Government Policy

One crore people to get special cards to buy essentials: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said the government will provide special cards to one crore people so that they can purchase essential commodities at lower prices.

“We’ve targeted one crore people. We will provide them with special cards so that they can buy some essential items at fair prices,” she said while chairing a meeting of Awami League-led 14-party alliance at her official residence Ganobhaban here.

Hasina, also the AL president, said her government is taking measures to keep the prices of daily essentials under control during the upcoming Ramadan.

She said some 50 lakh people have already been given the cards to buy rice at Tk 10 per kg.

“We’ll extend support to additional one crore people by providing special cards so that they can purchase essential items at fair prices,” she said.

The prime minister said the 38 lakh people who got financial support from the government during the Covid-19 pandemic will be included among the one crore people.

Noting that the government has enough food in stocks, she said it still has 18 lakh metric tonnes of food grains in stock and there is no problem here.

Hasina urged the people of the country to increase crop production. “Not a small piece of land should be left uncultivated in order to fulfil our food demand,” she said.

Talking about the price hike of edible oil, the prime minister said she has directed officials concerned to form a taskforce in this regard.

She said soybean oil is imported largely from Brazil, while palm oil from Malaysia. It is true that the prices increased significantly in the international market and the cargo fare went up due to the war, she added.

The government will now find out as to why the prices went up despite having a stock of edible oil in the country, said Hasina.

When the price of an item goes up, everyone starts to hoard it. “We are taking measures against these. But we don’t have much to do when the prices go up in the international market. We need to compromise a little bit,” she said.

Citing that a problem in LNG import due to the war, she said the government continues its effort to ensure the LNG supply. But its price might go up a little bit, she hinted.

About the readymade garment sector, the PM said the country’s RMG sector is now getting much larger purchase orders due to troubles in other places.

Turning to politics Hasina said BNP didn’t join the talks with the president over the formation of Election Commission as none is in the helm of its leadership position.

“BNP didn’t join it….. Actually how can they join it? Who would be the prime minister from among them or who would lead them if they go to power?” she asked.

Not naming BNP top leaders Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman, she said one person is now convicted for embezzling the money of orphans and another person has been a fugitive convict in different cases including the 10-truck arms-haul and the August 21 grenade attack cases. He (Tarique) has been a fugitive since 2007, she added.

The PM said since she made the country as ‘Digital Bangladesh,’ he (Tarique) is now taking the advantage …… staying outside the country.

In fact, BNP has no (suitable) person to lead it from the front, she said, alleging that they (BNP leaders) continue to make unguarded remarks.

She said a number of electoral reform proposals placed by the AL-led 14-party alliance have already been implemented. The proposals included preparation of the voter list with photographs, introduction of translucent ballot boxes and using the electronic voting machines, she mentioned.

In fact, the voting rights of people were also ensured with the electoral reform made by them, said the prime minister.

Source: United News of Bangladesh