Don’t hoard essentials, we have enough stocks: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina talked to reporters after casting her vote in the Jatiya Sangsad by-polls to Dhaka-10 constituency at Dhaka City College on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Photo: PID

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged everyone to not hoard food and other essential items out of panic, as the country has enough stock of everything.

"Some people are scared... they're procuring food items indiscriminately and piling up stocks at their homes... I want to say it clearly that we have no problem in food items," she said.

The PM said this after casting her vote in the Jatiya Sangsad by-polls to Dhaka-10 constituency at Dhaka City College.

She said there are some 17lakh metric tonnes of food grains in government godowns alone. The amount of wheat is 3.5 lakh metric tonnes while private rice-millers have huge stock in addition to the stock of big farmers, Hasina said.

"Farmers are producing their crops...there's a plenty of vegetables being produced in the fields...we have huge salt production (as well). So, please don't get panicked...just collect whatever you need. If you put pressure on the market then it'll push up the prices," she said.

About the foreign currency reserve of the country, the Prime Minister said she has already had a meeting with the Finance Minister, Finance Adviser and Bangladesh Bank Governor. "With our current reserve, we have the capability to procure food for the next one year, so no need to be panicked."

The PM also said the government is monitoring the market and it would not be wise for anyone to create pressure on the market or stock commodities out of panic.

She also asked those who have returned from abroad recently to strictly follow the health procedure and maintain 14-day quarantine. "Please, don't go here and there... you shouldn't put others' lives in danger."

Mentioning that an unnatural situation is prevailing across the globe due to the coronavirus outbreak. "We took all-out measurers when it was seen in China... whoever came from abroad, we checked them; we put them in quarantine in the case of any suspicion."

Briefly describing various government measures taken to contain the coronavirus spread, she said, "We've taken safety measures for doctors, nurses and others who are working there, we're collecting whatever is needed from home and abroad. We also provided security materials for immigration police," she said.

She hoped that the people of the country will follow procedures properly.

Hasina said the government has suspended all the programmes of the birth centenary celebration of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman due to the coronavirus. "We have to stop mass gatherings so that this virus cannot spread."

In this connection, she also said the government has planned to cancel the programmes to celebrate the up-coming Independence Day.