• Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Post Indian election: The shape of things to come!


Post Indian election: The shape of things to come!

REPORTEDLY, the BJP will have spent about five billion Indian Rupees on advertisement by the time the month-long largest democratic show on earth ends in India on May 12. And the man whose pictures dominate the festoons and billboards and newspaper and TV ads is Narendra Modi, whom most see as the next...


Test of democratic values

I get many telephone calls almost every day from Pakistan and a few from Bangladesh to inquire about the polling in the Lok Sabha elections. Their fear is that Narendra Modi might be India's next prime minister and destroy the democratic polity which they envy. I hope Modi does not head the next government. True, most opinion polls give the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the BJP and Modi, a clear majority. But their tally is unreliable because there...


Business as usual?

ONE year has passed since 1135 garment workers lost their lives and more than 2500 people were injured in the Rana Plaza industrial disaster -- only five months after a fire at Tazreen factory had killed 112 workers. These accidents sent shockwaves around the world. For years Bangladeshi trade unionists, together with their comrades in the international labour movement, had voiced their concerns about the safety risks in some factories of the readymade garment (RMG) sector. Yet, it took...


Dimension of Bangla-US security dialogue in Dhaka

THE 21st century is as exciting as it is full of unpredictable events and dangers. Most of the dangers arise from global changing pattern of security, both traditional and non-traditional. Given the background, the third dialogue on security with the US which was held yesterday (22nd April) in Dhaka assumes importance.  The main purpose such dialogue is to increase cooperation with the US in the areas of, among others, counter-terrorism, border security, joint military exercises and training including preparedness for...

US for improving worker safety

The US is continuing to press the Bangladesh government to fulfil a labour-related action plan designed to restore the country's eligibility for the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP), administration officials said on Monday. Some progress has been made but more needs to be done, the US officials in Washington said in a conference call with reporters in advance of the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse on April 24. New labour laws have been promulgated but regulations are yet to...

Rana Plaza victims urgently need assistance: HRW

Rana Plaza victims urgently need assistance: HRW

Human Rights Watch urged the international garment brands to help mitigate the damage by assisting with the full restitution of those who were injured or lost their lives in Rana Plaza collapse. “One year after Rana Plaza collapsed, far too many victims and their families are at serious risk of destitution,” said Phil Robertson,...

Will a change in India affect Bangladesh?

IN less than a month India will announce its new parliamentarians elected in a marathon election process lasting over six weeks. If the predictions of the political pundits hold out it is likely that the alliance led by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will come out with the largest number of elected representatives and form the next government. There is also wide speculation that Narendra Modi, the current chief minister of Gujarat, who is riding on a popularity wave of...

Workplace Safety

Good job done

Good job done

In the year after the Rana Plaza disaster, 31 percent of the stakeholders' initiatives to upgrade labour and safety standards in the garment industry were implemented while 60 percent saw some level of progress, Transparency International Bangladesh said yesterday. But there has been no improvement in the remaining 9 percent of the initiatives that...

India's Hero to set up motorbike plant

India's Hero to set up motorbike plant

Hero MotoCorp, India's largest motorbike maker, is set to build a manufacturing plant in Bangladesh with a plan to invest $40 million in the next five years. “We are launching the full-fledged manufacturing facility in the country as part of our global expansion strategy,” Pawan Munjal, managing director of Hero MotoCorp, told The Daily Star yesterday. The company will set up its first-ever overseas manufacturing plant in Jessore by 2015, under a joint venture agreement signed with Bangladesh's Nitol Niloy Group yesterday. Hero will hold a 55 percent stake in the joint venture and the Bangladeshi partner the rest, Munjal said, adding that the motorbikes will sell under the Hero brand. The total...


Consumers demand more accountability

Consumers demand more accountability

It took the worst garment factory accident in modern history to teach consumers the real price of an $8 T-shirt. A year after 1,134 people were killed and even more injured in the Rana Plaza collapse, mindsets are changing one stitch at a time—from consumers demanding more at the till to greater accountability by...