Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 2, Tuesday January 16 , 2007



Banking Tips

Nasreen Sattar, Head of International Sales, Standard Chartered Bank

Q. I am a foreign national who is going to be based in Bangladesh working for a multinational company. At the end of my contract and when I am leaving can I transfer my savings and other benefits from here to my overseas account?

A. As per Bangladesh Bank guidelines chapter 18, foreign nationals leaving Bangladesh permanently after expiry of period of service in terms of relevant employment contracts may transfer abroad their genuine savings out of salaries/benefits clearly stated in the employment contracts duly approved by the Board of Investment (BOI). They shall also be eligible to transfer abroad the retirement benefits such as provident fund, pension, and gratuity due as per employment contracts approved by the BOI.

Q. Will you honour a bearer cheque issued in favour of a limited company presented over your counter by the bearer?

A. A cheque issued in favour of a limited company should always be crossed and presented through clearing. However, if a cheque is issued favouring a limited company presented through a bearer, the maker of such a cheque should put his signature and verify the bearer's signature on the reverse of the cheque.

Q. Under what circumstances can a bank refuse to pay a cheque?

A. Banks may refuse to pay a cheque in the following circumstances:

· If the cheque is post-dated or stale.

· If there is material alteration of the cheque, which is not authenticated by the drawer.

· If the drawer's signature does not match with the specimen signature record.

· If the account doesn't have sufficient fund to honour the cheque.

· If there is a STOP PAYMENT instruction.

· If there is an order by the Court or by any competent authority i.e. Central Bank, Income Tax Authority restraining from paying from a customer's account.

Q. I have just arrived in Bangladesh and will be based here for 6 months. I do not want to open an account but I have an International MasterCard. Can I use it to draw money from any Standard Chartered ATM?

A. In the 35 ATMs of Standard Chartered across Bangladesh, all plastic cards are accepted that bear any of the following logos:

1. Visa
2. MasterCard
3. Plus
4. Cirrus
5. Electron
6. Maestro

This means that an individual holding a card that bears any of the above mentioned logos can withdraw cash from these ATMs. The maximum amount of cash, which can be withdrawn, depends on the parameters set by the card-issuing bank for that individual customer.

Similarly, there are a number of ATMs in Bangladesh deployed by other banks (e.g. Eastern Bank, HSBC, etc.) and Shared ATM Networks (e.g. eCash, QCash, etc.), which accept cards bearing several of these logos.

Q. I am a Bangladeshi national. How much foreign exchange can I bring in without declaration? Can I take the same out when I go overseas next time?

A. You can bring in foreign exchange up to US$5000 or equivalent without declaration. This amount can be taken out again at the time of departure from Bangladesh without endorsement on passport and air ticket. If you have an RFCD account (Resident Foreign Currency Account), you can deposit the same within a month from your date of arrival.

Dental Wise

Dear Dr. Haque,

In your column, you mentioned oral cancer related to bad oral habit several times. I am a smoker, and have been drawn to alcohol and marijuana for about 11 years. How can alcohol and marijuana cause oral cancer? How can I know about initial sign of cancer? How does smoking effect our health and how to quite smoking and other bad habit?

Now I don't have any taste or appetite. My mouth is very dry! Is it a sign of oral Cancer?
Mr. X

Dear Mr. X

Being a drug addict who has realized that he should quit his addiction and understands the fatal outcome, you are among the people who can quit easily.

First I would like to explain the bad effects of smoking, marijuana and alcohol and then will give some tips on how to quite it! Quitting takes hard work and a lot of effort, but it can be done. Your loss of appetite and dry mouth are not signs of oral cancer but of addiction!

Tobacco products damage your gum tissue by affecting the attachment of bone and soft tissue to your teeth. An example of the effect is receding gums. A receding gum line exposes the tooth roots and increases your risk of developing a sensitivity to hot and cold, or tooth decay in these unprotected areas. Smoking also contributes to bad breath, stains on your teeth and tongue, and a build-up of tartar on your teeth.

Signs and symptoms that could indicate oral cancer include:

Any sign of irritation, like tenderness, burning or a sore that will not heal, pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in the mouth or lips, development of a lump, or a leathery, wrinkled or bumpy patch inside your mouth, color changes to your oral soft tissues (gray, red or white spots or patches), rather than a healthy pink color, difficulty in chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue;

Quitting is hard because nicotine is a very addictive drug. For some people, it can be as addictive as heroin or cocaine.
Usually people make 2 or 3 tries, or more, before finally being able to quit. Each time you try to quit, you can learn about what helps and what hurts.

Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you will ever do. You will live longer and live better. Quitting will lower your chance of having a heart attack, stroke, or cancer.

If you are pregnant, quitting smoking will improve your chances of having a healthy baby. The people you live with, especially your children, will be healthier. You will have extra money to spend on things other than cigarettes.

Four Keys for Quitting

Studies have shown that these five steps will help you quit and quit for good. You have the best chances of quitting if you use them together.

1. Get Ready
Set a quit date.

Change your environment. Get rid of ALL cigarettes and ashtrays in your home, car, and place of work. Don't let people smoke in your home. Review your past attempts to quit. Think about what worked and what did not. Once you quit, don't smoke. NOT EVEN A PUFF!

2. Get Support and Encouragement: Studies have shown that you have a better chance of being successful if you have help. You can get support in many ways.

Tell your family, friends, and co-workers that you are going to quit and want their support. Ask them not to smoke around you or leave cigarettes out.

Talk to your health care provider (for example, doctor, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, psychologist, or smoking counselor).

Get individual, group, or telephone counseling. The more counseling you have, the better your chances are of quitting. Programs are given at local hospitals and health centers. Call your local health department for information about programs in your area.

3. Learn New Skills and Behaviors: Try to distract yourself from urges to smoke. Talk to someone, go for a walk, or get busy with a task. When you first try to quit, change your routine. Use a different route to work. Drink tea instead of coffee. Eat breakfast in a different place. Do something to reduce your stress. Take a hot bath, exercise, or read a book. Plan something enjoyable to do every day. Drink a lot of water and other fluids.

4. Be Prepared for Relapse or Difficult Situations: Most relapses occur within the first 3 months after quitting. Don't be discouraged if you start smoking again. Remember, most people try several times before they finally quit. Here are some difficult situations to watch for:

Alcohol. Avoid drinking alcohol. Drinking lowers your chances of success.

Other Smokers. Being around smoking can make you want to smoke.

Weight Gain. Many smokers will gain weight when they quit, usually less than 10 pounds. Eat a healthy diet and stay active. Don't let weight gain distract you from your main goalquitting smoking. Some quit-smoking medications may help delay weight gain.

Bad Mood or Depression. There are a lot of ways to improve your mood other than smoking.

If you are having problems with any of these situations, talk to 1your doctor or other health care provider.

For more information please visit www.aikodental.com


In the article titled 'The joie de vivre of fashion designing' By Fayza Huq in last week's issue, we mistakenly printed Louk Grauwen's sponsors LEIC as being Local Entrepreneurs Investment Centre. LEIC stands for Local Enterprise Investment Centre, and they are funded by CIDA, not CEDA. We regret the error.

Under a different sky

By Iffat Nawaz

Whatever happened to Opu?

It was the year 1955 when the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) screened Pather Panchali - Song of the Little Road, and added admiration to the word Bengal in the eyes of the world post-Tagore. The people of Bengal who originally didn't give any attention to Pather Panchali ran to the theatres and watched it with a new set of eyes, some of them only pretending to understand the depth of the film that is internationally renowned while the rest actually felt it inside. They passed it on to the generations after them, to us, and we grew up watching, understanding, misunderstanding, assuming and building ourselves to the songs of little roads of Bengal.

It had been a while since I revisited my copy of Pather Panchali, partly because I own a VHS copy and lack a VHS player and partly because of “that feeling,”- the one that makes you smug about knowing something inside and out, that “been there done that” feeling, “I can write a thesis on it, break it down for your Mom and Pop” feeling. It was a few days ago when that smugness of mine was shattered, when I realised a friend of mine who has no relation to Bengal knew the film way better than I did. Quoting dialogues (English subtitles of course) he put me in my place, and I felt the urge to buy my own copy of an overpriced set of the Opu Trilogy.

It arrived, a case with three DVDs, packed with Bengalism, so last weekend I planned to watch them one by one. But I only got to finish Pather Panchali before nostalgia hit and all I could do was sit there and reminisce about my growing up years.

The face of Opu used to remind me of my brother when I was younger; his big eyes full of curiosity, innocence and love, and a perfect face as any I have seen to describe a Bengali young boy. I remember feeling more adoration for my brother every time I watched it. The bond between Durga and Opu made me think about my brother and I, and during the segments when they ate raw mango and tetul, I would crave the same and had to have a bowl myself while watching them savour it. I remember defining the villages of Bengal through that film, something I didn't see first hand till I was a bit older. And even when I did, the village in Pather Panchali and its characters seemed closer to me, because I knew them, knew their lives from birth to death. I knew the spots in their roof that leaked during the monsoons and the gaps in their walls that let cold air in during winter. I knew it like I knew the faces of my dolls as a young girl.

And then Durga died. She died every time I watched the film and Opu grew up, and I did too as did my little brother.

The other day the face of Opu reminded me of something else. It reminded me of a face I have had inside of me since the day I appreciated that I was a woman and I might one day be a mother. It reminded me of a hazy picture of a little boy that I think of being a mother to, that I may bear one day, or a daughter with the same doe eyes. His face reminded me of a universal feeling that I know everyone carries inside, something deep and strong, something that lasts forever. It reminded me of something that is not just Bengali but of the world, everyone's world, not just mine.

The child who played Opu in Pather Panchali is an actor named Subir Bannerjee. I found him the other day, now in his late 50s or early 60s, looking like any indulgent Bengali man would- ordinary, his big eyes now only half their size, a few bags under and over, life, fame, age, alcohol, weight, happiness and sorrow all mixed together. I didn't know that man. I only knew the boy, like the rest of us, because that boy is more than a person. He is more than an image and he carries in him a fraction of all of us, in our lost days.


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