BNP on Friday demanded formation of a ‘national taskforce’ to effectively tackle the coronavirus pandemic and its fallout.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir came up with the demand at a press conference at BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office.
"There's a darkness and despair all around. It seems the negative impact of the corona disaster will last long. Under such a situation, we propose making a national taskforce to advise the government fot working out well-planned and well-though-out action plans, and effective steps for the distribution of relief, incentives and loan packages in various sectors, " the BNP leader said.
He said it is now a timely demand for taking effective steps to tackle the corona situation by forming the taskforce with representatives of various political parties and civil society, journalists, physicians, economists, sociologists, armed forces and other forces based on national consensus. “We have to fight (against corona) and win it.”
About the justification of the formation of the taskforce, Fakhrul said it will help the nation take coordinated and good decisions to overcome the disaster.
Quoting Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, he said not food shortage but corruption, irregularities in food distribution, irresponsibility and lack of good governance can lead to a famine. "So, now it has become imperative to institutionalise the process of food and relief distribution and post-corona rehabilitation for ensuring transparency.”
Fakhrul said the government should give top priority to reaching food and relief to people as many poor and daily-wage earners have become helpless due to the coronavirus shutdown.
He said the government can engage the Armed Forces members, administration, public representatives, political parties and social organisations to ensure the distribution of relief and food for the affected people. “The army has the organisational capacity to do this job checking irregularities.”
The BNP leader said they are working for forging a national unity at this crisis moment as it is now necessary to save the nation from the pandemic with united efforts.
He said many people, including the RMG workers, domestic helps, day-labourers, rickshaw- and pushcart-pullers, hawkers, vendors, and other people in the formal sector have lost their means of earnings. “The government must think of their plight and act accordingly.”
Fakhrul trashed the ruling party leaders’ allegation that BNP is not standing by people and said Awami League leaders are criticising BNP only to hush up the government’s mistakes and failures to tackle the situation.
He said their party leaders and activists are there beside people with their all strength and will remain so in the days to come.
The BNP leader said they have so far reached around five lakh families across the country with relief materials and other assistance.
He said they will continue their relief activities to assuage the sufferings of needy people.