Staff Correspondent: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the government will be able to implement the 2021-22 fiscal year budget based on the lives and livelihoods of the people despite the coronavirus hurdles and thus the country will precede one step ahead towards prosperity.
“The finance minister has placed the FY 2021-22 budget giving priority to the lives and livelihoods of the people. I believe we will be able to implement the budget and thus Bangladesh will go one step forward (towards prosperity and development),” she said, taking part in the general discussion on the budget as the Leader of the House in the 13th session (Budget Session) of the 11th Parliament.
The Prime Minister also said the budget has given priority to maintaining the socio-economic advancement of the masses though the world economy has been stalled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In her budget speech, she vowed to give whatever money is required to purchase vaccines to bring 80 percent of the population under the inoculation.
Referring to the upward trend of various economic indexes, the Prime Minister said the economy of Bangladesh is now on the way to complete recovery due to measures taken by the government under 23 stimulus packages though the effect of the Covid-19 second wave still persists.
Sheikh Hasina pledged to stand by the people, saying that if required her government would take prompt measures to keep moving the lives and livelihoods of the people and ensure the country’s economic recovery. She added: “I, through you (members of parliament), would like to assure the countrymen that the government is always beside the people amid the crisis (of coronavirus) and will remain beside them.”
The Prime Minister said the government would make its way towards building a “Sonar Bangla,” free from poverty and hunger, as dreamt by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, while implementation of over Tk 6,03,681 crore budget would be part of that endeavor.
The premier expressed her firm determination that Bangladesh would once again join the journey towards development by offsetting the economic impact of the global pandemic.
Taking a swipe at the critics of the budget and the government, the Prime Minister said many people are making criticisms, adding that she is in doubt whether they (critics) could realize the global situation arising out of the Covid-19.
Stating that that this is the 22nd budget of the Awami League government and third one of the present government, Sheikh Hasina said: “In the budget, priority has been given to facing the second wave of the pandemic alongside giving protection to lives and livelihoods of the people and successfully tackling the impact (of the Covid-19) on the economy.”
She added that in case of giving allocation in the budget, health sector, expansion of the stimulus packages and their implementation to face the impact of the coronavirus on economy, food security, agriculture, education and overall human resources development, have been given priority.
The Prime Minister also said that priority has also been given to build houses for the landless and homeless people and to distribute foods free of cost or at low price to the lower-income group people.
She said that through executing the budget, the government will try to implement the Eighth Five-Year Plan alongside the targets of the second perspective plan 2021-2041 and Delta Plan-2100.
With implementation of the Eighth Five-Year Plan through the budget, the base of the Vision 2041 will get its foundation, she said.
The premier said the main base of implementing the plan is to quicken the local and foreign investments in the country particularly in the 100 economic zones which are being set up across the country.
She said that her government has been working to improve the atmosphere of the investment to attract more investments.
Besides, the premier said that special importance was given to increase public investment and to increase the size of the Annual Development Programme (ADP).
Sheikh Hasina said that the recent increase in foreign exchange earnings and revenue collection, tolerable rate of inflation and high reserve of foreign currency have indicated that the country’s overall macro economy and the development are moving successfully due to the measures taken by the government to offset the Covid-19 pandemic.
In this connection, the prime minister said they have taken required measures in order to maintain stability in the macro economy and low inflation rate.
The premier said her government has taken multifaceted measures to overcome the crisis arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic since its breakout alongside formulating an overall work plan to offset the adverse impact on the country’s economy.
“We have implemented some of the works quickly, and are taking some short-and-long-term initiatives to overcome the hurdles following the coronavirus pandemic,” she said.
She continued that the work plan has four main strategic aspects that included increase of government expenditure, formulation of packages on financial assistance, expansion of the areas of social safety net programmes and finally increase of supply of money in the market.
The Prime Minister said the government has already announced 23 stimulus packages of Tk 1,28,0441 in a planned way aimed at reaching its benefit to the masses.
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