Vol. 5 Num 1073 Fri. June 08, 2007    
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Front Pagearrow Eyes locked on immediate priorities
Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday proposed a budget for the next fiscal year setting his eyes on the current development priorities--tackling inflation, spending on power and infrastructure,
 arrow Tk 87,137cr budget banks heavily on bank borrowing
The caretaker government yesterday proposed a budget of Tk 87,137 crore for the fiscal year 2007-'08, making it 30 percent bigger than the revised budget for the current fiscal, relying heavily on massive
 arrow Budget big in size, highly ambitious
Terming it highly ambitious and big in size, the Awami League (AL) yesterday said the proposed budget does not outline how the interim government will go about tackling price hike of essentials.
 arrow What's Up, Down
Customs duty on CNG-run CBU bus may be increased to 15 percent from 5 percent to encourage assembling industry for CNG-run bus.

 arrow Load-shedding free Bangladesh by 2010
The government eyes a load shedding-free Bangladesh by 2010, finance adviser said in his budget speech yesterday.
 arrow Worry over proper implementation
Appreciating the first-ever provision of taking public opinions about budget into account, former caretaker government adviser Akbar Ali Khan set out power sector development and checking high inflation
 arrow Safety net brackets more beneficiaries
The caretaker government (CG) has proposed to strengthen the ongoing social safety net programmes by increasing the number of beneficiaries and funds for them in the budget for the next fiscal year.
 arrow Drastic measures to rein back prices
In the proposed budget, the caretaker government has unveiled various measures including complete withdrawal of customs duties on some commodities and distribution of 10 lakh metric tons of food grains
 arrow Solid support for farm sector
The proposed national budget for 2007-08 fiscal year introduced Tk 750 crore subsidy for diesel used to run irrigation equipment and increased the fertiliser sub-sector subsidy from previous Tk 1,100crore
 arrow Edible oil, lentil import made duty free
The budget for the 2007-08 fiscal year proposed withdrawal of the four percent infrastructure development surcharge on import and customs duty on crude edible oil and lentil to keep the market price tolerable.
 arrow VAT net widens
The proposed budget for 2007-08 has extended the VAT (value added tax) network bringing more goods and services within the net.
 arrow Priority on positives
Renowned economist Debapriya Bhattacharya said the proposed budget reflects the government's ongoing infrastructure reform initiatives while Zaid Bakht termed implementation of "such a big budget" a challenge
 arrow Budget 2007-08...

 arrow Newsprint import duty cut by 10pc
The finance adviser has proposed reduction in customs duty on newsprint import from the existing 25 percent to 15 percent.
 arrow Tax-free income limit pushed up to Tk 1.5 lakh
The budget for fiscal 2007-08 brings forward a 13-point proposal for changes in the income tax structure including increasing the exemption limit of income tax for an individual to Tk 1.
 arrow Mamun jailed for 3yrs by anti-graft court
A special anti-graft court yesterday sentenced Giasuddin Al Mamun, a controversial businessman and close friend of former prime minister Khaleda Zia's son Tarique Rahman, to three years' imprisonmentfor
 arrow Polls roadmap by mid-July
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) ATM Shamsul Huda yesterday said the Election Commission (EC) would be able to declare by mid-July a roadmap for the next general election.
 arrow 25pc budget fund set aside for HR development
The caretaker government has proposed a Tk 19,701-crore budgetary allocation for human resources development which, it believes, is the cornerstone of social infrastructure development.
 arrow EC gets Tk 536cr for election preparation
Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday proposed an allocation of Tk 536 crore for the Election Commission (EC) to complete all preparations for holding the next parliamentary election.
 arrow Reconditioned car dealers' commission to be raised
Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam in his budget speech yesterday proposed to increase the commission for the dealers of reconditioned cars.
 arrow ICT sector gets 21pc higher allocation
Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday proposed an allocation of Tk 1,899 crore, which is 21 percent higher than that of the revised budget and 2.
 arrow Tax incentives for mobile firms going public
Cellular phone operators would be offered tax incentives once their companies are enlisted on the stock exchanges in the country.
 arrow Tk 550cr extra fund for jobs for rural poor
The finance adviser yesterday in his budget speech proposed an extra Tk 550 crore to be spent for employment generation in rural areas for the fiscal year 2007-08 through mostly non-government organisations
 arrow Separate funds proposed for IT, agricultural entrepreneurs
Finance Adviser Mirza Azizul Islam yesterday proposed to form two new funds-- Agriculture Entrepreneurship Fund and IT Equity Entrepreneurship Fund-- splitting the existing Equity Entrepreneurship Fund
 arrow Khaleda trashes graft charges
BNP chief and former prime minister Khaleda Zia yesterday said the corruption allegations brought against her in newspapers are false and fabricated.
 arrow Hasina vows to establish people's rights
Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her main mission is to establish people's rights--fundamental, democratic and voting--so they can elect the government of their choice by exercising
 arrow Trial of Lobi's tax evasion case begins
The trial of a tax evasion case against former BNP lawmaker Ali Asgar Lobi began at a special court here yesterday.
 arrow UN asks govt to quickly enact anti-terror law
The visiting UN counter-terrorism team yesterday urged the government to quickly pass anti-terrorism law and strengthen the anti-money laundering law in conformity with the international counter-terrorism
 arrow US immigration bill fails key test-vote
A fragile bipartisan compromise that would legalize millions of unlawful immigrants suffered a setback yesterday when it failed a test vote, leaving its prospects uncertain.
Businessarrow Power outage takes huge toll on tea industry
The frequent power outage has badly affected the country's tea production this year, industry insiders said.
 arrow SAP may sign 10 deals with Bangladesh firms within months
SAP, the Germany-based business software giant, is expected to sign around 10 business contracts in Bangladesh within the next few months.
 arrow Stagnant farm output worries Delhi
India's finance minister said Thursday that he was worried about near-stagnant farm output that has forced the country to import grains to feed its billion-plus people.
 arrow Kunming fair kicks off
The five-day 15th China Import and Export Fair-2007, co-organised by Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), began at Kunming International Trade and Convention Centre in China on Wednesday, says
 arrow One fifth of world's workers work over 48 hours a week: ILO
More than one fifth of the global workforce spends more than 48 hours a week at work, with many workers in the poorest countries forced to opt for long hours given their meagre wages, the International
 arrow Citigroup announces 10 cash management mandates in Asia Pacific
Citigroup has announced the signing of cash management mandates for ten leading global and regional companies, says a press release.
 arrow High-profile ROK business team in town
A high-profile South Korean business delegation arrived in Dhaka yesterday on a 4-day visit to Bangladesh to explore possibilities of investment in a number of key areas including energy, power and agriculture,
 arrow US urges India to withdraw wheat ban
The United States urged India Thursday to end an effective ban on imported US wheat, saying the measure only meant New Delhi had to pay more than it needed on the international market.
 arrow BATB okays dividend
British American Tobacco Bangladesh (BATB) on Wednesday approved the company's proposed dividend of Tk 3 per share, according to a press release.
 arrow Square Textiles declares 30pc cash, 15pc stock dividends
Square Textiles Ltd yesterday declared 30 percent cash and 15 percent stock dividend for the year 2006, says a press release.
 arrow Toyota's global hybrid sales top 1m
A decade after the first Prius went on sale, Toyota's global sales of hybrid vehicles have hit a landmark 1 million, underlining the Japanese automaker's lead in "green" technology that has changed the
 arrow Proton, Volkswagen close to tie-up
Malaysia's ailing national carmaker Proton and Volkswagen AG are close to sealing a tie-up that will likely see the German firm take a 51 percent stake in its key assets, a report said Thursday.
 arrow LG Electronics, Microsoft in patents deal
Microsoft Corp and South Korea's LG Electronics (LGE) said Thursday they have reached a patent cross-licensing agreement aimed at further developing each other's current and future products.
 arrow Currency

Sportsarrow Football: An eventful draw
Ten-man Mohammedan were held by Muktijoddha to a 1-1 draw in yesterday's action-packed B. League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.
 arrow Cricket: Tigers sweat it out
Bangladesh cricket team returned to action after 11 days at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday.
 arrow Cricket: WI keep Eng in check
Corey Collymore led a West Indies fightback in the third Test against England at Old Trafford here Thursday.
 arrow Cricket: PCB still for Whatmore
Pakistan's cricket authorities have again focused their attention on Australian Dav Whatmore after he failed to get the coach's job with the Indian team.
 arrow Cricket: One for posterity
Shaun Pollock knew he'd have to bat really well, given that he'd decided not to bowl in this tournament and that this African side was without some star batsmen, but this was something else: a maidenhundred
 arrow Less money for sports
An allocation of Tk 170,96,78,000 has been made for the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the national budget for fiscal 2007-08 announced yesterday. The amount is Tk 47.
 arrow Cricket: Mali acting ICC chief
Ray Mali has been appointed acting president of the International Cricket Council (ICC) following the death last month of fellow South African Percy Sonn, the global governing body announced in a statement
 arrow Cricket: Guardian exposes audio
The newspaper England captain Michael Vaughan accused of misquoting him placed an audio excerpt of its interview with Vaughan on the Internet Thursday, contradicting the cricketer's assertion that his
 arrow Tennis: Serb surge sweeps Sharapova away
Maria Sharapova lost her French Open semifinal to Ana Ivanovic, a Serbian teenager who soared to a 6-2, 6-1 victory Thursday to reach her first Grand Slam final.
 arrow Football: Happy hunting for top guns
David Beckham and David Villa produced outstanding individual performances to put England and Spain respectively firmly back in the hunt for places at Euro 2008 on Wednesday.
 arrow Football: McClaren hails Beckham
England manager Steve McClaren hailed as "immense" David Beckham's contribution as the Real Madrid midfielder set up two goals in England's 3-0 victory over Estonia in their Euro 2008 qualifier here on
 arrow Football: Real request security
Spanish giants Real Madrid have requested extra security for their away match on Saturday to Zaragoza after the armed Basque separatist group ETA put an end to a 15-month-old ceasefire.
 arrow Football: Klose buries hatchet with Frings
German striker Miroslav Klose buried the hatchet with national and Werder Bremen teammate Torsten Frings on Wednesday over comments in the German press that Klose should quit the Bundesliga club.
 arrow Football: Ribery joins Bayern
France international midfielder Franck Ribery has joined Bayern Munich in a four-year deal, the German club said on Thursday.
 arrow Football: Parker joins West Ham
Scott Parker has signed a five-year, seven-million pound (10.3-million euro) contract for West Ham, the London club said on Wednesday.
 arrow Cricket: Past meets future
"First thing is the run-up. Then the pace of the kid. Then whether they have a cricket brain. Then the fitness. Then how hungry he is. With good fast bowlers you spot these qualities within a few overs.
 arrow Football: Dada back on top
The Indian crowd roared in delight at the fall of an Asian. Sanath Jayasuriya, the big-hitting Sri Lankan, had just fallen and he might have been a trifle surprised at the crowd reaction.
 arrow Football: No kits, no camp!
Fitness of the 14 participants was analysed for the third day today at the ongoing bowlers' camp, being held at the Infosys Campus here.
 arrow Cricket: Hassan to make Afghan history
Hamid Hassan will become the first Afghani cricketer to turn out for the MCC at Lord's on Thursday -- and the 20-year-old admits he cannot wait.
 arrow Cricket: Next Afro-Asia Cup in Kenya
Kenya is likely to host the next Afro-Asia Cup which would be held in June next year, the Asian Cricket Council said on Thursday.
Metropolitanarrow Help consolidate financial, admin management
President Iajuddin Ahmed yesterday called upon the Deputy Commissioners (DCs) to extend their all out cooperation to the government for consolidating financial and administrative management.
 arrow Graft charges pressed against ex-MP Wadud
The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) placed before a Khagrachhari court the charge sheet against former BNP lawmaker Abdul Wadud Bhuiyan in connection with a case filed for amassing properties by illegal
 arrow Politicians blamed for cops' bad image
Speakers at a programme yesterday blamed the political leadership over the years for the present bad image of police administration in the country.
 arrow Iftekhar expects deluge of S Korean investment
Foreign Affairs Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed yesterday said he expects a deluge of South Korean investment to flow into Bangladesh on the back of the recent licensing of Korean Export Processing Zone (KEPZ)
 arrow Road accidents kill seven
At least seven people were killed and 24 others injured in separate road accidents in Comilla, Mymensingh, Sirajganj and Kurigram yesterday.
 arrow Laid-off jute worker dies from 'starvation'
A laid-off worker of Platinum Jubilee Jute Mills died, apparently from starvation, at his house at Khalishpur on Wednesday night.
 arrow Principal jailed for misappropriating funds in Khulna
A Khulna court yesterday sentenced Principal Abu Sayeed of Daulatpur Day-Night College to two years' rigorous imprisonment for misappropriating the college funds.
 arrow 2 electrocuted in city during thunderstorm
An 'O' level student and a housewife were electrocuted in separate places in the city during four-hour thunderstorm and downpour last night.
 arrow Car thief caught red-handed
A car thief was caught red-handed while trying to speed away at Karwan Bazar area in the city in broad daylight yesterday.
 arrow '50000 new asthma patients diagnosed a year'
Combination therapy can control asthma, but unfortunately this therapy is not available in the country, said the experts at a seminar yesterday.
 arrow Programme to celebrate conquest of Chullu West
Bangla Mountaineering and Trekking Club (BMTC) organises a video and slide show at 10:30am at National Press Club in the city today to celebrate the conquest of Chullu West, a 21,059 feet Himalayan peak,
 arrow Another case filed against MA Hashem
Another case was filed against former BNP lawmaker and Partex Group Chairman MA Hashem, his son Md Russell and four others yesterday on charges of grabbing land in Gazipur.
 arrow 3 drivers held, 14 vehicles fined in Ctg
A mobile court in the port city yesterday fined 14 vehicles and sent three drivers to jail on charges of violating traffic rules.
 arrow Humayun Kabir new ambassador to United States
Humayun Kabir has been appointed the new ambassador of Bangladesh to the United States, a position left vacant for months.
 arrow Charge framing date rescheduled
Public safety tribunal and second special sessions court of Rajshahi district yesterday changed the date for framing charge in the Rajshahi University Prof S Taher Ahmed murder case to June 11.
 arrow Man killed by brother
A man was killed by his brother over a family feud at Pallabi in the city in the early hours of yesterday.
 arrow TK 5,282 cr proposed for defence services
Tk 5,282 crore has been proposed for the Defence services for fiscal 2007-08. In fiscal 2006-07, Tk 4,745 crore was allocated for the defence. The allocation was revised to Tk 5,281 crore.
 arrow 6 compartments of a train derail in Mymensingh
Six compartments of a train carrying army personnel and goods derailed here on Wednesday midnight, disrupting communication on Mymensingh-Chittagong route.
 arrow CG hailed for allocating maternity allowance
Development Organisation of the Rural Poor (DORP) yesterday hailed the Caretaker Government (CG) for including maternity allowance in the budget for the 2007-2008 fiscal year (FY).
 arrow Bail prayer for Rajshahi mayor Minu rejected
The district and sessions judge court yesterday rejected an ad interim bail prayer for detained Rajshahi City Corporation Mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu.
 arrow TIB children's painting contest June 15
Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) will organise a children's painting competition titled 'Good health - beautiful country' on June 15, says a press release.
 arrow 2 run over by train in Rajshahi
Two people were crushed under the wheels of Dhaka-bound Silk City train over Arani Railway Bridge over Baral River in Rajshahi at 3:30 pm yesterday.
 arrow BMP concerned over gangrape of RMG worker
Bangladesh Mahila Parishad yesterday expressed grave concern over the gangrape of a teenage garment worker who latter committed suicide at Bakultala village of Sripur in Gazipur, says a press release.
 arrow Death anniversary of Sabequnnahar Sony today
Today is the fifth death anniversary of Sabequnnahar Sony, the first female student to fall victim to campus violence.
Point-Counterpointarrow Our MPs, their actual practices and accountability factor
There were two small news items in recent weeks that escaped the attention of our quite vibrant news media. The US presidential elections are not due until November of 2008.
 arrow South Asian Parliament
When we think about South Asian Parliament we keep in the back of our minds the European Parliament (EP), which is the legislative wing of the European Union (EU). The EU is a unique body.
 arrow Nepal on the track
Last week's agreement between the governing seven-party-alliance (Spa) and the Maoists to hold elections for a constituent assembly between mid-November and mid-December is a significant episode in Nepal's
Culturearrow "The Rasheda Trust": Life and times of a female entrepreneur
Thanks to the international recognition to Dr Yunus and Grameen Bank, micro-credit has become a global phenomenon. Micro-credit has changed the lives of many, specifically empowering rural women.
 arrow "Chhuti" and "Brishti": Two TV plays by Morshedul Islam
Chhuti and Brishti, two TV plays both directed by acclaimed filmmaker Morshedul Islam, had their premiere on June 6 at the Goethe Institut, Bangladesh.
 arrow The world of Rabindra Sangeet
Nayeema Ali is among the founder members of the Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Shangstha (RSSS), formed back in 1988, and has held the position of vice president since its inception.
 arrow Odissi dance performance at Osmani Memorial Hall this evening
"Odissi, one of the genres of Indian classical dance, developed in the hills of Udaygiri (now Bhubaneshwar), dating back to the second century B.C.
 arrow Javed's fantasy world of lines and washes
Javed Jalil's ongoing exhibition titled "Lines of Madness" at the Goethe Institut, is a collection of intriguing pen and ink work with washes. He got into drawing and painting when he was in USA in 1991.
 arrow Bangladesh in a positive light
Japan Bangladesh Cultural Forum (JBCF), an organisation working to ensure cultural interaction between Japan and Bangladesh, will be making a documentary series titled Potential Bangladesh to highlight
Generalarrow ASK concerned over eviction drive in Pallabi
Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK) yesterday expressed grave concern over the eviction drive at Chakuli village in city's Pallabi area by the armed forces.
Internationalarrow G8 agrees on climate goal of halving emissions by 2050
Leaders of the Group of Eight club of wealthy nations agreed Thursday on the goal of halving dangerous greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in a landmark pact against global warming.
 arrow Asian govts urged to do more to combat human trafficking
Asian governments need to do more to combat people trafficking as children are increasingly victims of the illicit multi-billion dollar global trade, an international forum was told yesterday.
 arrow Corruption in schools, universities cost billions: Unesco
Corruption and fraud in schools and universities worldwide is costing billions of dollars and compromising the future of youth, a report released by Unesco in Paris says.
 arrow Climate change wreaks havoc on Asian water resources
Asia is expected to face a serious shortage of fresh water due to climate change, with more than one billion people forecast to be hit by the crisis, a US State Department report warned Wednesday.
 arrow Time not ripe for talks with Syria: US, Israel
The United States and Israel said after high-level talks here Wednesday that the time might not be ripe for the Jewish state to resume peace talks with arch-rival Syria.
 arrow Immigration bill in doubt after vote
A fragile compromise that would legalise millions of unlawful immigrants risks coming unravelled after the Senate voted early Thursday to place a five-year limit on a programme meant to provide US employers
 arrow Armenia, Azerbaijan edge towards deal
A meeting this Saturday of the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan is raising hopes that a deal could be reached on a dispute over the volatile territory of Nagorny Karabakh that has long disfigured this
 arrow US death toll nears 3,500 in Iraq
Iraq's seemingly inexhaustible corps of terror bombers struck across the country again yesterday, from a restaurant in Baghdad's teeming Sadr City, to a police station levelled by a blast near the Syrian
 arrow I wish to rule India one day: Mayawati
After creating history by becoming chief minister of the country's largest state for the fourth time, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has set new goals for herself - to rule India some day and build
 arrow Lebanese troops pounds Islamists
Lebanese army tanks and helicopters pounded Islamist militiamen besieged in a Palestian refugee camp on Thursday after a night of violent clashes, AFP correspondents said.
 arrow Malaysian PM to remarry
Malaysia's prime minister said Wednesday he is in love again and will remarry this week, although his affection for his late wife remains strong.
Editorialarrow Editorial: A mixed bag budget
The just-announced budget for fiscal 2007-08 is a true reflection of the economic realities on the ground topped off by reform expectations with a recipe for sustaining the GDP growth rate trend against
 arrow Editorial: Powers of magistracy to the police?
We are concerned about the proposed police ordinance relating to provisions of magistracy powers for the law enforcing agency.
 arrow An apology not accepted
Better late than never, we have got an apology. In one fell swoop, a pillar of politics has said sorry last week. Most people say sorry for their own mistakes. He has said it for the mistakes of others.
 arrow A question of image
Only a cursory browsing of Dr. Ayesha Siddique Agha's book Military Inc reveals it to be a motivated attack on the armed forces, a sophisticated embellishing of facts, intertwined with pure fabrication.
 arrow 40 years of occupation
Forty years ago, on June 5, 1967, Israel launched a pre-emptive war against Egypt, Syria and Jordan, which ended in a spectacular military victory for Israel.
Environmentarrow Depletion of forests by the forest lord!
Most of the news about the environment either here in Bangladesh or elsewhere in the world is distressingly bad.
 arrow Unilateral withdrawal of Brahmaputra waters?
My attention was drawn to the news item "China plans to divert Brahmaputra waters" in The Daily Star of May 8, 2007.
 arrow Greener living to thwart climate change
Our planet is surrounded by a blanket of gases which keeps its surface warm and able to sustain life.
Worldarrow Bush seeks to ease tension with Russia
President George W Bush yesterday sought to ease tensions with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin as the world's wealthiest nations struggled to reach a deal on combating climate change.
 arrow Lanka cops force Tamils out of capital
Armed Sri Lankan police forced hundreds of ethnic minority Tamils out of the capital Colombo yesterday as part of an effort to clear the city of feared Tamil Tiger cells, officials and witnesses said.
 arrow Pakistan suspends new media curbs
The Pakistani government has suspended the introduction of tight restrictions on broadcasters following an uproar at home and criticism abroad, officials said yesterday.
 arrow Pak judge wanted to head govt: Spy chief
Pakistan's top judge wanted President Pervez Musharraf to dissolve the government and make him head of an interim regime several months before his ouster, the country's military intelligence directorsaid
 arrow 'Indian rebels shifting its camps to Nepal'
One of the main guerrilla groups fighting Indian rule in the remote northeast is shifting its camps to Nepal following crackdowns in other neighbouring countries, an ex-rebel said Wednesday.
 arrow Cyclone Gonu blamed for 15 deaths
Semi-trucks were trapped in flooded highways here Thursday after Cyclone Gonu battered Oman's coast on its path toward the world's most important crude oil tanker route.
 arrow Abbas-Olmert summit cancelled
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday cancelled a planned summit meeting this week with Ehud Olmert, saying the Israeli leader has failed to accept any of his suggestions for reducing tensions,
 arrow 39 still detained in CIA secret prisons
A coalition of human rights groups has drawn up a list of 39 terror suspects it believes are being secretly imprisoned by US authorities and published their names in a report released yesterday.
 arrow N Korea test-fired missiles: Seoul
North Korea on Thursday test-fired short-range missiles, less than two weeks after its previous launch, the South Korean defence ministry said.
 arrow 30 Taliban killed or wounded in battle
Afghan and international troops killed or wounded more than 30 Taliban militants in the past 24 hours, while an Afghan soldier and a policeman were killed separately, officials said yesterday.
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