Nation this week
Summit Group is set to establish the country's third floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) in Moheshkhali of Cox's Bazar to regasify more imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). It would be the second FSRU, or floating LNG terminal, of Summit Oil and Shipping Co Ltd. The cabinet committee on economic affairs approved the proposal from the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources. FSRUs are multi-function vessels that combine LNG storage and built-in regasification systems on-board a ship or barge.
The country currently has two FSRUs, each with a capacity to regasify around 500 million cubic feet of gas (mmcf) a day. The new one will have the capacity to regasify 600 mmcf gas a day. According to Petrobangla data, currently Bangladesh is using around 750-850mmcf per day from the two existing FSRUs. Besides, the committee in the meeting also approved a proposal for procuring 33.6 lakh MMbtu of LNG at a cost of Tk 574.65 crore from US's Excelerate Energy LP.
Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch released a new video of a Bangladeshi United Nations worker abducted 16 months ago in the war-torn country, the SITE Intelligence Group said. The man, who identified himself as AKM Sufiul Anam from the UN Department of Safety and Security in Aden, appealed for his release and warned he and two of his fellow abductees were "seriously ill". In February 2022, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) kidnapped Anam and four others as they returned to the port city of Aden after a field mission.
Wearing a blue shirt and glasses and reading from a prepared statement, Anam said his sick colleagues needed urgent hospital treatment. There was no way of knowing who prepared the statement, which appeared to have been recorded on 3 June. A previous recording of Anam was released by his captors last September. Yemen's conflict began in 2014 when Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa, prompting a Saudi-led coalition to intervene the following year to prop up the internationally-recognised government.
The Bangladesh Bank approved the guideline on digital banks, paving the way for establishing branchless banking operations, a development that is expected to accelerate cashless transactions and digital transformation. As per the guideline, investors willing to set up a digital bank will have to have a minimum paid-up capital of Tk 125 crore and the capital will have to come from sponsors. The minimum paid-up capital that a sponsor will have to contribute has been set at Tk 50 lakh.
Md Abul Bashar, a spokesperson of the central bank, said they are moving towards digital transformation of banking and will issue the guideline soon for the public and call for applications from investors who want to set up digital banks. The decision comes within two weeks after Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, in his budget speech, said a central bank committee was working to draw up strategies to broaden financial inclusion.
Different socio-cultural organisations demanded the release of a student of Jagannath University, Khadijatul Kubra, who was arrested under the Digital Security Act in August 2022 and has been in jail since then. Protibadi Samajik Sangskritik Songothonsomuho, a platform of different social and cultural organisations, made the demand in a joint statement signed by Bangladesh Udichi Shilpigosthi publicity secretary Kongkan Nag.
Referring to media reports, the statement said that the case was filed in 2020 when Khadija was 17, but the police showed her an adult in the case. Raising questions about whether the DSA could be applied to minors, the statement said that Khadija was not granted bail due to objections of the state and the state cannot in any way destroy the educational life of a student by implicating her in a case under such a controversial act.
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