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Thursday, August 05, 2004

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Local Government Affairs Media Award
Separate budget for local govt suggested



Speakers at a function yesterday called for a separate budget for the local government institutions to strengthen their activities.

The allocation for the local government bodies in the national budget is inadequate. Moreover, the allocation is not directly given to them, said Prof Tofael Ahmed of Chittagong University in his keynote paper.

The Bangladesh Centre for Development, Journalism and Communication (BCDJC) organised the function to distribute the 'Local Government Affairs Media Award 2003'.

Two newspapers and three journalists were awarded at the ceremony held at the National Press Club.

Rashed Mehedi of the Bhorer Kagoj, Joyonto Acharya of the weekly 2000 and columnist Sohrab Hasan of the daily Sangbad received the awards for their write-ups.

Golam Sarwar, editor of the daily Jugantar, and Mozammel Haque, editor of the daily Karatoa, received prizes on behalf of their newspapers.

Speaking as chief guest, LGRD Minister Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan underscored the need for strengthening the union parishads (UP) and pourasavas to make the local government more effective.

"If the local government becomes powerful, poverty reduction and development of the country will be faster," he said.

The government has taken necessary steps to impart proper training to the UP chairmen, the minister said, adding that a proposal has also been sent to the finance ministry for direct allocation to the local government.

Reazuddin Ahmed, president of the National Press Club, said local government needs to be more active and independent.

The authority of the local government should also be clearly defined, he added.

William J Cartier, chief of party, Local Government Initiative, ARD, and Saiful Islam, president of Local Government Development Journalists' Forum, also spoke.

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China assures help for post-flood rehabilitation

Winners of the 'Local Government Affairs Media Award 2003' pose with the guests at the award giving ceremony at the National Press Club yesterday. Sitting from left are Golam Sarwar, editor of the Jugantar, William J Cartier, chief of party, Local Government Initiative, ARD, Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, LGRD minister, Reazuddin Ahmed, president of the National Press Club, and Prof Tofael Ahmed of Chittagong University.            

Chinese Ambassador to Bangladesh Chai Xi yesterday assured that his government would extend help and cooperation to the post-floods rehabilitation programme.

The assurance came when the ambassador called on Food and Disaster Management Minister Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf at the latter's his office here.

The envoy said the Chinese government was observing the flood situation in Bangladesh very cautiously.

All should come forward to stand by the flood-affected people on humanitarian ground, he said.

PHOTO: STAR

The Chinese envoy also lauded the government's relief activities to face the flood situation.

They also discussed issues relating to mutual interests particularly the current flood situation and relief and rehabilitation programme.

Yousuf apprised the ambassador of undertaking a massive rehabilitation programme by the government to overcome the heavy loss caused by the flood which leaves a trail of destruction across the country.

China is a friendly country of Bangladesh, he said adding that our foreign friends would come forward in helping the flood affected people.

He said the government would appeal to the world community by the next week for financial assistance to undertake the post-flood rehabilitation programme.

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