War on drugs to continue: Home Minister
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on June 25 said the nationwide anti-narcotics drive would continue until the illegal drug trade came under control. He made the announcement as the number of those killed in the drive reached 160 yesterday since the operation began 53 days ago. Most of the people were killed in “shootouts” involving the police and RAB. About the deaths of alleged drug dealers, he said the government did not have any intention to kill people and it was against any kind of killing. “The operations are being conducted according to a list. Where there are illegal drugs, there is illegal money and illegal arms. So, gunfights can occur. Our law enforcers are also being injured.”
Post-Eid road crashes on the rise
For the third consecutive year, more than 200 people die in road accidents during Eid celebrations. Experts and passenger rights activists are blaming the government for failing to prevent casualties caused by road crashes. Sources have confirmed that, so far, more than 200 people have lost their lives on the highways from June 10 to June 25 this year. Accident Research Institute (ARI) records show that 165 people were killed by 106 accidents in 42 districts – between June 9 and June 23 – while 110 people were killed by 86 accidents from June 1 to June 8. According to the report, of the accidents that took place between June 9 and June 23, 26% were caused by head-on collisions of vehicles, 27% by rear-end collisions and 5% were caused by drivers losing control of their vehicles.
Banks seek BB support to lower interest
Private commercial banks have sought regulatory support to bring down lending rates to single digit from July 1. The officials of the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB)—a platform of private banks’ chief executive officers—made the call in a meeting with Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir on June 25. On June 21, public and private banks decided to lower lending and deposit rates to 9 percent and 6 percent respectively. The move comes weeks after the government showered them with a raft of privileges, drawing criticism from different quarters. The ABB has requested the central bank to keep funds of state-owned enterprises and commercial banks in private banks at 6 percent interest.
Malaysia suspends syndicated manpower recruitment system
Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Nurul Islam B.Sc. on June 23 said that the Malaysian government may cancel the recruitment system, but it will not hamper the process of sending workers to the country. According to Malaysian daily The Star, the Malaysian Human Resources Minister M. Kulasegaran has said that their government had suspended the system currently in place for the recruitment of migrant workers from Bangladesh. He said the whole process was “a total mess” that resulted in the migrant workers paying exorbitant amounts of money to several middlemen in both Bangladesh and Malaysia, also adding that the ten companies, which are part of the syndicate involved in the recruitment process, have also been suspended. In light of this, Nurul Islam BSc said that the Malaysian government has not officially informed them about it till now, but according to their workers’ demand, there is no alternative to taking Bangladeshi workers.