No industry on farmland, forest: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Star File Photo

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said her government will not allow anyone to set up industries indiscriminately destroying farmlands and forests.

“Indiscriminate setting up of industries destroying our cultivable lands and forests won’t be allowed anymore. Industries could be set up on 100 especial economic zones (SEZs) being established across the country by the government,” she said.

The prime minister came up with the remarks while addressing a discussion meeting marking the 44th founding anniversary of Bangladesh Krishak League.

Sheikh Hasina said the country will surely go for industrialisation, but not at the cost of agriculture. "The way arable lands are being destroyed then where the raw materials for the industries will come from, what the industries will produce!" she questioned.

The prime minister went on saying, "Some people purchase lands indiscriminately and set up industries. And this is how farmlands and forests are getting affected seriously. To prevent this, we’ve decided to set up these SEZs."

Sheikh Hasina, also the chief of the ruling Awami League, said if anyone wants to set up an industry he or she must go to these SEZs.

"We’ll provide all sorts of facilities there, but we won’t allow setting up of industries here and there, and then start crying for power and gas supplies," she said.

Reiterating that her government wants to build the country in a planned manner, the prime minister said, “We want people to come up and invest in the SEZs."

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury, AL General Secretary and Public Administration Minister Syed Ashraful Islam, AL Joint Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif and among others spoke at the programme held at Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh (KIB) with Krishak League President Alhaj Mohammad Motahar Hossain Mollah in the chair.