Nation this week
The energy regulator reduced the retail price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the private sector by around 7 percent. According to the new rate, the private companies will have to sell 12kg LPG cylinder at Tk 906, down from the existing price of Tk 975. The new price rate will be made effective from next month, Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) Chairman Abdul Jalil said while announcing the new price at a virtual press conference.
Jalil said they re-fixed the price as per the new rate of the Saudi contract price for May. However, the commission did not change the price of LPG sold by the state-owned Liquid Petroleum Gas Ltd (LPGL). The current price of the 12.5kg LPG cylinder sold by LPGL is Tk 591. The BERC fixed the LPG prices for the second time in a month. On April 12, the commission fixed the retail prices of LPG for the first time.
Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain on Thursday (Apr 29) forbade the High Court from hearing petitions seeking anticipatory bails. The directive was given when the chief justice ordered to form two more HC benches to hold online hearings of bail prayers for under-trial prisoners or convicted prisoners. The prohibition came hours after a bench of Justice Mamnoon Rahman and Justice Khandaker Diliruzzaman had refused to hold the scheduled hearing for an anticipatory bail prayer by Bashundhara Group managing director Sayem Sobhan Anvir, who has been accused in a case of abetting the suicide of a 21-year-old student in the capital's Gulshan.
The court said that it could not hear such a bail prayer during the government's imposed restriction on public gathering to contain Covid-19. A Dhaka court issued a travel ban on accused Anvir on Tuesday, the day after victim Mosarat Jahan's hanging body was recovered from the flat, where she rendezvoused with Anvir, with whom she had a 2-year relationship.
Bangladeshi workers in the readymade garments sector suffered a 35 percent pay cut during the lockdown imposed in the face of the pandemic last year, according to a new study. The Subir and Malini Chowdhury Center for Bangladesh Studies and UC Berkeley in collaboration with the Institute for Human Rights and Business with support from UNDP Bangladesh and Sweden conducted the study. "As Bangladesh's second lockdown is underway, the findings offer a cautionary tale on how brands and supply chains should respond," it said.
The report draws on in-depth interviews conducted between October 2020 and February 2021 with senior executives from international brands, Bangladeshi suppliers, representatives of the international civil society, and Bangladeshi labour activists. "While the industry suffered from the closure of markets, suspended shipments, delayed payments and a liquidity crisis, Bangladeshi workers suffered what was in effect a 35% pay cut during the lockdown month," the study reads. The study said many Bangladeshi factories supplying to international brands consolidated their business.
The government has floated an international tender to lease out 25 state-run jute mills for a period of five to 20 years, that industrialists find unattractive for being too short-term. The tender, issued by Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation (BJMC) on April 27, aims to encourage both domestic and foreign entrepreneurs to join the jute industry through an open bidding system. The government closed all state-run jute mills on July 1 last year, prompted by heavy losses and excessive production costs, laying off more than 50,000 workers.
According to Mahbubur Rahman Patwari, chairman of Bangladesh Jute Mills Association, investors will be hard to find for the short-term lease period on offer. will not be interested in the short-term investment. However, Golam Dastagir Gazi, the minister for textiles and jute, said reopening would lead to job opportunities on a priority basis at privately-run mills. At the same time, this move will create new employment opportunities for able and skilled workers while all those who remain would be rehabilitated in phases.
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