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Key Economic Data 
  2004 2003 2002 Ranking(2004)
Millions of US $ 56,844 51,900 45,500 54
GNI per capita
 US $ 440 400 390 175
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Bangladesh

Update No: 051 - (30/04/10)

Bangladesh Mutiny Verdict
A court in southwestern Bangladesh has sentenced 56 border guards to seven years imprisonment for their role in last year’s mutiny that led to the death of 74 people. As of now, only charges associated with the mutiny have been addressed while the ones associated with crimes such as murder and arson will be tried separately. The mutiny occurred just two months after the country’s powerful military which had backed 21 coups in the country's 38-year history, relinquished power to a civilian government under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The military was extremely dissatisfied with how Hasina handled the mutiny. Even though the mutiny was ended with the granting of amnesty, when the government discovered the bodies of commanding officers dumped into shallow graves or sewers on the sprawling compound, it revoked the amnesty offer for those who led the mutiny. Monday’s sentences were the fourth set related to the mutiny. Earlier this month 79 border guards were sentenced separately to jail terms ranging from four months to seven years in northern Bangladesh. The government has so far arrested 2,136 members of the force in connection with the mutiny, and has set up six special courts headed by Islam to hear the cases.

Bangladesh’s New Intelligence Apparatus
Bangladesh’s paramilitary BDR, which witnessed the mutiny in 2009 is ready to establish a new full-fledged intelligence agency with three wings consisting of 67 officers to monitor any future unrest within the organization. The three wings of the intelligence agency will be the Border Security Bureau (BSB), Regional Intelligence Bureau (RIB) and Unit Intelligence Branch (UIB). About 67 officers will lead the three wings with the help of about 2,700 members. While 20% of the officers will be recruited from among civilians, 30% will be drawn from retired army officers and the remaining 50% from serving army officers. A Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) official involved with the matter said that BSB will have 765 members to be headed by a Colonel. The RIB will work in all the seven divisions and UIB in each BDR battalion under the leadership of a Brigadier General and a Major respectively. One unit of RIB will be constituted with 125 members, while a unit of UIB will have 25 members. The head office of the BDR intelligence agency will be set up in the capital outside the paramilitary force's Pilkhana headquarters. According to BDR sources, a process to recruit officers from retired army personnel has begun recently. The records wing of the army has proposed a number of names after evaluating their records, adding that the selected officers will be given training before their joining.

Indian Ban on Cotton Exports to Affect Bangladesh
Bangladesh’s primary export industry, the textile industry, may suffer following restrictions imposed by India on cotton exports. Bangladesh buys 30 percent of its cotton needs from India transported by land, but supplies have stopped after the export ban was imposed, said Abdul Hai Sarker, president of the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association. "The decision will increase our production cost and also make it difficult for us to reach (send) our products in time to the importers.” Textiles which take the form of ready-made garments constitute Bangladesh’s main export, generating $15.56 billion or 80 percent of the country’s annual export income in the fiscal year to June 2009. India, the world's second biggest cotton exporter, stopped cotton exports this week to cool rising domestic prices, which surged more than 25 percent since October because of poor harvests and expectations of higher demand. "The export ban will hurt our spinning mills and export oriented knitting manufacturing firms," said Kutubuddin Ahmed, a leading exporter of textile products. "The decision will not only hike yarn prices but will also hit export performances," said Ahmed. India's cotton exports have risen sharply since October last year as demand from China and Bangladesh soared, Ahmed, also a former president of Dhaka Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said. "Now we have to spend more money on importing cotton from other countries," he added. Bangladesh fills 60 percent of its annual demand of 4 million bales of cotton from Uzbekistan, the world's third-largest cotton exporter, officials said. It also buys cotton from Russia and U.S.A. worth more than $1.5 billion.

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