Inside Bangladesh

PM asks to give befitting reply to anti-Bangladesh propaganda

Publish: 12:40 PM, 25 Sep, 2022


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon Bangladeshi expatriates to give a befitting reply to the propaganda against Bangladesh and its government.

"Give an instant befitting reply to the propaganda being carried out against us," she said while addressing a reception accorded by the Bangladeshi expatriates in the USA, joining virtually from her place of residence on Saturday.

The premier also urged the expats to present the true picture of the country's unprecedented development that took place during the Awami League (AL) government and move around the world keeping their head high and maintaining the dignity and honour Bangladesh achieved globally.

She said relatives of the war criminals and killers of the Father of the Nation alongside the people who fled the country committing various crimes that included money laundering are behind the anti-state propaganda.

"The people, who are orchestrating the propaganda on the social media, are mostly sacked from the jobs for their involvement in misdeeds or fled the country committing crimes," she said.

The premier called upon all to make public the characters and misdeeds of the people who are now giving lessons to others by spreading false and fabricated information about the government and Bangladesh using social media.

"Don't pay heed to their words, rather present the development scenario carried out by us to the people," she added.   

Sheikh Hasina called upon all Bangladeshi expatriates to spread her government's development picture everywhere. 

"Inform congressmen, senators and elected representatives in your locality about the development of Bangladesh and maintain communication with them," she said.

To this end, she said you can judge how much development was carried out by them after seeing the comparative picture of the size of the budget during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government and the Awami League government.

"The size of budget during the BNP tenure was only Tk60,000 crore while the last budget of the AL government was taka six lakh crore," she said.

The prime minister reiterated her call to the expats to move around the world keeping Bangladesh's image intact, saying, "I urge you all to uphold the dignity and honour that Bangladesh has now achieved from the world."

She thanked the Bangladeshi expatriates for taking a stand against the World Bank's decision of withdrawing their funds from the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project bringing false and fabricated allegations which were later proved by a Canadian court.

The decision of constructing the Padma Bridge by Bangladesh's own finance has changed the image of the country to the world and proved that Bangladesh has the ability to do what it said, Sheikh Hasina said.

The prime minister once again alerted the countrymen about the impending severe food crisis in the world due to climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, sanctions and counter-sanctions, urging them to grow more foods to ward off the future crisis.

"As a severe food crisis is approaching the world, ask your relatives not to leave a single inch of land uncultivated using the digital divide as Bangladesh has already been transformed into a digital country," she asked the Bangladeshi expatriates.



Inside Bangladesh

President seeks NDC, AFWC graduates' contribution to national development

Publish: 02:25 PM, 03 Dec, 2023


President Mohammed Shahabuddin today asked the graduates of National Defence Course (NDC) and Armed Forces War Course (AFWC) to contribute to national development.

"In this era of globalization, efficient and smart manpower are a must to continue development spree . . . You (NDC, AFWC graduates) should help build your nation and develop country through knowledge gained from the training courses," he said.

The President was addressing a graduation ceremony of NDC and AFWC courses in Mirpur Cantonment's National Defence College (NDC) here.

President Shahabuddin said in view of rapid expansion and development of ICT and changing global situation, the government is responsible to meet the hopes and aspirations of the people and nation.

Noting that 'a higher position usually comes with the higher responsibility', he said the acquired knowledge about policy-making, security, war strategy and development through the trainings would usher the graduates to the right direction.

The NDC and AFWC courses will have a great contribution to improving the graduates' professional confidence with the desirable cohesiveness, transparency, commitment, dedication, accountability, discipline, efficiency and effectiveness to make perfect visionary leaders, pioneers and good officers, the President hoped.

"Only skilled, knowledgeable and self-esteemed people can help sustain democratic values, overcome poverty and face the challenges of the 21st century," he added.

The Head of the State said the present government under the efficient leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is trying hard to build Bangladesh as 'Sonar Bangla' envisioned by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Referring to 'Vision 2041' declared by the Prime Minister, to transform the country into 'Smart Bangladesh', he said Bangladesh's current 'Economic Miracle' and 'Development Marvel' posed the country as a role model of development and an inspiring paragon of poverty eradication by the World Bank.

The President categorically said Bangladesh is rapidly moving towards the path of development and already gained the status of a developing country.

He also highlighted the government's various development schemes including Padma Bridge, Metro Rail, Dhaka Elevated Expressway, Third Terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Bangabandhu Tunnel, Matarbari Deep Sea Port, Rooppur Power Plant, Ghorashal Palash Urea factory as the real manifestation of Bangladesh's economic emancipation.

Terming the personnel of country's Armed Forces Division (AFD) as pro-people, the President, also the Commander-in-Chief of the AFD, said, the Armed Forces of Bangladesh symbolizes patriotism, commitment to the nation and guarantor of peace as well.

This year, 141 participants, including 43 from the Bangladesh Armed Forces, 13 from Bangladesh Civil Services, and 29 from 17 friendly countries took part in the National Defence Course.

The President said the 29 foreign graduates had developed social bonds and friendships beyond the professional relationship and they would act as 'Goodwill Ambassadors' of Bangladesh in their respective countries.

Acting Commandant of National Defense College Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Kamrul Islam delivered the welcome speech and a vote of thanks.

Agriculture Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen, Chiefs of the three services, senior civil and military officials, secretaries concerned to the President, faculties, staff officers, and course members of NDC and AFWC, among others, were present on the occasion.

The President also cut a cake and took part in the photo session with the NDC and AFWC graduates.


President   NDC   AFWC   Graduate   National   Development  


Inside Bangladesh

Earthquake jolts Dhaka, other parts of country

Publish: 12:17 PM, 02 Dec, 2023


A 5.6 magnitude earthquake jolted different parts of the country including the capital this morning.

The quake was felt in Chattogram, Rajshahi, Sylhet, Rangpur, Chuadanga, Noakhali, Kushtia and other parts of the country.

Rabiul Haque, officer-in-charge of the Meteorological Office, said that the place of origin of the earthquake was Ramganj.

According to the United States Geological Survey, USGS, the epicenter of the earthquake is 8 km east-northeast of Ramganj upazila in Laxmipur district.

Many people came out of their houses in fear during the earthquake.

No casualties or damage were reported immediately.


Bangladesh   Earthquake   Morning  


Inside Bangladesh

PM for putting climate change victims in charge of fighting its impact

Publish: 02:36 PM, 01 Dec, 2023


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has coauthored an article with CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation Patrick Verkooijen on climate change in the famous American weekly news magazine, Newsweek.

The article was published on Thursday (November 30) while the global leaders are convening for the COP28 climate summit in Dubai to find ways to fight climate change impact globally.

Following is the full article:

Let's Put People Back at the Heart of Climate Action

By Sheikh Hasina and Patrick Verkooijen

Climate change is a global disaster inflicted by the rich upon the poor-and increasingly upon themselves. Global leaders convening for the COP28 climate summit in Dubai need to understand that their top-down approach can never work. Rather, we need to put the victims in charge of the fight back and fund their battle.

The climate breakdown will not wait while leaders equivocate. It is already unleashing typhoons and floods on communities, and spreading hunger through crop failures and drought. Only a tiny fraction of climate funding reaches the people battling the worst effects of climate change-they are without the resources needed to protect themselves and their livelihoods, leaving them more vulnerable. Climate injustice is being exacerbated.

Climate action at a global level makes no sense unless it helps protect people on the frontlines of climate change. We need to find ways to quickly and efficiently channel all necessary funding to locally led climate-resilience initiatives. This calls for fresh thinking and a new approach. At COP28, the world needs to double down on adaptation finance. The Loss and Damage Fund must become fully operational so we can respond rapidly and urgently to meet the needs of local communities to rebuild infrastructure and adapt more effectively to climate impacts. This is also a vital step toward climate justice.

Moving from Global to Local

To ensure adaptation finance flows from developed to developing countries double to reach $40 billion by 2025, as pledged at COP26 in Glasgow, finance providers must on average increase annual adaptation flows by at least 16 percent between 2022 and 2025. Yet adaptation finance flows to developing countries declined 15 percent in 2021 to $21.3 billion. That is clearly too little. Yet less than 6 percent of this sum, and perhaps as little as 2 percent, reaches climate-resilience projects led by local communities. Estimates vary due to a lack of properly tracking and reporting money flows-and this needs to improve. But it's also because climate policy and decision-making flows from the top down.

The people who know which towns, streets, fields, and homes are most vulnerable are those who live there. We must encourage and empower them to get together and draw up and implement their own projects to protect themselves against the consequences of climate change.

This is easier said than done. Local communities often lack the time and skills to manage longer-term projects aimed at strengthening climate resilience. They need help and training to draw up project proposals; and to access funding they need basic things such as legally constituted organizations and bank accounts.

Bangladesh has always been a leader in locally led climate adaptation and recently the government has been exploring various ways to channel climate assistance to local communities. The Mujib Climate Prosperity Plan makes it easier to access low-interest loans for adaptation, has a climate risk fund to train communities and local governments to lead adaptation, expands green banking services, and explores paying communities for ecosystem services.   

Through the Global Hub on Locally Led Adaptation in Dhaka, the government is also helping scale up solutions and share best practices with other vulnerable regions of the world. These efforts are already achieving dramatic improvements on the ground.

From Challenges to Opportunities

In Mongla, the second-largest seaport in Bangladesh, the mayor and residents are drawing up a plan to identify economic opportunities in their climate challenges. Like other major cities, Mongla has seen a large influx of climate migrants even as it struggles with rising sea levels-a consequence of global warming-that are contaminating the city's fresh water supplies. Mongla is mapping settlements, identifying key climate vulnerabilities, and developing locally led initiatives. With the support of the U.K. and Canadian governments working through BRAC, an international development agency, and the Global Center on Adaptation, it is hoped that Mongla's People's Adaptation Plans might become a blueprint for other towns and cities adapting to climate change.

This shows us that locally led adaptation is the way forward. But we need to massively scale up these approaches. For that, we need to find ways to finance local communities, without creating undue risk for donors. Strong intermediary organizations can be valuable here to act as a transmission belt to accelerate People's Adaptation Plans into the portfolio of large financiers, including international finance institutions such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.

COP28 will only be a success if it achieves real benefits for the communities most affected by the climate crisis. This year's climate summit must ensure that finance flows to the poor communities most affected by climate change, and into locally led, appropriate, and effective adaptation. If we achieve this, the world will have taken a big step toward redressing the gross injustices of climate change.


Prime Minister   Sheikh Hasina   Global Center on Adaptation   Newsweek   COP28   Climate Change  


Inside Bangladesh

President asks DSCSC graduates to use knowledge for people's wellbeing

Publish: 02:22 PM, 30 Nov, 2023


President Mohammed Shahabuddin today asked the graduates of 'Defence Services Command and Staff Course (DSCSC)-2023' to utilize their skills and knowledge for people's welfare.

"The 21st century's challenges are multifaceted, ranging from conventional to non-traditional . . . The rigorous training you have undergone here will flourish you with skills and knowledge which is necessary to face these complex challenges," he said.

The President was addressing the Graduation Ceremony of DSCSC Course at Sheikh Hasina Complex in Mirpur Cantonment here.

He said being public servant, it is your utmost duty to provide all-out efforts in implementing programs taken by the government for people's welfare.

This year a total of 257 officers, including 49 overseas officers from 24 friendly countries took part in the training course.

"You (graduates) will carry out duties and responsibilities with honor, courage, and dauntless dedication by maintaining rules-regulations and constitution of your respective countries," the President hoped.

He also congratulated the graduates for their successful completion of the DSCSC course as the graduates were awarded certificates as recognition of their dedication and hard work.

President Shahabuddin conveyed his special appreciation to the DSCSC Commandant and other concerned, for successfully completing the program with utmost professionalism, hoping that DSCSC's outstanding professional offerings would continue at a similar pace in the days to come.

The DSCSC has a pivotal role in making leaders who can contribute tremendously to ensuring security and prosperity of their respective countries, he mentioned.

 The Head of State said the government of Bangladesh is committed to strengthening country's Armed Forces Division and so, has adopted the "Forces Goal-2030' to develop, expand, and modernize the Armed Forces.

 The DSCSC is the oldest tri-service military training institute in Bangladesh. A total of 6236 officers have, so far, successfully graduated from this prestigious institution.

Referring to the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to improve the life standard of countrymen, eradicate poverty and ensure happy and prosperous life of people, the President said all-out measures were taken by Bangabandhu to materialize his dreams.

But anti-liberation forces halted that process by assassinating Bangabandhu and most of his family members on August 15, 1975, the Head of State said.

After Bangabandhu's assassination, “we have experienced many ups and downs in our economy”, he said.

About DSCSC activities, the President also said that DSCSC brings together military leaders from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives.

"The bonds forged here would foster goodwill and understanding beyond boundaries in future”, he hoped.

President Shahabuddin also took part in two photo sessions.

Commandant of Defence Services Command and Staff College Major General Md. Faizur Rahman delivered welcome speech at the function.

Chiefs of the three Services, senior civil and military officials, among others, were present.


President   DSCSC   Graduates   Mohammed Shahabuddin   Mirpur Cantonment  


Inside Bangladesh

Micro, small, medium enterprises in Bangladesh face a financing gap of $2.8 billion

Publish: 02:11 PM, 28 Nov, 2023


In Bangladesh, the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) sector faces a financing gap of $2.8 billion, according to IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.

With nearly 10 million SMEs contributing to about 25 percent of the country's GDP, enhancing SME financing is key to boosting economic growth, it said on Tuesday.

To explore the various aspects of financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Bangladesh, IFC, in association with Bangladesh Bank and the government of Norway, organized a conference in Dhaka.

Experts, policymakers, and stakeholders from across the world shared their insights to help foster a resilient and inclusive environment for SME financing in the country.  

The event touched upon the partnership between IFC and Bangladesh Bank, results of an impact assessment study carried out on women-owned SMEs, next-generation SME financing trends, and global best practices in SME financing.

It also addressed the challenges and opportunities in SME financing, identifying solutions and innovations in light of global SME finance developments.

Highlighting the joint efforts of IFC and Bangladesh Bank in SME financing, the conference showcased initiatives, including developing the country’s first Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS), reforming an SME finance policy, and strengthening the sector’s capacity.

IFC’s impact study on CGS, supported by the Norwegian Embassy, revealed that the number of first-time borrowers receiving loans in cottage, micro, and small enterprises and the average ticket size of the loans for women-owned micro and small enterprises was statistically significantly higher after the launch of CGS than ever before. Women entrepreneurs who received CGS-backed loans reported that it helped their businesses survive amid crises and provided new impetus to thrive.

Speaking at the conference as the chief guest, Governor of Bangladesh Bank, Abdur Rouf Talukder, said that recognizing that cottage, micro, small and medium enterprises (CMSMEs) are the backbone of society, Bangladesh Bank is spearheading several initiatives to mainstream medium and small businesses into the financial landscape.

"This includes establishing a new and dedicated Credit Guarantee Department that has already piloted an online platform—the Credit Guarantee Information Management System—to help lodge applications seamlessly. We are at an important crossroads of economic development and must ensure that everyone, especially those who often get left out, can be part of the financial picture," he said.

Deputy Governor of Bangladesh Bank, Abu Farah Md. Nasser, said a strong SME sector is akin to a superpower for creating jobs, export earnings, and productive proficiency.

"Now more than ever, we need to work together to enhance credit guarantee schemes, tap into alternative databases for SME lending, and ultimately fast-track CMSME finance in Bangladesh. We want to bridge the gap between rich and poor, make sure men and women have equal opportunities, and boost economic growth across the country," he said.

Martin Holtmann, IFC Country Manager for Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Nepal, said Bangladesh is rapidly accelerating its economic development, and creating more and better jobs is a priority they share with the country as long-term partners since 1985.

"IFC’s collaboration with Bangladesh Bank to develop SME solutions highlights a milestone in achieving financial inclusion and economic advancement and underscores the transformative power of partnerships, innovation, and our collective commitment to progress. We aim to increase access to financial products that are affordable, sustainable, and responsive to risks while developing institutional, operational, and policy frameworks to ensure the benefits of economic growth permeate every facet of this dynamic nation,” he said.

Espen Rikter-Svendsen, Ambassador of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Bangladesh, said, “Lack of access to finance is the biggest impediment to the growth of SMEs in Bangladesh, particularly for the women-headed SMEs."

Recognizing and addressing the challenges faced by SMEs and women entrepreneurs is not just a matter of economic significance but also a step towards fostering gender equality, he said.

"It is essential to create an environment that facilitates easier access to finance for SMEs, encourages more women to take on entrepreneurial roles, and provides them with the necessary financial resources to succeed," said the ambassador.

Other participants included Qamar Saleem, CEO of the SME Finance Forum; Abdoulaye Seck, Country Director of the World Bank for Bangladesh and Bhutan; and managing directors and CEOs of leading banking and non-banking financial institutions in Bangladesh.

The event also included technical sessions and panel discussions focusing on global best practices and a future roadmap to accelerate the SME financing market in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh   financing gap   IFC   World Bank   GDP