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     Volume 8 Issue 75 | June 26, 2009 |

  Cover Story
  Current Affaires
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  Straight Talk
  Star Diary
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Tipaimukh Dam: A Death Trap

The construction of Tipaimukh dam on the Borak river in Monipur, India and Fulertal Barrage further downstream would have a disastrous effect on huge areas in Bangladesh and also India.
Not scrutinising its scientific, technical, economic and environment feasibility of the Tipaimukh dam, the decision to build a dam, 162.5 meters high and 390 metres long, by India to help its people control the rivers to prevent flood in the Assam regions and produce electricity whereas the barrage will ensure full control of water resources in favour of India.
The Tipaimukh Dam will cause water flow to slow down, hamper Boro cultivation in north-eastern Bangladesh inflicting environmental and economic consequences on agriculture, fisheries and wildlife.
Started as an attempt to contain flood water, the construction of Tipaimukh Hydroelectric project in a seismically vibrant region by unrevealing the nature and extent of the geo-tectonic risk will reduce the natural monsoon flood patterns and jeopardise the downstream flood plains in Haor areas for Boro cultivation.
Let us stand united to resist India's plans to dam this international river.
Sheikh Abdullah
Department Of Finance
University Of Dhaka

On Rough Justice

On June 12, the cover story of the Star Magazine was a well timed feature. I appreciate the writer for highlighting this sensitive issue. From the very beginning, RAB earned the people's trust by concentrating on annihilating the terrorists, rapists and smugglers from the society. Many culprits were shot dead and people were freed from their torture. It helped to reduce anarchy from the country. Religious extremists like JMB were also nabbed in RAB operations and the attitude of RAB gave us hope that criminals would not get the upper hand.
The judicial system in Bangladesh is very lengthy and because of the weakness of laws, many notorious terrorists get bail easily. They again become involved in misdeed and make peoples life miserable. This is why people welcomed RAB. But nowadays questions have been raised about the crossfire killings. There should be transparency in a society where there is rule of law. So proper investigation should be conducted into these killings. However, should we uphold the rights of a few, or the rights of many to live in peace?
Md.Azam Khan
Dept of Mathematics
University of Chittagong

Withdraw tax on interest and deposit in Bank
In the last couple of months Bangladesh Bank had been advocating a reduction of interest on lending by commercial banks and financial institutions to stimulate business activities for enhancing employment in Bangladesh's economy. Most of the private commercial banks and financial institutions had reduced 3 per cent interest on term deposits from the beginning of May'09. Gradually the lending interest will also be reduced in the near future. For better business environment a reduction of bank interest is acceptable from a macro economic point of view.
From a micro economic point of view depositors would get less return from their savings. The retired non-government service holders and elderly citizens who run their family expenditure on interest against deposit in bank would be affected negatively. It is known to all that a few years back the government imposed 10% tax on bank interest and has been cutting it on source. Before May'09 the private commercial banks used to pay 13 % to 13.5 % interest for one year term deposit. A depositor used to get, say (13-1.3) or 11.7 % net interest on his deposit after one year. As the government has not withdrawn tax on earned bank interest in the budget, a depositor will get (9-0.9) or 8.1 % after one year. In addition to that for deposit of Tk.1, 00,000.00 in bank Tk. 250.00 was cut as government excise duty and for a deposit, which was more than Tk. 1,00,000.00 but up to Tk.10,00,000.00 in bank Tk. 500.00 was cut as government excise duty. If this excise duty is not withdrawn the small depositors will be adversely affected.
In this scenario, I like to urge to the Ministry of Finance and Jatio Sangsah to withdraw income tax and excise duty on term deposit up to Tk.10, 00,000.00 in the budget, which is under consideration of Jatiya Sangsad now. It will give some relief to small depositors whose families depend on income from small fixed deposit in banks.
Md. Ashraf Hossain
120, Central Bashabo, Dhaka-1214

An absurd announcement
Recently, the education ministry of Bangladesh drew up a brief system for the SSC examinees of 2010 and 2011 namely “Srijonshil Poddoti” or is creative method. It's an appreciable step by the ministry. Earlier the authority circulated that the SSC examinees of 2010 will face the newly acquainted method for two subjects and from the next year all subjects will be included in this method. By this circulation every school decorates their syllabus and set their exams in the pattern. The students buy books and prepare themselves. The students already have passed 5 months and performed at many exams according to the old system. But suddenly, in the middle of the year, the government announced that the system of creative method has been changed because of an undeniable reason. According to the change, the SSC examinees of 2010 will encounter two subjects in the creative method and another two will be included in the next year respectively. For this reason, the students are suffering from a number of problems: they have to give up the books bought early in the year; they are bound to buy new books (Old system) again; but the books in old method are not available in the market and so on. Well, the education ministry might show the reasons behind the decision. And these reasons might be acceptable. But my question is who will take the responsibility of the students who are unable to buy books again and again? It is an undeniable truth that we have many students who can't buy books in our country where 60% people can't take meals thrice a day. Another question is, how many times can students change their learning methods?
Md. Kamrul Islam Mishu Kutubi
Dept. Of English
International Islamic University Chittagong

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