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PM to open 5-day SME Fair today

The SME Fair-2011, the fifth version of the event, begins in the city on Tuesday, aiming to uphold the potentials of the sector.
The theme of this year’s five -day fair is: ‘SME and the Nation Growing Together’. The first SME fair was held in 2002 while the second in 2005, the third in 2006 and the fourth in 2009.
The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) is hosting the event to be held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city from December 20-24.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the fair while President Zillur Rahman hand over the SME awards to entrepreneurs, a senior FBCCI official confirmed on Monday.
FBCCI president AK Azad, first vice president and convener of the fair committee M Jashim Uddin and vice president and fair committee co-convener Mostafa Azad Chowdhury Babu will also attend the inaugural session of the fair.
There will be 131 stalls and 19 pavilions for entrepreneurs, banks, insurance and Financial Institutions (FIs).
Plastic, furniture, steel furniture, textiles, handicrafts, jute products, electric cable, generator, foods, ceramic, and engineering, leather and leather goods will be displayed in the event apart from highlighting the country’s tourism sector.

Three SME awards will be given in two categories - Small and Cottage Industries and Medium Enterprises. Meanwhile, another award, Best SME Facilitator, will be given for outstanding role in SME development.

Besides, three seminars - Infrastructure Development and Sectoral Zones for SMEs in Bangladesh, Women Entrepreneurs in SMEs: Bangladesh Perspective and Access to Finance and Technological Up-gradation for SMEs: Bangladesh Perspective - will be held on the sidelines of the fair.
The fair will remain open from 10am to 8pm till December 24. Sixty-four SME entrepreneurs’ organisations and 34 banks, insurances and financial institutions are taking part in the fair.
A six-member jury board comprising businessmen, journalists and researchers has been formed for the selection of SMEs for the awards.
Media partners of the fair, the Daily Samakal and the Financial Express, will publish supplements on the opening day of the event. —UNB




Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase Meets TodayGazprom may get approval on drilling 10 gas wells

The Cabinet Committee on Public Purchase is likely to give its go-ahead today to Russian oil giant Gazprom to drill 10 wells in the country to help extract more gas for meeting local energy demand, an official said.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Division is scheduled to place a proposal to the purchase committee for approval of drilling the exploratory and development wells by the global energy giant.

The Russian company proposed to drill the wells at US $ 193.5 million in contractual basis in 18 months, the official said.

When the work is completed, Petrobangla is expected to produce around 220 mmcfd (million cubic feet gas per day) from 10 wells, increasing supply and production of gas to meet local demands.

It would have been taken around $204.10 million for the government to drill the wells in next 14 years. But it now will pay $193.5 million to Gazprom for the same job in 18 months, according to an energy and mineral resources division proposal on the well drilling.

The Russian company initially offered a proposal to drill five development wells and another five exploratory wells. The development wells will be drilled at Titas and Rashidpur gas fields while exploratory wells at Begumganj, Shahzadpur, Samutang and Sundolpur gas fields.

Four out of its five development wells -- Titas-23, 24, 25 and 26 – are under Bangladesh Gas Field Company Limited (BGFCL) while the rest, Rasidpur-8, is under Sylhet Gas Field Company Ltd (SGFCL).

Earlier, the Gazprom officials met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to place their investment proposal to the government in November last year.

Also in early October this year, a five-member JSC Gazprom team visited Dhaka to negotiate the price offer (financial proposal) for exploring the wells.

Most of the European countries depend on gas supply from Gazprom. The gas reserve of Gazprom is estimated at around 18 percent of total global reserve. Besides, it controls 70 percent of gas marketing in Russia and 23 percent in EU countries.

The company produces 78 percent of its gas from Russia while the rest from other countries of the world.

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