বসুন্ধরা গ্রুপের চেয়ারম্যান আহমেদ আকবর সোবহানের সঙ্গে গতকাল সৌজন্য সাক্ষাৎ করেন শরীয়তপুর সদর উপজেলা পরিষদে বিনা প্রতিদ্বন্দ্বিতায় নির্বাচিত চেয়ারম্যান ও বসুন্ধরা ওয়েলফেয়ার সোসাইটির মহাসচিব আলহাজ মো. আবুল হাশেম। এ সময় বসুন্ধরা গ্রুপের ডিএমডি আবুল কালাম শামীম এবং বসুন্ধরা ওয়েলফেয়ার সোসাইটির সহসভাপতি আলহাজ মো. গোলাম সরওয়ার উপস্থিত ছিলেন (বাঁয়ের ছবিতে)। এদিকে গতকাল বসুন্ধরা গ্রুপের চেয়ারম্যানের সঙ্গে সৌজন্য সাক্ষাৎ করেন ঢাকা উত্তর সিটি করপোরেশনের ৪৮ নম্বর ওয়ার্ডের নবনির্বাচিত কাউন্সিলর হাজি মাসুদুর রহমান দেওয়ান বুলবুল।
বসুন্ধরা গ্রুপের চেয়ারম্যানের সঙ্গে সৌজন্য সাক্ষাৎ
বসুন্ধরা গ্রুপের চেয়ারম্যান আহমেদ আকবর সোবহানের সঙ্গে গতকাল তাঁর কার্যালয়ে সৌজন্য সাক্ষাৎ করেন ঢাকা উত্তর সিটি করপোরেশনের ৩৯ নম্বর ওয়ার্ডের নবনির্বাচিত কাউন্সিলর মো. শফিকুল ইসলাম বাছেক, ৪০ নম্বর ওয়ার্ডের নবনির্বাচিত কাউন্সিলর নজরুল ইসলাম ঢালী, ৪২ নম্বর ওয়ার্ডের নবনির্বাচিত কাউন্সিলর ফারুক আহমেদ ও ৪৩ নম্বর ওয়ার্ডের নবনির্বাচিত কাউন্সিলর হেলাল উদ্দিন ।
Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan has urged the newsmen and media houses to play an active role in fight against corruption, drug abuse and other crimes to facilitate uninterrupted economic growth of the country.
He made the call while speaking at the launching of a Bengali newspaper — The Daily Somoyer Alo — sponsored by Amin Mohammad Group at Bangabandhu International Convention Centre in the capital on Saturday.
The Bashundhara Group chairman said journalists should highlight the spirit of the liberation war and deep patriotism and push country’s development ventures forward.
“Newspapers and television channels need to highlight the positive steps of the government and criticise mistakes, if any, to rectify the policymakers,” he said.
Terming the press the fourth estate, Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said media outlets will have to maintain professionalism so that their news items are regarded as the mirror of the society.
He said the news outlets under East West Media Group Limited (EWMGL), a concern of Bashundhara Group, propagate the spirit of liberation war and communal harmony, and highlight the country’s development thrust, maintaining objectivity in journalism.
“There is a misconception that a media house cannot be popular without running anti-government reports. Journalists will have to focus on economic development, drug abuse and other burning issues,” he said.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal attended the event as the chief guest. Amin Mohammad Group Chairman MM Enamul Haque presided over the function.
Terming newspapers the mirror of the society, the home minister urged journalists to work for the people and country through their work.
“Journalists can point out the mistakes of the government, if any, to leave a scope for the policymakers to be corrected. Journalists can help the government implement development projects,” he added.
State Minister for Shipping Ministry Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman, Somoyer Alo Editor Rafiqul Islam Ratan, Daily Observer Editor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, were present, among others, at the function.
Former information minister Abul Kalam Azad, former minister and Jatiya Party leader Ruhul Amin Hawlader, Awami League lawmaker Sagufta Yasmin Emily, Magura Group Chairman Mustafa Kamal Mohiuddin, Rupayan Group Chairman LA Mukul, and Amin Mohammad Group Deputy Managing Director Md Ramzanul Huq Nihad also joined the event.
Group Vice-chairman Safwan Sobhan, also a son of the chairman, received the award on behalf of the chairman from Principal of St Xavier’s College in Kolkata Rev Dr Dominic Savio at a ceremony on Friday, marking the International Mother Language Day.
The famed educational institution presents 10 renowned personalities with the award every year for their contributions to the development of the society.
After receiving the award, Bashundhara Vice-chairman said: “My father is a role model for me. I’m feeling proud, as my father has been honoured with such an award.”
He said the award will motivate the future generation to work more enthusiastically.
Safwan Sobhan announced that Bashundhara Group, one of the largest industrial and business conglomerates of Bangladesh, is interest to do business in Kolkata.
Eminent Bangladeshi actress Joya Ahsan was honoured at the same event for her contribution to the film industry. She said she is feeling very proud of receiving the award.
Other recipients of Dashabhuja Bengali are actor Soumitra Chattopadhyay, artist Iman Chakraborty, poet Joy Goswami, dramatist Bratya Basu, also a minister of West Bengal government, film director Shoojit Sircar, footballer Surajit Sengupta, Dr Sukumar Mukhopadhyay and film critic Saibal Chatterjee.
On the first day of the two-day colourful event, artistes recited poems, sang songs and performed dance.
Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, Chairman of Bashundhara Group, Safwan Sobhan, Vice Chairman of Bashundhara Group, Md. Arfan Ali, President & Managing Director of Bank Asia Ltd and other top executives of the participating lenders are seen at the signing ceremony held recently. Bank Asia as Lead Arranger & Agent arranged the signing ceremony for syndicated term Loan of Tk. 2,850 million for expansion project of Bashundhara Industrial Complex Ltd. to be located at Modongonj, Narayangonj with the project cost estimated at Tk. 4,475 million
Ahmed Akbar Sobhan urged the government to reduce the rates of interest on savings instruments to help banks
Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan on Thursday urged the government to reduce the rates of interest on savings instruments to help banks and other financial institutions offer loans at single-digit interest rates.
“Bankers and businesses want single-digit interest rates. I request the government to reduce the interest rates on savings tools. Otherwise, banks will not be able to provide loans at single-digit interest rates,” he said.
The chairman of country’s largest business and industrial conglomerate made the call at a ceremony arranged to sign the agreement of a syndicated loan facility at a city hotel.
Under the agreement, Bank Asia, lead arranger of the syndicated loan, and four other lenders sanctioned a term loan facility of Tk 2.85 billion (285 crore) in favour of Bashundhara Industrial Complex Ltd for expansion of its cement plant at Madanganj in Narayanganj.
The total cost of the project has been estimated at Tk 4.47 billion.
Bank Asia, one of the fastest growing banks in private sector, is the lead arranger and agent of the loan. The other lenders are state-owned Janata Bank Ltd, Pubali Bank Ltd, NRB Bank Ltd and Uttara Finance and Investment Ltd.
Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan, Bank Asia President and Managing Director Md Arfan Ali, representatives from the participating lenders signed the agreement on behalf of their respective organisations.
Janata Bank CEO and Managing Director Md Abdus Salam Azad, Pubali Bank Managing Director Md Abdul Halim Chowdhury, NRB Bank Deputy Managing Director Md Khurshed Alam and Uttara Finance Managing Director SM Shamsul Arefin were the other signatories.
Bashundhara Group Vice-Chairman Safwan Sobhan and high officials of different banks were also present on the occasion.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Bashundhara Group chairman said around 60 banks have been operating and contributing to the national economy. “Private banks are extending loans aggressively and it seems that they will continue their efforts in the coming days,” he said.
Ahmed Akbar Sobhan urged the banks and other lending agencies to examine details of the loan seekers before lending so that the lenders do not need to run before them after extending loans.
“We always talk about classified and defaulted loans. If any loan gets classified or defaulted, it puts pressure on the entire business community,” he said.
He said Bashundhara Group has been doing business for the last 30 years, but never defaulted on any loan.
“Bashundhara Cement ensures quality and strength. Bashundhara Cement has been used in major projects of the country and we hope the cement brand will contribute to upcoming projects too, he added.
Talking about the tourism sector, the Bashundhara Group chairman said they are planning to contribute to the tourism sector as there is huge prospect of the industry in the country.
“We’re planning to establish a couple of theme parks in tourism city Cox’s Bazar,” he said.
Bank Asia Managing Director Arfan Ali said the expansion of Bashundhara Cement factory will increase its annual production up to 3 million tonnes from existing 2.1 million tonnes.
Shedding light on the present scenario of country’s cement sector, he said average yearly per capita cement consumption is average 500 kgs in the world while it is around 120 kgs in Bangladesh.
“Currently the total estimated annual sale of cement in Bangladesh is around 32 million tonnes. Therefore, there is a huge potential of growth of the sector,” he added.
Arfan Ali also said Bank Asia has long been closely associated with Bashundhara Group and arranged three syndicate loan facilities for the group.
Top officials of different units of Bashundhara Group were also present at the signing ceremony.
Dr Shahidul Islam and Dr Md Rokonuzzaman Selim from Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital meet Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan
Paediatric cardiologist Dr Shahidul Islam and paediatric cardiac surgeon Dr Md Rokonuzzaman Selim from Ibrahim Cardiac Hospital meet Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan at his office in Bashundhara residential area in the capital on Wednesday. The two physicians hailed the Bashundhara Group Chairman for the assistance Bashundhara Foundation is offering for the treatment of cardiovascular disease of poor children.
LOAB is a body representing companies which deal in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the country.
East Coast Group Chairman Azam J Chowdhury has long been in the business of petroleum gas. He is also the managing director of Mobil Jamuna Lubricant.
Assuming the office, Azam J Chowdhury said the association will continue its efforts to reach LPG cylinders to end users at affordable prices.
The association bade farewell to outgoing LOAB President Salman F Rahman, who is a renowned industrialist and founder of Beximco Group.
Salman F Rahman has recently been elected as Member of Parliament (MP) and made the private sector advisor to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
A careful screening of loan applications and documents submitted therewith will keep the bad loan culture at bay, said the business tycoon.
Ahmed Akbar Sobhan came up with his observations while inaugurating a women’s branch of South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce (SBAC) Bank in the city’s Bashundhara Residential Area on Wednesday.
The chairman of the country’s largest business conglomerate said the liability of classified loans puts pressure on good customers, and ultimately dents businesses as a whole.
“If it is possible to prevent classified loans or bad loans from the banking sector, businessmen will reap the benefit, and ultimately the country will keep moving forward.”
A couple of years ago, the bank loan interest rate was hovering around 15 to 16 percent, which came down to 9 to 11 percent, he said, adding that if bad loan comes to an end, bank loan rate will remain in single digit.
About the newly opened women’s branch of SBAC, the business tycoon said it a great delight to see the opening of such a bank branch, as this kind of effort would help create new entrepreneurs among women.
“Half of our total population is women. I hope this fourth generation bank will play a pivotal role in generating new women entrepreneurs in the country.”
Narrating the women’s progress in all strata of life, Sobhan said women have showed their potential in every sector that is ultimately helping the country become economically more vibrant.
Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in all indices of economy, and the banking sector is contributing the most towards the growth of the country’s economy, said the seasoned businessman.
In his address, SBAC Chairman SM Amzad Hossain said banking activities are being conducted considering the welfare of the customers which is the motto of establishing the bank.
He also urged the customers and business people to bank with SBAC.
Speaking on the occasion, SBAC Managing Director Md Golam Faruque described the bank as one of the best ones among the fourth generation banks in terms of banking services.
In a bid to create new women entrepreneurs and their empowerment, SBAC established this dedicated women’s branch, he mentioned.
Kaler Kantho Editor Imdadul Haq Milon said the country’s banking sector is going through an unstable situation over the past couple of years.
“We hope that SBAC will not have to face this kind of situation,” he said.
South Bangla Agriculture and Commerce Bank Limited started its operation in 2013 and have 74 branches across the country.
SBAC Chairman SM Amzad Hossain, Bangladesh Pratidin Editor Naeem Nizam, additional Managing Director of the bank Mostafa Jalal Uddin Ahmed and Deputy Managing director Tariqul Islam Chowdhury were, among others, present on the occasion.
Top industrialists and business leaders on Wednesday stressed the need for continuation of the Awami League-led government for sustainability of the existing business policy to accelerate private sector growth and make the country’s economic base stronger.
Referring to the growth and progress achieved in every sector over the last ten years under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, they vowed to continue their support by making new investments and creating new jobs.
The business leaders and eminent business personalities were speaking at a business conference organised by Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FBCCI) at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was present at the conference as the chief guest.
Praising the tremendous economic progress made possible by the Awami League government in last ten years, he said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is building a Sonar Bangladesh [Golden Bangladesh] with her visionary leadership.
“Before 2008, businesspeople could not get sufficient power supply due to electricity shortage. But today, businesses are getting as much electricity as they need,” Ahmed Akbar Sobhan said.
“We sought around 400MW of electricity for establishing heavy industries in Mirsharai and the government is ready to provide us with the electricity,” he said to cite an example of the Awami League-led government’s commitment to industrialisation and growth.
Talking about the upcoming national election slated for December 30, the Bashundhara Group chairman urged the business community to extend their all-out support to Awami League for the sake of the country’s development.
Referring to the sheltering of Rohingyas, he praised the humanitarian role of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. “She offered shelter to lakhs of Rohingyas showing the greatest gesture of generosity and humanity,” he said.
Salman F Rahman, private sector development affairs adviser to Awami League president, said the business community is grateful to Sheikh Hasina as she extended cooperation to every business person, irrespective of their political affiliation, to do business freely over the last 10 years.
“The Awami League government has done everything for the people of Bangladesh. Everyone has to admit that businessmen irrespective of their political belief or party can now run their business smoothly,” Salman F Rahman said.
“Many big deals were signed in the country in the last ten years. But businesses never faced any interference as they faced from Hawa Bhaban during the BNP regime,” he said, adding that Digital Bangladesh has become a reality now.
FBCCI president Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin said the Federation is a non-political organisation and its role is to facilitate business for the private sector and strengthen the country’s economy.
“But the motto of today’s business conference is to seek the continuation of the current [Awami League] government, and the continuation of policy and consistency of growth in every sector,” he said.
DCCI president Abul Kasem Khan urged the politicians to put more focus on the country’s human resource development in the coming days.
BKMEA president Salim Osman said Bangladesh needs the continuation of Awami League-led government one more time for the sake of its future.
Prior to the last national election, Sheikh Hasina pledged to eradicate poverty and Monga (famine-like situation) from the country, said BGMEA former president Tipu Munshi. “And she did it.”
Former BGMEA president Atiqul Islam said Sheikh Hasina has been the guardian of readymade garment sector, country’s largest exporting earner. “She played the key role in improving the wage structure for the RMG sector workers.”
Former FBCCI president AK Azad, who is the chairman and managing director of Hameem Group, FBCCI Senior Vice-President Sheikh Fazle Fahim, Mohammadi Group Managing Director Rubana Huq, BASIS President Syed Almas Kabir, Microsoft Bangladesh Managing Director Sonia Bashir, Envoy Group Chairman Kutubuddin Ahmed, Anwar Group Managing Director Manwar Hossain, BSRM Group Chairman Alihussain Akberali, former BGMEA president Anwarul Alam Parvez, Dokan Malik Samity President Helal Uddin, noted entrepreneur Rokeya Afzal Rahman and many other industrialists also spoke on the occasion.