Nation this week
The Supreme Court chamber judge today put on hold until next year the inquiry into S Alam Group owner Mohammed Saiful Alam's "assets abroad". The bench of Justice Enayetur Rahim passed the order, setting January 8, 2024 for holding the next hearing on the matter before a full bench, led by the chief justice. Senior lawyers Ajmalul Hossain and Ahsanul Karim represented Alam and his wife Farzana Parveen.
The judge ordered that a status quo be maintained regarding the matter until the next hearing. On August 21, a petition was filed with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court seeking stay on a High Court order that asked the authorities concerned to probe allegations against the owner of S Alam Group of amassing a huge amount of wealth abroad without Bangladesh Bank's permission. On August 6, the HC had ordered the ACC, Bangladesh Financial Intelligence Unit and the Criminal Investigation Department to conduct the inquiry.
Health Minister Zahid Maleque said the World Bank will provide Bangladesh with $100 million to control the mosquito-borne disease dengue that has killed 506 people this year. He made the announcement while briefing journalists after a meeting with the Word Bank representatives at the Secretariat in Dhaka. The minister said, "Dengue should be brought under control. The World Bank will provide $100 million to control dengue. They will provide this fund to the Ministry of Local Government to control mosquitoes."
He said that the WB managed $550 million, and of the amount $100 million will be given to the Health Ministry for urban health. Addressing the need for escalating activities by city corporations and municipalities to handle dengue, he said 500 people have died of dengue as the situation could not be brought under control. Moreover, an amount of $700 million will be given for Rohingya and the host community for the use of infrastructures and services, he said.
Energy Secretary Khairuzzaman Mozumder has been made the new finance secretary, the public administration ministry said in a notice. The move came after incumbent finance secretary Fatima Yasmin was appointed as the first Bangladeshi vice-president of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in June. Fatima, the current senior secretary at the Finance Division, is scheduled to leave her position at the finance ministry to join the ADB this month. This is the first instance of a Bangladeshi finance secretary joining a high-ranked position in the ADB.
Md Nurul Alam, additional secretary of the Power Division, has been made the new energy secretary. A gazette notification of the Ministry of Public Administration issued on Wednesday, said the new appointment of Md Nurul Alam as secretary in the Energy and Mineral Resources Division will be effective from 28 August.
The volume of foreign currencies held by the country's commercial banks increased further in July amid increased remittances, export earnings and import restrictions. The gross foreign currency balance with the banks advanced to $5,900 million in July from $5,530 million in June. The balance was highest after August 2021 when it was $5,968 million.
Compared with previous periods, the gross holdings in July 2022 and December 2022 were $4,881 million and $4,795 million respectively. During the July-June period of the 2022-23 financial year, inward remittances witnessed a slight increase to $21.61 billion compared with $21.03 billion in the corresponding period of the previous year. In July of the current year, remittance inflow reached $1.97 billion. The country's export earnings in FY23 grew by 6.28 per cent to $52.34 billion compared with those of $49.24 billion in the same period of FY22.
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