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PM Launched Universal Pension Scheme

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched the highly anticipated Universal Pension Scheme on Thursday (17 Agust), with the aim of extending pension coverage to all citizens aged above 18 in the country. The inauguration took place during a virtual ceremony held at her official residence, Ganabhaban. Participants and beneficiaries joined from various locations, including Gopalganj, Bagerhat, Rangpur districts, and the Bangladesh embassy in Saudi Arabia.

The Universal Pension Scheme introduces four out of the planned six packages: Pragati, Surokkha, Samata, and Prabashi. These packages cater to different segments of the population, such as private job holders, self-employed individuals, low-income earners, and expatriate Bangladeshis. The remaining two packages are set to be launched at a later date.

Citizens aged 18 and above are eligible to enroll in the scheme, which provides a pension upon retirement. Participants contribute through installments until the age of 60. Even those above 50 years old can join the program, but they are required to pay installments for a continuous period of 10 years.

During the event, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal and Bangladesh Bank Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder also addressed the audience. The function was moderated by PM’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah, while the welcome speech was delivered by Senior Secretary of the Finance Division, Fatima Yasmin. A video documentary outlining the Universal Pension Scheme was also screened.

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Met: Light to Moderate Rain with Gusty Winds Expected

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Light to moderate rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty winds are expected in several regions, with heavier downpours likely in northern, central, and northeastern divisions.

“Light to moderate rain or thundershowers accompanied by temporary gusty wind is likely to occur at many places over Rangpur, Mymensingh, and Sylhet divisions and at one or two places over Rajshahi, Dhaka, Khulna, Barishal, and Chattogram divisions with moderately heavy to heavy falls at places over Rangpur, Mymensingh, and Sylhet divisions,” stated a Met Office forecast.

The axis of the monsoon trough stretches from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal to Assam, crossing northern Bangladesh. One associated trough extends to the North Bay.

The monsoon is currently fairly active over Bangladesh and moderate over the North Bay, according to the meteorological release valid for the next 24 hours starting from 9 am today.

On Saturday, the maximum temperature in the country was recorded at 36.0 degrees Celsius in Rajshahi, while the minimum temperature today was 24.8 degrees Celsius in Bandarban.

The highest rainfall in the last 24 hours up to 6 am today was recorded at 51 millimeters in Mongla.

Day and night temperatures may rise slightly across the country.

In the capital, the sun will set at 6:49 PM today and rise at 5:20 AM tomorrow.

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PM Sheikh Hasina to Address Media on China Visit Tomorrow

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will hold a media briefing tomorrow (14 July) to discuss her recent visit to China, according to a statement from her press wing.

“The press conference will take place at the prime minister’s official residence, Gono Bhaban, at 4pm,” the release stated.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina embarked on an official visit to China on Monday (8 July) at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Qiang and returned on Thursday (11 July).

During her stay in Beijing from 8-10 July, she met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and held bilateral talks with her Chinese counterpart Li Qiang at the Great Hall of the People.

Following the delegation-level discussions on Wednesday morning, Bangladesh and China signed and renewed 21 cooperation documents, primarily Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), aimed at strengthening development and economic ties between the two nations.

Additionally, both countries announced seven key outcomes, including the completion of a joint feasibility study on a Bangladesh-China Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

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Met Forecasts Rain and Thunder Showers Across Multiple Divisions

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Light to moderate rain or thunder showers, accompanied by temporary gusty winds, are expected to occur at most locations across the Rangpur and Sylhet divisions. Many places in the Mymensingh and Chattogram divisions will also experience similar weather, while a few areas in the Rajshahi, Dhaka, Khulna, and Barishal divisions will see these conditions as well. Moderately heavy to heavy rainfall is anticipated in parts of Rangpur, Mymensingh, Chattogram, and Sylhet divisions, according to the latest forecast from the meteorological office.

The axis of the monsoon trough extends from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal to Assam, crossing the northern part of Bangladesh. An associated trough also reaches up to the North Bay. This monsoon activity is fairly active over Bangladesh and moderate over the North Bay, as per the forecast valid for the next 24 hours starting from 9 AM today.

Daytime temperatures may drop slightly, while nighttime temperatures are expected to remain relatively unchanged across the country. On Tuesday, the highest temperature was recorded at 36.0 degrees Celsius in Sayedpur, and the lowest temperature today was 24.0 degrees Celsius in Rangamati.

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