan coalition govt
A key member of Sri Lanka's ruling coalition yesterday announced a stepped-up campaign to force President Chandrika Kumaratunga to withdraw a tsunami aid-sharing deal with Tamil Tiger rebels, as a sit-down
 arrow Israel, PA agree on Gaza pullout steps
Israel and the Palestinians said on Wednesday they had struck a deal to closely coordinate security steps for the Jewish state's planned pullout from the Gaza Strip in August.
 arrow Forced displacement of civilians on in Myanmar
Myanmar's army continues to target civilians while fighting ethnic Karen rebels, with extrajudicial killings and forcible displacements of some people up to 100 times in their lives, Human Rights Watch
 arrow UNSC contenders ready to forgo veto for 15-yr
In a surprise move, India and other G-4 nations have proposed not to exercise the veto right for 15 years in a new draft resolution seeking expansion of the 15-member UN Security Council by addition of
 arrow 22 Iraqi soldiers kidnapped
Twenty-two Iraqi soldiers were kidnapped near the Syrian border, an Iraqi military source said, as four US soldiers and 10 militants were killed in less than 24 hours in attacks north of the capital.
 arrow North Korea boasts it has more bombs
North Korea boasted it was building more nuclear bombs ahead of the South Korean leader's trip to Washington to discuss deadlocked international efforts to get the communist state to disarm.
 arrow Four acquitted of Kenyan hotel bombings
A Kenyan judge yesterday acquitted four men charged in the 2002 suicide bombing of an Israeli-owned hotel that killed 15 people, saying prosecutors had failed to link them to the bombers or al-Qaeda.
 arrow German court orders acquittal of Sept 11 attack suspect
Germany's federal appeal court yesterday ordered the acquittal of a Moroccan student, Abdelghani Mzoudi, who was accused of involvement in the September 11, 2001, attacks.
 arrow Bush opens door to possible closing of Guantanamo
President Bush left the door open to an eventual closing of the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay on Wednesday amid mounting complaints and calls for it to be shut down, including a broadside from
 arrow Africa offsets global progress: UN
A UN report yesterday on progress in halving extreme poverty and hunger across the globe by 2015 warned that millions in Africa were actually getting poorer and hungrier.
 arrow Nepal frees 48 journalists
Nepal yesterday released 48 journalists from custody, a day after they were arrested for protesting a continued ban on radio news broadcasts, police and reporters said.
 arrow Money-spinning US talk lands Cherie Blair in more hot water
In the court room she's Cherie Booth, one of Britain's most respected civil rights lawyers, arguing tough cases against big banks, major hospitals, even government ministries.
"A great tactician ...

 arrow Suspicious packages sent to embassies in Australia
Five embassies in the Australian capital, including the US, British and Japanese missions, were shut down yesterday after they received suspicious packages containing white powder, police said.
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