• Saturday, August 23, 2014

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Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed

BGMEA asked to form emergency fund

BGMEA asked to form emergency fund

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday suggested Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association form an emergency fund to handle precarious situations like the Tuba Group workers' payment crisis. “It is my suggestion to the BGMEA to form the fund to face any emergency," Ahmed said at a press conference at the BGMEA office following the completion of payments to Tuba Group workers. The association yesterday distributed the salaries and overtime allowances of 1,417 workers of Tuba Group on behalf of its owner Delwar Hossain. Hossain sold off his land and machineries...

Tofail slams US Congressmen

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday criticised six US Congressmen who in a recent letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed concern over alleged intimidation and harassment of labour activists in Bangladesh. “Sending such a letter to the Prime Minister is indecent. I hope they [the Congressmen] will not interfere in our internal affairs,” the minister told reporters after a meeting with US Ambassador Dan W Mozena at his secretariat in Dhaka. “Still, I am sending letters in a couple of days...

REHAB seeks steps to boost secondary real estate market

Realtors yesterday demanded cuts in registration tax on sales of used flats to inject some life into real-estate business. Registration costs of both new and used flats are the same, although the prices of apartments vary considerably between the two. As a result, the customers feel discouraged to purchase the used flats. “So, we want to develop a secondary market in the country for real estate, like the secondary car sales market,” said Alamgir Shamsul Alamin, president of Real Estate and Housing...

IndustriALL draws ire from Tofail

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday accused IndustriALL Bangladesh Council of acting against the country's interests by secretly writing to the US that garment workers are being harassed here. Without naming the organisation, Ahmed said: “This organisation has written that garment workers are harassed and repressed in Bangladesh.” The minister, however, said Nazrul Islam Khan, a senior leader of BNP, and Roy Ramesh Chandra, a former senior leader of Sramik League, are respectively the chairman and secretary general of the organisation. “They sent...

TCB to sell essentials in Ramadan

The government will sell essential commodities across the country at subsidised rates before and during the fasting month of Ramadan to keep the prices stable, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed told parliament yesterday. Replying to queries from a band of lawmakers, he said Trading Corporation of Bangladesh would sell essentials at different parts of the country using 174 trucks. In a scripted reply, Tofail said TCB allocates sugar, lentil and edible oils to its 3,032 appointed dealers at least once a month...

Qatar keen to invest in energy sector

Qatar, one of the richest Gulf States, has expressed interest to invest in Bangladesh's energy sector and to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. Qatar Prime Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani conveyed it to Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed during a meeting on Monday night on the sidelines of a three-day Doha Forum being held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Doha from the day. The premier also assured the Bangladesh commerce minister of hiring more Bangladeshis as...

Tofail asks Accord to pay workers of closed factories

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday asked Accord, a platform of 150 clothing retailers and brands mostly from Europe, to pay half of the salaries of the workers who lost jobs temporarily due to factory inspection. The instruction came as Alliance, another such panel of 27 US retailers and brands, has started doing the same. The minister was briefing reporters after a meeting with the officials of Accord, Alliance, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association and other stakeholders, at his secretariat in...

US urged to cut duty on RMG

US urged to cut duty on RMG

Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed yesterday urged the visiting delegation of the United States Trade Representatives to reduce discriminatory duty on shipments of garment items to make Bangladeshi products more competitive in the American market. Bangladesh pays the second highest duty for export to the US but as one of the least developed countries it was supposed to enjoy zero-tariff benefit from the American market, he said. The duty structure for Bangladeshi products is discriminatory as other competing countries pay much less tariff on exports to the US. Of the yearly export of Bangladeshi products to the US market, 95 percent are garment items. The average duty Bangladesh pays the US is more...

Rana Plaza episode: let's not repeat it

The state minister for foreign affairs, on the occasion of the anniversary of Rana Plaza collapse, yesterday urged the garment sector stakeholders not to do business in a way that it endangers people's lives. “Today we should commit that we will not do business which kills people. Personally, I made a commitment today that I will not do such a business which will kill people,” Shahriar Alam, state minister for foreign affairs, said. His comments came at an event organised by...

BNP incapable of staging movement: Tofail

BNP incapable of staging movement: Tofail

BNP is now not in a state of waging movement even on a single issue, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said today. “BNP along with Jamaat tried to foil January 5 election. But it was a failed attempt. This kind of movement will never be successful,” the minister said. Tofail was talking to reporters after paying...

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