DHAKA, June 16, 2022 (BSS) –
DHAKA, June 16, 2022 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today reiterated that her government is working to ensure people’s overall development, saying southern region of the country wouldn’t remain neglected anymore as the much-awaited Padma Bridge is set to open on June 25.
“The people of the southern region or on the Padma River bank were always neglected. Poverty is part of our lives. By the grace of Allah, that situation will not exist anymore as we completed the Padma Bridge facing huge challenge,” she said.
She made the remarks while inaugurating the Palli Janopad, Rangpur and the Bangabandhu Poverty Alleviation and Rural Development Academy (BAPARD), Kotalipara, Gopalganj schemes.
The Ministry for Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives organised the function at Palli Janopad, Rangpur and BAPARD, Kotalipara in Gopalganj as the premier joined it virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence here.
Sheikh Hasina said, “The people of the southern region will not be neglected further as an area is being developed with a better communication system.”
She mentioned that the Padma Bridge would contribute to boosting the national economy particularly the southern belt and said she wanted an improved life for the people of the southern region.
The prime minister said, “We are working for the overall development of the people of Bangladesh. We have got recognition of a developing nation and have to go further. Not a single person in the country will remain homeless and hungry.”
She however requested all not to engage in any unhealthy car race competition on the Padma Bridge upon its inauguration.
Sheikh Hasina, the architect of the Padma Bridge, said she wanted to make a grand celebration in every district of the country instead of on the bank of the Padma River marking the opening of the Padma Bridge.
“I want the celebration of the opening of Padma Bridge to take place in every district because the construction of the bridge was a huge challenge for us,” she stated.
Three Palli Janopad schemes are being materialised in Rangpur, Rajshahi and Dhaka divisions at a cost of Taka 247 crore. Of those, work on the Palli Janopad Rangpur project had already been completed.
A total of 272 beneficiaries have got flats having all the modern facilities under the Palli Janopad, Rangpur scheme at lower price on the basis of cooperative society by paying 30 percent of the total cost while the rest of the amount will be given in next 15 years.
Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Md. Tazul Islam spoke as the special guest while its State Minister Swapan Bhattacharjee chaired the function.
Secretary of Rural Development and Cooperative Division Md. Mashiur Rahman gave the address of welcome.
The prime minister reiterated that the people of the southern region will have no more problem due to Padma Bridge as they will be able to lead a more improved life for the development of their socio-economic condition.
She said the World Bank had stopped funding to the Padma Bridge construction bringing corruption allegations and filed cases with Canadian court due to instigation of the Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus and his friend Hilary Clinton.
The Canadian court later passed an order describing the allegations as false, baseless and fabricated.
The prime minister said Yunus who got most benefit from the Awami League government had betrayed with the country for the lust of a post of managing director of the Grameen Bank flouting the country’s existing laws.
She added that Yunus remained as the MD of the bank till his 70 years of old although law has a provision as of 60 years.
She said she had given the Grameen Bank Tk 400 crore in three phases to revive it from ruining in 1997-98 despite the country was facing difficulties due to various adversities that included the 1998 flood.
Mentioning that there are 52 or 53 banks in the country and all of the banks have managing directors (MDs), she questioned: “How many MDs of these banks have given lakhs dollars as donation and made frequent visits to foreign countries like Yunus.”
The prime minister thanked the countrymen for spontaneous support when she announced to build the Padma Bridge with own finances, saying many had thought that the construction of the bridge would not be possible on the one of the world’s mightiest rivers having second strongest current in the globe.
But, the construction of the Padma Bridge was completed and is set to open on June 25, she stated.
After inaugurating BAPARD, Kotalipara in Gopalganj, one of the southern districts, she said the Padma Bridge would help the organisation gear up its activities relating to poverty alleviation, research and employment generation.
The prime minister said the Palli Janopad scheme alongside the BAPARD which had been formed based upon the cooperatives, were the brainchild of her which ideas she had got from the “Mandatory Village Cooperative” policy of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Bangabandhu had a plan to provide the people a developed and improved life by generating employment alongside arranging their accommodation under the village cooperative idea, she said.
Sheikh Hasina said she had the draft of the mandatory village cooperative, adding that Bangabandhu thought to bring all the country’s arable lands under cultivation through cooperative, maintaining the ownership of the lands after the name of the real owners.
In accordance with the draft, she said that the lands will be cultivated under the cooperative and the produced food grains will be divided into three portions—one will get the land owner, one for labourer and one for the government or the cooperative.
Bangabandhu wanted to make the agriculture mechanised under the cooperative as he used to say that the Ail (boundary) of arable land had increased due to division of the families, she said.
Bangabandhu also used to say that if the Ail of the land could be merged, it (land area) would be larger than greater Faridpur district.
The Father of the Nation had dedicated his entire life for the welfare of the nation and the countrymen as he dreamt of giving the people a beautiful and improved life turning Bangladesh into a poverty and hunger free country, Sheikh Hasina said.
Keeping that in mind, Bangabandhu had taken a programme which he declared as the second revolution whose main target was economic freedom, she said.
The premier said Bangabandhu turned all the mahakumas into districts and appointed district governors to oversee the development activities while the central government will give them all required support and thus power will be decentralised to grassroots people.
“A huge change might have been made through it and Bangladesh might have been a developed country within 10 years of its independence,” she said.
But, he couldn’t do so, as Bangabandhu along with most of his family members were killed on August 15, 1975 through which the people of the country were deprived to change their fate, she stated.
Sheikh Hasina said her government is working to change the fate of the country’s people since assuming office in 1996 after 21 years following the footsteps of Bangabandhu.
The premier said her government had taken Ashrayan-1 project following the Gucchagram scheme in the char area of now Lakhshmipur district (erstwhile Noakhali district) and is now implementing Ashrayan-2 project aimed at bringing all the people under housing scheme free of cost.
In line with Bangabandhu’s idea of building small and medium enterprises across the country, she said her government is setting up 100 special economic zones across the country for building industries in a planned way and to protect the arable land.
She added: “No industry will get power and gas connection if those are built indiscriminately destroying the arable land.”
The prime minister said her government has built community clinics to reach healthcare services to the doorsteps of the people from the ideas of Bangabandhu.
She said her government is working tirelessly to ensure five basic rights for the countrymen as per constitution as the Father of the Nation wanted to ensue those.
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