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

The Financial Express:

— Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina sits today (Wednesday) with the top bosses of the ministry of finance, the central bank, the securities regulator, the revenue board, the ICB and the associations of banks and insurance companies in a bid to give necessary instructions to stabilise the stock market, officials said yesterday.

— The central bank has strengthened its foreign exchange support through selling the US dollar directly and providing overdraft (OD) facilities to the commercial banks for settlement of import bills.

— Bangladesh will not raise any objection to the European Union (EU) move to allow duty-free access to 75 Pakistani products incorporating tariff rate quota on six garment items for a period of two years, reports BSS.

The Daily Star:

— The much-awaited trial in the 10-truck arms haul cases is finally set to get underway on November 29. A Chittagong court yesterday framed formal charges against 11 accused, including Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami and former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar in connection with the biggest-ever arms bust in the history of the country.

— UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said yesterday if political leaders in Bangladesh want, the UN is ready to provide technical and logistic support to help conduct the next general elections in a credible and transparent manner.

— The country’s balance of payments (BoP) has come under further stress, apparently worrying the government. The central bank has expressed concern over it and urged the government to take necessary steps to attract foreign currency to the country.

The New Age:

— Agitating investors on Tuesday laid siege to the Bangladesh Bank head office, alleging that the BB was responsible for initiating a fresh meltdown of stock prices on the country’s capital market since resumption of trade after the nine-day Eid vacation.

— The World Bank has hinted that the withdrawal of the decision to suspend fund disbursement for the Padma Multipurpose Bridge was unlikely in the tenure of the present government, said a senior secretary.

— The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council on Tuesday approved four development projects with an outlay of Tk 1,971 crore, including the Bibiyana-Dhanua gas transmission pipeline project worth Tk 1,650 crore. The approval came at an ECNEC meeting at the NEC at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar with its chairperson and prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

BBN/SSR/AD-16Nov11-10:04 am (BST)