BERC is on the way to cancel the license of United LPG



Serajul Islam Siraj, Special Correspondent, Barta24.com
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United LPG Limited did not respond to the second show cause notice. Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) issued a show-cause notice to the company for selling LP gas at a higher price than the stipulated price.

BERC Chairman Nurul Amin confirmed to Barta24.com that he did not receive any reply to the second show cause notice. In response to the question of what can happen now, the BERC chairman said, United LPG Limited is our licensee. There are certain conditions when the license is granted. It is said there that the licensee will be punished for irregularity. I can give a notice as to why the license will not be cancelled.

BERC issued a show cause notice to United LPG Limited and Total LP Gas on July 11 for selling LPG gas at a higher price than the fixed price. If there is no response to the first round of notices on July 31, the second round of notices are to be issued within 15 working days. But even after the notice, United LPG Limited did not give any reply. However, Total LPG has submitted an application to BERC seeking time. In that letter, Total Gas said, our managing director is out of the country, he wants to return to the country to answer.

United Group chief advisor (former chairman and managing director) Hasan Mahmud Raja told Barta24.com, I am not aware of this. You talk to the CEO of the gas company.

In July, 12 kg cylinders were sold at dealer level at Tk. 924, but United LPG sold at Tk. 1074, Total Gas at Tk. 1019, BERC found evidence. Total LPG has sold a 12kg cylinder to one of their distributors in Chandpur at a price of Tk.1019. That information was sent to BERC by an Upazila Nirbahi Officer of Chandpur. On the other hand, when the BERC Chairman went to market monitoring in Manikganj, he found the sales price of Tk. 1074 in the invoice issued by United LPG on July 5.

The show cause notice issued on July 11 signed by BERC Secretary Barrister Khalilur Rahman Khan was sent to the Managing Director of United LPG Limited. It states that the invoice was issued to Millennium Traders. Tk. 150 more than the rate fixed by the Commission. Instructions are requested to send your explanation in this regard to the Commission. As the two companies did not respond, BERC issued a second show cause notice on July 31.

After the first round of notices, AGM Raisa of United LPG Limited told Barta24.com that BERC fixed the rates on 3rd, subject to system updates. Do we stop selling until then?

The new rates are scheduled to come into effect from 6 pm on July 3 as directed by BERC. The invoice is dated 5th, for the sake of argument, if we assume the previous month's rate, it is also an average. In the previous month (June) it was supposed to be sold to the distributor for Tk. 1002. And the highest retail price was Tk. 1074. So does United LPG never pay distributor and retailer commission. AGM Raisa did not give any answer when such question was asked.

Accusations of overcharging LPG importers are old. Many are not selling at BERC fixed rates. Until now, BERC has only been keeping a watchful eye on retailers. After the new Chairman joined the Commission, this is the first time it has looked at the LPG company. All the surprising information is coming out of it. During the press conference, the BERC Chairman was asked that action has been taken against only two companies. According to the accused, BERC does not have the courage to take action against big companies. In response, the Chairman said, this allegation is not true. Action will be taken against those against whom evidence is found. Under no circumstances will overselling be tolerated.

The BERC Chairman said that under no circumstances can bids be taken higher than the fixed price. Invoices are to be issued deducting distributor's margin. On April 12, 2021, BERC announced the first LP gas price. Then a total commission of Tk. 359.40 per 12 kg cylinder was fixed for LPG importers, dealers and retailers. Loab (LPG Importers' Association) raised objections on the amount of commission on the same day of price announcement. Since then, Loab's conflict with BERC began. They also put pressure on BERC by boycotting monthly rate announcements. Loab president Azam J Chowdhury even threatened to stop the import of LPG. BERC was forced to increase the commission from Tk. 359 to Tk. 441 on October 10 after 7 months. Still, companies are charging higher prices. In July, the price of 12 kg LP gas was Tk. 999. Due to growth in the international market, it has increased by Tk. 141 to Tk. 1140.

   

Dr. Yunus gets bail in money embezzlement case



Special Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Photo: Barta24

Photo: Barta24

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Nobel laureate Professor Dr. Muhammad Yunus and seven other accused got bail in money embezzlement case.

On Sunday (March 3) at noon, they surrendered and applied for bail in the court of Dhaka Metropolitan Senior Special Judge Court Mohammad As-Sams Jaglul Hossain. After the hearing, the court granted them bail.

Advocate Abdullah Al Mamun appeared for Dr. Yunus.

The other defendants are Parveen Mahmud, director of Grameen Telecom, managing director Md. Nazmul Islam, director and former managing director Ashraful Hasan, Nazneen Sultana, Md. Shahjahan, Nurjahan Begum and director S. M Hajjatul Islam Latifi.

On February 1, Dhaka Metropolitan Senior Special Judge Court, the investigation officer of the case, ACC Deputy Director Gulshan Anwar Pradhan filed the charge sheet against 14 people including Muhammad Yunus. The charge sheet in this case was scheduled for consideration today.

On May 30 last year, ACC Deputy Director Md. Gulshan Anwar filed the case at the Integrated District Office Dhaka-1 as the main plaintiff. The accused were charged in the case under Sections 409/420/467/468/471/109 and Section 4(2)(3) of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2012.

Apart from Dr. Yunus, the other defendants in the case are the Managing Director of Grameen Telecom Nazmul Islam, Director Ashraful Hasan, Parveen Mahmud, Nazneen Sultana, Md. Shahjahan, Nurjahan Begum, S. M. Hazzatul Islam Latifi, Advocate Md. Yusuf Ali, Advocate Zafrul Hasan Sharif and President of Grameen Telecom Sramik-Karmachari Union Kamruzzaman, the general secretary of the organization Feroz Mahmud Hasan and representative Md. Mainul Islam

It is said in the statement of the case, Dr. Yunus and Md. Nazmul Islam It was decided to open a bank account at the Gulshan branch of Dhaka Bank Limited at the 108th board meeting of Grameen Telecom on May 9, 2022 in the presence of members of the Grameen Telecom board including Nazmul Islam. But a day before this decision, the bank account was opened on May 8. This calculation is shown in the settlement agreement - which is practically impossible. According to the terms of such fake settlement agreement and according to the board's decision, Grameen Telecom transferred Tk. 26 crore 22 lakh 6 thousand 780 to this bank account at different times. But the accused embezzled the amount due to the employees before disbursing them.

A settlement agreement was signed with Grameen Telecom Sramik-Karmachari Union and Grameen Telecom on April 27, 2022 for distribution of dividend due to employees.

The affidavit further states that analysis of the records shows that only Tk. 1 crore was actually transferred as advocate fee. The remaining Tk. 25 crore 22 lakh six thousand 780 was embezzled through fraud by the CBA leaders and advocates of Grameen Telecom with the help of Grameen Telecom's chairman, managing director and board members.

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People of the country are doing well: Finance Minister



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
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Finance Minister Abul Hasan Mahmud Ali claimed that the economy of the country is in a good direction and said that the people of the country are doing well. He asked the people of the country. I think it's good.

He said this in response to reporters' questions at the secretariat on Sunday (March 3) afternoon. Wasika Ayesha Khan who got a new charge as the Minister of State for Finance was also present at that time.

In response to the question of whether the economy is in a good state, the people are well, the finance minister said, he asks the people of the country. I think it's good.

He said, it is good to have a new State Minister. The work speed of the Ministry of Finance will increase further.

He said that the price of goods is decreasing in the market, it will decrease further. 50 thousand metric tons of onions are coming from India, they will actually reduce the price even more.

Meanwhile, the new Minister of State for Finance Wasika Ayesha said, I do not see myself as a woman. I will prove my competence by working in a big place like the Ministry of Finance.

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Buriganga has changed but Ahsan Manzil did not change!



Russel Mahmud Bhuiyan, News Room Editor, Barta24.com
Picture: Barta24

Picture: Barta24

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Buriganga has changed. How much water have flowed through this river over time. The life of the riverside people has changed. The droughty form of Buriganga is lost. There is no beauty of that filled river, no wandering of the Mughal Nawabs!

However, the Bakarkhani of the Mughal period remains as a witness of the times. There is the traditional Shahi Biryani of old Dhaka. At the same time, historical Ahsan Manzil is still standing proudly on the banks of ugly Buriganga.

People who love tourism have great interest and curiosity about this sign of history and tradition.

The capital Dhaka is called the magic city. The busy and wanderlust residents of the capital Dhaka rush to Ahsan Manzil on the banks of the Buriganga whenever they get some free time.

Two story building with aesthetic workmanship on the walls of the building.

 Ahsan Manzil

Two story building with aesthetic workmanship on the walls of the building. A large staircase descends from the second floor and merges with the green field. There is a beautiful flower garden in front. Buriganga flows by the side. Each room of this two-storied palace is octagonal. Inside the building there is a dining hall, a durbar hall, a billiard room and an aquarium. The balconies and floors of the palace are made of marble stones. If you go to the second floor of this palace, you will see guest rooms, living room, library, dance hall and some other living rooms.

Ahsan Manzil is mainly divided into two parts. The domed part on the eastern side is called the Palace Bhawan or Rang Mahal and the building on the western side is called the Inner Mahal.

Currently Ahsan Manzil is being used as a 'Museum' of Dhaka's history

 There is a myth that Ahsan Manzil is the first brick building in Dhaka city. Its construction started in 1859 AD and ended in 1872 AD. With 23 galleries, this building has about 4500 exhibits.

Currently Ahsan Manzil is being used as a 'Museum' of Dhaka's history. It has on display – Nawab period dining room, cupboards, chests, various types of Nawab period ornate silver and crystal chairs-tables, large mirrors, glass and porcelain tableware, skeletons of elephant heads, various oil paintings, vases modeled by Ahsan Manzil with pandan.

In the middle of the 19th century, the representative of the Mughal Nawabs of Dhaka, the Naib Nazim clan, became extinct. Then there was a vacuum in the social and political leadership of the Muslims. Kumartuli's Khawaja family came forward to fill this void. This family ruled for almost a century.

The British government granted the right to use the title of 'Nawab' to the Khawaja family in recognition of various financial and charitable works. As a result, they later came to be known as the Nawab family of Dhaka.

Mughal Subedar Islam Khan first set foot on the banks of the Buriganga

According to historians, during the pre-Mughal Sultanate period, localities were usually named after the occupation of the local residents. Tantibazar, Shankari Bazar etc. of the capital still bear the identity of the occupation of those residents.

Mughal Subedar Islam Khan first set foot on the banks of the Buriganga when he came to Dhaka. Later this area was named Islampur after him.

In the mid-eighteenth century, a zamindar of Jamalpur pargana, Sheikh Inayetullah Ahsan, built a palace called Rangmahal at the present site of Manzil. Later his son Sheikh Matiullah sold it to French merchants. Since then the Rangmahal has been known as a trade hub for a long time.

Later, in 1830, Khwaja Alimullah, father of Nawab Abdul Gani, who lived in Begumbazar, bought the Rangmahal. Abdul Gani started building the palace in 1859 and completed the work in 1872. After construction, he named the palace Ahsan Manzil after his beloved son Khwaja Ahsanullah.

Tickets:

If you want to enter Ahsan Manzil, you have to buy a ticket for Tk. 40 per person. Tk. 20 per person for minors. Each ticket is priced at Tk. 300 for SAARC citizens. Tk. 500 for citizens of other countries. Tickets are available up to half an hour before Ahsan Manzil closes.

Ahsan Manzil is closed every Thursday including other public holidays.

 Schedule:

Ahsan Manzil is closed every Thursday including other public holidays. During winter (October to March) open Saturday to Wednesday 10.30am to 4.30pm, Friday 2.30pm to 7.30pm.

Open Saturday to Wednesday 10.30am to 5.30pm during summer (April to September). Open on Fridays from 3pm to 7:30pm.

How to go:

From any part of the country, you have to come to Dhaka first by any vehicle including bus, train and launch. After reaching Syedabad/Jatrabari by bus, you can take rickshaw or taxi cab from there. You can also take Bahadur Shah Paribahan Mini Bus to Bahadur Shah Park / Jagannath University. Later you can reach Ahsan Manzil in 10-15 minutes by rickshaw or on foot.

Ahsan Manzil is a 10-minute walk from the Sadarghat Terminal.

Jagannath University can be reached by Skyline and Ajmeri Paribahan buses from Mahakhali in the capital.

Coming from Gabtali, one can reach Jagannath University by Savar Paribahan bus. Then you can come by rickshaw or walk.

If you come by train, you can take Uber or rickshaw from Kamalapur. Ahsan Manzil is a 10-minute walk from the Sadarghat Terminal.

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Writ in High Court seeking closure of restaurants in residential areas including Bailey Road



Staff Correspondent, Barta24.com
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A writ petition has been filed in the High Court seeking closure of restaurants in all residential establishments including Bailey Road in the capital.

Advocate Yunus Ali Akand filed the writ in the relevant branch of the High Court on Sunday (March 3) morning.

Also, the writ sought directions to arrest the real culprits in the fire at Bailey Road. At the same time, directions are sought to compensate the families of the victims.

A double bench of the High Court is scheduled to hear the matter on Sunday.

A case has been filed over the Bailey Road fire. Katcchi Bhai manager Jisan, Tea Chumuk owners Anwarul Haque and Shakeel Ahmed Rimon and Green Cozy Cottage Bhavan manager Hamimul Haque Bipul were arrested. Later, the court remanded them for two days.

It should be noted that a fire broke out in the building named Green Cozy Cottage on Bailey Road on Thursday (February 29) night. 46 people died in this incident. Eleven people were injured and are undergoing treatment in the hospital, their condition is critical. 

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