Stimulus packages to save people, economy
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government announced various stimulus packages worth around Tk 1 lakh crore to save the people and the economy from the crisis arising out of the coronavirus pandemic.
"We have already declared various financial stimulus packages of around Tk 1 lakh crore. This has been done not only for overcoming the present crisis, but also for the next three years so that all can run their businesses and industries properly after the bad time they are facing now," she said.
The PM was addressing a programme from the Gono Bhaban through videoconferencing, marking handover of donations. PM's Principal Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus received the donations in cheques on behalf of the premier at the Prime Minister's Office in the capital.
Hasina said she had declared the stimulus packages, which is 3.3 percent of the GDP, for all people ranging from farmers, day labourers, rickshaw pullers and small traders to industrialists to save the people and country's commerce and industry by offsetting the possible impact of coronavirus on the economy.
The PM greeted organisations and individuals for giving donations to her relief and welfare fund.
She asked the affluent people to distribute relief materials in coordination with the government agencies instead of handing those separately to make sure that each person gets relief.
The premier called upon all, particularly the civil society, to join hands with the government in helping the needy people instead of making wholesale criticism of the government.
"Unfortunately, some people and parties have been saying many things about the relief distribution. But they are not extending their helping hands in this regard. They are busy making criticism of the government," she said.
Hasina reiterated her stance on taking tougher actions against the plunderers of relief goods, irrespective of their political affiliation.
Noting that measures were taken against irregularities in relief distribution, she said such problems were seen in five to seven places although there were over 4,500 unions across the country.
The PM reiterated her call to the people not to mix with outsiders and to avoid mass gatherings for the sake of personal and family protection.
She said she knew that the people, particularly the day-labourers, farmers, rickshaw-van pullers and small traders, were enduring sufferings amid the shutdown over coronavirus.
Hasina said the economic activities have slowed not only in Bangladesh, but also in other countries across the world due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The premier said the country has to increase the industrial and food production to counter the economic meltdown. She said the government was attaching special importance to ensuring food security so that the people did not suffer.
"We are giving people foods free of cost. Foods have been distributed door to door at night to avoid gatherings to save the people from being infected with coronavirus."
Apart from distributing the relief, the government has been making better arrangements for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, she said.
Hasina expressed optimism that Bangladesh would further proceed towards advancement by overcoming the bad time and the Golden Bangladesh dreamt by the Father of the Nation would be built.
The government offices that made donations to the PM's relief fund are ministries of youth and sports, environment, forest and climate change, housing and public works, Local Government Division, Rural Development and Cooperatives Division, and Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Company Limited.
The educational institutions that made contributions to the fund are Dhaka University, Bangladesh University of Professionals, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University, and Shiddeshwari Girls High School.
The private organisations that provided donations are Saif Powertec Limited, Uttara Group, Dhaka Club, BSRM Group, Texcotech, Kashem Trust, Hamdard Foundation, Gaan Bangla, Xiaomi Technologies Bangladesh Pvt Limited, Ispahani Tea Limited, Amin Mohammad Foundation, Olila Glass Industries Ltd, Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Bangladesh Jewellers Samity.