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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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BBC Bangla documentary report explores military's extensive role in business

BBC Bangla's new documentary series, Fauji Banijjya (Military In Business) explores the extent of the business owned by the military in Bangladesh, and its impact on the armed forces and on Bangladeshi society. The nine-part weekly radio series, starting on Friday 16 July, will be broadcast during the evening programme, Probaho, at 7.30pm Bangladesh time, and repeated in the late-night programme, Parikrama, at 10.30pm.

The army has become a major player in Bangladesh's business arena. Its business interest is present across key sectors of the economy, from manufacturing to services. In manufacturing, it runs cement, textile, food processing, electrical and electronics industries. In the services sector, its realm includes banking, luxury hotels, fast food, retail, filling stations, training centres and other sectors.

Inherited from the time when Bangladesh was part of Pakistan, the army's business activities are aimed at generating income to maintain the welfare of veterans and the families of servicemen. However, the welfare-oriented business model has led to the creation of many more entities which can exploit the army's advantage in gaining commercial success.

Producer of the documentary series, Kamal Ahmed, says the army's business strategy includes even more ambitious plans. But there are concerns: "There is a great unease within the force and among civil society about the army's growing business interest."

BBC Bangla radio is available in Bangladesh on BBC 100 FM in Dhaka, 101.2 FM in Comilla, 102 FM in Khulna, 105.4 FM in Chittagong, 105 FM in Rajashahi, 105.4 FM in Rangpur and 105 FM in Sylhet. Bangla-speaking online audiences can get BBC news on demand and on the go via the wide-format, multimedia website, bbcbangla.com.

Notes to Editors

BBC Bangla is a multimedia service, offering news and current affairs, sports, science and cultural features to the Bangla-speaking community worldwide and is regarded a reference point for accuracy and impartiality. BBC Bangla radio is available in Bangladesh on BBC 100 FM in Dhaka, 101.2 FM in Comilla, 102 FM in Khulna, 105.4 FM in Chittagong, 105 FM in Rajashahi, 105.4 FM in Rangpur and 105 FM in Sylhet. Bangla-speaking online audiences can get BBC news on demand and on the go via the wide-format, multimedia website, bbcbangla.com.

Radio programmes include: the daily morning news and current-affairs programmes, Provati at 6.30am and Prattyusha at 7.30am Bangladesh Time, the daily evening programme Probaho at 7.30pm and late-night programme Parikrama at 10.30pm. Audiences can also take part in phone-in programmes each Monday and Saturday evening. The in-depth current-affairs programme This World is broadcast on Tuesdays, Interview Of The Week on Wednesdays and the science programme Bigyaner Ashor – on Thursdays. On Fridays, there is a documentary series Dharabahik and at the weekends there is the sports magazine programme Mathe Maidaney (Saturdays) and the listeners' letters programme Pritibhajoneshu (Sundays).

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