‘Five crore people will get government help’- Prime Minister

Senior Correspondent, Barta24.com, Dhaka
Photo: Collected

Photo: Collected

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the House on Saturday(April 18) said the government has taken both sort term and long term plans to combat corona pandemic in the country.

She said the government is increasing the number of ration cards to one crore from the existing 50 lakh to brining some five crore people under the facility of purchasing of rice at subsidized rate of Taka 10 per kg. Some 5 crore people with 4-5 members family will enjoy the facilty, she added.

The Prime Minister addressing the brief 7th session of the 11th Jatiyo Sangsad said that we have scarcity of food and won’t have either. But we should continue our agricultural production, she said adding that the government will provide farmers loans at 4 percent interest to continue production.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has taken plans and steps to keep the country’s economy moving and vibrant in the next three years so that the people of Bangladesh will never suffer in the case of worldwide famine triggered by coronavirus pandemic.

If we can harvest the paddy properly (this season), we won’t have any food problem, Hasina said, adding that now there is an opportunity for day-laborers to earn money from paddy harvesting.

The Prime Minister said the government will use the money of some development projects for the welfare of people.

Voicing displeasure as many people are not following the health guidelines and maintaining social distancing, the Prime Minister said, actually, the people of our country have become a bit brevier. We repeatedly requested all to stay in their present locations. Many do not want to follow that. I do not know why. We requested all to stay home. Many even travelled to Borguna from Narayanganj defying government instructions.

The Prime Minister urged all, particularly MPs and other elected representatives, to follow and help others follow the regular health guidelines to check the coronavirus spread.

The PM said she has directed the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry to engage its staff with its hotline for round the clock and provide food assistance immediately after a needy person seeks help through the hotline.

She said the government has so far distributed Taka 50 crore cash and 90,000 metric tons of food in 64 districts to ease the sufferings of the poor people.

Hasina said the government has announced incentives for cottage, small and heavy industries, RMG and farmers to keep the economy moving overcoming the pandemic fallout.

She stressed the need and made a clarion call to the people to stay at home to maintain social distancing for avoiding community transmission which is need of the hour. 

The session chaired by Speaker Dr. Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury lasted for one hour due to corona situation. It was prorogued after functioning for one hour.