Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today called upon the country’s youth folk to engage in inspiring people to form cooperatives for boosting food production and taking the country ahead further.
“Youth folk will have to come forward. We can go a long way if the youths do their activities in bringing village people together as everyone will have the responsibility,” she said.
The premier was addressing a function on the 51st National Cooperatives Day at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) as the chief guest, joining virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban here.
She asked the youth folk not to chase after the job rather to get involved in food production activities such as poultry and fish cultivation by forming cooperatives.
Referring to the 100 special economic zones being established by the government, she said, “you (youths) can set up food processing factories there, which will not only meet the local demand but also can help export to abroad.”
Sheikh Hasina said she believes that the country could attain desired economic success through cooperatives.
She also urged all to work in combine to overcome the crisis what was created in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Russian-Ukraine war as well as sanctions and counter sanctions.
With State Minister for Rural Development and Cooperatives Swapan Bhattacharjee in the chair, Register and Director General of Department of Cooperatives Dr. Tarun Kanti Sikder delivered the welcome address.
Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Md. Tazul Islam and Rural Development and Co-operative Division Sectary Md. Mashiur Rahman also spoke as special guests.
A total of nine Samobay Samity (cooperatives associations) and one person were given National Cooperatives Award-2021 on the occasion.
On behalf of the prime minister, Md. Tazul Islam handed over the award.
Each awardee was conferred with a gold medal and a certificate.
At the outset of the function, a video documentary on the national cooperative day was screened.
The theme of the day is “Bangabandhu’s Philosophy, Development of Cooperatives”.
The prime minister said cooperatives is absolutely essential for agricultural production, life and livelihood of the people in the country.
“Cooperatives create enormous scopes in a densely populated country like ours. Paying attention to it, we will have to strengthen cooperatives,” she said.
She stressed the need for giving utmost importance on cooperatives for the development of the country’s people.
Sheikh Hasina said her government is working for the people and wants to create scopes so that every individual can improve their life and livelihood.
She said her government opened every sector for private entrepreneurs so employment is generated.
Talking about the inflation, the premier said the price of every commodity has soared up throughout the world due to the war and Covid-19, which affected Bangladesh also and almost all the countries are now suffering from high inflation.
“Everyone has to run using its reserve (of foreign currencies). Also, we are to do it for the wellbeing of the common people of the country,” she added.
She said that now Bangladesh needs to purchase fertilizers, fuel and edible oil at very high price amid high transportation cost for the sake of the people and the agricultural production.
The head of government said although the country has cent percent electricity coverage but now they are facing much trouble in generating power as import of fuel and gas are being hampered due to the war.
“I hope that we can overcome this situation,” she said, referring to the measures taken by the government such as solar power, coal fired power plant as well as import of power from Nepal and Bhutan.
She, however, reiterated her call to the countrymen to put concentration on savings and exercising austerity as well as boosting food production.
She once again requested all not to spare any inch of land uncultivated rather made a call to produce whatever they can.
She said the current progress of Bangladesh should in no way be interrupted.
Though the Covid-19 and current war and sanctions slowed down the progress to some extent, the government’s goal is to go forward overcoming this situation and build the country as golden Bangla as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said her government’s goal is that the rural people would get civic facilities, an improved life and lead a decent lifestyle.
In this context, she mentioned several schemes, including “My House My Farm” (Amar Bari Amar Khamar) and “My Village My Town” (Amar Gram Amar Shohor) programmes, which were taken by her government for the development of rural people.
“We want to transform every village into a town,” said the prime minister.
She stressed the need for construction of modern houses through cooperative societies to make modern flats affordable for the villagers as well as to protect arable lands by stopping the indiscriminate construction of homes everywhere.
The government has also started a project titled “Palli Janapad” to construct the modern houses in planned way for the rural people, she said.
The premier said her government took ‘My House My Farm scheme’ and micro-saving project under the scheme so that the poor people don’t need to bear the burden of micro-credit rather they can save money and take loans, forming a cooperative society under it.
If they save Taka 200, the government would add another Taka 200 to it till two years and the money would remain deposited in Palli Sanchay Bank, she added.