Bangladesh plans to split communications ministry

August 4th, 2010 - 3:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, Aug 4 (IANS) Bangladesh plans to set up separate ministries for railways and information and communication technology (ICT), both of which are now under the communications ministry.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had pledged to create “Digital Bangladesh” in her 2008 election campaign to provide more jobs and facilities.

She spoke of creating two full-fledged ministries, now governed under communications ministry, while presiding over the first meeting of Digital Bangladesh Taskforce, United News of Bangladesh (UNB) news agency reported Wednesday.

Bangladesh has a fast-growing telecom sector and the number of mobile phone users has covered much of the population.

On ICT, the prime minister said a separate ministry was needed to be set up for this sector to take advantage of the unlimited potentials and reach the benefits to the people.

The country is set to connect to neighbouring India and join the trans-Asian railway network after several years of hesitation.

Hasina said that despite huge potentials, the railway sector in Bangladesh had long been neglected.

“Railway’s role in the country’s socio-economic development is enormous. We must ensure best use of railway communication facilities,” the prime minister was quoted in New Age newspaper Wednesday as saying.

The state-run Bangladesh Railway is a principal transportation agency of the country covering 2,855 km of rail lines and employing 34,168 people as regular staff.

For administrative convenience and operational reason, the Railway Board was abolished in 1982. The function of the Railway Board was vested with the Railway Division of the ministry of communications with the secretary of the division acting as the director general of Bangladesh Railway.

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