It’s beneficial only for arms producers: PM
Terming the Ukraine-Russia war meaningless, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said only arms producers were profiting from the conflict.
"This war is meaningless. Because we are witnessing that only the arms producers are making profits and the lives of general people are being jeopardised," she said.
The PM was addressing a programme marking the inauguration of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Centennial Technical Training Centre in Tungipara, Gopalganj, and 23 other technical training centres in different upazilas across the country.
The event was held at the capital's Osmani Memorial Auditorium, with the premier joining virtually from the Gono Bhaban.
Hasina said the sanctions and counter-sanctions over the Ukraine-Russia war were threatening the global economy.
"Developed countries are facing serious problems. They have now started to save electricity and fuel. Worried about food security, they are taking various steps in this regard."
She said countries like Bangladesh which have started a journey towards a specific goal to become developed are facing massive hurdles due to this war.
The PM mentioned that the war broke out at a time when the world was facing coronavirus pandemic and the resultant economic slow down.
"To save fuel, all countries have taken various types of initiatives and we are also following that."
Hasina put emphasis on building skilled manpower as Bangladesh has a large young population.
"We are working on that. We want to build skilled manpower through providing training for them aiming to continue the pace of development."
Talking about forex reserves, the PM said that it is very much normal that the foreign exchange reserve would sometimes be more and sometimes less.
"There are some people who are making hue and cry over this issue. I think it is enough if we have reserves for procuring three months' food."
She said the country, however, should reduce dependency on others for food. "We have to increase our food production…. We have to adopt modern technology not only for producing food, but also for preserving those."
She stressed the need for setting up new industries for food processing, which can meet the domestic demands and earn foreign currency by exporting those.
Hasina asked the authorities concerned to look into the demands of the new markets abroad and produce food to export. "That means, we will have to give more attention to export-oriented foreign exchange earnings."
The PM said her government sent 963,0505 workers abroad and received $21.03 billion during the 2021-22 fiscal year as remittance which was five times higher than that of FY2005-06 during the rule of then BNP-Jamaat alliance government.
She underlined the importance of imparting proper training to people with priority on vocational, technical and science skills so they can cope with advanced technologies and fourth industrial revolution.
The premier asked the authorities concerned to focus on training bus and lorry drivers as there is huge demand for them abroad.
She stressed the need for working in unison by all ministries concerned regarding manpower export.
Hasina also recommended forming a committee with one representative from each of the ministries concerned to ease the work on manpower export.
The PM asked all concerned to make sure that expatriate Bangladeshis can easily send their earnings home through banking channels as many of them are now facing difficulties in doing so and are enticed into sending money through illegal channels.
She also suggested tasking an officer with overseeing the wellbeing of the expatriate workers.
The premier advised the young people not to fall for false promises of manpower brokers.
Those willing to go abroad, in many cases, have lost everything, including money collected from sale of ancestral homes and land, after being cheated by brokers, the PM added.
She asked all to go abroad for jobs by taking loans from the Probashi Kallyan Bank, saying that loans are being disbursed without any security.
The premier expressed optimism that more skilled manpower would be sent abroad after they are trained at the technical training centres.
Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment Minister Imran Ahmad also spoke at the programme, among others.