The government has appointed Tareq Md Ariful Islam, currently serving as the Deputy Permanent Representative in the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York, as the next High Commissioner of Bangladesh to Sri Lanka.
High Commissioner-designate Islam is a career foreign service officer belonging to 17th batch of Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) Foreign Affairs cadre.
In his distinguished diplomatic career, Islam has served in the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the United Nations in New York and in the Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Kolkata, India in various capacities, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Sunday.
At the headquarters, he worked in various capacities in different Wings including as the Director-General of South Asia Wing.
Tareq Md Ariful Islam obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) and Master’s degree in Diplomacy and Trade from Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.
Giving utmost priority on agriculture sector to tackle food crisis amid coronavirus situation, the government has taken all-out measures, said Agriculture Minister Dr Md Abdur Razzaque.
Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, farmers are also facing adverse situation along with rest of the world. To address this, the government is giving various incentives including subsidy with utmost importance to the agriculture sector, said the minister.
He made the remarks while inaugurating the online assistance programme for marginal farmers affected by Covid-19 by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Bangladesh from his official residence on Sunday.
Razzaque said that the ministry is working relentlessly so that food production could be increased more to cope with the possible food crisis caused by the coronavirus.
He further said that the ministry’s timely decision making and implementation under the direction of the Prime Minister has made it possible to procure more boro crops than the target even in the midst of the outbreak.
Besides, Aus paddy seeds, aman paddy seeds and jute seeds have already been distributed among farmers at the field level. Initiatives are being taken to increase production in aman and rabi seasons.
Power Secretary Dr Sultan Ahmed on Sunday said that extension of time for allowing delayed payment of electricity bills without surcharge is now under consideration.
He made the disclosure while briefing reporters through a videoconference about the outcome of the investigation into issuing inflated electricity bills by different power distribution companies.
Earlier, the household electricity consumers were allowed to pay their delayed bills of February, March and April until June 30 due to coronavirus outbreak to avoid social contacts.
In the meantime, many consumers received inflated bills and refrained from paying those within their due times hoping that those would be corrected by the bill issuing authority. But still may consumers’ bills were either not corrected or were under the correction process.
Responding to a question on such dilemma, the power secretary said that the issue was discussed with positive outlook with Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC).
“We’re trying to extend the time for delayed payment without surcharge. But we have to follow cerrtain process for it,” he told reporters.
He, however, said there no decision as yet on allowing any delayed bill payment without surcharge for commercial and industrial consumers.
The power secretary informed that they have detected 34,681 inflated bills issued by Bangladesh Rural Electyicity Board (BREB), 15,266 inflated bills by DPDC, 5,657 by DESCO, 2,524 by NESCO 555 by WZPDC and 2,582 bills by BPDB.
Altogether, over 61,265 inflated bills were issued by the power distribution companies. For such wrong doings, so far actions were either taken or under process against 290 staff of different power distribution companies, he added.
For issuing such inflated bills, four officials of DPDC were suspended while 14 meter readers of the outsourcing company were terminated, and 36 divisional engineers of DPDC were issued show-cause notices.
Similarity, department actions were taken against other officials of other distribution companies as per their service rules, said Sultan Ahmed.
“The actions are being taken to regain the confidence of the consumers,” he said.
He also noted that taking action against any official is a matter of certain process which has to be followed in these cases.
“But anyone involved in the bill inflating process will be spared while no one will get punished illegally,” he said.
During the virtual press briefing, top officials of the distribution companies said that they would not further follow any manual system in preparing the electricity bills.
“Rather, cent percent bills will be prepared by following the computerised system to avoid any error in issuing bills,” said DPDC Managing Director Bikash Dewan.
Voting programme started for several innovative posters selected from a poster design competition participated by Bangladeshi and Chinese professional designers.
The voting for the latest collection of works from ‘Poster Design Competition’ began on July 2, according to the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka.
Anyone can see the posters and vote for the best one by following the link http://together-we-wins.linkuslive.com/.
Online voters will need to register through a personal email address as prompted for voting. Each email ID address can vote for one to ten works per day.
Anyone can also click the online video to watch the China-Bangladesh Anti-epidemic story and related documentaries.
The final ranking will be selected based on the total number of votes after a month.
The top five (ten in total) in the professional and amateur groups will receive the Internet Popularity Award.
The organiser specially set up the ‘Lucky Voting Award’ and the ‘Voting King Award’.
The ‘Lucky Voting Award’ will be randomly generated from the voters each day and they will receive a gift.
Meanwhile, the ‘Voting King Award’ will be generated from the one who has accumulated the most votes in a month and receive exquisite gift.
Law Minister Anisul Huq on Sunday said virtual courts will be used in special situations.
“It's normal to introduce a virtual court system in this world of information technology. Virtual courts are meant for working in an alternative way through videoconferencing. The regular court proceedings using the constitution, the CRPC, the CPC (Civil Procedure Code) and the act of witnesses will remain unchanged. Virtual courts will be adopted only in special situations,” he said.
The Law Minister came up with the information while speaking at the inauguration ceremony of online training course for judges at Judicial Administration Training Institute in the city.
Besides, necessary training will be provided to the lawyers alongside the judges to run virtual court smoothly.
Also read: 3,633 get bail from virtual court on Monday
The government wants to build a nation where people can get legal assistance easily through the development of the legal service, he said.
The Cabinet recently cleared the draft of an ordinance, ‘Ordinance for Usage of Information and Communication Technology by Court, 2020’, to pave the way for courts to run trial proceedings through videoconferences and other digital means using the information technology, which is an innovative law, said the Minister.
After clearing the ordinance on May 9, the virtual court was formed and introduced on May 11, he said.
A total of 49,762 people secured bail after their petitions were heard by virtual courts across the country through disposing of 95,523 cases from May 11 to July 2.