Hasina moves on Ramadan prices
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked top bureaucrats to take steps to rein in the prices of essentials during Ramadan and implement power projects on schedule.
She also urged them to work sincerely for full implementation of the Annual Development Programme (ADP) in the current fiscal year.
"Make sure that the deals to install power plants are implemented in time. You must remain alert about artificial price hike of essentials during Ramadan," a senior secretary quoted Hasina as saying after a meeting between the premier and secretaries at the Cabinet Division of the Secretariat.
Hasina said a vested quarter had tried to manipulate prices of essentials ahead of Ramadan in the past.
She asked them to take necessary steps to check the malpractice. The prime minister directed the Trading Corporation Bangladesh (TCB) to import adequate rice, pulses, chickpea and wheat immediately to keep their prices stable during Ramadan.
It was Hasina's third meeting with top bureaucrats since she assumed office on January 6, 2009.
Expressing satisfaction with the 91 percent implementation of ADP in the outgoing fiscal 2009-10, she asked the secretaries to work sincerely for cent percent implementation of ADP this fiscal year.
The government set a Tk 38,500 crore ADP for the fiscal 2010-11, with the second highest allocation for energy, power and mineral resources.
Shafiq Alam Mehdi, secretary to the civil aviation and tourism ministry, over the phone said, "She [the prime minister] directed us to implement all projects of the ministries and divisions timely, but her main emphasis was on generation of power."
The government had signed deals to set up 13 rental power plants to generate 1,319 megawatt of electricity by 2013 to ease the nagging power crisis.
The prime minister also warned the secretaries about the misuse of resources and irregularities.
Briefing journalists after the three-hour meeting, cabinet Secretary M Abdul Aziz said the premier also put stress on strengthening the TCB further to keep the prices of essentials within people's reach.
He said the prime minister instructed the secretaries to implement the development projects timely to fulfil the target of Vision 2021.
Replying to a query, the cabinet secretary said the government is mulling over extension of retirement age of its employees.
He said the unimplemented part of the new pay scale for government officials will take effect in July.
Hasina also directed the ministries and departments concerned to relax official rules and regulations for foreign investors.
On the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), she said all government officials must give their best to present Bangladesh in a positive light before the international community in the MDG target year of 2015.
When the issue of medical facilities for government employees was raised at the meeting, Hasina said a project could be taken in this regard with funds from budgetary allocation and welfare trust funds of officials and employees.
The prime minister also gave a directive to introduce Performance Based Evaluation System (PBS) for promotion and posting of government officials.