Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today received a replica of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 scheduled to be launched into the orbit in December next year.
State Minister for Post and Telecommunications Tarana Halim handed over the replica to the prime minister at the beginning of the cabinet meeting this morning.
As per the action plan, the Bangabandhu Satellite-1, the first ever of the country, will be launched into the orbit on December 16 next year, the victory day of Bangladesh.
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Thales Alenia Space, a French aerospace manufacturer, is manufacturing the satellite with a cost of Tk 2,967 crore.
The satellite, meant for communication and broadcast services, is so far the most sophisticated technological project undertaken by Bangladesh.
Bangladesh bought the orbital slot from Intersputnik, a Russian satellite company, for $28 million early this year, and the purchase contract mandates launch of the satellite by June 2018. If delayed, both money and the orbit will be forfeited.
Once launched, Bangabandhu-1 will save this annual cost, and bring in foreign currency by leasing out half its capacity to Saarc nations, as well as countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, if the frequencies are properly coordinated.
Meanwhile, the cabinet today also approved the drafts of three laws -- Bangladesh Rural Development Act-2017, Rajshahi Unnayan Kartripakkha Act-2017 and Income Tax Act-2017.
As per a court directive, the government enacted the laws, which were ordinances earlier approved by the army-led government.