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Prime Minister: Stimulus packages for saving people, economy

  • Published at 04:27 pm April 15th, 2020
low income people-poverty-relief-coronavirus-RAJIB DHAR
Low income people wait by Dhaka’s major streets for people to come and provide some relief for them during the nationawide shutdown to contain Covid-19 transmission Rajib Dhar/Dhaka Tribune

The stimulus packages are worth around Tk1 lakh crore, which is 3.3% of the GDP

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said her government has announced various stimulus packages worth around Tk1 lakh crore to save the people and the economy from the crisis arising out of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have declared various financial stimulus packages of around Tk1 lakh crore for not only overcoming the crisis of today, but also for the next three years so that all can run their business and industries properly following the crisis they are now facing in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic,” she said.

The prime minister said this while joining a donation handover ceremony through a videoconference from her official residence Ganabhaban on Wednesday, reports BSS. 

Prime minister’s Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus received the donations in cheques on behalf of the premier at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The prime minister said she had declared the stimulus packages of around Tk1 lakh crore, which is 3.3% of the GDP, for all the people ranging from the farmers, day labourers, rickshaw pullers and small traders to the industrialists; to save the people and the country’s commerce and industry from the possible impact of coronavirus.

Extending her heartiest greetings to the organizations and individuals for giving donations to her relief and welfare fund, she said: “You (businessmen) should work your best so that the country’s economy is not hampered due to the coronavirus outbreak.”

She asked the affluent people to distribute relief materials in coordination with the government agencies instead of giving those out separately, to ensure that each and every person gets relief.

The premier called upon all, irrespective of party affiliations and opinions, particularly the civil society, to join hands with the government in helping people during this crisis.

In this context, she said: “Unfortunately, some people and parties have been making various kinds of remarks about relief distribution, but they are not extending their helping hands in this regard. They are busy criticizing the government.”

She also reminded all that her government is very much aware of its duty and has been working accordingly, as the government’s main goal is to save the people from the onslaught of the coronavirus.

The premier reiterated her stance on taking tougher actions against the relief goods plunderers, irrespective of their political ideology.

Noting that measures have been taken in case of any irregularity regarding relief distribution, she said such problems have been observed in five to seven places although there are over 4,500 unions across the country. 

Those who donated to the fund

Government agencies that made the donations are Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ministry of Housing and Public Works, Local Government Division, Rural Development and Co-operatives Division, Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Company Limited (DMRTCL).

The educational institutes that gave contributions to the PM’s relief fund are Dhaka University, Bangladesh University of Professionals (BUP), Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University, and Shiddeshwari Girls’ High School.

The private organizations that provided donations are Saif Powertec Limited, Uttara Group, Dhaka Club, BSRM Group, TexcoTech, Kashem Trust, Hamdard Foundation, Gaan Bangla, Xiaomi Technologies Bangladesh Pvt. Limited, Ispahani Tea Limited, Amin Mohammad Foundation, Olila Glass Industries Ltd, Chattogram Chamber of Commerce and Bangladesh Jewellers Samity.

Other organizations that gave donations are Bangladesh Foreign Service Association, BCS Taxation Association, Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB), Institution of Diploma Engineers, Bangladesh (IEDB), and EED Diploma Engineers Association.