Road Transport and Bridges Minister and Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has said that Bangladesh Chhatra League’s (BCL) central council has been moved to December 8 from December 6 as per Prime Minister and party president Sheikh Hasina’s instruction – to ensure that BNP can hold their Dhaka rally on December 10 without any difficulty. Obaidul Quader said this while addressing Pirojpur Awami League’s tri-annual conference today, joining virtually from his Dhaka residence. “The government will not obstruct BNP’s December 10 rally in Dhaka, but if they try to play with fire and sticks, they will get a befitting reply,” Quader said. Read more: No permission given to BNP yet to hold rally at Nayapaltan: Home Minister The minister and AL leader said that a Canadian federal court declared BNP as a “terrorist organisation”, as their politics is about arson attacks in the name of protests. “It is not so easy to turn a man – who fled to London after signing a bond with the condition that he will not be involved in politics – into a leader,” Quader said. Regarding BNP’s demand for a caretaker government, the AL general secretary questioned BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul: “Which country of the world has a caretaker government? It was your leader who said that no one is neutral except children and those who are mad.” Read more: Amid relative ease, BNP’s 8th divisional rally begins in Cumilla He said the caretaker government is now “obsolete”. Quader also said all the hype about a “human sea” went silent after BNP’s Cumilla rally and they will see what’s what in the capital during the Dhaka rally of BNP.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday assured the people that there won’t be any crisis of consumer goods in the country. “There will be no problem regarding consumer goods. We’ve started importing (goods) from Ukraine and Russia as well,” she said. The premier was addressing the 5th National Conference of Swadhinata Chikitsak Parishad (Swachip), a pro-Awami League professional body of physicians, in the city’s historic Suhrawardy Udyan. She said though there is a problem over payment with dollars due to sanctions (on Russia), the government is taking steps for an alternative (payment) system. Read: Bangladesh has changed a lot under Awami League govt: PM Hasina Hasina said Bangladesh still has enough reserves to meet up the import expenditures for five months. “Still we’ve the reserves to meet the import expenditures of five months, not three months,” she said. Coming down heavily on the critics of the government on the reserves issue, she said now all have become experts on the reserve and economy. She said the reserves increased to some US$ 48 billion during the Covid-19 restrictions, which was only above US$ 5 billion in 2009. She said it had to spend huge money from the reserves to procure Covid-19 vaccines, testing kits and other related materials to fight the pandemic. Now the government needs to import edible oil, wheat and other consumer goods at high prices following the war and economic sanctions, she added. The PM said they’ve been taking proper steps to ensure consumer goods and stood beside the people. “The reserves have declined not only in our country but also in many countries of the world,” she said. Read: Keep wheels of economy running amid global crisis: PM urges industrialists Hasina said now a rumour is being spread that there is no money in banks and the clients would not get back their deposits. She said many people keep money in houses withdrawing it from the banks due to this rumour. “To keep money in the houses creates scope for thieves, doesn’t it?....Now it's upto the money owners whether they would keep it in the banks or give it to the hands of the thieves,” she added. The premier reiterated her call to the people not to leave even an inch of land uncultivated to ensure Bangladesh won’t need to import food items at higher price amid the global crisis. She said all should grow crops and vegetables in whatever lands they have. “We’ll not only fulfill our local demand, we’ll also have to help many countries with food items,” she added. No peaceful transfer of power except 2001: PM The PM said the AL government handed over power in a very peaceful manner in 2001, which is the only instance of peaceful change in power in the history of Bangladesh. She said that illegal takeover of power started in the country after the assassination of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975. “Then, there was no change in power through peaceful manner in Bangladesh except in 2001,” she said. Hasina said Khaleda Zia had to step down on March 30, 1996 in face of the movement. “Then AL came into power through the election and we handed over the power peacefully in 2001. There is only one instance of peaceful transfer of power in the history of Bangladesh, which is only when AL was in power, she added. “We always want political stability and the continuation of democracy,” she said. The PM said AL formed the government, winning the 2008 election. “We’re in power for three consecutive terms. We can at least claim that Bangladesh has turned around and got the dignity of a developing country and it has been socio-economic uplift of the people of our country in the last 14 years,” she said. Focusing on her government’s success and steps over the country’s health sector, Hasina said her government took huge programmes for the healthcare development. She said AL government established the first medical university-BSMMU- during its 1996-2001 term. But the pro-BNP physicians obstructed the move at that time. Noting that her government set up a medical university also in Chattogram, Rajshahi and Sylhet, she said they’re establishing a medical university in every division in phases and medical colleges in every district. She also highlighted the introduction of digital health services including telemedicine services and health call centre, lactating maternity allowance, setting up community clinics, increasing the beds and manpower of the government hospitals including physicians, nurses and health workers. She said Bangladesh has attained massive development in terms of nutrition during her government. “Our health policy is a pro-people one. As a result, the maternal and child mortality rates have declined. Our successes in the health sector are now internationally recognised,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said her government took steps to ensure the healthcare services for the people from all tiers of the society. The PM unveiled the name plaque of the permanent central office of Swachip through a virtual platform. AL general secretary Obaidul Qauder, Swachip President Dr M Iqbal Arslan and its general secretary MA Aziz also spoke at the function. The last Swachip national conference was held in November 2015.
Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen has said Japan is ready to receive a Bangladesh delegation led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to further deepen the relations between the two countries. "Bangladesh-Japan relations are very deep. It will further be deepened through the visit," he told reporters on Wednesday evening. Momen said Japan is keen to elevate the comprehensive relations to a strategic one. "We like each other." Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to leave for Tokyo on November 29. In a severe blow to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Japan's three cabinet members will leave in less than a month. Read more: Dhaka to work closely with Tokyo to take relations to a new height: FM Responding to a question on Japanese Ambassador Ito Naoki's recent polls-related comments, Momen said certainly someone briefed him this way as he said he heard this. He (ambassador) said this in a simple and plain way, Momen said. "He is a good friend of Bangladesh." Read more: Dhaka, Tokyo to elevate bilateral ties to ‘strategic partnership’
Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz has accepted the invitation to visit Bangladesh at a convenient time in 2023. This would be a landmark event in the history of bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia leading to the consolidation of ties, especially in trade and commerce, investment and economic cooperation. Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Essa Yussef Essa Al Duhailan revealed this while paying a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Ganabhaban on Saturday. PM’s Deputy Press Secretary Hasan Jahid Tusher briefed reporters after the meeting. In the meeting, the Saudi envoy handed over an acceptance letter from the Crown Prince to the Prime Minister as the Saudi Prince has given consent to the proposed visit in response to the invitation made by the Bangladesh Prime Minister on August 30. The envoy stated that it would be the first ever visit of any Saudi Crown Prince to Bangladesh after 1985 when the then Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz visited Dhaka. “So, this visit will be very significant for both the countries and the date and schedule of the visit will be fixed through diplomatic channels,” Essa Yussef was quoted as saying. Now the foreign ministries of both the countries will fix details of the visit. A good number of bilateral instruments -- MoUs and agreements—will be signed during the visit of the Saudi Crown Prince, which would strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries significantly, the envoy hoped. Describing the bilateral relations between Bangladesh and Saudi Arabia as special, Sheikh Hasina said this bilateral engagement would be further strengthened and expanded to new areas of collaboration with the visit of the Saudi Crown Prince. Read more: PM leaves Jeddah for home In reply, the Saudi envoy said Saudi Arabia enjoys a special place in the hearts of Bangladeshi people. “Our relations are growing from higher to higher over time,” he said. The Prime Minister called for more Saudi investment in different sectors of Bangladesh, including establishing an oil refinery in Bangladesh, investment in agro-processing and food-processing and halal food industries. She said Bangladesh is ready to allocate special land in Bangladesh for Saudi entrepreneurs, especially in Mirsarai special economic zone, and also an exclusive economic zone in the country’s southern region. Hasina also said that the purchasing power of Bangladeshi people has gone up. If Saudi Arabia makes investments here, it will get a good return, she said, assuring that Saudi investment will receive all-out support from the Bangladesh government. In response, the Saudi Ambassador appreciated the gesture from the PM, saying that he would suitably brief the relevant authorities in Saudi Arabia. He further told the meeting that there are indeed some Saudi investment initiatives going on in Bangladesh. He said several Saudi brands including Saudi fast-food service company ‘Herfy’ are doing very good business in Bangladesh. “We’re working hard to make an effective collaboration between the two Muslim brotherly countries,” he was quoted as saying. Read more: Saudi Arabia assures assistance in commercial supply of LNG to Bangladesh The diplomat said the Saudi investors are very interested to participate in the mega projects of Bangladesh. He said that last month the Saudi Prince allocated more than $10 billion fund for implementation of mega projects in five countries. Bangladesh could be one such country to benefit from Saudi investment if such funds come for its mega projects. “This is a huge area of cooperation unexplored,” he added. In response, the PM appreciated the increasing interest from Saudi Arabia to invest in the mega projects in Bangladesh. Hasina said Bangladesh has been maintaining friendly-relations with all the Muslim countries including Saudi Arabia for the greater welfare of the Muslim Ummah as well as the people of Bangladesh. The Saudi diplomat lauded the leadership of Hasina, particularly for giving shelter to 1.1 million displaced Rohingya people despite having many limitations. “It is so generous (gesture)” he said. He assured that Saudi Arabia supports the stance of Bangladesh over the Rohingya issue in the international forums. The PM said Bangladesh is facing various problems caused by the long stay of Rohingya. “It is a big burden for Bangladesh,” she was quoted. The Prime Minister then floated the idea of setting up fertilizer factories in Saudi Arabia as joint ventures between Bangladeshi and Saudi investors. In response, the Saudi envoy said, “We need to work on the proposal.” During the meeting, the Prime Minister made the proposal to allow Bangladesh to purchase oil, both crude and refined, with a deferred payment schedule. “If Saudi Arabia considers the proposal, it would be better for us to meet the demand of the growing industries. We need some support,” she was quoted. Read more: Bangladesh reiterates fraternity with Saudi Arabia Hasina asked the Saudi envoy to convey her sincere thanks and greetings to the King of Saudi Arabia and the Custodian of the two Holy Mosques Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. PM’s Ambassador-at-Large Mohammad Ziauddin and PM’s Principal Secretary Ahmad Kaikaus were present.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said the people will not suffer much from electricity supply crisis from next month. “Due to the war in Ukraine, it is difficult to buy fuel and bring gas. Attention is being drawn to saving energy not only in our country, but also everywhere --England, America and Germany. They’re struggling (to ensure power supply). So, we also had to suffer for some days. Inshallah, perhaps there would be no such sufferings from next month,” she said. Hasina, also the President of Bangladesh Awami League, said this while chairing a meeting of her party's advisory council at her official residence Ganabhaban. The PM called upon everyone to exercise austerity in using fuel and water. “You’ll have to be frugal. Because, the whole world faces economic recession. We’re not free from its impacts,” she said. She reiterated her call to increase food production and not leave even a single inch of land uncultivated as the global economic situation is very bad. “The situation is terrible,” she said. Read: Grow more food, keep enough stock to avert any crisis: PM Hasina “If we can increase our own production, we will never face the heat of famine in Bangladesh,” she added. Talking about providing food to the poor at subsidised prices, she said, "We are buying all the things at high prices, but providing these to the people at lower prices so that none suffers from lack of foods." Mentioning that Awami League works for the welfare of people, Hasina said “Our work is for the welfare of all people….We didn’t come here to make our own fortune, rather we are building the destiny of the people of Bangladesh.” No real democracy before AL comes to power: Hasina said the people didn’t enjoy the true democracy and democratic rights in the country before Awami League came to power. “The people of this country didn’t have real democracy or democratic rights before Awami League came to power. Since AL assumed the government, we started the democratic process,” she said. "The transparency and accountability were ensured in the election, which came as outcomes of our (AL) movement and struggle," she added. The PM said all political parties are getting chance to do politics during the AL regime. “We’ve ensured such scopes,” she said criticising BNP for unleashing electoral irregularities and misrules during its past regimes. She said now Bangladesh is recognised as a role model for development all over the world although some people of the country don’t see any development. Read: Expedite implementation of Kuwait’s proposed petroleum refinery in Bangladesh: PM “They don't like anything. They won’t like this democratic government as well. If any undemocratic thing took place (undemocratic government comes in power), their value goes up,” she added. She said Bangladesh is moving forward and has attained the dignity again in the world because democratic trend continues since the 2008 election.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday will inaugurate and lay the foundation stone of 50 industries and infrastructures. She will formally inaugurate the Karnaphuli Drydock Special Economic Zone, connecting virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban. Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority (BEZA) will hold the programme on the occasion of the golden jubilee of country’s independence. BEZA Executive Chairman Sheikh Yusuf Haroon will deliver the welcome speech, according to a press release from Karnaphuli Drydock Special Economic Zone. A video documentary on the activities of the Bangladesh Economic Zone Authority will be screened at the programme. Read: PM invites Singapore investors to special economic zones, emphasises agro-processing Karnaphuli Drydock Special Economic Zone is in Badalpura and Shah Mirpur mauza, at the south of Karnaphuli river. It was established in March last year by one of the largest companies of the country, Karnaphuli Ship Builders Ltd., taking land from BEZA. The World Bank has provided a soft loan of Tk 800 crore for the drydock construction cost. This drydock is 285 meters long and 56 meters wide with a draft of 14 metres. It is possible to build and repair ships weighing 100,000 tons at the dock. Construction of another drydock at a cost of Tk 1200 crore is also in progress now. Construction of two jetties under Karnaphuli Drydock Special Economic Zone at Anwara on the south bank of Karnaphuli river has already been completed. Import cargo ships have started arriving at the jetty and loading-unloading activities are going on regularly. This is playing a helpful role in reducing congestion and productivity of cargo ships of Chittagong port. Foreign currency is being saved due to reduction in wait time of ships, especially at outer anchorage. Under the said economic zone, 20.98 acres of land will be taken lease by BEZA for the construction of two more jetties and container terminals, and two more jetties will be constructed on Karnaphuli Ship Builders' own land. The project inauguration and foundation stone laying will be held simultaneously from a total of 8 venues. Read: Expedite implementation of Kuwait’s proposed petroleum refinery in Bangladesh: PM The venues are: Ganabhaban, Dhaka; Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar in Mirsrai, Chattogram; Srihatta Economic Zone in MoulviBazar; Karnaphuli Drydock SEZ in Anwara, Chattogram; Meghna Industrial Economic Zone in Sonargaon, Narayanganj; Jamalpur Economic Zone in Jamalpur Sadar; Sabrang Tourism Park in Cox's Bazar; and Hossaindi Economic Zone in Gazaria, Munshiganj. The event will conclude with an exchange of views with investors of the last economic zone. Karnaphuli Ship Builders Ltd. has already built 1200 ships and boats, repaired about 800 ships and built 50 dredgers and handed them over to the government.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday urged all to resist the force that misinterprets Islam. “Islam is a religion of peace. Let’s all eradicate darkness, conflicts, illiteracy, differences, clashes, terrorism, superstitions, militancy from the society as well as resist the force that misinterpret of Islam by bearing the essences of Islam, bearing the essences of Islam in our hearts,” she said. The premier was inaugurating the first-ever national level conference and fair on Hajj and Umrah Management in the capital, through a virtual platform from her official residence Ganabhaban. Hajj Agencies Association of Bangladesh (HAAB) in collaboration with the Religion Affairs Ministry organised the event at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre here. The objectives of the event include providing the pilgrims with proper hajj-related information, making them aware about current technology-based hajj management, enabling them directly contact with Hajj agencies and reducing the influence of middlemen and scammers. The three-day fair remains open to pilgrims from 10am to 8pm every day. Read: PM opens Hajj conference and fair Hasina said Islam is the best religion in the world. But this holy religion faces criticisms due to a few militants. “We’ve adopted zero tolerance policy towards militancy to uphold the peaceful glory of holy Islam by keeping the country free from militancy,” she said. World-class improvement in Hajj management: Focusing on her government’s success to improve hajj management, the PM said she had brought many improvements during her first regime from 1996-2001. The hajj management got worse again when Awami League was out of power for eight years after 2001. “But now we’ve been able to bring world-class improvements in the hajj management since we’ve been in power for a long time since 2009 by the grace of Allah,” she said. Hasina said e-hajj management is being run in every part including pre-registration and registration of pilgrims, creation of e-health profile, e-ticketing, transport of pilgrims, housing management in Makkah and Medina, and healthcare. She said her government set up a separate hajj office in Jeddah in 2009 and appointed a counselor (hajj) and a consultant general (hajj) there. “Every service including visa, passport, housing, medical facilities, travel to Saudi Arabia and return from the hajj were made easier for the hajj pilgrims,” said adding that her government dedicates three airlines including Biman Bangladesh for hajj pilgrims. She said now the immigration process of hajj pilgrims would be completed in Dhaka thanks to her government’s step. Now Bangladeshi pilgrims would not need to spend time on the immigration process in Jeddah, she added. The PM said she had taken the measures on her experiences as she found many irregularities in hajj management (for Bangladeshi pilgrims) since she first performed the hajj in 1985 at the invitation of the king of Saudi Arabia. “I saw such a messy situation with my own eyes. So, when I formed the government, my efforts were there to remove the problems of pilgrims,” she said. Tough punishment for harassment of hajj pilgrims: The PM said if any agency cheats or harasses pilgrims, tough administrative measures are being taken against the offender. “Those who will harass the guests of Allah’s House in the coming days face severe punishment. It’ll have to be remembered,” she said. The PM said her government made the 'Hajj and Umrah Management Act, 2021 and Hajj and Umrah Management Rules, 2022. As a result, complaints of mismanagement, irregularities and misconduct in hajj management have been remedied, she added. The PM asked the Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims to know and abide by all local rules and laws in Saudi Arabia in order to uphold the appreciation Bangladesh received from Saudi Arabia in case of hajj management. In the conference, two seminars will be held on 'Hajj and Umrah Management: Achievements and Actions needed' and 'e-Hajj Management and Route to Mecca Initiatives.' Read: Age limit for Hajj pilgrims may be lifted from next year: State Minister Different Hajj agencies, financial organisations and the relevant authorities have installed some 150 stalls and pavilions in the three-day Hajj and Umrah Fair. Bangladesh is the 4th largest pilgrim-sending country in the world. In 2022, the Holy Hajj was held with one million pilgrims from all over the world. Of them, 57,885 pilgrims were from Bangladesh. More than 90 percent of Bangladeshi hajj pilgrims and 100 percent umrah pilgrims go to Saudi Arabia under private management. State Minister for Religious Affairs Md. Faridul Haque Khan, State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism M Mahbub Ali, Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Essa Yussef Essa Al Dulaihan, Religious Affairs Secretary Kazi Enamul Hassan and HAAB president Shahadat Hossain Taslim spoke at the inaugural ceremony. Read: Hajj cost goes up by Tk 59,000
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked to expedite implementation of Kuwait’s proposal to set up a petroleum refinery in Bangladesh. She said this while Kuwait Ambassador to Bangladesh Faisal Mutlaq Aladwani called on her at her official residence Ganabhaban. PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting. Last year, Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah expressed his country’s interest to build a petroleum refinery in Bangladesh and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina agreed to provide them land for that purpose. PM Hasina also asked to hold a meeting of the concerned joint commission as soon as possible. She said that Bangladesh and Kuwait have special relations. The relationship was initiated by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman soon after independence, she added. Also read: PM seeks Saudi fuel with deferred payment schedule The PM appreciated Kuwait’s support to Bangladesh’s development programme. She particularly recalled Kuwait’s contribution to Bangladesh’s forex reserves in 1996 when Awami League came to power after election, and the assistance was repaid later. The prime minister said that Bangladeshis working in Kuwait are contributing to the economies of both Kuwait and Bangladesh. She conveyed her regards to the Amir of Kuwait. Also read: Momen seeks Kuwaiti, Iranian support on Rohingya issue Aside from discussing the petroleum refinery, the Kuwaiti ambassador said that his country will assist Bangladesh in development projects. Ambassador at Large M Ziauddin and senior secretary of PMO Md. Tofazzel Hossain Miah were present at the meeting.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday reiterated her directives to relevant authorities to redouble their efforts to raise food production and maintain a stock of sufficient foods amid looming global crisis in 2023. She made the call while presiding over the weekly Cabinet meeting at her office, according to a media briefing by Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam at the Secretariat. “The first and foremost task is that we all will have to make frantic efforts to raise food production. We’ve also prospects here,” Khandker Anwarul quoted the premier as saying. In the meeting, a FY 2021-22 report on ministries and divisions was placed and the Cabinet asked to take a number of initiatives to face any possible food crisis. The Cabinet gave an observation to increase food productions at any cost, said Anwarul Islam. “Our food storage is in a very comfortable situation. It will have to be kept in a comfortable position always,” he said, adding that the private sector has already permitted to import 15 lakh metric tons of foods. The Cabinet asked to avoid the import of foods, particularly supplementary items from third parties as much as possible. Read: Shun luxury and serve the people: PM Hasina tells elected Zila Parishads Besides, the Cabinet asked the authorities concerned for taking steps to raise remittance inflow and FDI, as well as not to send unskilled workers to overseas labour markets without training them as per demands of job markets. Meanwhile, the Cabinet in principle approved the draft of Bangladesh Dairy Development Board Act, 2022 in order to ensure quality dairy milks. As per the draft law, technical support and cooling storage facilities would be provided to the farmers for proper preservation or improved feeds for the animals. The meeting gave the final nod to the draft of Zoo Act, 2022, which was placed in a bid to ensure proper management of zoos and protection of wild animals there. Meanwhile, the Cabinet endorsed the draft of an agreement to complete immigration procedures of hajj pilgrims in Bangladesh instead of Saudi Arabia. As per the agreement titled “Cooperation Agreement on the Entry of Hajj Pilgrims,” the immigration procedures of Bangladesh hajj pilgrims would be completed here in Bangladesh regularly from now, said the Cabinet secretary. “The immigration procedures of Bangladesh hajj pilgrims were completed here last year due to Covid-19 pandemic. This time two sides have signed an agreement to complete the procedures here from now. It is a great achievement,” he said. Read: PM on forex reserves: Better to spend on people's welfare than keep it idle The Cabinet also cleared the drafts of three agreements to be signed with Japan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The deals are “Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matter” to be signed between Bangladesh and Japan, and “Agreement on Abolishing Visa Requirements for the Holders of Diplomatic, Special and Official Passports between the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Government of the State of Qatar,” and “Security Cooperation Agreement between the Government of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.” The agreement with Japan would be signed when PM Hasina would go on a visit to Japan at the end of this month, said the Cabinet secretary, adding that this deal would enhance bilateral trade and strengthen institutional communication.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said the only aim of her government is to establish a welfare-oriented local government for the betterment of the people. “We want to establish a public welfare-oriented local government. That’s our sole objective,” the premier said while speaking at the oath taking ceremony of the newly elected Chairmen and members of the 59 Zila Parishads of the country. Sheikh Hasina administered the oath to the newly elected 59 Chairmen of the Zila Parishods at a ceremony at Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) in Dhaka. On the other hand, LGRD Minister Md Tajul Islam administered the oath to the newly elected 623 members of the Zila Parishads. The PM asked the Zila Parishad chairmen and members to identify the problems of their respective areas and solve those. “You have to think about the ways and process to improve the fate of the people of the country,” she said. She said although the elected representatives belong to different political parties, they must all work for the entire population of their constituencies. The elections have been held in a free and fair manner, she said. Read: PM on forex reserves: Better to spend on people's welfare than keep it idle “You are the elected representatives and you are not for enjoyment and resort to luxury. You are here to serve the people,” she said. She said that if the elected representatives can win the hearts of the people only through dedicated service to them. If the public representatives, she said, prefer plundering people’s wealth to serving them “that will be the end of their political career,” she warned. The prime minister said that she wants to see the elected representatives to pay back the trust their voters reposed on them through selfless service. She also asked them to take special care in keeping their areas clean to prevent spread of dengue, the mosquito-borne disease now on the rise in the country. Recalling the steps taken by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman for decentralisation of state power, the PM said the great leader had upgraded all the subdivisions to districts. In light of the initiatives of Bangabandhu, she said, the government has been working to fulfill all the basic needs of the people, including healthcare, education, housing, food and clothes. She mentioned that steps have been taken to ensure food security for all and the government is working to provide housing for every single homeless person. Read: Awami League never wasted a single taka of Bangladesh’s money: PM She directed the chairmen, members and representatives of other local government bodies to find out whether anyone left homeless in their localities and come forward to help them get houses. Hasina said the Awami League government has created scopes for all the elected representatives, irrespective of their political affiliation, to work for the development of their respective areas. She said that her government has been working to reach the cherished goal of building a hunger-and-poverty-free 'Sonar Bangla' dreamt by Bangabandhu. She said the elected officials have now greater responsibilities in serving the people who have chosen them through ballots.