Bangladesh will face no economic crisis, PM assures JS

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday told the parliament that there is no possibility of economic crisis like that in Sri Lanka as the economic base of Bangladesh is very strong.

“We’re very much aware,” she said as Deputy Opposition leader GM Quader apprehended a Sri Lanka-like situation while delivering his speech in parliament.

The Prime Minister responded to this point while giving the valedictory speech of the 16th session in the 11th parliament with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.

She said her government used to repay the debt taken for the country’s development purpose in due time since the Awami League assumed office.

“Bangladesh is a country in the world which was never a defaulter in paying debts and will not be defaulter in the days to come as our economic base is so strong in this respect,” she said.

The Prime Minister said that her government doesn’t take commissions like the BNP and Jatiya Party governments as they pocketed Taka 10 after purchasing an item spending Tk 20.

She said her government, in most of the cases, has completed the works of projects in due time or prior to the scheduled time, referring to completion of the 1320 MW Payra Thermal Plant within eight months of starting its works and thus saving Tk 800 crore.

Sheikh Hasina, also Leader of the House told the parliament that the people are now suffering for massive development works such as metro rail construction which is for limited time, saying, “Once the construction of the metro rail is completed, 60,000 people can go to Bangladesh Bank in Motijheel from Uttara within a short time.”

Speaking about the gas crisis, the Prime Minister said the operation of six gas wells had to be closed for temporary basis as sands were found in those, adding that four wells have already been repaired and started functioning while remaining two are under the process of repairing.

The Prime Minister said the prices of construction materials such as rods and cements have been increased in Bangladesh and elsewhere of the globe due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

So, the expenses of the development works need to adjust to the current price, otherwise, the work will be stopped, she said referring to closure of many factories even in the USA.

About the price hike of essentials, the Prime Minister said if you go through the international media you will find that the prices of essentials have increased all over the world.

The prices of oil have increased to 4 US dollar from one dollar alongside increasing prices of the daily essentials while Euro has also experienced the same and the rent of ships has also increased manifold, she said.

Inflation rate across Europe is 7.5 percent while Bangladesh has been able to contain it in six percent, she said.
The world has experienced an increasing trend of prices of essentials due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine and Bangladesh’s markets have to bear the brunt , she added.

“Despite the fact, we’re trying to control the prices of essentials,” she said, adding that the coarse varieties of rice are being sold at TK 40 while prices of fine varieties of rice have increased slightly.

Per kilogram of potato is being sold at TK 25 in retail market while TK 20 at wholesale market while the price of per kg garlic is TK 40 in retail market and TK 25 in wholesale market, she said.

The price of per kg eggplant is reduced to TK 80 from TK 110, she said, urging all to use alternative vegetables such as pumpkin, an ifter item like beguni.

Mentioning to give cards to one crore families to purchase foods at fair price alongside conducting the open market sale at fair price and giving money to the people under the social safety net programmes, she said that her government has been trying to ease the hardship of the people.

Despite the crisis arising out of the Covid-19, she said that Bangladesh has achieved 6.94 percent growth in GDP while the per capita income has increased to 2591 $ due to the government’s timely measures in releasing stimulus packages for all to ensure running the country’s economy and the livelihoods.

Although Bangladesh is now facing the Covid-19 pandemic, she said, “We have made our economy strong enough and this is the world’s 31st powerful economy. We want to go ahead in such a way.”

The Prime Minister requested all to maintain the traffic rules and reduce plying private cars on the roads to ease increasing traffic jam.

She said her government has taken various measures that included increasing the number of buses in large numbers, constructing metro rails and roads to ease the traffic jam.
About GM Quader’s remarks about the Constitution, the Prime Minister said it is unfortunate that they have to take lesson about the Constitution from a party which occupied the power violating the country’s constitution.

She said her government has formulated the electoral law in a bid to hold a free, fair and neutral election.