Books on Bangladesh
Update No: 031 - (01/09/08)
INDIA-BANGLADESH TALKS UNDERWAY
India and Bangladesh Home Secretary level talks have begun with a focus on
security and border management issues. Both sides have advanced proposals to
tackle cross-border crimes and insurgency, develop an extradition treaty and
create a policy that addresses the challenge of drugs and women trafficking.
Indian Home Secretary, Madhukar Gupta said that both parties discussed a wide
range of issues on border management. Asked about the signing of any extradition
treaty to hand over criminals to their respective countries, he said there are
several proposals from Indian side including the extradition and mutual legal
assistance to deal with terrorists. Bangladesh Home Secretary Abdul Karim also
spoke positively about the talks stating that both countries had discussed
several issues in a friendly and cordial environment.
FAO TO PROVIDE FOOD SECURITY
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has assured Bangladesh of
providing adequate help in ensuring food security. Calling upon Bangladesh’s
Finance and Planning Adviser, Mirza Azizul Islam, FAO Asia Pacific Region head,
Hey Cheng Chyue assured that the UN would assist the country in its fight
against bird flu, ongoing agricultural census and research activities.
“Bangladesh has got what is necessary for food security. If the country can
utilise the potential, food security will be ensured,” he told reporters after
Mirza Aziz said the FAO official gave importance to developing hybrid as well as
deep and saline water-resistant seeds to increase food production in the country
while assuring technical assistance in this regard, if necessary. He said Cheng
appreciated Bangladesh for taking food security measures like increasing the
endowment fund for agricultural research and climate change fund. The adviser
said they have undertaken initiatives on the issues of food security while the
country has already made some progress in developing saline water-resistant
NEW RESEARCH ON PETROLEUM
Scientists in Bangladesh have developed ways to produce petroleum from
degradable organic municipal waste and are now studying its feasibility before
going to commercial production. This innovation in research was confirmed by
Yunus Miah, principal engineer of the state-run Bangladesh Council of Scientific
and Industrial Research (BCSIR). Miah said the scientists were using husk of
paddy and oil seeds besides wastes to decompose the garbage and produce bio-oil
from these wastes. The bio-oil would then be upgraded to petroleum products.
Dhaka produces around 15,000 tonnes of garbage daily and the cost of collecting
it is only nominal but there are various restrictions in the way of taking
technology to the field. Bangladesh imports most petroleum products, about 3.7
million tonnes annually.
The country has limited coal and natural gas reserve. Its gas supply is short of
the demand while the coal mines are largely undeveloped.
GRAMEENPHONE TO SELL BONDS
Bangladesh's top mobile phone operator Grameenphone, majority owned by Norway's
Telenor plans to raise 4.25 billion taka ($62 million) by selling bonds. The
value of the two-year tenure bond will be 10 million taka each and the coupon
rate will be no more than 14.50 percent, the Daily Star quoted an official at
the Securities and Exchange Commission, the capital market regulator, as saying.
Grameenphone has received the green light from the Securities and Exchange
Commission to raise the funds from the bond market, the official added. Analysts
said Grameenphone's entry would give a major boost to the country's bond market.
Last month, Grameenphone filed its regulatory application for a domestic
listing. It plans to raise up to $150 million in a pre-IPO placement with
international investors and a further $150 million in a local initial public
offering, that would be the country's biggest flotation. Grameenphone leads the
market with more than 20.8 million subscribers followed by Egyptian Orascom
Telecom's ORTE.CA Banglalink with 10 million users and AKtel, majority owned by
Telekom Malaysia International with 7.98 million as of July. Although nearly
half of Bangladesh's population is still below the poverty line, the country has
been one of the world's fastest growing cellular markets.