• The challenges to ensure safe water for all

    The Awami League Election Manifesto 2018 promises that many of the modern civic amenities I enjoy in Dhaka city or my ancestral home in Sylhet's Darga Mahallah will be available in every village.

  • Challenges in implementing the new government's manifesto

    Manifesto implementation main challenge”. Thus read the headline on the online edition of The Daily Star on January 7. It quoted the General Secretary of Awami League (AL) talking to reporters at Bangabhaban after the oath-taking ceremony of cabinet ministers.

  • Some unfinished business from last year

    Every year, around this time, I get the urge to write a column on the global economy or the outlook for the new year.

  • A mixed message from Poland

    From all accounts, it appears that COP24, the recently concluded climate summit held in Katowice, Poland, was a mixed success.

  • The urgent need for reforms at WTO

    The next biennial meeting of WTO's ministerial council will be held in June 2020 in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

  • A bonanza for the gaming industry during Christmas

    On December 11, the British Parliament will vote on a draft Brexit agreement which the government negotiated with the EU recently.

  • Home is not safe for women

    World Economic Forum's website had a headline saying “Why home is the least safe place to be a woman” as an introduction to a new report by the United Nations which chronicles widespread domestic violence and abuse perpetrated by husbands, current or former intimate partners or boyfriends, and lovers.

  • What's at stake?

    This week's G20 Summit to be held in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, will be keenly observed across the globe for several reasons. First, it comes amidst an ongoing trade war between US and China that appears to be getting out of hand and can be resolved only by direct intervention by its leaders.

  • Imran Khan and his 'Twitter War' with Trump

    Barely three months after he assumed the position of Pakistan's premiership, Imran Khan is fighting on many fronts to shore up the economy and overcome its financial troubles.

  • What if US withdraws from WTO!

    The US threatened on several occasions in recent years to walk out from the World Trade Organization (WTO), an intergovernmental organisation that regulates international trade.

  • Twin tragedies in California

    The gigantic headline printed across the entire front page of the Los Angeles Times on November 10, 2018, all in capital letters, was meant to grab the attention of the readers.

  • Election Day on the West Coast

    I voted in the recently concluded midterm elections early in my home state before I boarded the flight to Los Angeles. It's a family trip, but there was an added incentive for me too.

  • How do uncertain global events affect Bangladesh?

    My last column “Uncer-tainty and volatility in the coming years,” published on October 27, elicited some interesting feedback on social media.

  • Uncertainty and volatility in the coming years

    As the year 2018 gradually inches towards the finish line, there are many concerns about the next year. Is economic growth going to be as good as the last?

  • Call it carbon tax, fee, or dividend!

    Human consump-tion of fossil fuel is a significant contributor to climate change. Economists have for ages been advocating for a tax on carbon emissions to combat air pollution. The tax, popularly known as “carbon tax”, is levied on products that emit carbon and is one of the measures adopted by many countries to reduce the consumption of fossil fuel in an effort to address the threat of climate change.

  • Is it a crime to question the accuracy of official data?

    UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in his 2018 SDG progress report, while reporting major achievements in some areas, also emphasised in no uncertain terms the need for reliable data.

  • The Kavanaugh Affair

    Modern democracy is based on a few principles well-known to all but always worth reiterating in order to foster growth and participation of the electorate.

  • Can coal be used for cheap energy without harming the environment?

    Climate change will hit Bangladesh, and rising temperature and sea level will affect millions in both the short- and long-term. However, it has also embarked on a path to accelerate growth and achieve middle-income status in the immediate future.

  • The challenges of SDG financing

    It is now agreed by all that financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development programme to reach the SDG targets will be a tough challenge. On September 24, the Secretary-General of the United Nations,

  • Why do women get less pay than men?

    How long will women working the same job continue to earn less, sometimes 50 percent less, than men? And when do we expect this gap to go away?

  • Why wages don't rise with a tighter labour market

    As the US celebrated Labour Day on September 3, millions of the working majority were wondering what happened to the powerful labour unions or the promise of rising wages in a growing economy.

  • Brits in a fix over Brexit

    Prime Minister Theresa May recently was on a three-nation tour of Africa. Her first stop was South Africa, the first by a British prime minister since 2011. She then went on to Nigeria and Kenya, becoming the first British PM to visit the East African country in over 30 years.

  • Can cleaning up air (pollution) help achieve the SDGs?

    Air pollution in big cities of Bangladesh, particularly Dhaka and Chittagong, is an ongoing concern for all. Only recently, WHO ranked Dhaka's air quality as the third worst, behind New Delhi and Cairo, in a study of megacities with a population of 14 million or more.

  • Is round two of the Trump and Putin show off for now?

    The latest gossip in Washington, DC, the US capital these days is “Will they or won't they?” I am referring to the possible Trump-Putin

  • Rohingyas deserve better

    The Rohingyas who moved to Bangladesh reached an important milestone on August 25, 2018. The first anniversary of the exodus from their homeland in Myanmar was observed with solemnity in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and everywhere that the Rohingya diaspora have now spread out to.

  • Monetary policy: Some clues from Turkey

    Suppose you decide to conduct an experiment, and ask a random person you come across on a busy thoroughfare in Dhaka: “Can you tell me what Bangladesh and Turkey have in common?”

  • The challenges Pakistan's new finance minister faces

    Pakistan's founding father, Mohammed Ali Jinnah, reportedly was disappointed with the British partition of India in 1947 because it divided Punjab and Bengal. Jinnah complained that he was given to rule a “truncated and moth-eaten Pakistan.”

  • Trump's tariffs and subsidies

    There is a popular saying in America, “You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand politics.” However, I have never heard anyone disparage economists in such a fashion except only recently during the Trump Era.

  • The possible futility of Myanmar's Commission of Inquiry

    Almost one year after the recent Rohingya crisis began, Myanmar appears to be finally responding to international appeals for action.

  • Early Marriage: A contributor to “modern slavery” in Bangladesh?

    Two recent reports depicting the state of human rights in Bangladesh point to some alarming statistics. The first report, the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics' “Report on Bangladesh Sample Vital Statistics 2017”(RBSVS), came out in June 2018. Among its many findings, one relates to the prevalence of underage marriage for women.