General

Strictly execute ‘no mask no service’ policy: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday directed the authorities concerned to strictly implement the “no mask no service” policy at every government and private offices in the wake of the second wave of Covid-19 in many countries in Europe and America.

She issued the directives during an unscheduled discussion over Covid-19 in the regular Cabinet meeting held at the Secretariat. Sheikh Hasina chaired the meeting joining it from Ganobhaban through a video conference.

“The ‘no mask no service’ [policy] will have to be implemented massively. It’ll have to be ensured anyhow. It may be through social movements, campaigns or any other means if needed,” the Prime Minister was quoted as saying by Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam at a press briefing after the meeting.

Noting that there is no room for complacency over the current Covid-19 situation, she said everyone will have to be careful over the possible second wave. No-one should come to office under any circumstance without a mask, she said.

Islam said all secretaries and field-level officers have already been asked to execute the decision strictly at their offices and subordinate offices.

He said the government is going to execute the decision so that services can’t be availed without wearing masks at government and private offices under any circumstances.

‘Satisfactory Growth’

The Cabinet expressed satisfaction at the country’s economic progress in the 2019-20 fiscal year, particularly the achievement in GDP growth, per capita income and remittance inflow despite the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The observation came when the annual report of different ministries and divisions for 2019-2020 fiscal was placed by the Cabinet Division in the meeting.

Cabinet Secretary Islam said Bangladesh attained 5.24 percent GDP growth against the target of 8.2 percent in 2019-20 fiscal.

“It’s a very good achievement compared to other countries. The 5.24 percent growth is really a remarkable achievement amid the Covid-19 outbreak,” he said.

He said the government announced a total of Tk 120,053 crore (4.3 percent of GDP) under 21 stimulus packages to offset the fallout of the pandemic. Of the amount, Tk 57,785 crore has been disbursed.

The per capita income rose to US$ 2,064 in the last FY from $ 1,909 in the 2018-19 FY, while remittance went up by 10.87 percent and the foreign exchange reserve rose to $ 36.04 billion in 2019-20 FY, said the Cabinet Secretary.

During the last fiscal year, the poverty rate fell to 20.5 percent from 21.8 percent, while the rate of extreme poverty came down to 10.5 percent from 12.9 percent, he said.

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Also read- No mask, no govt service: Cabinet Secretary

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2 bills approved

Meanwhile, the Cabinet approved drafts of the ‘Development Board Laws (Repeal) Bill, 2020’ and the ‘Gandhi Ashram (Board of Trustees) Bill, 2020’.

The Cabinet Secretary said the two proposed laws will replace the two laws of the military regimes as the court declared these illegal.

He said a number of development board laws were annulled by the Development Board Laws (Repeal) Ordinance, 1986.

The top bureaucrat said the Gandhi Ashram (Board of Trustees) Bill, 2020 was designed in Bengali version incorporating no new provision in the Gandhi Ashram (Board of Trustees) Ordinance, 1975.

According to the proposed law, the government will appoint the chairman of the seven-member board of trustees.

Source: United News of Bangladesh