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2 January, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 2 January, 2018 01:25:48 AM
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Cabinet set for reshuffle

Deepak Acharjee
Cabinet set for reshuffle

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to expand her cabinet today by inducting three new faces and promoting one state minister to full minister. According to sources, all the new inclusions will be to the posts of state minister. However, another source at the government transport pool said that they have instructions to keep ready six cars-- three with flag stands and the rest without flag stands-- for today’s induction ceremony. This indicates that the cabinet may see more changes. Sources also indicate that the prime minister may drop a senior minister from the cabinet. Those likely to be inducted in the cabinet include Rajbari-1 MP Kazi Keramat Ali, Laxmipur-3 MP AKM Shahjahan Kamal, and Mostafa Jabber, president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS).

Meanwhile, state minister for fisheries and livestock, Narayan Chandra Chanda, is likely to be promoted to full minister.This is for the fourth time that Hasina is going for a cabinet reshuffle. President Abdul Hamid is likely to administer oath to the new ministers at Bangabhaban’s Darbar Hall at 6:30pm, sources in the president’s office said. The prime minister and other cabinet members are expected to attend the ceremony.

Cabinet Division sources said the cabinet secretary has already informed the probable candidates over phone to take part in the oath-taking ceremony. When contacted by The Independent, Narayan Chandra Chanda confirmed that he had received a phone call to join today’s oath-taking ceremony.

The portfolio of the fisheries and livestock minister has been vacant since the death of Sayedul Hoque in December last year.

On their part, Ali, Kamal and Jabber also said they had received phone calls from the Cabinet secretary, asking them to take part in the oath-taking ceremony.

Since Jabber is not an MP, he will be sworn in as a technocrat minister. Meanwhile, a press conference of State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim, scheduled to be held today, has been postponed.

The press briefing was organised to highlight the successes of the government in the post and telecommunications sector. The postponement was disclosed through a press release of the information ministry yesterday.

In recent days, there have been speculations that some former ministers and senior ruling party leaders, including former food minister Abdur Razzak, former commerce minister Mohammad Faruk Khan and former foreign minister Dipu Moni, were going to be reinstated in the cabinet.

Rumours were also rife that some present cabinet members might be relieved of their posts.

On July 9, 2015, Syed Ashraful Islam, who is also the Awami League general secretary, was relieved of his portfolio as the LGRD minister. Expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain was given additional charge of the LGRD ministry.

Syed Ashraful Islam, minister without portfolio, was appointed as the public administration minister on July 16 last year.

On July 14, 2015, Chittagong’s Awami League leader Nurul Islam was inducted as a minister in the cabinet, while state minister for home affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal and state minister for ICT Yafes Osman were promoted as ministers.

Former posts and telecommunications minister Abdul Latif Siddique was removed from the cabinet and expelled from the ruling party for his derogatory comments against Hajj on October 12, 2014.

At present, there are 30 ministers, 17 state ministers and two deputy ministers. Besides, there are six advisers and one special envoy to the PM with the status of minister. On January 12, 2014, a 49-member cabinet, headed by Hasina, was sworn in. Within 45 days, the PM had expanded her cabinet to 51 members.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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