5 Top Stories to know today
The political atmosphere is brewing steam. Here's a quick round-up of all the major stories today.
BNP sit-in protest at Nayapaltan
BNP began their sit-in protests today as vehicle movement as vehicle movement was halted in several nearby areas. A large number of police personnel were deployed near Nightingale, Fakirapool and Kakrail intersections with armoured vehicles and water cannons positioned nearby.
In the sit-in so far, the party's Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir who was released from jail recently, announced their plans to hold demonstrations and rallies across the country's district headquarters on January 16 to press home their 10-point demand and protesting the price hike in electricity.
On the other hand, in Khulna, thousands arrived to join the protest today.
Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader today said, "We cannot hand over power to the BNP, which is the patron of communal forces and militancy." He also said the 54 parties who have joined hands against Sheikh Hasina cannot do anything.
He also criticized the local media coverage and said, "Two BNP leaders had been in jail for 26 days. Some media outlets are writing in a way as if they had been in jail for 26 thousand years."
World Bank forecasts Bangladesh GDP growth to slow to 5.2 percent
In the report titled "Global Economic Prospectus," the WB stated, "Bangladesh has been seriously affected by the changes in the global environment." The organization, therefore projected, the GDP of Bangladesh will stand at 5.2 percent, down from 7.2 percent growth in the previous year. However, they projected the GDP to meet the desired target in the financial year 2023-24.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal disagreed with this forecast of the World Bank. According to sources, the finance minister told the country director of the World Bank that the GDP growth will never be less than 6 percent. On the other hand, Zahid Hossain, the former chief economist of the World Bank's Dhaka office, told the Daily Star, "GDP growth of 5.2 percent is not bad considering the global situation."
Government approves oil and fertiliser imports
The cabinet committee on public purchase today approved a Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) proposal to import 20.4 lakh tonnes of refined fuel oil in the first half of 2023. The state-run corporation will spend Tk 18,215 crore to buy the fuel from seven state-owned enterprises in the countries such as Indonesia, the UAE, India, China and Malaysia.
The committee also approved importing 60,000 tonnes of fertiliser from United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, at Tk 333.5 crore to ensure uninterrupted agricultural production.
The slow voting in Rangpur City Corporation using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) is a matter of concern, said Chief Election Commissioner Kazi Habibul Awal today at a views exchange meeting.
"Slowing down of the voting system was a major complaint and in some cases the fingerprints did not match. The delay can be due to many reasons. We will think about it," CEC Awal said.