The country’s trade deficit eased by 2.33 per cent or $230 million in the first seven months of the current fiscal year 2019-2020 as import, specifically from China, contracted further in January due to the coronavirus outbreak. Experts said that the drop in trade deficit would not be positive for the economy rather it would weaken the country’s industrial output and subsequent fall in export earnings.
In July-January of FY20, the country’s trade deficit dropped to $9.64 billion from $9.87 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal year. In July-December of FY20, the deficit in trade widened by 5.41 per cent or $422 million from that in the same period of last fiscal year. Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, many countries’ importers postponed imports from China in late January.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said that the law ministry will take necessary steps to consider BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's appeal to release her from jail. "Khaleda's family placed an appeal over her health issue. We sent it to the law ministry seeking legal opinion and the ministry will take the next step in this regard," Kamal said this while talking to reporters after inaugurating the Hajj Service Booth at the Passport Directorate in Agargaon area of Dhaka this afternoon.
"We and the law ministry cannot go beyond the law. The necessary task will have to be done through judicial inquiry," he added. BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's family members had applied to the home ministry for her "temporary" release a few days ago, party Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told reporters.
A judicial probe committee has found part-negligence of Dhaka north and south city corporations responsible for the outbreak of dengue in the capital last year. The probe committee however did not find the negligence of any sole person behind the epidemic. The committee sent the probe report to the attorney general's office today to submit at the High Court.
The committee was led by Dhaka District Judge MD Helal Chowdhury, following a directive passed by the HC on November 12 last year. This judicial inquiry committee talked to experts concerned to prevent the spawning of aedes mosquitoes, which causes dengue fever. In the report, the probe committee said an integrated initiative is needed to prevent the spread of dengue, chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases.
The cabinet approved in principle the draft of a protocol to be signed with Russia for assistance in operating and maintaining the Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant (RNPP), following its construction. The approval was given in regular cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair at her office. “The cabinet gave consent in principle to the protocol for bringing amendments to the agreement between the Russian government and Bangladesh government on cooperation concerning the construction of the nuclear power plant on the territory of Bangladesh,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said.
He informed that the agreement between the countries for setting up the first nuke power plant in Bangladesh was signed on November 2, 2011. Replying to a query on justification of signing the protocol, Anwarul added that it was essential to receive assistance from Russia for properly running and maintaining the Ruppoor Nuclear Power Plant after starting its operation as Bangladesh has no experience in running such plants.