Industry

PM rules out buying new aircraft for her, president

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ruled out possibility of purchasing new aircraft for her personal use or the president, saying that time for showing such luxury is yet to come in the country.

"There is no need for buying new aircraft for me or the president.... I don't want it. I think time for showing such stylishness is yet to come in the country," she said.

The prime minister made the remarks while addressing a crowded press conference at her official Ganabhaban residence here this afternoon.

Her comments came as a journalist at the press conference raised a question that whether the government has any plan to buy new plane for the president or the prime minister against the backdrop of recent technical glitch of the Biman's special VVIP flight carrying the premier.

The prime minister and her entourage had to spend four hours in Turkmenistan on November 27 on their way to Hungary after the Biman Bangladesh aircraft carrying them made an emergency landing at the Ashgabat International Airport.

Following the incident, Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon told a meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on the ministry that they were considering buying separate aircraft for the president and prime minister.

The prime minister said: "If I have no security feeling in those aircraft through which general passengers travel, then what is the benefit for purchasing separate aircraft for us."

Sheikh Hasina said she moves with the people and has come to pursue politics for them. "I will do politics for them and move with them...it's my word," she said.

The premier said the emergency landing of the Biman flight carrying her was a technical disaster. "Investigation is underway and I'm alive safely ... I would like to request the countrymen to pray for me," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said accident may happen any time. "What did occur in Brazil ... an aircraft carrying a soccer team crashed there."

She said accident is accident and there is no need to be so much worried. "As long as Allah keeps me alive, none could be able to harm me ... I know there are "doa" of the people for me and that is my biggest strength," she said.

The prime minister said accident may take place for technical faults or manmade reasons. "Two countries raised question about security of our airport and accordingly we took measures," she said.

"Whatever work we did for the development of Biman, no other governments did such work in the past," she said, adding her government would continue to work for the development of the national flag carreer.

Sheikh Hasina told journalists to see the condition of the airports before 1996, the year her government took office for the first time. "We started changing the condition of the airports when we assumed office for the first time," she said.

She said when her government came to power in 1996 there were some obsolete DC-10 aircraft in Biman's fleet and condition of other aircraft was so bad it may crash any time.

"At that time we bought new aircraft, and the plane which witnessed technical fault recently is a completely new aircraft," she said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)