Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday directed the government secretaries to complete the ongoing development projects on a priority basis within the shortest possible time.
“The people will get returns if the priority projects can be completed as early as possible,” she said while addressing the Secretaries' Committee meeting held at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in Dhaka.
The prime minister put emphasis on fast implementation of the development works within the stipulated time asking the officials to avoid undue delay.
She said even the developed countries are in crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine war as the world started recovering from the Coronavirus pandemic, and stressed the need for cutting down unnecessary expenses.
Regarding foreign reserves in the country, the prime minister said, “it would be possible to meet import bills for the next five or six months, and Bangladesh will not fall into any crisis in future.”
Sheikh Hasina, however, underscored the need for making export diversification considering the current global crisis.
“The government is developing 100 economic zones in the country and there will be foreign investment there, while employment opportunities will be created,” she said.
In this regard, she mentioned that the 4th Industrial Revolution is knocking at the door, and as a huge number of youths are now getting ready for employment, their potential and capability should be utilised.
Pointing out that propaganda is being spread by the vested quarters, Sheikh Hasina asked the secretaries to upload the latest information on the respective websites so people get to know facts from there.
“The Awami League government has huge success stories in different sectors, including in communication like road, rail, river routes and airways as well as in education, health, power, food production and other sectors,” she mentioned.
The prime minister put emphasis on maintaining the pace of development.
Highlighting the construction of the Padma Bridge with the country’s own resources, she said this has improved connectivity among the people of south and south-western regions.
She added that the government has been implementing the 8th five-year plan, the SDG of the UN and the 2021-2041 perspective plan to turn Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country.
‘Many sought aid after Bangladesh helped Sri Lanka’
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said after helping Sri Lanka with a currency swap, many countries got in touch with Bangladesh to get the same kind of assistance.
“We have assisted Sri Lanka from our [forex] reserves. After that, I have received requests from many countries,” she said.
In May 2021, Bangladesh cleared a $200 million currency swap for Sri Lanka, to help boost its economy.
It was the first-ever loan to any country from Bangladesh, given under the currency swap agreement inked by the Bangladesh Bank and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on August 3.
“Many government heads have called me and I have talked to them. I have described to them the ground reality. We are formulating our budget and taking budgetary support from other sources. At this time, it will not be possible for us to give any kind of assistance,” she said.
She mentioned that it means many countries across the globe are facing the forex crisis.
“… We must practice austerity with urgency,” she said.