May 26, 2024

DHAKA, Feb 23, 2024 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today assured the countrymen that there will be no shortage of essential commodities during the upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan.

“There will be no shortage of anything (essential commodities) in Ramadan. All arrangements have already been made. There will be no problem,” she said.

The premier gave this assurance while briefing newsmen about her recent visit to Germany where she attended the Munich Security Conference 2024 and held bilateral meetings with several global leaders.

About the essential commodities during Ramadan, Sheikh Hasina said there is an arrangement to import sufficient amounts of goods like gram, dates, sugar and other items as well.

“So, there will be no problem with this as we have made arrangements for those much earlier,” she added.

The Prime Minister went to Munich on February 15 and returned home on February 19.

During her stay in Munich, Sheikh Hasina attended the Munich Security Conference and held meetings with global leaders on the sidelines.

Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Deputy Leader of the House Begum Matia Chowdhury, AL Presidium Members Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Foreign Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud and Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Saber Hossain Chowdhury, among others, were present on the dais.

PM’s Speechwriter M Nazrul Islam moderated the event.

In response to a question regarding price hike and conspiracy of toppling the government and famine, the Prime Minister said that there was a big conspiracy to prevent the election.

She said that the conspiracy was also to dissociate the government from the people by increasing the prices of goods.

As the vested quarters understood that they couldn’t prevent the election, the conspirators had hatched this intrigue before the election, added the premier.

In this connection, she also mentioned the incidents including arson terrorism were perpetrated on October 28 last year, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

“The plot was to oust the government. . . You all know who are they. I don’t want to name anyone. I don’t even need to say. But plot still exists,” said Sheikh Hasina.

Regarding the manipulation in increasing the price of daily goods, she mentioned the price hike of eggs through hiding those.

She added, “Don’t you think those who want to overthrow the government have some tricks too.”

She also mentioned the situation of onion crisis, saying that suddenly it was seen the shortage of huge quantum of onions, which later turned rotten required to be thrown into the water.

“What should be done to these people? . . . It would be better if the public go for the remedy. Then no one can say anything,” she said.

The Prime Minister said that she herself produces crops in Ganabhaban, while people in her village home and constituency started following the example.

She urged the people across the country to use their fallow lands for agriculture as well.

No worry about election, no question:

The premier said that there was no discussion about Bangladesh’s election during the meeting with global leaders on the sidelines of Munich Security Conference in Germany.

In replying to a query, Sheikh Hasina, who become Prime Minister for the fourth time in a row, said that there was no talk with them about the election.

“They have no worry, no comment, no question about the election,” she said, adding, “There was no talk about the election, most of the talk was bilateral.”

The Premier said, “We have state-level relations with the European countries, we have an advantage because of personal relations. No one spoke about the election. They themselves knew that I would win the election.”

She continued, “Those who don’t want (to see me in power again) they speak about it.”

Sheikh Hasina said that the election of the countries which took 10/12 days to announce the election results is free and fair.

Besides, in Bangladesh result came within 24-48 hours of election, which is not free and fair, she said, adding, “We don’t have any medicine for this disease. I believe that our strength is our people.”

Sheikh Hasina said, “We have a good friendship with European countries. France to give us US$ 1 billion for climate change.”

 

Target to pull the country ahead as developing nation in next 5-yr

The Prime Minister said that the aim in this new tenure of her government is to pull the country ahead as developing nation in next 5-yr as they won the national election held on January 7 this year and formed government for fourth consecutive terms.

Replying to another question regarding the goal in this new tenure of her government, Sheikh Hasina said that her goal is to maintain the democratic trend that Bangladesh is now enjoying and execution of the status of developing nation which is scheduled to begin officially in 2026.

She said that the countrymen are getting the benefit as they have ensured the democratic process.

“The people of the country are getting good results (of continued democracy). We wished for this continuity be maintained and we will move forward as a developing country,” she said.

The Prime Minister said that in the next five years they will focus to utilise the time appropriately as Bangladesh will begin its journey as a developing nation in 2026. “We have already formed various committees and are working in that way.”

Referring to the announcement of their long-term plan “Vision-2041”, she said, “There the quality of life of every people will improve and Bangladesh will be a developed and prosperous country. That is our goal.”

Sheikh Hasina noted that if politics is for the people, then that politics works for the people and for the welfare of the people.

And if politics is only about grabbing power and enjoying power, then people will not get anything, she added.

She observed that Bangladesh has lack of political parties in the political field.

Bangladesh Awami League was formed in 1949 by talking about the people, she said, adding that the Awami League has moved forward through all the agitations and struggles, but no other parties in Bangladesh have such history rather they were born from the pocket of military dictators and power.

In response to a query on her saree, the Premier said that the saree she was wearing was not French chiffon (BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s widely used expensive saree) but this Tant (loom) saree bought from Shafipur Ansar Academy, which she identified as “Shafipur chiffon”.

“It should be understood that I am with the soil and people of this country. Tangail Tant sarees are also used by her and application has been filed for its patent rights,” she said.

 

Int’l platforms don’t work on time:

The Prime Minister said that there are many international platforms, but the forums don’t work in times of need.

Responding to a question, Sheikh Hasina said that she doesn’t think of taking any initiative to create a new platform with middle powers or emerging powers as she is busy with Bangladesh and the large population on a small land.

Regarding taking up leadership of forming new platforms, the Premier said, “I am an ordinary person. I am busy with my country and its people, the large population on a small land (of the country).”

She added, “Yes, I raise my voice and protest where I see any injustice. I always say that I don’t want war, rather I want peace.”

About the Palestine issues, Sheikh Hasina said vetoes are given even over proposals to stop the Gaza war in the United Nations Security Council as had been during the Liberation War of Bangladesh.

But, genocide continues in Gaza where even hospitals are not being spared of attacks and children don’t have foods, she added.

“I protest such things. I am conscious enough over my power whatever I have. I don’t think that I need to do anything bigger than it,” she said.

Directive for activation of traffic light signalling in Dhaka city:

The Prime Minister said that she has already asked the authority concerned to activate the traffic light signalling system on a larger scale instead of the manual signalling system in Dhaka city to ease traffic congestion.

When her attention was drawn to the traffic in the upcoming Ramadan, Sheikh Hasina said, “I talked to IGP yesterday (Thursday) and asked him to take measures to activate the traffic light system in a better way so our traffic congestion can be eased.”

She said there is no additional pressure of traffic on the city streets now like before the metro-rail era. So, there is a scope to go for the traffic light system, she added.

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