Barrister Md Sameer Sattar, the President of the Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), emphasized the critical need for a seamless and efficient transport and communication network in Dhaka, the focal point of Bangladesh’s economic growth. He highlighted the pressing challenges faced by Dhaka, including traffic congestion, which has significant adverse economic implications. Sattar commended the government’s efforts in completing landmark infrastructure projects such as the Payra Port, Karnaphuli Tunnel, and Padma Bridge, which are integral components of the Fast-Track mega projects aimed at infrastructure development.
The Padma Bridge, inaugurated in 2022, was noted for its transformative impact on communication, connecting the underdeveloped southern region with Dhaka and fostering macroeconomic connectivity across the nation. In line with the government’s commitment to sustainable infrastructure development, Sattar mentioned recent mega communication infrastructure projects like MRT 6 and the Elevated Expressway within Dhaka, designed to enhance connectivity in the capital’s surrounding areas.
The inauguration of the first phase of the Elevated Expressway was hailed as a historic milestone with the potential to boost GDP, alleviate traffic congestion, and create opportunities for inclusive development. Sattar, representing the private sector, expressed appreciation for this timely initiative, anticipating its significant benefits to the local supply chain network and business operations.
He believed that commuters, investors, and entrepreneurs in Dhaka would reap the rewards of improved local connectivity and reduced traffic-related challenges. The Elevated Expressway was anticipated to have a transformative impact on the country’s transport communication system and economic growth trajectory, facilitating local and export-oriented industrialization.
Sattar also emphasized the potential of the Elevated Expressway to enhance trade growth by providing efficient access to Chattogram and Mongla ports from Gazipur and Savar, ultimately contributing to Bangladesh’s economic competitiveness.
In conclusion, Barrister Sameer Sattar anticipated that the Elevated Expressway would not only boost GDP but also shape a more investment-friendly ecosystem in Bangladesh, enhancing infrastructural efficiency and economic competitiveness.
Govt Mandates Nov 30 Deadline for Tax Return Submissions
The government has instituted a mandatory requirement for tax return submissions by November 30, as outlined in the Income Tax Act of 2023. This new law, which received presidential approval on June 22, replaces the Income Tax Ordinance of 1984.
To inform stakeholders about this development, the National Board of Revenue (NBR) has initiated public hearings. In alignment with this effort, Tax Zone-2 organized an event today at its commissioner’s office in the Segunbagicha area of the city, with the participation of representatives from various autonomous bodies.
During the event, income tax officials emphasized that self-assessment returns are now obligatory under the new law. They stressed the deadline for filing income tax returns as November 30, noting that failure to meet this deadline would result in the denial of expected rebates and the imposition of late charges.
Income Tax Officer Md. Zakir Hossain highlighted that for individuals with an annual taxable income of less than Taka five lakh, a one-page income tax return must be submitted. He also mentioned that the NBR has introduced a one-page form tailored for low-income taxpayers.
DMP Assures US Visa Policy Won’t Affect Bangladesh Police
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has asserted that the US visa policy will not impact the Bangladesh Police force, as they continue to carry out their duties within the framework of existing laws.
DMP’s Chief of Media and Public Relations, Deputy Commissioner Faruk Hossain, addressed reporters at the DMP Media Center, emphasizing that the implementation of the US visa policy in Bangladesh would not hinder the work of the police force. He stated that police personnel perform their duties in accordance with the law, and the visa policy would not obstruct their responsibilities.
While acknowledging reports of the US visa policy being applied to some members of law enforcement agencies, Faruk pointed out that they have not received a definitive list of individuals affected. He also highlighted that the vast majority of the over 2 lakh personnel in the Bangladesh Police have no aspirations of traveling to the United States.
In light of this perspective, he confidently asserted that the visa policy would have no significant impact on the police force, as they operate within the law and uphold human rights in their work. Faruk expressed the belief that their responsibilities would not be disrupted by this visa policy.
When asked about the role of law enforcement agencies in ensuring free, fair, and neutral elections, the police official reiterated their commitment to working within the boundaries of the law. He explained that the police play a role in ensuring security at polling stations, in collaboration with other forces. He reassured that, in accordance with electoral laws, they would fulfill their duties as entrusted by the Election Commission and did not foresee the visa policy posing any obstacle to their responsibilities.
The United States had announced its visa policy for Bangladesh on May 24, with the objective of promoting free and fair elections in the country. Within four months, the US declared its intention to impose visa restrictions on individuals responsible for obstructing the democratic electoral process, including members of law enforcement agencies and leaders from both ruling and opposition parties.
Toll Rates Confirmed for Upcoming Bangabandhu Tunnel Inauguration
The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel, an engineering marvel running beneath the Karnaphuli River in Chattogram, has completed its primary construction phase and is now eagerly awaiting its official inauguration.
The remarkable Bangabandhu tunnel, representing Bangladesh’s maiden venture into underwater tunnel infrastructure, is fully equipped and ready to facilitate vehicular movement. Plans for its grand unveiling are underway, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina set to inaugurate the tunnel in Chattogram on October 28. As part of the inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister Hasina will address a gathering at the Anwara end of the tunnel.
Subsequently, starting from the day after the inauguration, the tunnel will be open for vehicular traffic, marking a significant milestone in regional transportation.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader noted that the primary construction phase of the tunnel has been successfully completed, and current efforts are focused on resolving any remaining technical issues within the tunnel. This groundbreaking project represents Bangladesh’s entry into the era of underwater tunnels, signifying a monumental achievement and a source of national pride.
According to Md. Manzur Hossain, the Secretary of the Bridges Division, the primary tunnel is fully prepared for vehicular traffic, with ongoing efforts encompassing the establishment of essential infrastructure, including fire service and police station buildings. The overall progress of the tunnel project stands at an impressive 98 percent.
To ensure seamless transportation, the traffic division has devised a comprehensive plan for managing traffic flow both within and around the tunnel area. Inside the tunnel, vehicles will be able to maintain a speed of 80 kilometers per hour.
The tunnel is poised to bring transformative changes to communication within the country, with a focus on enhancing connectivity between the capital, Dhaka, and Chittagong city, as well as the popular tourist destination of Cox’s Bazar.
The Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel measures 3.32 kilometers in length, featuring two four-lane tubes spanning 2.45 kilometers each. Additionally, there will be a 5.35 km link road at both the west and east ends of the main tunnel, along with a 727-meter-long flyover at the Anwara end. Situated at a depth ranging from 18 to 31 meters beneath the Karnaphuli River, the tunnel is an ambitious infrastructure project.
The project is a joint effort between the Governments of Bangladesh and China, with construction carried out by the China Communication and Construction Company Limited (CCCC). The goal is to create a ‘One City Two Towns’ concept, similar to Shanghai in China, on both sides of the Karnaphuli River.
As the tunnel’s opening day approaches, a toll fee structure has been established for various types of vehicles, ranging from Tk200 for private cars to Tk1,000 for four-axle trailers, with additional charges for extra axles.
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