Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been working day and night for the country and its people ignoring her health risk amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
How much time the Prime Minister is spending in her works to save people and ensure their livelihoods can easily be understood if the volume of her directives that came in the last few months alone is considered, according to officials at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).
During the January-June 2020 period, they said, different ministries, departments and divisions issued a huge number of notifications to execute the Prime Minister’s directives to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and the total volume of the notifications is 1,976 pages.
The PMO has taken an initiative to preserve all the directives thinking about using those in dealing with other disasters like Coronavirus pandemic in the future.
The collection of the notifications containing the PM’s directives has turned into a five-volume book.
The notifications issued by different ministries and departments to implement the PM’s directives were compiled under the supervision of the PMO Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah.
“One can guess how much the Prime Minister is working day and night with risk amid the Coronavirus pandemic, if s/he sees the amount of instructions (notifications) issued by various ministries and departments of the government to implement the Prime Minister's directive to fight the Covid-19,” said the PMO Secretary.
He said the Prime Minister is keeping a close watch on every issue and is constantly giving various directives accordingly.
PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim said the Prime Minister is monitoring every issue every moment and giving necessary directives.
Ihsanul Karim said the Prime Minister considers the country and its people above her own life. So, she has been working relentlessly despite the risks, he added.
The government has taken various steps to save lives by providing healthcare and Medicare, raising public awareness and providing financial and food assistances to the affected people alongside creating employments, reviving trade-business and stimulating the economy.
Alongside different directives and guidelines, the government, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has announced 21 stimulus packages totalling Tk 1,12,633 crore (4.3 percent of GDP) to save lives, ensure livelihoods and revive the economic activities offsetting the Covid-19 fallout.
The stimulus packages are: Tk 5,000-crore special fund for export-oriented industries, Tk 33,000-crore package to provide working capital facilities to affected industries and services sector organisations, Tk 20,000-crore stimulus package for supplying working capital to small (including cottage industries) and medium enterprises (SMEs), Tk 12,750-crore package for expanding the facilities of export development fund (EDF) introduced by the Bangladesh Bank, Tk 5000-core Pre-shipment Credit Refinance Scheme, Tk 100-crore special honorarium fund for physicians, nurses and other health workers, Tk 750-crore fund to provide compensation in case of Covid-19 infection and death (health insurance and life insurance).
Besides, Tk 2,503 crore fund for free distribution of food materials, Tk 251-crore allocation for rice sale at Tk 10/kg ( subsidized rate), Tk 1,258-crore allocation for distribution of cash money among the target-based communities, Tk 815-crore incentive package for expanding the coverage of allowance programme, Tk 2,130-crore allocation for building houses for homeless people ,Tk 860-crore allocation for Boro paddy/rice procurement operatio, over Tk 3,200 crore fund for mechanization of agricultural works, Tk 9,500-crore allocation for agriculture subsidy and Tk 5,000-crore agriculture refinancing scheme.
The stimulus packages also included Tk 3,000-crore refinancing scheme for the low-income professional farmers and small businessmen, Tk 2,000-crore fund for employment generation activities (through Palli Sanchay Bank, Karmasangsthan Bank, Probsahi Kalyan Bank and Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation), Tk 2,000-crore allocation for the commercial banks for waiving interest during the deferment of collection of loan installments (April-May 2020), Tk 2,000-crore Credit Risk Sharing Scheme (CRS) for SME Sector and Tk 1,132-crore fund for introduction of social security activities for the needy workers in export oriented readymade garments, leather goods and footwear.