Nation this week
Bangladesh has signed a new deal with Oman to get an additional 1.5 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the next 10 years from 2026. The deal can be extended for 5 years more. The state hydrocarbons agency Petrobangla signed the new agreement with Oman's OQ Trading in Dhaka. Bangladesh has been importing 1-1.5 MTPA of LNG since 2019 under an existing deal.
Under the new deal, the number of additional cargos will be four in 2026 and upto 16 cargoes till 2028 and 24 later till 2035. Petrobabangla's secretary Ruchira Islam and OQT's executive director Said Al Maawali signed the contract for their respective sides. The price of LNG was not disclosed. However, energy advisor to the PM Tawfiq Elahi said, "It will be a good rate."
Dhaka was named the seventh least liveable city in the world for the second consecutive year in the Global Liveability Index for 2023. The annual global survey by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a sister concern of The Economist, was published this week. The EIU ranked 173 cities around the world on more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure, according to the report.
Dhaka came 166th, with 43.8 points. This makes it the seventh least liveable city this year. The Bangladesh capital shares the spot with Zimbabwe's Harare. In 2022 also, Dhaka was ranked the same. However, its score was 39.2 points. This year, like the previous one, Vienna of Austria has been ranked the most liveable city with 98.4 points, Copenhagen of Denmark and Melbourne of Australia ranked second and third. Port Moresby of Papua New Guinea, Karachi, Lagos of Nigeria, Algiers, Tripoli and Damascus followed Dhaka.
Sugar prices have gone up at both wholesale and retail markets in Dhaka and Chattogram in a span of a week owing to tight supply and millers' call for adjusting the price in line with rising global rates. Retailers and wholesalers said both refiners and dealers have increased the price of the sweetener by tightening supply and citing that the price has gone up in the international market. Sugar is currently selling at Tk 148 to Tk 150 per kg even though the government has set the maximum price for the branded item at Tk 125 and the non-branded item at Tk 120.
A week ago, the essential item was sold at Tk 120 to Tk 140 per kg, according to data compiled by state-run Trading Corporation of Bangladesh. Refiners are not complying with the prices fixed by the government due to the spike in international markets and import costs amid the persistently dearer US dollars. Apart from this, there is no supply of packaged sugar in the market.
Awami League candidates emerged victorious by huge margins in the city corporation elections in Rajshahi and Sylhet, both marked by the absence of significant competitors and historically low voter turnouts amid a boycott by the main opposition BNP. In Rajshahi, Awami League's AHM Khairuzzaman Liton was elected the mayor for the third term by securing 1,60,290 votes while his nearest competitor Murshid Alam from Islamic Andolon Bangladesh got 13,483 votes though he had boycotted the election.
In Sylhet, AL's mayoral candidate Anwaruzzaman Chowdhury emerged victorious bagging 1,19,991 votes while his nearest competitor Jatiya Party's Nazrul Islam Babul got 50,862 votes. Rajshahi recorded a turnout of 56.2%, while Sylhet saw a 46.71% turnout, marking significant drops compared to the previous elections. In Rajshahi, the turnout in 2018 and 2013 stood at 79% and 69%, respectively. Sylhet saw turnout of 62% in the previous two elections.
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