Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the health ministry showed enough efficiency in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic in the country by taking necessary measures properly in time.
"I think the health ministry has showed enough efficiency. We have been able to keep this Covid-19 under control as instant measures, which were necessary at that time, were taken properly," she said.
The premier was speaking at the signing ceremony of the annual performance agreements (APAs) with ministries and divisions for 2020-21 fiscal year.
The APA and Integrity Awards were also distributed at the virtual function held at the conference room of the public administration ministry. The PM joined the event from the Gono Bhaban through a video conference.
Hasina said many doctors, nurses and other health workers died when they were serving patients putting their lives at risk. "Our health workers don't sit idle."
Referring to huge criticism of the health ministry, she said many people say many things against the ministry. "There is a section of people who have the habit of criticising [government], but they themselves would do nothing."
The PM said her government has given permission to many private televisions and built the country as Digital Bangladesh.
She said those people had once criticised it (govt's move to build Digital Bangladesh), but now they keep spreading propaganda taking advantage of Digital Bangladesh. "I think it depends on self-confidence whether we are on the right path."
Hasina asked the government officials to work with self-confidence and not to pay attention to who says what.
"You will have to have confidence in yourself whether you are doing the right jobs. If you have this confidence, the people of the country will be benefited from your works."
She asked the public servants to stand beside the people as it is their duty to serve them.
The premier said her party came to power with people's mandate and that is why they were pledge-bound to the people. "So, it is the duty of all of us to serve the people."
Stating her pledge to build a corruption-free administration, the PM asked all ministries to take up their own plans over integrity and implement those properly.
Hasina said the government has adopted the integrity strategy to ensure transparency and accountability in the administration.
"We want to establish a corruption-free administration. Every ministry will have to take up its own plan over integrity…. such plans should also be there up to the lowest tier of the administration. These [plans] will have to be executed properly. If you execute these, you will be rewarded."
The PM said 17,075 government offices -- 51 ministries and divisions, 344 offices or agencies, 16,635 field-level offices and 45 public universities -- sign APAs, which results in ensuring accountability at every tier of the administration.
Senior secretaries and secretaries to the ministries and divisions concerned signed the APAs on behalf of their respective agencies.
Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque, on behalf of the PM, handed crests and certificates to winners for their outstanding performance in implementing APAs and exercising integrity.
The Power Division was recognised with a crest and citation as the best performer in implementing APA in the 2019-2020 fiscal year while the agriculture ministry and the Energy and Mineral Resources Division as the second best and third best performers respectively.
Besides, seven other ministries and divisions received certificates in recognition of their outstanding performance in implementing APAs. The ministries and divisions are water resources ministry, ICT Division, information ministry, Rural Development and Cooperatives Division, fisheries and livestock ministry, Finance Division and Economic Relations Division.
Senior Secretary of Internal Resources Division Abu Hena Md Rahmatul Muneem received the integrity award for exercising integrity as the senior secretary of Energy and Mineral Resources Division in the 2019-20 fiscal year.
The public administration ministry was recognised as the best in implementing the national integrity strategy successfully in the 2018-19 fiscal year.
State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain also spoke at the function, conducted by Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam.