Dhaka, Jan 13 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said it is the responsibility of her government to contain corruption for providing safeguard to all development programmes.
"Let corruption not be an obstacle to our path of development, let not corruption ruin all of our achievements. So, it’s our responsibility to contain corruption," she said.
The Prime Minister said this while holding a meeting with the officials of her office on the first day after taking oath as the Prime Minister for the third consecutive term while the fourth in total.
She, however, said it is not possible for any country in the world to contain corruption hundred percent. "If there’s work there might be some corruption," she said adding that the government is very much sincere to bring down the level of corruption.
The Prime Minister said the government had conducted an anti-terrorism drive while an anti-narcotic drive is going on. "The drives against terrorism, militancy and drug will continue," she said.
Praising the people of the country, including the public servants, for working for democracy, Hasina this would be an example for its practice.
"This attitude will be very important for the socioeconomic development of our country," she said.
Thanking the people of the country for voting Awami League to power again, Hasina invited all to work hard, as they did in its previous tenures, for the development of the country.
"This hard labour will be for the people of the country, you have to keep that in mind…the fruits of this hard labour will be consumed by the mass people of the country," she said.
The Prime Minister urged all to remain vigil so that the anti-liberation forces cannot be in power again. "Whoever comes to power must be the pro-liberation one. They must believe in the spirit of the Liberation. We’ll advance the country with the spirit of the independence."
Hasina asked the public servants to keep it in mind that Bangladesh must move forward with the pace the world does.
"We must stand on our own feet as the world is moving fast, new technologies are emerging and the technology use is increasing. All other countries are marching ahead, we also must move on," she said.
Hasina said her government in its last tenures took every step and plan for the country’s development. "We’ve chalked out the immediate and long-term plans, we’ve taken initiatives to implement those. We’ve proved that anything can be achieved if the proper plan is there," she said.
Talking about the 11th national election, Hasina, also the AL chief, said it was in her mind that it would be a tough job to return to power for the third consecutive term.
"It’s hard to draw people's support staying in power, sometimes it wanes but through our hard labour we can say that we have been able to gain people's trust and confidence," she said.
PM's Advisers HT Imam, Dr Mashiur Rahman and Major General (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddiq also spoke on the occasion.
At the beginning of the programme, PMO officials greeted Sheikh Hasina with bouquets for being elected as the Prime Minister for the fourth term.
Dhaka, Jan 13 (UNB) – The High Court on Sunday granted six months bail to Barrister Mainul Hosein in 15 defamation cases.
The HC bench of Justice Md Rezaul Haque and Justice Zafar Ahmed passed the order after hearing separate bail petitions.
Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain, counsel for Barrister Mainul, said some 23 cases—one under the Digital Security Act and 22 defamation cases--were filed against Barrister Mainul for defaming journalist Masuda Bhatti in a television talk-show.
The defamation cases were filed in Kishoreganj, Bhola, Rangpur, Kurigram, Cox’s Bazar, Magura, Narail, Chattogram, Jashore, Rajshahi, Netrakona, Jhenaidah, Rajbari and Brahmanbaria districts.
Mainul who was connected to a talk-show 'Ekattor Journal' through videoconferencing aired on Ekattor TV hosted by MithilaFarzana, made an 'offensive comment' against Masuda Bhatti on October 16.
During the talk-show, Masuda Bhatti asked Mainul, "You say that you're in the JatiyaOikyafront as a citizen of the country but in social networking sites, many people are saying that you are there as a representative of Jamaat."
Angered with the comment, Mainul said, "I'm thanking you for your audacity and I want to believe you as 'characterless'. There's no question about Jamaat link's with me and what question you have asked is embarrassing for me."
Dhaka, Jan 13 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday stressed the need for the participation the Armed Forces in overall development of the country.
"For the overall development of the country, we want the participation of the Armed Forces," she said while exchanging views with officials and employees of the Armed Forces Division held at Multipurpose Hall.
PM's press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the programme.
In the next five years, the Prime Minister mentioned, the aim of the government will be completing all the mega projects taken in the last two tenures.
She mentioned that the now the poverty level in the country is 21.8 and it has to be brought down by another five percent in the coming days. "We want to put the country at a place from where there’ll be no scope to step back."
The defence is very much important for a country she said adding that the foreign policy of Bangladesh is ‘Friendship to all and malice to none’. "We don’t want war, but we have to prepare ourselves so that we could protect the country if we are attacked."
Praising the role of Bangladeshi peacekeepers across the globe, she said the peacekeepers have to be provided with proper and time-befitting training before sending them abroad.
The Prime Minister expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the people of the country for giving Awami League another chance to serve the country.
She mentioned that the centre of development in the coming days will be the grassroots level of the country.
PM's Security Adviser Major General (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddiq, Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Nizamuddin Ahmad, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat and Principal Staff Officer (PSO) of the Armed Forces Division (AFD) Lt Gen Md Mahfuzur Rahman were, among others, present.
Dhaka, Jan 13 (UNB) -Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) on Sunday threatened to keep all the factories shut for an indefinite period if the agitating workers do not go back to work by Monday.
“The workers won’t get any wage,” said BGMEA President Siddiqur Rahman at an emergency press conference held at its office in the city.
Siddiqur Rahman said, “If you (workers) don't go back to work, we’ll be bound to close all the factories. And you won’t get any wage.”
He also said ‘no work, no pay' policy will be implemented from Monday as per Article 13/1 of the country’s Labour Act.
"Some vested quarters, both at home and abroad, have long been conspiring to destroy our apparel sector so that we can’t march forward in the world market,” he added.
Meanwhile, the BGMEA leader urged the government and law enforcement agencies to find out the culprits hatching the conspiracy.
“Just one hour is very important for us. The apparel sector is the lifeline of the country’s economy. So, we’re requesting the government to take necessary steps to bring the situation under control,” he added.
Meanwhile, another meeting is scheduled to be held at the Labour Ministry with members of the 20-member crisis management committee anytime soon.
The government is expected to announce a revised wage structure for apparel workers of grades 3, 4 and 5, in an effort to quell the labour unrest that has affected production in the country's largest forex-earning sector.
Workers have been demonstrating demanding cancellation of ‘discriminatory wage board’ announced by the government for them.
In September last year, the government raised the minimum monthly wage for RMG workers by around 51 percent to Tk 8,000 from Tk 5,300. The new wage took effect in December. But when workers drew their pay in January, they found a huge disparity, triggering the demonstrations.
The tripartite committee formed to resolve the labour unrest in the garment industry has found disparities in three grades of the workers' pay structure and has started working to minimise the wage gap that sparked off the protests five days ago.
Dhaka, Jan 13 (UNB) - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Bangladesh on Sunday signed agreements for $200 million in loans to improve the rural road network in Bangladesh.
Monowar Ahmed, Secretary, Economic Relations Division (ERD), and Manmohan Parkash, Country Director, ADB, signed the agreements on behalf of Bangladesh and ADB respectively at a ceremony in the city.
“The assistance supports the government’s priority of delivering urban services in rural areas by increasing connectivity, providing greater access to social services and markets, and promoting the agriculture sector, benefiting over 51.5 million people,” said Country Director Manmohan Parkash.
“It will also improve transport efficiency, generate 3.13 million person-days employment, introduce high-level technology to enhance road master planning, and create road safety awareness among rural population.”
The assistance will support the government’s Rural Connectivity Improvement Project (RCIP) to upgrade about 1,700 kilometers of rural roads to all-weather standards in 34 districts located in five divisions.
The total cost of the project, which is due for completion in November 2023, is $285.31 million.
ADB will provide a concessional loan of $100 million and a regular loan of $100 million. The government will provide the remaining $85.31 million.
The project will also improve the capacity of the rural infrastructure agency for rural road development; and enhance rural road master planning to enable the selection of priority rural roads for improvement using a geographic information system (GIS) covering the entire country.
The GIS technology will help identify agricultural value chains, road conditions, and mechanisms for allocating priorities, optimizing the use of available resources for effective rural road network planning and improvement.
The roads will be designed with safety features, including signage, guard posts, and speed breakers.
They will also adopt climate resilient designs incorporating features such as elevated paving, drainage, road foundations, and earthworks to significantly reduce maintenance.
The roads will be covered under contractual maintenance for 5 years after the date of construction on a pilot basis. Selection of roads takes into consideration factors such as population size, agricultural potential, the number of farms and commercial establishments, and economic potential.
The project also prioritizes repair of roads damaged by flashfloods in 2017.
The project will provide training to the Local Government Engineering Department on road and financial management, road safety, climate resilient design and construction, improving road users’ awareness, and enhancing women’s skills on road construction and maintenance.
An ADB technical assistance grant of $1 million will support these activities.
Over 2,400 women were consulted in the project area during project design and they appreciated that it will give them more access to economic opportunities and services.
Only about 40% of the rural population in Bangladesh has access to all-weather roads, and these roads make up only 28% of the total length of rural roads in the country, according to ADB.
Guided by the Seventh Five Year Plan, the government has embarked on an effort to improve the country’s rural road network, aiming to increase the percentage of rural roads classified as good