Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina alerted the people

Staff Reporter :: 376 Time View :
Update : Thursday, December 15, 2022

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today alerted the people about anti-state plots being hatched by local and foreign conspirators, urging the countrymen to help her government overcome the current global crisis steamed from the Covid-19  pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war.

Sheikh Hasina said the entire world today is passing through an unstable economic situation as the world was hit by the coronavirus pandemic at the end of 2019.

The Prime Minister noted that a deep wound was created in the world economy in 2020 and 2021, and the economy of many countries collapsed while the economy of Bangladesh also suffered.

The Russia-Ukraine war broke out when the country’s economy was recovering from the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, she said, adding that this war is not just a war of arms rather it has initiated a terrible economic war.

The Prime Minister reiterated her call to the countrymen to bring every inch of land under cultivation to grow their own food to face any situation.

Mentioning that the impact of economic warfare is not confined to the borders of a single country, rather it spread throughout the world, she said that the post-Covid Russia-Ukraine war, the economic sanction and counter sanctions have crippled the world economy.

“As all of you knew that by taking timely measures, we have been able to reduce the loss of human lives from the infection of the coronavirus, as well as keep the economy running,” she said, adding “Our aim was to save people’s lives and keep running their livelihoods.”

She said that the government has increased 15,000 beds in various hospitals on an emergency basis to ensure the treatment of coronavirus-infected patients, and all equipment, including PPE, oxygen for patients, ventilators, and emergency medicine, are provided for the protection of health workers.

She revealed that about 34 crore vaccines have been administered free of cost to all those eligible for vaccination while 14.9 million people have received the first dose, 12.65 million 25 thousand second dose and 6.45 million booster doses.

Since 2009, she said, 22,000 doctors and 40,000 nurses and other health workers have been recruited.

The Prime Minister said that so far the government has announced an incentive package of Taka 1 lakh 87 thousand 679 crores under 28 packages for the continuation of production in industries and to keep running the business. Salaries of workers in garments and other industries have been guaranteed, she added.

She said that 50 lakh marginalised people have been given cash assistance of Taka 2,500 in two phases, were people from all walks of life including transport workers, shop workers, non-MPO teachers, imams, muezzins, and cultural workers.

She said that slum dwellers, poor and low-income people who cannot reach out to others, were supplied with food items including rice and pulses at their homes as soon as they called hotline number 333.

She mentioned that during the coronavirus pandemic, around 7 crores 30 lakh and 50 thousand people benefited in various ways, while about 1 lakh and 81 thousand 266 organisations also benefited.

Noting that developing and import-dependent countries like Bangladesh have been hit the hardest by the Ukraine-Russia war, sanction and counter-sanction by the West, she said that the prices of almost all consumer goods, including fuel oil, edible oil, wheat, sugar, maize, pulses, chemical fertilizers, have increased at an abnormal rate in the international market.

“The supply system has collapsed. Transportation costs have increased manifold,” she said, adding that the rent of the ship which was $ 800 is now $ 3,800 while wheat which was available at $ 200 dollars per ton, has to be bought at $ 600.

Some countries are stopping the export of products without notice to meet their respective needs, she said and added: “Thinking about the convenience of the common people, we are collecting and supplying the products we need from wherever in the world wherever those are available”.

She said that the government has given TCB’s fair prize cards to 1 crore families and through this card, the families can purchase rice at Taka 30 per kg and affordable edible oil, pulses and sugar.

Besides, 5 million families can buy 30 kg of rice per month at Taka 15 per kg, while 30 kg of rice is being given free of cost every month to needy people through VGD and VGF, she added.

Mentioning that many people are making fabricated comments about the country’s forex reserves, she said “At present, we’ve forex reserves to cover import expenditures of five months, although it is enough if there is a reserve to cover three months’ import expenses.”

She said that imports of all types of heavy machinery, foreign travel and imports of other goods were largely suspended during the coronavirus pandemic and that is why reserves increased to $ 48 billion during that time.

“Instead of keeping this huge amount of money idle, we’ve created a special fund with some money from it,” she said, adding, “Some important projects are being implemented with the money from that fund.”

She continued that this loan was being given through Sonali Bank at 2 per cent interest rate and money from the home is coming back home with interest. “If this money was taken as a loan from a foreign bank, it would have to be repaid with interest at the rate of 4-5 per cent. And it had to be paid from the reserve.”

Another reason for the decline of the forex reserve is that the government was buying fuel oil, edible oil, wheat, rice, maize and other commodities at high prices from the international market and selling them to the common people at low prices, she added.

Mentioning that panic is being created by spreading rumours that there is no money in the bank, she said, “Don’t pay heed to unnecessary rumours as there is no shortage of money in the bank.”

“Don’t risk your hard-earned money at home,” she said, assuring all that the country’s investment, remittance inflow and import-export situation are all normal.

“Crisis will come. Getting afraid of a crisis is not right. We have successfully faced the coronavirus pandemic with the help of the people. InshaAllah, we will also overcome the global recession. We are seeking cooperation from you for that,” she said.

In a televised address to the nation on the occasion of the Victory Day-2022, the Prime Minister asked the countrymen to remain cautious  about the BNP-Jamaat clique, saying, “They‘re now hatching conspiracy to come to the power through undemocratic ways after being boycotted by the people.”

The Prime Minister in her 23 minutes speech   said the “vultures of 1971 and hyenas of 1975” are still active in the country and out to get the scope to destroy the country with their teeth and claws.

“They get tormented with fire-burn if the people of the country remain well. Local and foreign conspirators are becoming active. But the country has identified them and no conspiracy can mislead them,” she said.

The BNP-Jamaat clique has hired lobbyists expending the illegally earned money to harm the country, she added.

She continued: “The BNP-Jamaat alliance has hired some people to defame the country to foreigners after losing confidence of the people of the country. Siphoned off money is being used to deprecate the country. “

Describing the Awami League government as the people’s government, she said her government’s main target is to work for the welfare of the masses.

“We never want the sufferings of the people. The prices of essential goods have started increasing due to global reasons which are now starting to be normal. The price inflation is declining. I want to assure you that we will revise the price of any good, including fuel, if it starts declining in the global market,” she said.

The Prime Minister said 51 years have passed since Bangladesh’s independence and her government has been tirelessly working to build “Sonar Bangladesh” free from poverty, hunger and communalism as envisioned by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

She said the anti-Liberation War elements were in power for 29 years after the 1975 carnage  and they had made the country hollow by looting its assets.

“Let’s take an oath being inspired by the spirit of the Liberation War on this Victory Day to take ahead further the journey of Bangladesh’s development after overcoming all the conspiracies,” she said.

The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has attained the status of a developing nation as her government has been in power since 2009 till to date following the democratic process.

She said if the BNP-Jamaat was in power during the period, the country would have never witnessed such a huge development and couldn’t achieve the status of a developing country.

“Now the people have to choose whether they want continuation of improved and dignified life or unbearable life of the BNP-Jamaat alliance’s criminalization,” she added.

The Prime Minister said an anti-liberation and anti-development clique is now in hot pursuit to destabilize the country which is marching ahead confronting various hurdles.

“See their past history. One of the factions not only opposed the Liberation War, but also killed people as the collaborators of the Pakistani occupation forces. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had banned their politics and brought war criminals to justice,” she said.

After assassination of the Father of the Nation on August 15 in 1975, Ziaur Rahman grabbed power illegally and rehabilitated the anti-liberation elements in politics.

“They have started the politics of killings and terrorism after being rehabilitated,” she said, adding that Ziaur Rahman killed hundreds of armed forces officers and soldiers in the name of holding trial and was directly involved in the conspiracy and killing of the Father of the Nation.

At the patronization of the BNP-Jamaat, militant organizations such as Harkatul Jihad and Jamiatul Mujahiddeen were formed, she said, adding that the August 21, 2004 grenade attacks were carried out to make the Awami League bankrupt in leadership by killing her and her party’s front ranking leaders.

She said that a synchronized bomb attack was carried in 63 districts across the country on August 17 in 2005 during the BNP-Jamaat regime.

The Prime Minister recalled the BNP-Jamaat mayhem from 2013 to 2015 in the name of movement to oust her government in which 500 people were killed and 3180 were injured in petrol bomb attacks.

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