Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today told the parliament that the government is facing blame for corruption despite the fact that it is working to curb corruption and nab those behind irregularities.
"Since coming to power, Awami League government has been taking action against those who are engaged in corruption and irregularities irrespective of their political affiliation," the prime minister said.
And yet, the government faces the blame over corruption, she said.
"We detected corruption and caught the corrupt people. And yet, while we are the ones catching the thieves, we are being labelled the same," she said expressing dismay.
The premier also said that the government will not tolerate any corruption and irregularities and will continue to take action against the corrupt persons irrespective of their identities.
The prime minister said these in her valedictory speech at the Jatiya Sangsad today during the 8th session of 11th parliament when her attention was drawn to corruption and irregularities in various sectors, particularly in health and finance, by some opposition lawmakers, including Deputy Leader of the Opposition GM Quader.
"Certainly, we will not tolerate those irregularities. We are taking actions no matter who the person is, and our actions will continue," PM Hasina said.
The sitting of the 8th session, which was also a budget session of the 11th parliament for the fiscal year (FY) 2020-21, started at 11:00am today with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair and was prorogued in the afternoon.
In her around one-hour long speech, the PM said that the military dictators polluted the society by destroying the character of the people as they grabbed power after 1975.
"Military dictators taught the people, from top to bottom, how to be corrupt, earn black money and be loan defaulters, in a bid to prolong the power they had grabbed illegally," she said.
Sheikh Hasina also said that the people in the past used to lead their life maintaining ideology and policy, but the military dictators destroyed people's character and gave an institutional shape to corruption.
"But after coming to power, Awami League government has been making an effort to correct these (irregularities) and this effort will continue," Hasina said amid thumping of desks by the treasury bench lawmakers.
The premier also said that her government has passed the national budget of Tk 5,68,000 crore so that Bangladesh can cope with the pace of the world's progress once stability is back after the Covid-19 pandemic, reports BSS.
"We know there is a question whether we can implement the budget fully because of this coronavirus pandemic…. If the situation turns normal (soon), we'll be able to do so. If this instability (arising out of Covid-19) continues across the world, we may not achieve our target, but we placed it so that our economic activities continue," she said.
The premier greeted all concerned relating to the formulation of the budget, saying that her government has been able to place the budget when many developed countries could not do so as the Covid-19 pandemic has been rattling the world.
Sheikh Hasina also said her government will increase the humanitarian assistances alongside expanding the coverage of the social safety net programmes as many people lost their work amid the pandemic.
The premier said she would not bother whether the government expenditure would go up due to taking the humanitarian measures to minimise the plight of people.
In this context, she said that the government has announced 19 stimulus packages so that everyone can continue running his or her economic activities.
The premier also said that her government has taken the decision of closing down the state-run jute mills across the country with paying all the dues of 25,000 workers as the government is set to restart those after incorporating time-befitting and technology-enriched measures to the mills to meet the demand of the international markets.
She added that the jute mills are age-old as those were established in the 1950s and 60s and hence those were not profitable, incurring losses to the public exchequer year after year while the government had to pay salaries of the regular and irregular workers.
Now the government would pay all the dues (including retirement benefit) of the workers – 50 percent in cash and 50 percent in saving certificates – so that they could get an amount every three months which will help them run their families properly, she said.
She mentioned that it would require Tk 5,000 crore to pay all the dues of the workers.
Of the workers, the interested ones would be given proper training and they would get priority in jobs once the jute mills will be restarted as those would require efficient workers, the premier added.