A high-level parliamentary delegation from Nepal on Tuesday visited Bangabandhu Memorial Museum in Dhanmondi 32. They paid tribute to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. JS body recommends taking measures to stop entry of illegal arms They said that the people of Bangladesh are fortunate to have a visionary leader like Bangabandhu, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The 11-member delegation is led by Dr. Arzu Rana, MP, Chairperson, Agricultural, Cooperatives & Natural Resources Committee of the Nepal Parliament. They arrived in Dhaka on Monday. They are visiting Bangladesh to see agriculture related projects and meet a few ministers. Trade Organisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 passed in JS The delegation members placed a wreath at the portrait of Bangabandhu and signed the visitors' book there.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry on Tuesday recommended the government to disconnect illegal electricity lines on an urgent basis and take steps immediately to identify snapped power lines during the natural disasters. The parliamentary watchdog also suggested ensuring electricity supply by determining the actual demand of electricity in different areas of the country. The recommendation came from the 41st meeting of the committee, presided by its chairman Waseqa Ayesha Khan in the Parliament Bhaban, said a press release. Read: US visa restrictions: State Dept spokesperson refrains from mentioning media The meeting discussed the steps taken to reduce load shedding in the areas under Bangladesh Rural Electrification Board (REB) and the latest implementation progress of the under-construction coal, fuel and natural gas-based power plants in the country. The parliamentary body asked for imparting proper training to the members of Palli Bidyut Samit regularly. In the meeting, the progress of decisions taken in the previous 39th and 40th meetings was reviewed. The committee recommended the ministry for making its imported fuel sales or distribution system automated, for taking actions immediately to check irregularities if any in the system, and continuing the geological survey activities. Besides, the parliamentary panel suggested stopping illegal extraction of stones from stone quarries in different parts of the country and if necessary, taking measures to appoint guards in the quarries. Committee members Md Nurul Islam Talukder, Md Aslam Hossain Saudagar, Khaleda Khanum and Nargis Rahman attended the meeting. Senior Secretary of the Power Division and Secretary of the Energy and Mineral Resources Division, among other officials, were present.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Ministry on Tuesday suggested the police administration to take strict measures to prevent entry of illegal arms into the country ahead of the next general election. It also stressed the need for maintaining law and order in the Chittagong Hill Tracts area through coordination with the local public representatives, superintendents of police and deputy commissioners of Bandarban, Rangamati and Khagrachhari districts. Read: 24th session of JS prorogued The parliamentary watchdog came up with the suggestion in its 15th meeting with its chairman Md Dabirul Islam in the chair at the Parliament Bhaban. The committee also held an elaborate discussion on the law and order situation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts area and post-flood rehabilitation activities. It also stressed the need for establishing brick kilns after consultation with the CHT Affairs Ministry and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ministry for continuation of the overall development activities in the CHT area. Read: Overseas Employment and Migrants (amendment) Bill 2023 passed in JS The committee also suggested taking steps to recognise rubber produced in Bangladesh as agricultural products. Committee members CHT Affairs Minister Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing, Dipankar Talukdar, ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury, Bashonti Chakma, Noman Al Mahmud, additional secretary of CHT Affairs Ministry, additional secretary of Public Administration Ministry, Zila Parishad Chairman, deputy commissioners, superintendent of policies of three CHT districts were present .
The 24th session of the 11th Parliament was prorogued on Thursday after nine working days. Deputy Speaker Shamsul Haque Tuku who was in the chair read out the prorogation of the President at 8:40pm. Also read: Trade Organisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 passed in JS A total of 25 questions were received for the Prime Minister while she answered 11 questions. The session received 739 questions for different ministries while the number of the answered questions was 526. Some 18 laws were passed in this session.
The Trade Organisation (Amendment) Bill, 2023 was passed in Parliament on Thursday aiming to bring some changes in the existing law of 2022. Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi moved the Bill and it was passed by voice vote. As per the proposed law, in case of any problem to hold the election, the existing committee of any trade organisation can continue its operation for one year after expiry of its tenure in line with the draft law. But now the committee can run operations for six months after the expiry of its tenure in such circumstances as per the existing law. During the discussion of the Bill, Commerce Minister came down under fierce attacks from the opposition MPs for his failure to tackle the prices of essentials items. Participating in the discussion of the Bill, Gonoforum MP Mukabbir Khan said that the Commerce Minister is a businessman, he understands business well. “He denied the existence of the syndicate many times in Parliament. When people started saying that the commerce minister was the owner of the syndicate, he started telling the truth. He (Commerce Minister) said that the syndicate cannot be touched.” Mukabbir Khan said that the Prime Minister is giving important advice to break the syndicate like keeping raw chillies dry, boiling eggs and keeping them in the fridge. “We would have benefited greatly if we had received these suggestions earlier. Because when the thief escapes, intelligence increases.” Read: Land reform bill passed barring individuals from owning more than 60 bighas Jatiya Party MP Shamim Haider Patwari said that common people are suffering due to the uncontrolled price spiral. “Now is the time to protect the poor. This ministry can give things to people at cheaper prices. This can bring equilibrium in the market,” he said. Shamim Haider said that due to the syndicate, the prices of goods increased. Jatiya Party MP Roshan Ara Mannan demanded stern action against the traders behind the price spiral of essential commodities. Jatiya Party MP Hafiz Uddin said that the Commerce Minister understands business very well as well as the syndicate. “That's why he said that if anyone touches the syndicate, that person’s hands will be burned.” Read: Acquisition and Tenancy (Amendment) Bill passed in JS to ease case backlog Another Jatiya Party MP Pir Fazlur Rahman said that he does not know why the Commerce Minister could not take punitive measurers against the syndicate. In response to the opposition's criticism, Commerce Minister Tipu Munshi said that the issues of commodity prices and syndicates have come up in the discussion. “It has been said that I myself am the leader of a syndicate. I am a businessman…I needed to say many times in this Parliament that I have been in politics long before I became a businessman. I started business 20 years after I started politics,” he said. The Commerce Minister said that If doing business is a crime, then he is guilty of that crime. Referring to the increase in prices due to global factors and failure to fix the prices of some products, the commerce minister said that the products produced in the country also sometimes increase. “I don’t hesitate to admit that sometimes businessmen suddenly take advantage.” Regarding the price spiral, he said that free market economy is a reality. He mentioned that his ministry has fixed prices of onions and potatoes after discussion with the Agriculture Ministry. Read more: Industry Design Bill passed in JS to protect intellectual property rights “We will strictly control that. We are constantly trying. But it is also a reality that businessmen are trying to take advantage. The Prime Minister is investigating everything.”
The Overseas Employment and Migrants (amendment) Bill, 2023 was passed in Parliament on Thursday aiming to make middlemen handling international migration accountable. Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad moved the Bill in the House, and it was passed by voice vote. As per the proposed law, intermediaries in foreign employment recruiting process will get recognition through registration. Also read: National Identity Registration Bill, 2023 passed in JS The definition of 'sub-agent or representative' is defined in the Bill. It said that sub-agent or representative means a person registered under this Act who as a sub-agent or representative of a recruiting agent procures migrant workers for foreign employment as per demand of that agent. Apart from this, the Bill keeps provisions for the introduction and facilitation of bank loans, tax concessions, savings, investments, financial assistance, scholarships etc. for the welfare of migrant workers and their family members. It states that special financial and other welfare programmes may be adopted to ensure respect, dignity, rights, safety and security of female migrant workers abroad. In the objective of the Bill, the minister said, in order to increase the accountability of the recruiting agencies, in addition to the existing administrative system, the recruiting agency will be fined a minimum of Tk 50,000 and a maximum of Tk 2 lakh for committing any crime. Also read: Parliament passes Cyber Security Bill 2023 A provision has been made for suspension of recruiting licence without investigation and hearing considering the seriousness of the complaint. Provisions on sub-agent or representative appointment and related liability have been added to bring the intermediaries in the recruitment process of foreign employment under the accountability framework. Taking part in the discussion of the Bill, Jatiya Party MP Pir Fazlur Rahman said that women are returning from abroad as dead bodies. But it says natural death. “Postmortem should be done after the body arrives in the country. Instead of being tortured and dying like this, they should be given the opportunity to work in the country,” he said. He said that people traveling abroad for work are treated like criminals at the airport while they also face harassment when they arrive. “A separate desk should be set up for them at the airport.” Also read: JS passes bill doubling security deposit for women’s reserved seats’ candidates Jatiya Party MP Shamim Haider Patwari demanded a separate lounge for the migrant workers in the airport. Ginoforum MP Mukabbir Khan demanded a provision be added that embassies will be obliged to give a report within three months about the health condition of female workers who have gone to work within three months.
The National Identity Registration Bill, 2023 was passed in Parliament on Wednesday to transfer the national identity registration operation from the Election Commission to the Security Services Division, Ministry of Home Affairs. Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan moved the Bill, and it was passed by voice vote. As per the proposed law, the NID registration operation will be under the Security Services Division of the Home Ministry. Immediately after the birth, any national would have the right to get a birth certificate or a unique number, which would remain unchangeable. National Identity Registration Bill, 2023 placed in JS to transfer operation to Home Ministry The Election Commission will prepare the voter lists with the nationals aged above 18 years. If a citizen for the purpose of obtaining a national identity card intentionally or knowingly furnishes any false or stated information or conceals information shall be deemed to have committed an offence under this law and shall be liable for such offence Shall be punished with 1 (one) year of imprisonment or a fine not exceeding Tk 20,000 or both. If a citizen knowingly avails more than one NIDs shall be deemed to have committed an offence under this law and for such crime that person shall be punished with imprisonment of not less than one year or not more than Tk 20,000 or both. EC to tighten cyber monitoring to protect NID data Anyone related to registration process while carrying out duties relating to the conduct, preparation, distribution and maintenance of national identity cards by or under this law shall be deemed to have committed an offence under this law if that person intentionally defaces or destroys any information relating to national identity cards kept by the Registrar and For such offence he shall be punished with imprisonment not exceeding seven years or fine not exceeding Tk 1 lakh or both. Any person who distorts or destroys any information mentioned in the National Identity Card for dishonest purposes shall be deemed to have committed an offence under this Act and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 (two) years or to a fine not exceeding 40 (forty) thousand or to both, and he will be punished. Any person who makes unauthorised access to data or uses data illegally shall be deemed to have committed an offence under this law and for such offence shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 (five) years or with a fine not exceeding Tk 50,000 or both. Cyber teams working on leaked NID info: Home Minister Any employee concerned with the registration process or his representative unauthorised disclosure of information to any person shall be deemed to have committed an offense under this law and for such offence shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 (five) years or a term not exceeding Tk 50,000 shall be punished with a fine or both. Any person who forges a national identity card or knowingly carries such identity card shall be deemed to have committed an offense under this law and shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven years or fine of Tk 1 lakh or both. Any person who assists in the forgery of national identity cards or induces them to carry such identity cards shall be deemed to have committed an offence shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding seven 7 years or Tk 1 lakh fine or to both. Any person possessing or carrying the national identity card of any other citizen without reasonable cause shall be deemed to have committed an offence shall be liable to rigorous imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or Tk 20,000 fine or both. Any employee concerned with the registration process or any person performing any duty by or under this law relating to the conduct of national identity registration process, preparation, distribution and maintenance of national identity cards, for reasonable cause. Besides, neglect of duty shall be considered as his incompetence and misconduct. The opposition party members who took part in the discussion on the Bill complained that this decision of the government will increase the suffering of the common people as the police have not yet become people-friendly. While criticising the police, the opposition party members also referred to the recent incidents of torture of Chhatra League leaders by police officers involving alleged extramarital affairs and police action on lawyers on the court premises. In response to criticism, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said that anyone who commits a crime should be punished. “The police officer you mentioned is also not above the law. Immediate measures have been taken involving him…no one has filed a case yet. As per our inquiry report, he must be punished,” the minister said. Gonoforum MP Mukabbir Khan said that people are suffering a lot with NIDs, and if it comes under the control of the police the suffering will increase. “Because the police have not really become a friend of the people,” he said. About giving citizenship ID after birth, Mukabbir said that birth registration is not done by the Ministry of Home Affairs. This is done by the Ministry of Local Government. “Then how to implement it. To do this, several authorities including birth registration, passport, driving licence have to be brought under the Ministry of Home Affairs.” Jatiya Party MP Fakhrul Imam said that the citizen's information with the EC will go to the Home Office. “But there was no discussion with the Election Commission (EC). The EC is free to list voters. Elections will be scheduled in November.” He feared that if this law is implemented, there may be doubts about the voter list. Highlighting the clash between the pro-BNP lawyers and the police in the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court, Jatiya Party MP Shamim Haider Patwari said that the lawyers were beaten. He said that the police should figure out that strategy on how to deal with the situation without using force and defuse the situation. Patwari said that physical assault on the lawyers is a crime. He said that the police have to seek justice through lawyers, so they should be respected. Another Jatiya Party MP, Mujibul Haque Chunnu brought up the topic of torture on Chhatra League leaders and said: “I don't know why the victim did not file a case.” “Just investigating and taking departmental action will not bring justice. Justice will be done if the victims file a case and bring it under the criminal law.” The EC currently conducts the national identity registration operation and issues the national identity cards against citizens aged 18 or above, since 2007, as per the National Identity Registration Act, 2010.
The Cyber Security Bill 2023 was passed in Parliament on Wednesday, keeping offences under four of its sections non-bailable. It is proposed to replace the much-talked-about Digital Security Act, in which offences under 14 sections were non-bailable. As per the Bill, officers of the rank of police inspector are empowered to search and arrest anyone without any warrant. Also read: Section 42 of Cyber Security Act has legal requirement: Law Minister However, if a false case is filed, it is considered as a crime and provisions for punishment have been kept. State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak moved the Bill, and it was passed by voice vote. The four non-bailable offences are related to intrusion into key information infrastructures, damaging computers and computer systems, cyber terrorist activities, and hacking related crimes. In the law, the offences under four sections are non-bailable. The intrusion into important information infrastructures and others are in section-17, while damaging computers and computer systems are in section-19, cyber terrorist acts and committing such crimes are in section-27, and hacking related crimes are in section-33. The already filed cases will run under the existing law- Digital Security Act as a provision was incorporated in the proposed law. Also read: UN rights body studying text of Cyber Security Bill closely In the draft Cyber Security Act 2023, the offences and punishment provisions have been cited in sections 17-33. Criticising various clauses of the Bill, opposition party members said that freedom of thought and expression and recognition of independent media have been given in the constitution itself. However, in various clauses of this Bill, the system of curtailing these rights recognised by the constitution has been ensured. Several members demanded to amend the provisions of arrest and search without any warrant. In response to these criticism, State Minister Palak said that freedom of thought and expression is recognised by the constitution, but it is not unlimited. “Freedom does not mean violating the rights of others. Your freedom does not mean saying whatever you want. It’s not about disrespecting others,” he said. He said that the opposition members are agreeing on the necessity of the law. “There is no alternative to the Cyber Security Act to build a transparent, accountable and secure Smart Bangladesh.” A new section has been added in the Bill on the offence and punishment for filing false cases and complaints. Also read: TIB rejects Cabinet-nodded Cyber Security Act-2023 This section provides that it shall be an offence if any person files or makes a suit or complaint under any section of this Act with intent to cause injury to another person, without knowing just or lawful cause for filing the suit or complaint. The person filing the suit or complaint in this offence and the person who filed the complaint shall be punished with the punishment prescribed for the original offence. If any case or complaint is filed under more than one section of this Act, the amount of penalty for the principal offence, which is higher among the offences mentioned in the respective section may be determined as the amount of penalty. According to the Bill, on the basis of a written complaint of a person, a tribunal can accept the complaint and try the case for the crime of filing a false case and complaint. Section 42 of the Bill empowers the police to search and arrest without warrant. In this section, sub-inspector-level officers have been replaced by inspector-level officers with the power to search and arrest without warrant. This clause was also in the Digital Security Act. Also read: No journalists will be harassed by Cyber Security Act: Law Minister Section 8 of the Bill provides power to remove and block data from digital media. This section states that if law enforcement agencies "subject to data analysis, have reason to believe" that any data published or disseminated through digital or electronic media may affect the cohesion, economic activity, security, defence, religious, or economic activities of the country or any part of the country. Law enforcement agencies may request the BTRC through the Director General to remove or block such data if it offends values or public order, or promotes racial hatred and hatred. Gonoforum MP Mukabbir Khan said that this law is one of the most effective tools for suppressing dissent and free thought. In the last 4 and a half years, it has only been used to suppress criticism about the government or the ruling party. He said that using the law journalists have been tortured the most. Also read: US encourages Bangladesh govt to enable stakeholders to review the draft Cyber Security Act “Their freedom of expression has been severely curtailed by this law. This Act empowers the police to enter homes and search bodies. It has given unlimited power to seize everything in any computer network, including servers. No other law has given the police so much power.” Jatiya Party MP Fakhrul Imam said some changes have been made in the law. But journalists said they were not satisfied. “Freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of press have been ensured in the constitution. Constitution is the basic law. Any law against freedom of speech would be unconstitutional.” Jatiya Party MP Pir Fazlur Rahman said that the Digital Security Act was controversial for everyone. The Cyber Security Act is nothing but an amendment to it. “This will also be a hindrance to free journalism and expression. Article 42 gives power to arrest without warrant. The Act requires ensuring special protection for journalists.” He said that there was scope for control through the Press Council. “Expression of opinion is a constitutional right. This law is creating barriers to freedom of expression and thought.” He said that 27 percent of the cases under the Digital Security Act have been against journalists. In most areas, the plaintiffs are the leaders and workers of the ruling party. Another Jatiya Party MP Shamim Haider Patwari said that this law is necessary for some technical matters. But in these cases, digital security law has been used very little. The main case has been filed on allegations of injury to consciousness and feelings, he said. He said that the constitution has given freedom of thought, press and speech. “As they stand, these laws are unconstitutional. The Act kept the definition of the offence the same, with reduced sentences in some cases. This law will increase the self-censorship of the media.” Jatiya Party MP Hafiz Uddin Ahmad said that he raised objections to Section 42 and proposed to remove all illegal sections including it. Jatiya Party MP Mujibul Haque said that journalists write for the sake of the country. “There was an opportunity to involve the Press Council in their affairs. Article 42 gives power to arrest anyone without warrant. There is a danger of misuse of this law.”
Jatiya Sangsad (Reserved Women's Seat) Election (Amendment) Bill 2023 was passed in Parliament doubling the security deposit required for candidates to run in elections to reserved women's seats. Law Minister Anisul Huq moved the Bill and it was passed by voice vote. According to the proposed Bill, candidates who want to contest the elections to reserved seats will be required to submit a security deposit of Tk20,000 instead of the previous amount of Tk10,000. Also read: Land reform bill passed barring individuals from owning more than 60 bighas The draft law also proposed to increase the number of reserved seats for women from 45 to 50. The 15th amendment to the Constitution had already increased the number of reserved seats to 50. Now it has been included in law. Besides, the amendments incorporate a provision stipulating that if a reserved seat in the Jatiya Sangsad becomes vacant for any reason, a by-election must be conducted within 90 days. Currently, by-elections in reserved women's seats are held within 45 days of the seat becomes vacant. During discussion on the Bill, Law Minister Anisul Haque alleged that some people who consider themselves civil society members think that they are the guardians of people. But there are doubts about how much involvement they have with people, he added. Also read: Land Crime Prevention and Remedy Bill, 2023 passed in JS to ensure stringent measures “They give various dictations. They do not look at the north, south, east or west of the country. They look to the far west only. They try to reveal here the words that come from there,” he said. Earlier, Jatiya Party MP Rustam Ala Faraji harshly criticised the civil society for giving various opinions on the country's elections. Law Minister Anisul Haque agreed with the statement of Rustam Ali Farazi and said that Bangladesh is independent and sovereign. “The people of this country will decide who will represent them in parliament through elections.” The Law Minister said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has promised free, impartial and peaceful elections. Elections will be held as promised when the term of the current parliament expires. The Law Minister said that the hearing on the review petition filed on the 16th Amendment of the Constitution was held last week. Also read: Land surveys stopped amid surge of complaints across country: Land minister “The hearing will be held again after the vacation of the High Court. Now there is no provision for resignation of judges,” he said. Jatiya Party's Rustam Ali Faraji said that the country needs free fair elections. “That's why we have institutions. We hope to have a strong Election Commission like TN Session (former CEC of India).” “The government performs routine responsibilities during elections. The intellectuals and civil society of our country repeatedly talk about the ineffectiveness of the parliament and non-functioning of the parliament.” He said that if this is the case, there is no need for elections. In this connection, he said no one ever raised questions about India's election. “So why the question about today's Bangladesh will come? The election in Bangladesh is going right way. It will be fine,” he said. He said that people will go to the polling center and will get security. Also read: Bangladesh Biman Corporation (repeal) Bill 2023 passed in JS “The Prime Minister wants it. The people of the country want it. The world wants it too. There will be nothing beyond that. Everyone should accept it. If someone does not win the election, that person cannot be declared winner,” he added. Mokabbir Khan of Ganoforum said that there is an ambiguity, fear and frustration among people regarding the electoral system of Bangladesh. “Many are deeply concerned about the 12th national election. The government is not clarifying its position on when and how the elections will be held.” “The opinion of the people was not accurately reflected in 2014 election. In 2018, voting took place in most of the places in the night before the election day. Public opinion was not reflected here either,” he said. In the discussion of the bill, Jatiya Party MP Mujibul Haque Chunnu said that there is a psychological problem over the election in reserved seats. “Do those who are elected have any constituencies? They do not understand this. They themselves feel embarrassed about it.” He proposed giving more nominations to women in the elections. Mujibul Haque said that three judges of the High Court have been prevented from performing their duties for many days due to allegations of corruption. “But they are getting salary and allowances. This issue needs to be addressed.” Jatiya Party MP Roshan Ara Mannan urged the Prime Minister to increase the seats for women.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday (September 13, 2023) told the parliament that the Bangladesh’s food security remains protected even amid the ongoing international crisis. “Bangladesh has successfully faced Covid-19 pandemic. The food security remains protected in the country amid the current international crisis as well,” she said. The premier made the remarks while replying to a question from Awami League lawmaker Md Shahiduzzaman Sarkar (Naogaon-2). Earlier, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhry presented the question-answer session at the beginning of the day’s business. Despite move to rein in price hike, food inflation rose to 12.54 percent in August: BBS The PM said Bangladesh has already attained food autarky. “The government has been working intensively to maintain our (food) self-sufficiency,” she said. She said the crisis has been created in the global supply chain of different commodities including foods following the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. “In this situation, the government has regularly been taking various steps on national and international levels to ensure food security by facing this crisis,” said Hasina. She said Bangladesh has successfully attained the food autarky thanks to agricultural research, extension, continuous materials support and policy support in the agriculture sector. “Bangladesh has now become a role model on the global stage in case of food security,” she said. Dhaka finds Russian agri commodities competitive on price, but payment issues linger She said the country’s food grains production was 328.96 lakh metric tons in 2008-09 fiscal year, which went up to 477.68 lakh metric tons in 2022-23 fiscal year. Efforts to continue for recognition of 1971 genocide: PM In reply another question from Awami League lawmaker Anwer Hossain Khan (Laxmipur-1), the prime minister said many countries demanded the recognition of genocide committed in their respective countries as International Genocide Day. Later, the United Nations General Assembly on September 11, 2015 adopted a resolution through discussion to observe December 9 as the International Day for the Prevention of Genocide. “Since December 9 has been observed as the International Day for the Prevention of Genocide, the proposal to observe another International Day on the same issue would not be rational,” she said. She, however, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs and the Liberation War Museum and some members of the martyrs' families are making efforts to achieve international recognition of the genocide taken place in Bangladesh in 1971. The leader of the House said individuals and organizations working on the genocide are also working to attain the recognition of the genocide. She said international recognition of the 1971 genocide taken place in Bangladesh is as complex and time-consuming as any other genocide in the world. However, it would be easy to get international recognition of genocide by creating the global public opinion in favor of recognizing the genocide committed in Bangladesh. “Efforts will continue on the part of the government in this regard,” she said. Onion prices cross Tk 100 per kg in Dhaka after India imposes extra duty 854km highways made four-lane, 1,131 bridges constructed since 2009: PM Some 854 kilometers of highways have been upgraded to four-lane ones, while 11,434 kilometers of highways have been developed and construction of 1,131 bridges (123,254 meters) has been completed through 431 projects under the Department of Roads And Highways during the three terms of the present government from 2009 to 2023, said the Prime Minister replying to a question of Jatiya Party lawmaker Hafiz Uddin Ahmed (Thakurgaon-3). In the current financial year, she said the works are underway to upgrade some 574km of highways to 4-lane ones, develop 4,634km of highway and construct 750 bridges (64,844 meters) under 131 projects. Sheikh Hasina said the highway development projects completed during her three consecutive tenures from 2009 to June 2023 includes Up-gradation of Dhaka-Chattogram National Highway to 4-lane (Daudkandi-Chattogram Section) project, Joydebpur-Mymensingh Highway Development Project, Joydevpur-Chandra-Tangail-Elenga Highway Project with service lanes on both sides; Jatrabari Intersection-Mawa section of Dhaka- Khulna (N-8) Highway (including Ekuria-Babubazar link road). Read more: Despite move to rein in price hike, food inflation rose to 12.54 percent in August: BBS Among the bridges constructed in the three terms of the government were 2nd Kanchpur Bridge, Meghna Bridge, Gomti Bridge, Payra Bridge (Lebukhali Setu) over Payra River on Barisal-Patuakhali highway and Madhumati Bridge constructed over Madhumati River under Cross-Border Road Network Improvement Project (Bangladesh), she added. Proposed investment in economic zones rose to US$ 26 billion: Answering a question from AL lawmaker Md. Mamunur Rashid Kiron (Noakhali-3), the Leader of the House said that the overall proposed investment in the economic zone has now reached USD 26 billion. Besides, 41 companies have started commercial production and 50 industries are under construction in different zones, she said, adding that these industries have produced products worth USD 14.8 billion and exported products worth USD 291 million, creating 50,000 jobs in these industries. Read more: Half of Boro paddy procurement target not achieved yet, Food Minister tells JS