Nation this week
The government was forced to make a u-turn and raise prices of four types of fertilisers - urea, DAP, TSP, and MOP - by Tk 5 per kg. The price hike was announced in two separate notices by the Ministries of Finance and Agriculture, which said the price of fertiliser was revised in line with the ongoing global economic situation and to keep imports of fertiliser at a reasonable level and ensure their best use.
Urea is now Tk 25 per kg at the dealer level, and Tk 27 at farmers level; DAP is Tk 19 at the dealer level and Tk 21 at farmers level; TSP is Tk 25 at the dealer level and Tk 27 at farmers level; and MOP is Tk 18 at the dealer level and Tk 20 at farmer level. The price of fertiliser in the world market has increased exponentially in the last three years. As a result, the government's subsidy on fertiliser alone has ballooned from Tk 74.2 billion to Tk 460 billion.
Bangladesh produced record power on consecutive days as a full-blown heatwave swept the country and the irrigation season kicked in. The Power Development Board reported generating 14,932MW electricity on Wednesday (Apr. 12), beating the previous record set just the day before by generating 14,800MW. That beat the previous record of 14,782MW, generated on April 16 last year.
At least part of the record was contributed by the Adani Power-built thermal power plant in Godda, Jharkand, as it commissioned the first of two 800 MW ultra-super-critical thermal power generation units and begun supplying 748 MW of power to Bangladesh. The Indian company said the electricity supplied from Godda will "replace expensive power generated from liquid fuel, bringing down the average cost of power purchased" and act as a "strategic asset in the India-Bangladesh's long-standing relationship".
The Election Commission (EC) has whittled down the applications for new political parties to a shortlist of 12 after conducting various rounds of verification of the information and documents submitted by an initial list of 93 parties that sought to register themselves. Now the commission will look for the field offices of these parties. In order to qualify, these parties are required to have the support of 200 voters at the upazila level, as well as offices in one-third of the districts throughout the country.
The 12 parties include the AB Party (Amar Bangladesh Party), which is said to have a number of ex-Jamaat operatives in its ranks, although the Bangladesh Development Party (BDP), which is more directly supported by Jamaat and made it through an initial round of verification, failed to make the cut. Also making it through are the Gono Odhikar Parishad of Nurul Haque Nur and Reza Kibria, and Mahmudur Rahman Manna's Nagarik Oikya.
The government will procure 1.78 million metric tonnes (MT) of foodgrains during the upcoming Boro season as the four-month internal food procurement drive begins next month (May). The decision was taken at a Food Planning and Monitoring Committee meeting at the Secretariat with Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder in the chair. In the Boro procurement season, 400,000 metric tonnes paddy, 1.3 million metric tonnes parboiled rice and the rest 100,000 metric tonnes wheat would be procured.
To carry out food procurement smoothly across the country, the government has also fixed the food procurement price with paddy at Tk 30 per kg while parboiled rice at Tk 44 and wheat at Tk 35. In 2022, the paddy procurement price was fixed at Tk 27 per kg, parboiled rice at Tk 40 and wheat at Tk 28.
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