Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the government has rationally raised the fuel oil prices amid the price hike in the international market as a large amount of subsidy is provided to this sector.
“We provide Tk 23,000 crore subsidy to only diesel every year. We provide a total of Tk 53,000 crore as subsidy against diesel, electricity and related others. You just tell me how much money should be given as a subsidy,” she said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at a press conference at her Ganobhaban in the afternoon on the outcome of her recent two-week visit to the United Kingdoms and France.
Some journalists were also connected to the event virtually from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Hasina said fuel prices have gone up in the international market and there will be no more development in the country if the larger amount of the budget is given as a subsidy.
“If we procure diesel at a high rate and provide it at the cheapest rate by giving a larger amount of subsidy, how can we balance it? I’ve to consider the matters which are pragmatic,” she said, asking all to consider it.
The Prime Minister said she has given enough facilities to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia by allowing her to stay in her residence and receive medical treatment.
“She (Khaleda) has been allowed to stay in her residence and receive medical treatment by exercising the executive authority I have. The rest is a legal matter,” she said, replying to a question if she takes any initiative for the treatment of ailing Khaleda Zia.
“Isn’t it enough that Khaleda Zia was allowed to stay in her residence instead of jail and receive treatment there?” questioned the PM.
In a counter question, she asked the journalist whether he would receive a person with a garland who had tried to kill him and rewarded the killers of his family members by giving them jobs in different missions abroad and by not bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Hasina said Khaleda Zia made Colonel Rashid, a killer of Bangabandhu, the opposition leader in Parliament through the February 15 election in 1996, and she also gave an accused Khairuzzaman a job in the Foreign Ministry and sent him to foreign mission as an ambassador.
Khaleda Zia also promoted another killer of Bangabandhu, Pasha posthumously, who was in the army and ensured all retirement and other benefits for his family, she said.
After the August 21 grenade attack, Khaleda had remarked that she (Sheikh Hasina) carried the grenades in her vanity bag. The Awami League was not allowed to discuss the attack in Parliament, even for a single day, though 22 people were killed and many others injured, she said.
Before the Kotalipara bomb plantation, Khaleda Zia had commented that Sheikh Hasina can never be the opposition leader, let alone the Prime Minister. “She thought I would die,” said Hasina.
“Even then we are not inhumane (like them). This is why she has been allowed to stay in residence by applying my executive authority….. I showed humanity for such an inhumane person,” she said.