Nation this week
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has accused US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas of grossly interfering in Bangladesh's internal affairs. "At the end of October, US Ambassador to Bangladesh Peter Haas met a member of the local opposition to discuss plans for organising anti-government rallies. Such actions amount to nothing less than gross interference in internal affairs," she said in a briefing in Moscow. Russian Embassy in Dhaka posted Zakharova's statement on its verified Facebook page.
"We have repeatedly highlighted the attempts by the US and its allies to influence the internal political processes in Bangladesh under the guise of ensuring that the upcoming parliamentary elections in the country are 'transparent and inclusive'," Zakharova said. The statement comes when the BNP and Jamaat are enforcing strikes and blockades across the country after the October 28 BNP rally that was mired with clashes. The US has been calling for holding free, fair, and peaceful elections in Bangladesh.
Bankers decided to appreciate the taka against the US dollar by Tk 0.50 as they observed an improvement in the overall current account balance, which records the nation's transactions with the rest of the world. Banks will buy the greenback at Tk 110 from exporters and remitters and sell at Tk 110.5 each, according to a decision taken in a meeting of the Bangladesh Foreign Exchange Dealers' Association (Bafeda) and the Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB).
The official purchase rate of the dollar by banks was Tk 110.5 and the selling rate was Tk 111, which most of the banks did not follow as they were struggling to get the greenback at the prescribed rates from exporters and remitters amid a shortage of dollars and speculation of further depreciation of the taka. Importers have been complaining about counting higher expenses to open letters of credit (LCs) than the uniform rate of Tk 111.
The Appellate Division ruled that its six judges could hear a government review petition against its previous judgement that restored the provision of removal of Supreme Court judges by the Supreme Judicial Council in case of misconduct. The six-judge bench led by Chief Justice Obaidul Hassan gave the decision. There was a difference of opinion on whether its six judges could hear the review petition on a judgement pronounced by a seven-member bench in 2017 in the case of the 16th amendment to the constitution.
On May 5, 2016, the High Court after hearing a public interest litigation writ petition filed by nine Supreme Court lawyers, declared the 16th amendment illegal and a seven-judge Appellate Division bench on July 3, 2017 upheld the High Court verdict. It also restored the Supreme Judicial Council to inquire into misconduct of the SC judges. The petitioners' lawyer, Manzill Murshid, raised the dispute on Thursday when attorney general AM Amin Uddin urged the Appellate Division to begin hearing on the government's review petition.
The World Bank is going to finance a total of $1,112 million against five projects for sustainable development in Bangladesh. Five financing agreements were signed between Bangladesh and the World Bank at the Economic Relations Division (ERD) office at the Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital. The agreements were signed by Sharifa Khan, senior secretary at the ERD, and Abdoulaye Seck, country director of the WB for Bangladesh and Bhutan, according to a press release from the lender.
"Bangladesh and the WB have a strong partnership focused on achieving the country's vision of upper middle-income status by 2031 and higher income status by 2041," said ERD senior secretary Khan. The World Bank said the five financing projects would help the country to achieve resilient and inclusive growth by improving early childhood development, secondary education, riverbank protection and navigability, urban primary health, and gas distribution efficiency.
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