Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said action against the corrupt people will continue irrespective of their identities as the government will not tolerate irregularities.
“We won't allow these irregularities, surely not. We’re taking action, no matter who he or she is. And it’ll continue,” she said.
The Prime Minister came up with stern message while delivering her valedictory speech in the 8th session of the 11th parliament.
Her remarks came after several opposition MPs, including deputy leader of the opposition Ghulam Muhammed Quader, raised in the House the corruption issue in the health and financial sectors.
The Prime Minister said the military dictators had polluted this society by destroying the character of people to prolong their power after 1975.
“They had taught people how to resort to corruption, earn black money and not to repay loans. Overall, they had made this society polluted to sustain their power after capturing it illegally,” Sheikh Hasina said.
In the past, she said, people used to lead life following an ideology and policy, but the military dictators spoiled the character of people to make their power unchallenged one.
Returning to power, the Awami League government started taking action against those engaged in corruption and irregularities without considering their political identities. “It matters little (to us) who belongs to which party."
But, she said, the government faces corruption blame for going to stop corruption. “We caught (detected corruption). So, we’re becoming thieves going to catch thieves,” she added.
The PM said Awami League has been making all-out efforts to stop these (irregularities) and these efforts will continue.
Talking about the state-run jute mills, she said the mills will be reopened after modernizing those to grab the international market of jute as the existing machinery of the mills are very old.
She said it is not possible to make profit running these old mills established in the 1960s and 1970s. “An industry can’t run that the government will provide the wages of 25,000 workers and other irregular workers for years.”
Hasina said the government has allocated Tk 5,000 crore to pay the dues of the jute mills workers. The workers will be provided with some 50 percent dues in cash, while saving certificates against the rest 50 percent so that they can get a handsome amount of money from the interest of the certificates after every three months, she said.
The PM said the interested workers will be provided training on latest technology so that the skilled ones could get jobs again when the jute mills are reopened. “Jute is an option to get relief from synthetic products to prevent the environmental pollution.”
About floods, she said the government has taken measures in advance to help victims immediately once any disaster affects the country. “Natural disasters hit Bangladesh routinely due to its geographical location."
Hasina said the government has already kept dry food, rice and cash ready allocated for the flood-hit people in different districts.
About the recently-passed Tk 5,68000-crore national budget, the PM said, “We know there’s a question whether we can implement the budget fully because of this corona…. If the situation improves (soon), we’ll be able to implement it. If this instability (arising out of Covid-19) continues throughout the world, we may not reach our target, but we placed the budget so that our economic activities will continue.”
She said the government has been able to place the budget when many developed countries could not do so amid the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
Noting that many people lost their works (jobs), the Prime Minister said the government will increase the humanitarian assistance and expand the social safety net programmes.
The PM said the government announced 19 stimulus packages so that every person can continue running their economic activities.
Sheikh Hasina, also the President of Bangladesh Awami League (AL), said the party, alongside the government and its associate bodies, stood beside people at this critical time.
“There’re our many political parties, NGOs and voluntary organisations. Who is doing how much work now?” she questioned adding that it is easy to criticise the government and find faults in the budget sitting at home.
The Prime Minister urged all to follow the health guidelines properly and do not get panicked with it. “We’ll have to conquer the fear (of coronavirus).”