Syed Mansur Hashim
Of rights and pay checks

Of rights and pay checks

THE twin disasters of Rana Plaza and Tazreen were a wakeup call, not just for the 5,000-factory strong sector but the government too. There have been talks and roadmaps agreed upon to improving working conditions, fire safety, compliance on building

Syrian opposition radicalises

Syrian opposition radicalises

IN the backdrop of a peace process hopefully taking off in Geneva, to address the continuing Syrian civil war, the fragmented Syrian opposition has called for President Assad to step down before talks can begin. This and the prerequisite that

Coming out of the cold

Coming out of the cold

SMILES all around for the Iranians at Geneva as it signed a historic deal with the West to limit its nuclear programme; gloom all around for policymakers in Tel Aviv. That basically sums up the situation. But for Iran, reeling

Bad loans on the rise

THE situation with the state-owned banks is dire. As per the Financial Stability Report (FSR)-2012 brought out by Bangladesh Bank, “the classified loans in the state-owned banks are higher due to the nature of their operations (lack of efficiency in

A tale of two corporations

A tale of two corporations

TWO years since the formal division of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) into DCC North and DCC South, city residents are yet to see the benefits. On the contrary, what limited municipality services there were previously have steadily gone down the

E-cigarettes: A consumer led revolution

E-cigarettes: A consumer led revolution

Hazards related to smoking are an established fact. Tobacco companies now print on packs messages like “smoking kills”. In Thailand, a consumer buying a pack is confronted with horrible pictures of tobacco-induced problems people face. For years, institutions such as

7.5 kilometres completed

That’s the lead news of the October 14 edition of The Financial Express. The Chinese contractor in charge of the four-lane highway from Dhaka to Chittagong has managed to construct 7.5km out of 140km over the last 20 months. The

Xinjiang: Answer to China’s energy shortage?

CHINA’S present energy policy to a certain extent is dictated by the supply-demand imbalance faced in the energy sector. Its existing production capacity requires far greater access to raw materials, particularly energy resources that cannot be produced or sourced domestically.

Innovation remains the key to success

Innovation remains the key to success

SOMEWHERE along the line, Research in Motion (RIM), manufacturer of Blackberry, forgot the name of the game, viz. innovation. Consider the facts: the ‘father’ of smart phones Blackberry was sold to Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. for an estimated $4.7 billion,

Nothing substantial since Bibiyana

Nothing substantial since Bibiyana

THE government brought out a supplement in major media outlets sometime in August titled ‘National Energy Security 2013.’ According to data presented there, we are apparently in full control of our onshore and offshore development activities for both oil and

Water for slum dwellers

Water for slum dwellers

URBANISATION is a problem all over Asia. Like Bangladesh, India is facing the same phenomenon. It is estimated 220 million people will be moving from the countryside to the cities in the next two decades. With such a massive surge

Where is the electric vehicle headed?

Where is the electric vehicle headed?

DRIVING an electric vehicle (EV) is akin to making a statement. The owner obviously cares for the environment to the point that the substantial additional investment required to procure an EV over and on top of a similarly equipped petrol-driven

System delivery and national identity system

IN 2007, the Election Commission Bangladesh (EC) began preparation of a landmark project called ‘Preparation of electoral roll with photographs.’ The government started issuing national identity cards (NID) when the electoral roll was completed. This was a very credible database,

Addressing the Syrian riddle

Addressing the Syrian riddle

100,000 dead and with an average casualty rate of 6,000 per month, the never-ending Syrian saga continues to dominate international headlines as one of the bloodiest civil wars in recent memory. The UN dithers as permanent members remain determined to

Managing riches in the Arctic

Managing riches in the Arctic

AN unprecedented warming of the Arctic region is underway. According to a study by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the region is set to become ice free by 2070. Yet more recent studies and satellite imagery have moved

Gloom besets fertiliser sector

Gloom besets fertiliser sector

WHEN experts discuss in many forums that Bangladesh has nearly attained food security, the first question that comes to mind is whether our agriculture sector is capable to feed the burgeoning population where net arable land is on the decline.

Young voters and the ‘C’ word

Young voters and the ‘C’ word

ELECTION time is round the corner and one wonders what the major political alliances will offer this time around. Manifestoes do matter these days in Bangladesh, so does their implementation. After all, the audience includes a staggering 65% population that

No respite in Chittagong gas crisis

No respite in Chittagong gas crisis

THE prolonged gas crisis over the last 5-6 years has essentially sapped business prospects in the port city of Chittagong. Petrobangla boasts of increasing gas production by 500 million standard cubic feet per day (mmcfd). Contrary to that, gas supply

Pushing peace in the Mid-East

SECRETARY of State John Kerry who has been in office for roughly one and a half years has been making a big push to settle one of the most intractable conflicts since World War 2; settling the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. After

Swallowing the rental pill

THERE is no denying that power sector management in the country is facing a serious question. As a large section of the quick rental power plants contracts are coming to the end of their terms, debate has once again taken

Liton Rahman/ Drik News

Roadmap to safety

THE European Union (EU) has set three principal targets to be met by readymade garments (RMG) sector in the safety accord agreed upon to improve safety of workers at factories. Major stakeholders must fulfil a number of targets. The government

Cashing in on FDI

GOING by World Bank Country Director Ellen Goldstein’s statements made in January that the Bank would like to help facilitate 15 to 20 new private economic zones in the country with a capacity to accommodate up to 700 new companies

PRISM breakout

PRISM breakout

PRIVACY isn’t what it used to be. After UK’s Guardian broke the news this month that the premier US intelligence organ National Security Agency (NSA) had initiated the PRISM programme, a system “that collects emails, documents, photos and other material

Following the Pakistan model

THANKFULLY, we haven’t got to Pakistan’s stage, but rest assured that we will. Now there is a country that went the rental power way and today is sitting with load-shedding 20 out of 24 hours per day! It is interesting

No escape from energy crunch

AT the recently ended US-Bangladesh partnership dialogue on the energy sector, the realisation appears to have finally dawned upon our venerable policymakers that there is no alternative to developing coal as a primary fuel source. One must thank Mr. Tawfiq-e-Elahi

New crossroads of Asia

THAT is how Myanmar is being portrayed, and not without reason. For both China and the United States, the stakes couldn’t be higher. China has invested heavily in the country. According to an article published recently in the New York

EU trade ban a bad idea

THE full ramifications of the Rana Plaza building collapse and subsequent confirmed dead of 500+ workers has sent shockwaves across the world. Bangladesh is now being touted by a section of international fashion industry as a “dirty country” to do

Readymade garments sector walks a tightrope

THE repercussions of the Rana Plaza fiasco simply cannot be understated. With hundreds dead and thousands injured, the 9-storey building collapse at Savar has propelled the $20billion export-driven industry under an international microscope. Nearly 8million people’s livelihoods are directly or

Global energy sourcing: Not getting any cleaner

AT least that’s the message coming from the International Energy Agency (IEA). In the report submitted to the 4th Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Conference, IEA has noted some progress in renewable energy and the corresponding adoption of energy policies. Yet

The rocky road ahead

The latest World Bank study titled ‘Bangladesh Development Update 2012′ points out opportunities and caveats for development. Indeed, the country has a lot going for it despite problems associated with a possible backlash from compliance issues in the United States,

Looking beyond the sabre rattling

All eyes are now firmly fixed on the Korean peninsula. Going by the sustained bellicose statements coming out of Pyongyang, one would think that war is truly imminent. The war jitters are being felt mostly by the South Korean (ROK)

Largest power project in limbo

Four years ago, a joint communiqué was issued by Bangladesh and Indian governments to set up a joint-venture company that would produce 1,320 megawatts (MW) of power from the single largest coal-fired power plant in Bangladesh. The contract was between

President Xi goes to Moscow

ON his first leg of many foreign visits, President Xi visited Moscow recently. It is interesting that the new general secretary should decide to go to Moscow first. This has more to do than a mere reciprocation of Putin’s visit

Where is the land?

Much has been written on the woes involved in getting an electricity connection for industry. But before a prospective industrialist gets access to electricity, land needs to be acquired to set up physical infrastructure. Unfortunately, the situation with land acquisition

Climate change and Syrian instability

While the political aspects of the Syrian civil war continue to dominate headlines in international media, a less talked about aspect is the correlation between climate change and social upheaval experienced in Syria. Political freedom and aspirations of the Syrian