Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday (June 7, 2023) said that the World Bank has realised that they had brought false allegations against the government of Bangladesh regarding corruption in the Padma Bridge project.
“The World Bank has realised that they brought false allegations against us,” she said while responding to a tabled question from Jatiya Party MP elected from Dhaka Syed Abu Hossain.
With reference to her recent visit in the World Bank’s headquarters in Washington DC, Hasina said that during a discussion there, she once again expressed her resentment regarding the World Bank’s purposely bringing false allegations of corruption in the Padma Bridge construction project.
“ (In my speech) I firmly mentioned that I will never patronise any evil purpose, which will diminish the dignity of the people of Bangladesh,” she said.
In reply to a query of Awami League MP Kazim Uddin, the Prime Minister informed the House that the amount of foodgrains stocked in the country at present (as of May) in the country is 16.27 lakh tonnes.
“Of the total foodgrains, the amount of rice is 12.25 lakh tonnes, wheat is 3.96 lakh tonnes and paddy is 9,000 tonnes,” she said.
Hasina, also the Leader of the House, said in the current boro season, a total of 15.10 lakh tonnes of foodgrains including 4 lakh tonnes of rice and 12.50 lakh tonnes of rice have been set as a target to increase the food stock.
The domestic wheat procurement target has been set at 1 lakh tonnes for the financial year 2022-23.
The Prime Minister said that 6.34 lakh tonnes of rice and 6.80 lakh tonnes of wheat have been imported in the current financial year so far (as of 23 May, 2023) to ensure maximum food security in the country.
In response to a query from Awami League MP Ali Azam, Hasina said that ‘Geological Survey and Seismic Survey’ activities have been strengthened in new areas of the country.
While replying to a query of JP MP Mashiur Rahman Ranga, the Prime Minister said that Bangladesh will not get duty-free and quota-free benefits for exporting goods to India after 2026 as a result of its removal from the list of least developed countries.
“This may have a negative impact on the export of goods to India,” she added.
Taking this into consideration, initiatives have been taken to execute the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India, the premier said.
“It is still in the negotiation stage. If CEPA is signed, Bangladesh's exports to India are likely to increase by 190 percent. It is expected to increase the GDP by 1.72 percent,” she hoped.
In response to a query of AL MP Momtaz Begum, the premier said that currently there are 1.20 crore expatriates working in 174 countries of the world.