Government Policy

PM laments absence of strong opposition

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday expressed her frustration for not having a strong opposition in the country as the two main opposition parties, created by military rulers, don’t have base among the mass people.

“We are not getting strong opposition. They do not have their position among the people of the country,” she said.

She said this while holding a views exchange meeting with the officials of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The meeting lasting three and half hours was held at the PMO with the prime minister in the chair.

Apparently pointing to the opposition BNP and Jatiya Party she said both were created by the military dictators, who grabbed the state power defying the Constitution.

“They don’t have any interest for the country and its people,” she said.

Hasina, also the chief of the ruling Awami League, said that her party is the only political party that comes from the land and people of the country. “For that reason all our thinking always centres round the country and its people,” she said.

She said that in developed countries politics is dominated by two parties only.

“In most of the cases there is no other party except two parties. There is reluctance seen in the other parties in participating in elections. Same thing is happening in our countries also,” she said.

She mentioned that when the western world talks about democracy and participatory elections, they hardly think about the situation in Bangladesh where the opposition parties have no strong popular support.

Hasina discounted the propaganda about Bangladesh becoming another Sri Lanka (a nation in economic crisis).

“We are taking various types of assistance for development. That’s right. But we are not loan defaulter and even during the COVID-19 pandemic we repaid our loans, Bangladesh is the only country that repay all loans in due time,” she said.

She said that Bangladesh takes various types of development programmes and before taking that the government do its proper calculation.

“From where we should take loan and how much, what benefits we will get from this development and what will be the return – all these are well analysed and calculated,” she said.

Regarding the foreign investments Hasina said that Bangladesh welcomes only the investment which will be beneficial for the country. “We do not accept any investment just for showing investments are coming.”

She said she does not want to stay in power just for her own gains.

“My aim is to change the fate of the people of the country. We have to bring positive changes for the grassroots. The country will advance further in this way,” she said.

“I never think of getting commission from any project. All have to remember that.”

The PM said that the way investment is pouring in Bangladesh all have to take every step with utmost caution.

The prime minister said “We have to evolve with the ever changing world. We have to change ourselves and keep moving the country gradually towards advancement. We have to have preparations to cope with the changing world.”

Talking about the Vision 2041 she said that this is a strategic plan and it can be changed time to time if needed. “By this process the country will be advanced,” she said.

Talking about the price spiral she said that it has happened in the whole world and that also impacted Bangladesh.

“What we can do now, we have to encourage the people not to keep even an inch of arable land uncultivated,” she said.

She said that all have to produce something to eat whatever the land a person has.

“It means we have to be self-sufficient in food production for all time,” she said.

In this connection, she said that at the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic she apprehended that the world might face a food crisis.

“That’s why from that time I encouraged people to utilise their every inch of arable land,” she said.

She apprehended that there might be another blow coming for the world from twin challenges of Coronavirus and Russia-Ukraine war.

“So we have to take care of ourselves (in food production),” she said.

She said that the problem for Bangladesh relates to the items that are imported from international market. In this connection she mentioned about LNG and fuel oil.

She asked the officials to think about the outcome of the price hike of these items and take appropriate measurers regarding the matter.

“We have to find out the alternatives of these right now to secure the livelihoods of the people of the country,” she said.

She asked the officials to maintain austerity like the coronavirus pandemic period to face the unknown future after the war.

“There will be so many problems after the war, we have to be cautious to avert that and avoid pressure on our (foreign) reserve and become dependent on others,” she said.

The prime minister said that every village of the country has to be developed and create employment in there like a way the people can earn their livelihoods sitting in that village.

She put emphasis on encouraging the youths of the country so that they deploy themselves in self-employment.

“We have to build them in way they can become entrepreneurs using their creativity and talents,” she said.

The premier said that the Ashrayan Project will help the country a lot to make it free from poverty and hunger.

Regarding Bangladesh’s newly-gained status as a developed country she said this will create immense scopes for Bangladesh with some hurdles though. “We are holding meetings regularly to discuss how to face and remove those hurdles,” she said.

“I do not run the state reading write-ups in the newspapers. That is the reality. They can confuse the people,” she observed.

Prime Minister’s Economic Affairs Adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman, Power, Engery and Mineral Resources Affairs Adviser Dr Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman F Rahman, Ambassador-at-large Mohammad Ziauddin, Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs) Zuena Aziz and Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim, among others, also spoke.

Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Kaikaus conducted the meeting, while Prime Minister’s Office’s Senior Secretary Md. Tofazzel Hossain Miah made a presentation on the PMO’s works in the last three years.

Source: United News of Bangladesh