Protect overseas job seekers from frauds, middlemen: PM Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday (April 02, 2023) stressed the need for ensuring that seekers of jobs abroad must not fall prey to the frauds and middlemen. “So we always have to consider that these people could go abroad through proper channel and get appropriate job. It is very important for us to ensure that these people must not fall prey to fraudulent people and middlemen,” she said. The prime minister was delivering her introductory speech at the second meeting of the Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment Affairs National Steering Committee at her official residence Ganabhaban. She asked the authorities concerned to find new destinations for sending manpower alongside making them skilled through giving appropriate training on different trades. Read More: 11 Bangladeshi auto mechanics get jobs in Japan “We have manpower in different countries, but we have to find more destinations,” said the PM. Hasina said that the government has started sending manpower to some new places. “But, we have to send skilled manpower. We have taken initiatives to provide training,” she said. She asked the authorities concerned to figure out which country needs what kinds of skilled manpower. “We will provide training to them.” The PM mentioned that sometimes it is seen that people are selling their houses and lands to pay the unscrupulous middlemen and fraudulent persons for a job abroad. Read More: Job Circular: 9th Grade Jobs in Ministry of Defence She put emphasis on creating public awareness against going abroad for jobs through middlemen. During the heavy pressure on the economy forcoronavirus pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war, the income of the expatriates contributed a lot in the country's reserve and overall development, said the prime minister. She said the Awami League government has established Expatriates’ Welfare Bank to provide loans to the overseas jobseekers. Hasina also praised the freelancers of the country for earning foreign exchange. “Our freelancers are also earning foreign currencies. We have given them certificates after bringing them under registration process.” Read More: 50,000 CVs submitted at Khulna BDjobs job fair She also requested the expatriates to send their money through legal channels. “We have given special stimulus of 2.5 percent for sending money through legal channel.” She said that at present there are sufficient employment opportunities in the country and people are earning more. She mentioned that a day labourer who used to earn Tk 200-300 per day in the past, now can earn Tk 600-1000 per day depending on the nature of work. The minimum earning is Tk 500-600. Earning in the rural areas is higher than this amount, she said adding that during the paddy harvesting season the amount is Tk 700-800 with three meals a day. Read More: RMG giant Pacific to invest big in CEPZ, creating 5000 jobs “The rural economy has improved a lot. If anyone goes to rural areas it will be seen that the standard of living in the rural areas has improved a lot,” Sometimes scarcity of labour is also seen as people are becoming solvent, she added.
US Congress introduces resolution commending Bangladesh, its socioeconomic progress
On the occasion of Bangladesh’s 52nd anniversary of independence, the United States Congress introduced a resolution on March 29 — recognizing and commending Bangladesh and its remarkable socioeconomic progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Republican Congressman Joe Wilson of South Carolina introduced the resolution at the Congress as the co-chair of the Congressional Bangladesh Caucus. Joe Wilson Sr. (born July 31, 1947) has been serving as the US representative for South Carolina's 2nd congressional district since 2001. He earlier served as the South Carolina state senator from the 23rd district from 1985 to 2001. Read more: Declare Pakistan army action in 1971 ‘Genocide’: US congressmen introduce resolution While placing the resolution, Congressman Wilson recalled that 51 years ago on April 4, 1972, the United States recognized Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan. During the nine-month-long Bangladesh Liberation War, members of the Pakistan Armed Forces and pro-Pakistani militias killed hundreds of thousands of people and injured many more, the resolution said. The war for independence was a struggle for democracy and freedom led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, it noted. It said Bangladesh has made enormous strides in the last five decades from one of the poorest nations to having one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with the GDP per capita increasing to $2,457 in 2021 according to the World Bank which now exceeds that of its regional neighbors. Read More: Japan is a true friend , trusted partner of Bangladesh since independence: Envoy The resolution mentioned since its independence in 1971, Bangladesh's economy has grown from $9 billion to $450 billion, life expectancy has risen from 47 years to 73 years, and the adult literacy rate has risen to more than 75 percent. Bangladesh, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has made substantial socioeconomic progress in food production, disaster resilience, poverty reduction, improved health, education, and women's empowerment, it noted. The resolution said Bangladesh has successfully maintained a moderate Muslim society and curbed extremism in the country, and its people have sought to maintain support for democracy and rule of law rather than descending into authoritarian rule. The resolution said the United States and Bangladesh have extensive cooperation on matters of regional and global security, counter terrorism, and climate change. Read More: India would help restore democracy as it helped gain independence: Fakhrul The US is the largest export market for Bangladesh and one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment, it said, adding the nation of Bangladesh has also contributed to the US economy through bilateral trade and international security cooperation in return. The resolution said the American people appreciate the generous and indispensable role that Bangladesh performs in accepting and sheltering more than 1 million Rohingya people from a genocide perpetrated by its neighbor, Myanmar. The United States has contributed the largest amount of humanitarian aid to address this crisis, totaling more than $2 billion. It said the American people welcome that Bangladesh is one of the world's largest contributors to United Nations’ peacekeeping efforts globally. Both countries seek to enhance their people-to people and government-to-government relationship for shared prosperity. The resolution mentioned that Bangladesh has expressed gratitude to the United States for contributing more than 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to the people of Bangladesh. Read More: Sultana Jesmin’s death in RAB custody won’t impact Bangladesh-US relations: Momen The resolution said the American people recognize and commend the nation and people of Bangladesh as they celebrate five decades of independence. The United States extends its sincere determination to remain a constructive partner of Bangladesh in achieving mutual economic, social and national security objectives now and into the future, the resolution concluded.
‘You set an example of empathy, generosity for the world’: Biden writes to PM Hasina
US President Joe Biden has said his country made a commitment to finding long-term solutions to the Rohingya refugee crisis and holding perpetrators of the atrocities accountable. “You set an example for the world of empathy and generosity in practice,” the US President wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The US Embassy in Dhaka shared the letter on Sunday (March 26, 2023) which was originally sent on March 21. The US president said Bangladesh has opened its arms and welcomed nearly one million Rohingya refugees. Read More: UK King Charles eyes continuing strong, close partnership with Bangladesh In a message to PM Hasina, Biden on behalf of the United States, wished her and the people of Bangladesh a happy Independence Day. Bangladeshis understand deeply the value of freedom and independence, as they fought courageously in 1971 to choose their own fate and to speak their own language, Biden wrote in the letter that he concluded with "Joy Bangla." As Bangladesh approaches its next election, the US president said, he is reminded of the “deep value” both the nations place on “democracy, equality, respect for human rights, and free and fair elections.” Read More: British parliament urged to recognise Bangladesh Genocide He applauded Bangladesh’s demonstrated commitment to protecting the most vulnerable as the largest contributor to peacekeeping operations. “We thank Bangladesh for cohosting the Global Action Plan ministerial that significantly elevated the political commitment to end the global pandemic,” Biden said. In over 50 years of diplomatic relations, the United States and Bangladesh have achieved a lot together – advancing economic development, strengthening people-to-people ties, addressing global health and climate issues, partnering on the humanitarian response to Rohingya refugees, and committing to a prosperous, secure, democratic, and independent Bangladesh, said the US president. Read More: Bangladesh’s tremendous achievements widely commended by int’l community: Xi Jinping
PM unveils commemorative postage stamp on Independence Day
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today released commemorative postage stamp on the occasion of Independence Day. The PM unveiled the commemorative postage stamp of Tk 10, the opening day cover of Tk 10 and a data card of Tk 5 at a ceremony at her official residence Ganobhaban. Later, Sheikh Hasina also unveiled a book, titled “Mujib’s Bangladesh”, published by the Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry. Also read: PM unveils postage stamp on Independence Day Post and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar and State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism M Mahbub Ali were present on the occasion, among others.
PM, President pay tribute to martyrs at National Memorial on Independence Day
President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid tributes to the martyrs of Liberation War — placing wreaths at the National Memorial in Savar this morning, marking Independence and National Day. President Hamid first placed a wreath at the altar of the memorial followed by the Prime Minister. After placing the wreaths, the President and the Prime Minister stood there in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the martyrs of Liberation War. Also read: Independence Day to be observed tomorrow
PM underlines a roadmap to turn Bangladesh into an aviation hub
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday (March 22, 2023) stressed the need for preparing a roadmap aimed at making Bangladesh an aviation hub in the region. “Reaping on the dividend of our geo-strategic advantage, we should create a roadmap as to how we can make our country an aviation hub,” she said in a video statement aired in the inaugural session of the first edition of Aviation Summit in Dhaka. The Civil Aviation and Tourism Ministry, in collaboration with the UK and France, organised the Bangladesh Aviation Summit-2023 at a city hotel here. Read more: Working to ensure houses for all homeless people: PM Hasina Hasina said this summit is very significant for Bangladesh in the context of the South Asian nation’s aspiration to become an aviation hub in the region. She said just after achieving the membership of ICAO in 1973, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman undertook measures to turn Bangladesh into an ‘Aviation Hub’ to connect the East and the West, capitalizing the advantage of our geographical location. After the assassination of the Father of the Nation in 1975, the move came to a halt, she added. “We have undertaken several measures to support the development of an aviation hub. During the last one decade, we implemented a host of projects to upgrade our airports, airport security and ground handling,” said the prime minister. Read More: Bangladesh Monitor holds seminar to promote smart aviation Besides, a number of projects are running which include HSIA Expansion Project (Phase-I), Construction of General Aviation Hangar, Hangar Apron and Apron at North side of Fire Station at HSIA; Strengthening of Existing Runway and Taxiway at Shah Amanat International Airport, Chattogram; Development of Cox’s Bazar Airport (Phase-I), Cox’s Bazar Airport Runway Extension Project; Strengthening of Existing Runway and Taxiway at Osmani International Airport, Sylhet; and Enhancement of Capacity of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh on Public Security at HSIA, she noted. The third terminal being constructed under HSIA Expansion Project (Phase-I), will create handling capacity of additional 12 million passengers and 4 million ton cargos, she said. “The transformation of our economy helped boost the travel opportunities for our people and open up new routes and markets for our airlines. When Bangladesh will turn into an Upper Middle Income Country by 2031 and a developed country by 2041, the aviation market will be further expanded,” she added. Read More: PM Hasina: Bangladesh to become aviation gateway between the east and the west PM Hasina said as the economy of Bangladesh has grown, so has the importance of air cargo. “The air cargo market of Bangladesh is rapidly growing at 8 percent per year – three times the world average. This underlines the strong demand for a dedicated national cargo operation in our country. With all of this in mind, there are areas where aviation actors need to do more,” she said. The PM asked relevant government organisations, the airlines and other stakeholders to carry out their responsibility to create conducive environment for the development and sustaining market both for passengers and cargo. Read More: Concerted efforts needed to solve aviation sector’s problems: Speakers “The government is going to introduce e-visa system which will also facilitate and expedite the flow of passengers visiting Bangladesh for business or tourism,” she said. Noting that the promising aviation industry requires skilled manpower, she said, “Our youth must have the opportunities to be trained to become pilots, aeronautics engineers, mechanics, crew members and much more.” She hoped that Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University, established by her government, would be able to cater the demand of skilled manpower in the country’s aviation and aerospace industry. Read More: Bangladesh, France keen to build partnership in aviation, space, aerospace technology She said the aviation industry has to lead by example in tackling climate change and strive to meet SDGs. De-carbonation and sustainable aviation fuel are topics which will require investments, concrete actions and the support from developed aviation nations. “The aviation partnership proposed by the UK and France, through Airbus, to support us in our journey is very crucial,” said the PM. Prime Minister’s Private Industries and Investment Advisor Salman F Rahman and State Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Md. Mahbub Ali were also present at the summit. Read More: Police aviation wing taking shape: Four ASPs complete basic course to be pilots.
Working to ensure houses for all homeless people: PM Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said her government has been working to ensure all homeless people get houses with lands. “Not a single person will remain homeless or landless in Bangladesh. We’ve been working to implement this goal,” she said. The premier said this while providing 39,365 more houses with two-decimal lands in the 4th phase under Ashrayan-2 project to landless and homeless families. On her behalf, public representatives –ministers, MPs and Upazila chairman-- as well as government officials –Divisional Commissioners, Deputy Commissioners and Upaizla Nirbahi Officers-- who were present at different project sites handed over the house certificates and land documents to the beneficiaries of 493 upazilas across the country. With the distribution of the houses under the 4th phase of Ashrayan-2 project, nine districts and 211 upazilas have now no one without a home and land. Earlier, Hasina provided 63,999 houses in the first phase, 53,330 ones in the second phase and 59,133 in the third phase under the Ashrayan-2, a project of the Prime Minister’s Office, since January 2021. With the distribution of 39,365 houses in the 4th phase, the total number has stood at 215, 827 under the Ashrayan-2 Project. The premier also declared seven more districts and 159 more upazilas as homeless and landless-free areas. Seven districts are Madaripur, Gazipur, Narsingdi, Joypurhat, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj and Chuadanga.
Bangladesh maintains close ties with all – China, US and India: PM tells CNN
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said Bangladesh maintains close ties with everyone, not only with any particular country. “We’re close to everyone – China, USA and India. Those who support our development, we’re with them,” she said in an interview with CNN, aired today. The premier made the remark when CNN’s senior journalist Richard Quest mentioned that the US believes and is concerned that Bangladesh is “getting too close” to China. Sheikh Hasina said China is one of Bangladesh’s development partners. China is investing here and they are involved in construction. “That’s all. We’re not dependent on anyone,” she said. When her attention was drawn to Bangladesh’s stance on the so-called “Chinese debt trap”, the PM said, “We’re extremely cautious when taking loans or undertaking development project.” She said Bangladesh takes majority of loans from different institutions like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. “When it comes to Chinese loans, our case is not like Sri Lanka’s or others,” she said. The PM said her government always considers the returns and the benefits before undertaking any development project. Read: ‘Enjoying her own recipe for tea’: CNN’s Richard Quest tweets photo with PM Hasina “Another thing is that we always try our best to develop our country with our own resources. We don’t take unnecessary loans or big projects. We always consider from which project we can get returns and to what extent people will be benefited,” she said. 'Bangladesh never supports any invasion' The prime minister also told CNN that Bangladesh never supports any kind of invasion, rather it believes in peaceful resolution through dialogue. “We believe in peaceful resolution. If there is any conflict, it can be solved through dialogue. We never support any kind of invasion or conflict,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh’s foreign policy is clear and transparent: “Friendship to all, malice to none.” “So, when we see any human rights violation or invasion, we definitely oppose it,’’ she said. She asked the global community to come forward to stop the war in Ukraine. ‘’I feel that the world should come forward to stop the war. Because, people are suffering,” she added. She said a war cannot be dragged on by one side; it needs involvement from both sides. “I believe, each country has the right to maintain and protect its territory,” she added. 'International community should exert pressure on Myanmar to repatriate Rohingyas' The premier said Bangladesh has called upon the international community to exert pressure on Myanmar to take their nationals back to their country. She said this while replying to a question on what Bangladesh needs from the global community to deal with the Rohingya crisis. Read: BGMEA ties up with CNN to promote 'Made in Bangladesh' Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is continuing a dialogue with Myanmar. But unfortunately Myanmar is not responding positively. She said her government had already talked to China, ASEAN countries, Japan, USA and others countries and requested them to put pressure on Myanmar to take back their nationals. “Unfortunately, the Myanmar government is not listening to anybody. That is the problem,” she said. The PM said Bangladesh had given shelter to the Rohingyas on humanitarian grounds. She said the Rohingya (12 lakh) are becoming a “big burden” for Bangladesh as it has to feed them alongside ensuring their basic rights despite the fact that the country is overpopulated. “I have to feed them (Rohingyas). I have to ensure their basic needs,” she said. The first episode of the interview was aired in the early hours of Tuesday and the second episode will be aired soon.
Utilise export opportunities emerging due to Russia-Ukraine war: PM Hasina
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (March 20, 2023) put emphasis on formulating new long term export policy for Bangladesh, considering graduation to a developing country from LDC after 2026. “After 2026, while we will graduate to a developing country from LDC, we will get some opportunities… We have to utilise those opportunities to make our economy stronger and develop the country further,” she said. The prime minister said this while speaking at the 11th meeting of the National Committee on Export, at her official residence Ganabhaban. She mentioned that after graduating to a developing nation, the next aim will be to become a developed one. Read More: Canada to increase potash exports to Bangladesh to boost food production, says country’s trade ministry Sheikh Hasina also asked the concerned to utilise opportunities regarding enhancing Bangladesh’s export items that have emerged due to Russia-Ukraine war. She said that due to Russia-Ukraine was, there is an opportunity for Bangladesh to create new markets with its own products. In this regard, she said that many countries have already shown interest to import food items from Bangladesh. “We could export food items after fulfilling local demands. We can take initiatives for that,” she said. Read More: Simplified policy, product diversification could boost exports to UK over $12 billion by 2029: Study says She said that immense opportunities could be created through establishing food processing industries in the country and export those items. The PM said that the government has given importance to the export sector. “After assuming office, we have taken steps to formulate long term export policies instead of policies on one-year basis. To sustain achievements, there is no alternative to long term strategy,” she said. She said that the government has formulated export policy until 2024 (2021-2024). Read More: Apparel export to EU up 14.3% during July-February of FY23 “…But what will we do after that? In the meantime, we are graduating to a developing country. I think this is the right time to consider what we will do in the coming days or how we will advance,” she said. She put emphasis on setting the next moves for economy, keeping in mind the current economic turmoil across the globe. “We have to find new markets across the globe. We have to diversify our products, we have to include new items in our export basket,” she said. The PM said that the Awami League government has given utmost importance to the private sector and it opened every sector to entrepreneurs as it is not possible for the government alone to develop the country. Read More: 'India a great potential market for Bangladesh's RMG exports' For the development of the export sector, she said, a strategy needs to be adopted and products have to be identified. “For that we have formulated a prospective plan – to turn the country into a developed one by 2041,” she said. The PM also mentioned ICT and digital devices, RMG, pharmaceuticals, light and medium weight industries, motor vehicles and electronic motor vehicles, while talking about diversifying products. She said that the government is preparing 100 economic zones with investment from home and abroad. Read More: Bangladesh export income rises despite bad global economy “Bangladesh has been able to attract foreign investments,” PM Hasina said.
Be vigilant against food hoarding, black-marketing: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday asked all to be vigilant against the hoarding of foods and the black-marketing of these commodities during the upcoming fasting month of Ramadan. “We all will have to be alert so that no one would ever be able to hoard foods and do black-marketing of these items,” she said. The PM was addressing a discussion arranged in the city, marking the 103rd birth anniversary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the National Children’s Day-2023. Bangladesh Awami League organised the discussion at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka. Hasina, also the AL president, said her government has taken all necessary measures so that the people do not suffer during the month of Ramadan. Talking about the food support programmes for the poor, she said the government provides rice at a subsidised rate of Tk 30/kg to one crore people through family cards and gives rice at Tk 15/kg to 50 lakh other people. The PM said the government has decided to provide rice to 50 lakh more people (at Tk 15/kg), if needed, so that the people do not suffer. Alongside rice, she said the government is also providing some other essential commodities including pulse, edible oil, sugar and chickpeas during the Ramadan at subsidised prices for the poor. AL general secretary Obaidul Quader delivered the introductory speech, while its presidium member Matia Chowdhury, joint secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud, organising secretaries Ahmed Hossain and Afzal Hossain, Health and population affairs secretary Dr Rokeya Sultana, its central working committee members Nurul Islam Thandu and Prof Merina Jahan Kabita, AL Dhaka city south unit president Abu Ahmed Mannafi and Dhaka city north unit president Sheikh Bazlur Rahman, spoke on the occasion. AL publicity and publication secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap and deputy publicity and publication secretary Syed Abdul Awal Shamim jointly conducted it. On March 17, 1920, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was born at a village in Tungipara of Gopalganj. The premier criticised BNP leaders for their blank remarks, undermining her government’s successes and achievements in different sectors. “When Awami League comes to power, the economy of Bangladesh gets developed. Today we heard BNP leaders who are continuously saying that we (AL government) have made the country empty. If anyone pretends to be blind despite having eyes, that person can’t be shown anything,” she said. She also highlighted the government’s achievements in different aspects including economic index, and also in health, food and education sectors. “When the people of the country stay in good condition, the BNP-Jamaat gets hurt,” she said. Hasina, who chaired the discussion, said the people of the country would never allow the BNP-Jamaat alliance to assume power again and play ducks and drakes with their fate. “Those who carried out bomb, grenade and bullet attacks, engaged in the 10-truck arms haul and embezzled the public money and orphans’ funds would never be able to come to power. The people of Bangladesh will never accept them,” she said. The PM said they will build the country as Smart Bangladesh by 2041. There’ll be a smart population in terms of every perspective including education and technology. “This country will move forward. No one will be allowed to play ducks and drakes with the fate of the people anymore despite thousands of plots and conspiracies hatched,” she added. The AL president asked her party men to showcase her government’s development works before the people time and again to counter the falsehood spread by the BNP. “They (BNP leaders) want to establish a false as true by saying it time and again,” she said. Hasina said Bangladesh is a country of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the people of this country will move in the world arena keep its head high as a victorious nation. “On the birthday of the Father of the Nation, it is our vow that the Bangalis will move in the global stage raising their heads, what he had desired,” she said. The PM asked her party leaders to work for the welfare of the people following the ideology of the Father of the Nation.