Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 57, Tuesday August 9, 2005




Banking Tips

Nasreen Sattar, Head of International Sales, Standard Chartered Bank

Q. I am a Bangladeshi national working for a foreign organisation in Dhaka. Can I maintain a foreign currency account?
A. As per Central Bank guidelines foreign currency accounts may be opened in the names of Resident Bangladeshi nationals working with foreign or international organizations operating in Bangladesh provided their salary is paid in foreign currency. Such account may be credited with the foreign currency portion of the salary and debited for all approved current transactions like cost of travel, education for children, treatments etc. This account can also be credited with consultancy fees. etc.

Q. I have utilised my foreign currency travel quota of USD 3000/ this year. I have an RFCD account - can I take out foreign currency from that account for my travel expenses.?
A. Yes, you can take out as much as you want from your RFCD account provided all travel documents such as confirmed ticket, passport with visa for the country you are travelling to etc. are submitted at the time of endorsement . Please note you are only allowed USD 1500 (or equivalent in cash) and the rest in Travellers Cheques.

Q. Can we as an Organisation now invest in Sanchayapatras (Government Security Bonds) for our staff Provident Fund Scheme?
A. Investing in 5 years Sanchayapatras ( Government Security Bonds) for Provident Fund Scheme has just been allowed by Central Bank effective 13 June 2005.

Q. I haven't used my account in a while. Recently I went to the bank and discovered that I cannot deposit money. They said something about my account being "inactive". I am quite ignorant in banking matters. Could you please explain the matter in detail and advise me how I can make my account active.
A. If you haven't conducted any transactions in your account for a certain period (time period may differ from bank to bank) the account becomes inactive. What you need to do is write a letter to the bank and advise them to re-activate your account so that you can start operating it. To keep the account active you need to deposit and withdraw funds. You may be asked to personally call on the branch where you maintain your account.

Q. Is a banker legally justified to ask for an introduction before opening an account?
A. Yes, the banker's action requiring an introduction before opening an account is legally required. If the banker does not require introduction of the customer before opening an account he cannot avail of the protection allowed under the 'Negotiable Instruments Act'.

Q. A Company's cheques have to be signed by two Directors and the Secretary. An order to put stop payment of a cheque is signed by the Secretary alone. Is the bank justified in refusing to stop payment of the cheque without all the signatories?
A. In the case of putting a stop payment the bank is not justified in refusing to stop payment of the cheque without all the signatories. The signature of the Secretary is enough.

Q. What is a Documentary Letter of Credit (LC) ?
A. An LC is an undertaking by a bank to pay a supplier on behalf of an importer upon presentation of certain documents related to supply of goods/services.

Dental wise

DR. Mahfujul Haq Khan BDS, DDS, FSDCE (USA), PhD (Japan), Post Doc. (Japan) Specialised: Crown and Bridge work, and Periodontal plastic surgery (USA) Senior Medical Officer, Department of Dentistry, BIRDEM Hospital

Dear Dr. Mahfuj
I am 37 years old and work in a very cool room(central AC). At my work place, I usually suffer from an abnormal sensation (a strange feelings) in the upper part of my teeth. I cannot drink cold water and I also cannot locate the exact teeth.
I visited my dentist and he told me that I don't have any problem. According to his advise, I am using Sensodyne tooth paste for the last 3 months. Not only has there been no change, rather the condition seems to worsen day by day. How do you explain this situation? Why is it happening? Can you give some brushing tips?

Dear Khan
This abnormal sensation or strange feeling is described by us as, "Hypersensitivity". This kind of sensation is invariably triggered by actions such as drinking a hot or cold beverage, eating sweet or sour food, or dental manipulations such as touching the tooth or directing an air blast on it. Sometimes patient may face difficulties to locate the exact tooth or may locate the wrong one. However, the problem, known as hypersensitivity, may be a relatively simple one to treat.

ENAMEL EROSION is the main reason for hypersensitivity. Other problems that may exhibit similar symptoms include cracked tooth syndrome (Microfracture), caries or decay and often open or defective margins on filling, recurrent caries, or fractured filling. Patients that have had recent scaling and root planing often experience transient hypersensitivity.

Some common causes of enamel erosion
Brushing Habits: Sustained and overzealous brushing (especially with harder-bristled brushes) is known to thin enamel and cause Gingivae (gum) to recede. Right-handed people tend to brush their left teeth more zealously and vice versa, which results in hypersensitivity in those teeth. Also, since people tend to brush the front teeth and outer tooth surfaces more zealously, those areas are more likely to be sensitive than back teeth and inner surfaces, mirroring the incomplete brushing habits of most people.

Diet: Habitual ingestion of acidic substances causes erosion of enamel and dentin, which may cause sever hypersensitivity. The citric acid in citrus fruits (e.g., lemons) dissolves enamel.

Disease: There is an increased risk of tooth hypersensitivity in patient who has long history of acidity or gastroesophageal reflux.

Prevention of enamel erosion
Acidic food and drinks can damage your tooth enamel. Some foods and drinks to use cautiously include ginger ale, limes/lemons and their juices, wine, coffee, vinegar, pickles, cola and citrus-based drinks, apples, strawberries, fruit jams/jellies, pineapples/pineapple juice, and grapes. It is especially important not to brush right after ingesting these foods, because they strip away the tooth's protective layer, and you will be brushing naked enamel, which is more prone to damage.

Treatment of hypersensitivity
Treatment will be according to causes but if you have particular dentinal hypersensitivity due to enamel erosion, you may find some relief by using special medicated toothpastes (Sensodyne tooth paste) for sensitive teeth. To use the toothpaste, you should choose the softest bristle. Make sure that you allow the toothpaste to come into all areas where you noted dental pain and keep for 2 to 3 minutes and then brush. Do not use these toothpastes for more than four weeks without a diagnosis of dentinal hypersensitivity from a dentist. If no improvement then your dentist can relieve hypersensitivity by applying bonding agents or dentin sealer to the exposed sensitive surface.

Brushing tips
· Brush twice daily, with a soft-bristled toothbrush
· Use a toothpaste containing fluoride
· Brush inner, outer and chewing surfaces with a back-and-forth motion
· Hold brush at 45 degree angle to the gums to clean gumline
· With the 'toe' of the toothbrush, clean the inner surface of the front teeth using an up-and-down stroke
· Brush the tongue gently
· Replace toothbrush every three months

· Brush too vigorously
· Brush too frequently
For further information visit Dr. Khan's website www.aikodental.com

By The Way


Clear cluttered kitchen surfaces and throw out any gadgets you haven't used in the past year. If you can't throw away anything expensive, give it to a friend or someone who needs it. Getting rid of this clutter will stop you feeling guilty and clear space.


By Iffat Nawaz

Roses aren't always Red…

When they sell a half a dozen exotic roses for a dollar you just know it's at least a few days old. A few days old and odorless, but it looks as good from my untrained flower critic eyes, and I am always tempted to pick up a batch, even if it will die in two days, it will still exude it's striking beauty all over my room, keep me content for some time…I rather spend my dollar on those roses than a Macadamia nut cookie which only gives me 30 seconds of heaven and then a whole day of "why did I eat that" feeling…

As I started buying these dollar roses regularly I started paying attention to who else besides me invests their one dollar for these beauties, and strangely enough I found very few people doing so. Besides me, there was a crowd of fed-up looking married men who will probably take the flowers home and pretend like they are worth at least $50 to their wives, then there were some teenage boys who probably think these roses will get them far with their temporary high school girlfriends (the love that never lasts but leaves marks), and a homeless guy who stops people by asking them if they work for the FBI (I have no idea what he does with the roses, my guess is he smokes them), and that was it. Myself, the homeless, the bored married men and the teenage boys and their over active hormones…No average woman and definitely not the ones with their noses high up in the air ever take a look at those roses- these roses are so not branded, they are so passé, outlet store like and so public, who would want to be seen buying roses for a dollar? Not them, they are too good for that, they rather have their husbands buy it and take it home so they can pretend like it's worth 50 times more!

Anyway, so this whole consumer observation on dollar roses led me think something is wrong with me. Then I got to thinking about all the other cheap deals I always settle for. The look alike clothing and accessories that won't have the same tag on the back as the original but looks almost as good, and I thought about how I like fixer-uppers and second hand thrift stores excites me, how a good imitation to me is as good as gold, and how I believe it's all about how you carry yourself and not how much you are carrying…so all this got me thinking about the quality of living (not life), I thought about why 100% cotton is not so important to me and I will settle for a blend that feels and looks right.

And obviously like always I went back to pointing fingers, and whose fault was it? Of course Bangladesh's. Growing up we never settled for fixed prices, bargain rocks and bargain talks. Sure today we don't bargain as much in Dhaka but we expect the clothing to fall apart after a few washes when we pay a certain amount. Yes there are some designer stores of course that demands more money and standard but most of the time we Bangladeshis wont settle for the best but for the second best which looks as good as the best, we learn to copy and imitate and live the high life with the imitations, that's why gold plated silver and bongo bazaar is still popular, that's why superficial restaurants with rotten chicken still feeds. Because we go for the look over the quality, we make the quality ourselves…we Bengalis are resourceful, we still believe in gausia market and moody tailors and glass bangles.

So what am I missing out by not eating name branded sugar as oppose to store branded ones…perhaps more than I will ever know, but what I know now is I am thankful…thankful to Bangladesh for stopping me to smell the flowers and revere street side bargain…without you Bangladesh, my life wouldn't be so rosy.


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