NO FRILLS | The Daily Star
  • A loan defaulting epidemic: Over two lakh privileged institutions!

    The informa-tion disclosed by the finance minister in parliament this month, as a response to a question by a member of parliament, is quite an eye opener.

  • The allure of Europe

    Last year, the international media was awash with reports that a significant number of illegal migrants headed to Europe were Bangladeshis.

  • Mystery of the disappearing coal

    The Barapukuria coal mine debacle continues to generate considerable interest in media and not without reason.

  • BRT: An excellent idea gone haywire

    One of the major communications projects, the Bus Rapid Transport (BRT), an excellent idea that was supposed to facilitate the movement of large numbers of people with ease in and around the capital city has been in limbo for the last six years.

  • Recycled plastic for roads

    The idea of using discarded plastic to build roads was brought to fruition by a company called VolkerWessels in 2015. But the country where roads are now being built with this new technology is India. Indeed, the man who made it possible was Dr Rajagopalan Vasudevan...

  • Home textile industry in the red—again!

    Last year the Bangladesh Terry Towel & Linen Manufacturers & Exporters' Association (BTTLMEA) wanted the government to stop the export of cotton waste so that raw materials become available for production.

  • One-stop service caught in red tape

    Bangladesh lags behind its peers in the region when it comes to foreign direct investment (FDI). That hardly comes as a surprise given the amount of bureaucratic red-tape hurdles a prospective investor has to surmount before launching a business operation. As pointed out in a front-page report of this paper on June 3, “an investor needs up to a year and a half to get approvals from 42 desks of different government offices for starting a business, which according to the businesses is depriving Bangladesh of the much-needed foreign direct and domestic investments.”

  • Seating service: Nothing more than a sham

    Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) had formed an eight-member committee on May 2, 2017 to submit recommendations for bringing city buses providing the so-called “seating service” under a legal framework.

  • An effective shelving of the two-state solution

    With the death toll mounting to 58 last Monday thanks largely to a trigger-happy Israeli military and smiles all around Tel Aviv and Washington the two-state solution is all but dead and buried. When President Trump decided to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, all pretence of a negotiated settlement was effectively thrown out the window and what is happening in Gaza today points to a mindset that

  • The crippling effect of slow development

    Despite interest shown by foreign investors in country-specific Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) taking steps to acquire and allot land to that effect, it appears preparatory work on most of these zones is lagging far behind schedule.

  • Why bother with fitness certificates?

    It is a common enough sight on Dhaka roads to see policemen hailing cars and motorcycles to stop and check their papers. It is within their rights to do so. What is equally common on the roads is that while the dutiful policeman is doing his job, a dilapidated jalopy resembling a monstrosity straight out of a “Mad Max” movie gushing out big, black plumes of smoke chugging along the road pretending to be a bus

  • What to do about Ramadan prices?

    Every year we are promised by the relevant ministry that prices of essentials will be kept within reach during the holy month of Ramadan. Since, that promise is hardly ever kept people have stopped expecting anything in this regard. The ministry of commerce had a meeting of traders, law enforcement and officials from the various government agencies and departments along with importers and traders on April 1 to better gauge what stocks should be

  • Leave the car in the garage

    According to the latest data, Dhaka's traffic has ground to a snail's pace. 12 years ago, the average speed per hour (on Dhaka roads) for motorised vehicles was 21 kmph (kilometres per hour). Today it is 5 kmph (it has reduced 76 percent).

  • Why the endless bailouts of state-owned banks?

    The government has just announced a fresh bailout package to the tune of Tk 20 billion (approximately USD 250 million) so that they may meet some of their capital shortfalls.

  • Highway bus

    Highway robbery

    Highways are the major arteries of our economic backbone. Since the railway network was never really developed to transport bulk goods, we are inordinately dependent on highways to connect the capital city with the rest of the country to get goods transported.

  • Why is the project floundering?

    Things are not looking very rosy for one of the largest infrastructure projects undertaken by the government under the public-private partnership (PPP) model in 2011.

  • What about our “loss”?

    It's that time of year again when we talk about the rationality of power tariff hike. According to media reports, Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has forwarded a proposal to the Energy and Mineral Resources Division (EMRD) that there is need to hike the prices of petroleum products.

  • Bangladeshi passport

    When our freedom of movement is restricted

    We can understand our position in the index when we take into account how we performed against other nations.

  • Lagging behind in a tech-driven world

    What we must remember is that the path to transforming the production workplace will differ from nation to nation.

  • American U-turn in Afghanistan?

    President Trump is re-engaging in Afghanistan in a manner that basically reverses former President Obama's policies.

  • No good news in the Middle East

    The Islamic State (IS) and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (an al-Qaeda affiliate, known earlier as the Nusra Front) have effectively been ejected from Lebanese territory by the army there. The latest twist in Middle East politics is the recent Lebanese experience.

  • No need for water bodies!

    That was basically the message realtors had given Rajuk in early November in a views-sharing meeting. Realtors believe it is ludicrous for Rajuk to try and reclaim what has already been grabbed.

  • Good, if we get rid of our hiccups

    The United Nations unveiled its World Economic Situation and Prospects 2018 report on December 14.

  • save water

    Save water, save money

    Energy efficiency is all the rage these days. A much less talked about issue is water efficiency and sustainability at industrial level.

  • BBS under fire, again

    The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) is the body the government depends on for data on the various sectors of the economy to make policy decisions.

  • Hariri's bombshell resignation

    We live in interesting times to say the least. Last week Hariri launched a tirade against Iran and its principal ally, Hezbollah, for trying to destabilise the region.

  • Home textile industry in a fix

    One does not give much thought to the export market for home textiles and terry towels in this country.

  • Runaway cost of living

    People, particularly those who belong to the lower income groups, have been reeling under the weight of rising cost of living for some years now.

  • A graveyard for ships and men

    According to a report published by this paper on October 22, “Bangladesh was the top buyer of scrapped ships in the world in the third quarter of 2017, followed by India,” as stated by the Brussels-based Shipbreaking Platform.

  • It's all about the oil

    While the world's focus is now squarely on the United States' (US) spat with Iran and North Korea, there may be trouble brewing elsewhere and that is northern Iraq.

Top