Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – Highlights of Sunday’s newspapers:

The Financial Express:

— Electricity is set to be costlier again by next week as the energy regulator has decided in principle to raise the tariff to help reduce losses of state-owned power entities and woo private entrepreneurs to invest in power generation.

— While welcoming Indian gesture of shortening its sensitive list, businesses in Bangladesh have called for removal of all sorts of trade barriers to India in order to help boost regional trade under the South Asian Free Trade Area (SAFTA)

— The credit growth rate in the private sector declined further in September last as the commercial banks are cautiously disbursing loans, bankers said Saturday. The rate of private sector credit growth came down to 21.98 per cent in September 2011 from 23.19 per cent of the previous month in the current calendar year. It was 24.36 per cent in July last.

The Daily Star:

— About four lakh irrigation pumps out of over 16 lakh across the country go out of operation during the peak dry spell of March-April every year failing to draw the required quantity of water due to a sharp fall of groundwater level.

— Local manufacturers and exporters yesterday said the recent price hike of fuel will increase their production cost and undermine competitiveness. “The production and distribution costs in the garment sector will go up, which will also cut competitiveness,” said Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters

— The government, for the first time, is going to set up a 50-megawatt power plant that will run on garbage of the capital. Electricity and organic fertiliser are produced from waste in different countries. When Bangladesh goes for generating power from waste, it will reduce the power crunch and garbage will be properly managed.

The New Age:

— Violent sexual assault and harassment of women remain at a high level even though the government has empowered mobile courts to prosecute stalkers and the High Court has given directives to protect women from sexual harassment. According to statistics available with rights watchdog Odhikar, in the first 10 months of this year, 601girls and women were injured or otherwise victimised through stalking.

— The government is under serious pressure to again hike the prices of fuel oils in January to avail itself of budgetary assistance worth $600 million from the world’s two multilateral lenders. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB), two Washington-based international lenders, have each pledged to lend the government $300 million in the current fiscal year.

— The communications ministry is scheduled to hold a meeting today to review transport fares amid speculations there would be another round of fare hike. Communications minister Syed Abul Hossain said he would meet with the stakeholders to discuss the transport owners’ demand for fare hike in the wake of price rise of fuel oils.

BBN/SRR/SI-13Nov11-10:08 am (BST)