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Monday, December 30, 2002

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News Brief, Summary of more than 20 leading Bangla  & English Dailies, Source : News Garden

Monday, December 30, 2002



Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia said yesterday her government is determined to build up a modern, stronger airforce as in the present world the role of airforce in every country is indispensable in peace and war.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of Bangladesh submitted Sunday to President Prof Dr Iajuddin Ahmed six special and annual audit reports, which involved some cases of financial anomalies. The audit observations mainly contained cases of wastage, non-deduction of VAT and income tax, irregular fixation of pay causing financial loss, and no compliance with financial rules and regulations.

A good number of state agencies and corporations defaulted on payment of import duties and taxes worth Tk. 9.52 billion to the National Board of Revenue (NBR) during the past two years, forcing the NBR to seek finance minister's intervention, official persuasions by the NBR through holding a series of meeting with the defaulting state agencies and deferment of the payment schedules, the dues were not cleared.

An independent review of the Country's economy found a mismatch in its micro and macro economic fundamentals during the first half of the 2002-2003 fiscal. "Strengthening of the macroeconomic fundamentals and the first stimuli provided in the 2002-03 fiscal budget have had no discernible effect on bringing dynamism in the micro-economic behaviour in Bangladesh during the period of July-November, 2002," said the review released by Debapriya Bhattacharya, Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), sunday.

The government has decided to fix the lowest basic salary slab for the foreigners working in various companies in Bangladesh to ensure tax compliance. An inter-ministerial meeting at the industries ministry Sunday decided the lowest basic salary from the SAARC countries would be Tk 20,000 for a manufacturing worker and Tk 25,000 for a worker in any other profession.

The government is actively considering constituting a new counter-intelligence unit for the police force, Principal Information Officer (PIO) Khandker Monirul Alam said Sunday.

A Nationwide survey on detection of arsenic in ground water has begun under Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation and Water Supply Project (BAMWSP). Under the three-month project, water samples of 3.0 million (30 lakh) tube-wells in 147 upazilas of the country will be tested.

The government has given its green signal to the Tk. 300 million (30 crore) project in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) for initiating a social afforestation programme in the region, official sources said. The government gave the approval to the project Sunday during an inter-ministerial meeting at the Ministry of Forest and Environment (MOFE) in the city.

The Full panel of the ATAB Gonotantrik Front led by MA Mohaiman Saleh won election to the Association of Travel Agents of Bangladesh (ATAB) which took place Saturday. Another panel-ATAB Sammilita Gonotantrik Forum-led by Ataur Rahman Khan MP bagged only 25 per cent votes, according to unofficials results.

A unique case of power burglary was unearthed in the city's Shyampur area Sunday and an industrial unit was fined Tk 32 million (3.2 crore) for the pilferage, it is reported.

Dilip Barua was removed from the post of coordinator of the left leaning 11-Party Alliance yesterday. The interim action was taken against Barua for accompanying the Prime Minister during her recent visit to China, which the alliance viewed as a 'political blunder'.

Six of the seven chemical containers that slipped into the river Karnaphuli at Chittagong port Jetty No. 7 area were salvaged till 6:00 last evening. The remainder was expected   to be recovered by last night. The incident occurred on Wednesday morning.

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India said Sunday it was launching a drive to deport more than 11,000 Pakistanis who are in the country illegally, warning that they could pose a security threat. Some 11,208 Pakistanis are known to be in India illegally, of whom 8,884 have overstayed their visas and the rest have gone underground, it is reported.

The drums of war still echo across the heavily-militarised divide between India and Pakistan, though with far less menace than during the year that saw the bitter nuclear rivals propelled twice to the brink of all-out conflict.

A general strike called by Maoist rebels in Kathmandu as part of their campaign to topple the constitutional monarchy paralysed the Nepali capital Sunday. Most shops were closed and streets deserted on the first day of the two-day general strike.

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Miss Russia, 19-year-old student Svetlana Koroleva, won the Miss Europe 2002 title late Saturday in Beirut which was hosting the contest for the second consecutive year. She was crowned by Miss France and Miss Europe 1991, Elodie Gossuin.

UN nuclear inspectors will leave North Korea on New Year's eve after Pyongyang booted them out, and the Bush administration plans to step up pressure on the communist state if it refuses to abandon its nuclear arms programme.

Saudi Arabia would allow the United States to use its air bases and an important operations centre in a possible war with Iraq, the New York Times reported  Saturday, citing senior US military officials.

Vetern politician Mwai Kibaki and his opposition alliance won a landslide victory in Kenyan elections, breaking the ruling party's 39-year grip on power, results from an independent monitoring body showed Sunday.

Russian investigators  Saturday said they saw an Arab connection in a suicide bomb attack that struck at the heart of the pro-Moscow administration in Chechnya and left at least 41 people dead.

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Khulna and Magura advanced into the final round of the CityCell Digital 22nd National Youth Cricket Championship. Khulna scored a 33-run win against Satkhira at Jessore, while Magura outplayed Jessore by 73 runs at Jhenidah to earn their places in the 12-team final phase.

Bangladesh will take on Oil India in the second semifinal of the Jigme Dorji Wangchuk Memorial football tournament in Phuentsholing, Bhutan today.

Virender Sehwag's 108 was not enough for India to stop New Zealand winning the second one-day international by 35 runs in Napier. The victory saw the home side take a 2-0 lead with five matches remaining in the series. Sehwag, publicly backed by his captain  Saturday after a poor tour to date, scored his fourth one-day century from 111 balls with eight fours and two sixes.

Teams refusing to play World Cup matches in Zimbabwe next February will forfeit their points, International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive Malcolm Speed says. If the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) said that they weren't going to play that game because they have been told by their government that they are not to play that, game, they would forfeit the points', Speed told a news conference in Melbourne  Sunday.

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ARCHIVE CALENDAR - December 2002

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ARCHIVE CALENDAR - November 2002

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