Venkatesh Iyer

British businessman helps garment workers hit by cancelled orders

Economies of many countries, including Bangladesh, have rough weather during the long lockdowns imposed worldwide to contain the global pandemic called COVID-19. But a few Good Samaritans came to rescue garment workers in Bangladesh who bore the brunt due to canceled orders.

Currently, Bangladesh is staring at a coronavirus crisis with more than 90,000 infections and over 1,200 deaths. Globally, it is the 18th most-affected country.

Will it succeed?

In an article in the BBC, Angie Brown highlighted how an Edinburgh-based businessman, Cally Russel, CEO of online clothing retailer platform Mallzee decided to sell the unsold clothes in the UK market. Along with Callum Stuart and Jamie Sutherland, he launched a new venture “Lost Stock” for this purpose. All the proceeds of the sale will then go to help clothing workers who have lost their jobs.

The packaging boxes will also be made in Bangladesh and shipped to the UK. The shoppers can buy a £35 box of clothes, worth £70, by filling a questionnaire about their size and taste in clothes though they will not be provided with the choice of selecting the items as the boxes have been tailored to suit each customer.

Russel’s philanthropic idea was spurred when he read an article on the BBC news website about a factory worker saying that if coronavirus did not kill his workers then starvation will. He spoke to Bangladeshi factories and now has access to clothes worth £20 million. He now plans to help nearly 5,000 workers by June- end and 100,000 by the end of the year.

Until now, 60,000 boxed have been sold because of the novel method.

The Bangladeshi economy is heavily dependent on garment production with more than 80% of export products are apparels.

Bangladesh has no law to defend media rights

It is strange but true in a democracy like Bangladesh. It has no law to defend media rights!

In a recent article in The Asian Age, it was revealed that, at present, Bangladesh has no effective law to protect media owners and mass media employees to ensure their rights and civil liberties.

A draft law, Mass Media Employees Bill 2018, was approved in the Cabinet, but the Government is cautious to go any further. The bill, aiming to defend the journalist community, is stalled for lack of adequate communication between government and journalists.

Bangladesh-China Power Company (P) Ltd formed

At a time when many countries are weighing options to reduce economic dependence on China, the Bangladesh Cabinet has approved a 50:50 joint venture between state-owned North-West Power Generation Company Limited of Bangladesh (NWPGCL) and the China National Machinery (CMC) to implement a 60-megawatts solar power plant in Pabna, a 100-MW plant in Sirajganj, and a 50-MW wind power plant in Payra.

This JV will also foray in solar and wind power plants with a total capacity of 290 MW in other places. The proposed venture will have an authorized capital of Bangladesh taka 1,000 crores with a paid-up capital of Tk 16 crore.