Eminent folk singer and flautist Bari Siddiqui passed away at Square Hospital in Dhaka early yesterday. The 63-year old singer breathed his last at around 2:00am. Siddiqui had been kept on life support there since the night of November 17 after suffering a heart attack. He had also long been suffering from diabetes and complications in both kidneys. According to family sources, he had been undergoing dialysis treatment since last year. The singer of popular songs like “Shua Chan Pakhi” and “Amar Gaye Joto Dukkho Shoy” left behind his wife, two sons, a daughter, and a host of relatives, friends, well-wishers and followers to mourn his death. Siddiqui, born to a musical family in Netrokona on November 15, 1954, trained in music from a young age under Ustad Gopal Dutt, Ustad Aminur Rahman, Babir Khan and Pannalal Ghosh during the formative years of his life. He also began playing the bansuri (bamboo flute) and trained under noted classical flautist VG Karnad in India. Siddiqui came to mainstream attention in 2000 with the release of Humayun Ahmed’s film “Shrabon Megher Din”. However, his music career began much earlier, back in the 70s. He continued to sing in films and tele-films as well after that, along with performing at concerts and on TV. He further released several music albums. He has worked extensively with lyricist Shahidullah Farayezi and has performed and conducted workshops in France, Switzerland, Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran and Singapore. PM MOURNS DEATH OF FOLKSINGER BARI SIDDIQUI Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed deep shock at the death of eminent folksinger, lyricist and flautist Bari Siddiqui. In a condolence message, the prime minister recalled his outstanding contributions to enrich the country’s folk songs, reports BSS. “The people of the country have lost a popular folk singer… as long as folk songs exist in the country, he will remain alive,” she said. Hasina also prayed for eternal peace of the departed soul and conveyed her heartfelt sympathies to the bereaved family.

Terming the power tariff hike negligible, Prime Minister’s Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury yesterday said the new tariff would not hurt people.

He made the remark while talking to journalists after attending a programme at Bidyut Bhaban in the capital, reports UNB.

The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (BERC) raised the retail power tariff on its own consideration, he said.

Replying to a question, State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said consumers using 200 units of power would have to pay Tk 20-25 more per month and its effect on customers is tolerable.

The BERC on an average raised the retail power tariff by 5.3 percent or Tk 0.35 per unit.

At present, average per unit cost of electricity at the retail level is Tk 6.49. After the hike, it will go up to Tk 6.84 per unit.

This is the eighth retail power tariff hike in the last eight years with the previous one in September 2015.

The new tariff will come into effect from December 1, said BERC Chairman Monowar Islam at his office on Thursday.

The price was hiked to meet the revenue requirement of power distributors.

Consumers, rights groups and businesses expressed disappointment over the decision.

Meanwhile, left-leaning political parties called for a half-day hartal across the country on November 30, protesting the hike.