Bangladesh approved payment of USD $318 million for payment to Russia in the Chinese currency of yuan for construction of the Rooppur nuclear power plant. A meeting held recently between the Economic Relations Division and Russian officials decided that the payment will be made in yuan at a Chinese bank account, Uttam Kumar Karmakar, head of the European affairs of Economic Relations Division (ERD), Ministry of Finance confirmed to UNB. He said that the decision was taken to use the Chinese currency yuan for debt repayment at a meeting of the ERD.

Although an agreement has been reached to use Chinese currency to repay the loan, the transaction has not yet been completed. Payment details need to be clarified and resolved.

Citing the diplomatic sensitivity of the matter, Karmakar declined to comment further. Dhaka's decision seems to have resolved the problem of making payments to sanctions-hit Russia, which has been shut out of using the dollar. Western countries excluded Russia from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications system, or SWIFT, due to its military invasion of Ukraine.

Bangladesh will welcome observers from the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK) in its upcoming general election. "We will welcome observers from the European Union and the United Kingdom in the next general election," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina reportedly said, when the outgoing UK High Commissioner Robert Chatterton Dickson paid a farewell call at her official residence Ganabhaban. PM's Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.

Mentioning that some local election observers have a different agenda, the prime minister said Awami League had established the voting rights of people in Bangladesh. She said the extreme poverty rate has declined to 5.6 percent while poverty rate was down to 18.7 percent due to continued democracy in Bangladesh. During the meeting, they held talks on the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and the UK. It may be mentioned previously Foreign Minister Abdul Momen had expressed the government would welcome observers from the US during a trip to Washington earlier this month.

The people of Dhaka city experienced the hottest day in the capital in 58 years, on April 15. According to the Met Office, till 3pm the highest temperature recorded was 40.4 degrees Celsius in the capital. The very next day, it went one better with 40.5 degrees Celsius. As there was less humidity in the air, the heat was even more scorching. In 1965 the temperature in Dhaka had reached 42 degrees Celsius.

The highest temperature recorded in the country over the last 14 days has been in Chuadanga. People in Chuadanga are experiencing scorching heat as a mild to severe heatwave continues to batter the district for the past two weeks. Dr Aulia Rahman, health and family planning officer of Chuadanga Sadar upazila, cautioned against going out in the extreme heat unless absolutely necessary. The maximum temperature recorded there has consistently hovered over 40 degrees Celsius, peaking on April 20 at 42.8.

A total of 1,756 industrial units out of 9,616 under the jurisdiction of Industrial Police across the country did not pay Eid-ul-Fitr allowances while 640 factories did not pay wages of March as of Thursday noon (Apr. 20), according to Industrial Police data. However, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association on Thursday claimed that 100 per cent of its member factories paid wages of March and 99.7 percent of 2151 units paid festival allowances to their workers before the start of holidays.

Eid will be celebrated in the country on April 22. The BGMEA in a press release said that festival allowance was paid in 2,145 factories and the payment in six more factories would be cleared. The trade body also claimed that more than 82 percent of its member factories paid partial wages of April to their workers.

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