Nation this week
Bangladesh Bank approved one more commercial bank, taking the total number of banks in the country to 61. The name of the new lender is Citizen Bank. It is the third private bank to get BB approval over the last two years, populating the already-crowded banking landscape. Community Bank Bangladesh and Bengal Commercial Bank are the other two. Experts say the decision to approve the new bank would create more pressure on the banking sector, given the size of the country's economy.
The new bank is set to join the others at a time a when the banking and financial sector is riddled with a number of loan scams and bad loans due to a lack of good governance. New banks seem reluctant to expand their business to rural areas as they mainly focus on urban areas. This means they have had little impact on the expansion of the county's financial inclusion, ex-BB deputy governor Khondoker Ibrahim Khaled told the Daily Star.
The last span of Padma Bridge has been installed on pillars 12 and 13, which will connect both sides of the mighty Padma river. The construction work of the long-awaited Padma Bridge started in December 2015 and the first span (superstructure) was installed on September 30, 2017. The length of the double-deck Padma bridge is 6.15 kilometres. Trains will run through the lower deck while the road will be on the upper level of the bridge.
When the construction of the bridge is completed, the capital will be directly connected with 21 southern districts through road and railways. It is expected to boost the country's gross domestic product by 1.2 percent. The Padma Bridge is the government's flagship development project, and is being implemented with the country's own funds after the World Bank and other international lenders had cancelled financing over controversial allegations of corruption.
The High Court cleared the way for the government to carry out eviction drives and recover the River Buriganga's wetlands in Keraniganj from the possession of three companies of Maisha Group, owned by ruling Awami League lawmaker Aslamul Haque. The court rejected a writ petition collectively filed by the three companies challenging the eviction activities of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA). The three companies are CLC Power Ltd, Dhaka West Power Ltd and Dhaka North Power Utility Company Ltd.
Delivering the verdict on the petition, the HC said the rivers of the country must be protected at any cost. It also said the boundaries of the rivers have been determined on the basis of Cadastral Survey (CS) record, and probe reports of the National River Conservation Commission (NRCC) must be considered with importance in this regard. A government probe, led by the NRCC, has found that Aslamul, lawmaker of Dhaka-14, filled up more than 54 acres from the Buriganga river and its wetland.
The High Court has ordered concerned authorities to take necessary legal measures against those involved in the damaging sculptures of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and others. The court also asked the Pesh Imam (main preacher) of the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque to contact mass media to seek help in creating awareness regarding sculptures, murals and monuments in the country. Furthermore, the court also issued a rule asking concerned authorities to explain why sedition cases should not be filed against the vandals and their patrons.
A virtual bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam passed the order on Tuesday, in line with a writ petition filed seeking security of all the sculptures, including those of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. It came after an under-construction statue of Sheikh Mujib was found defaced at a key intersection of Kushtia town.
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