Nation this week
Former Padma Bank Limited chairman Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir has alleged that the current chairman of the bank, Chowdhury Nafeez Sarafat, misappropriated the bank's money. In return Padma Bank, formerly Farmers Bank before it was rebranded, has alleged that Muhiuddin embezzled the bank's money during his tenure as its chairman. In 2017, Muhiuddin resigned as the chairman of the board of directors and executive committee of The Farmers Bank Ltd. In 2019, The Farmers Bank Limited was renamed as Padma Bank Limited.
Parliament member Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir, who is also a sponsor-shareholder of Padma Bank, urged the Bangladesh Bank to investigate an investment of Tk 100 crore in an alternative investment fund managed by Strategic Equity Management Limited. 'The amount disbursed to the company managed by Sarafat on November 1, 2015 was never paid back in terms of dividend or return on investment or pay back of the loan capital,' Muhiuddin said in a letter sent to the central bank.
A proposal of importing 3.5 lakh tonnes of rice from India, Thailand and Vietnam to increase food stock in the country was approved at a meeting of Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs, chaired by Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal. Of the amount, 1.5 lakh tonnes of rice will be brought from India, 1.5 lakh tonnes from Thailand and the rest from Vietnam. The rice will be imported on a government-to-government basis.
Meanwhile, the government reduced the import duty on non-boiled rice to 25 percent to increase supply of the rice in the market. The Internal Resources Department (IRD) of the Finance Ministry issued a notification in this regard. Earlier, the import duty on non-boiled rice was 65 percent. In the notification, the IRD said the decision was taken in consultation with the National Board of Revenue (NBR) in the public interest. This notification will take effect immediately, it said.
Cartoonist Ahmed Kabir Kishore filed a complaint with a Dhaka court, accusing unidentified persons for the barbaric torture he endured while in custody. The complaint was filed with Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court of Judge KM Emrul Kayesh. Kishore recounted his traumatic experience of being tortured in custody while the judge recorded his statement for half an hour. After recording the statement, the judge said he will pass an order on the issue within a day or two.
In the statement, Kishore said that contrary to what was said in the FIR filed by Rab-3, he was picked up on May 2 last year by 16-17 people in plainclothes. The FIR Rab-3 filed records Kishore being arrested on May 5. In his statement, Kishore mentions that he was handcuffed and a hood was put on his head so that he could not see while the unidentified men forcibly took him to an unknown and secluded place.
A total of 8,54,253 people died due to different causes in 2020 and around 21.1 percent died of cardiac arrest, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS). Some 1,80,408 people have died of heart attacks, according to the data revealed by the BBS. In the same year, 85,360 people died of brain strokes while 8,248 people died from coronavirus infection, the BBS said. In 2019, a total of 8,22,841 people died, the BBS added.
Apart from this, 32,075 people died in 2020 due to asthma while 38,290 died from the disease in 2019. A total of 786 deaths from dengue have been reported by BBS in the last year while in 2019 some 2,360 people died of the mosquito-borne disease. This runs in direct contrast to official figures according to which the number of deaths from dengue in 2019, the deadliest year for the disease in the country, was 179, and in 2020 it was less than 10.
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