Jatiya Party’s parliament members have decided to join the parliamentary session on Monday, a day after they announced to stay away from parliament till the speaker recognises GM Quader as the leader of the opposition instead of Raushan Ershad. JP Chairman GM Quader directed all the MPs of the party to join the 20th session of parliament on Monday upon assurance from Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury, said Khandakar Delwar Jalali, JP press secretary. Earlier on Sunday, Jatiya Party announced they will stay away from Parliament after a discussion with the speaker where she offered no hint of a positive decision in this regard coming soon. Currently, Raushan Ershad is the opposition leader who has been abroad for a long time for medical treatment with GM Quader as her deputy. Read: Jatiya Party removes Ranga as opposition chief whip Earlier on September 3, the JP parliamentary party proposed to make GM Quader the opposition leader of the parliament instead of Raushan but the speaker is yet to take a decision in this regard. The 20th session of the current parliament that began Sunday will continue till November 6.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the successful construction of Padma Bridge has boosted self-confidence that Bangladesh can implement even larger projects in future. “The decision for the construction of Padma Bridge with our own fund brightened the country’s image and the whole world has started to show respect towards Bangladesh,” she said. The prime minister said this during a general discussion on a motion placed in Parliament to greet and thank her for the construction of the 6.15-km Padma Bridge. The motion was passed unanimously by a voice vote following over six hours-long marathon discussion. Chief Whip Noor-E-Alam Chowdhury brought the motion in the House under section 147 of the Rules of Procedure. Hasina said the people of Bangladesh have gained knowledge over technology (to build such mega bridge). “In future, we’ll be able to do more improved and bigger task,” she added. Lambasting the role of Dr Muhammad Yunus in canceling the World Bank’s funding for Padma Bridge project, the PM questioned how a person can make such a big harm to the country just for the lust of a post of managing director of a bank. She also alleged that an editor (of a newspaper) was also involved closely in this matter. “Dr Yunus and that editor emailed the World Bank time and again so that funding would be stopped….. Hillary Clinton was engaged in the matter,” she added. In this connection, she said, ”They thought we would surrender to them. But I am the daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. I didn’t and will not bow down to anything unjust .” The PM said she, her government and her family members and Cabinet members faced tremendous pressure, humiliation and false cases regarding the baseless corruption allegation that ultimately declared false by a Canadian court. Explaining the rise of project cost compared with the design taken by the caretaker government back in 2007, Hasina said there was no rail line, electricity and gas supply lines in the previous project design. Besides, the cost against land acquisition in the new design went up three times and the amount of acquired land was increased several times. She also mentioned strong river training and construction of 100 percent bridge with navigation clearance and rise of length of the main bridge as reasons behind the higher project cost. In his motion, the Chief Whip said, “Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, should be cordially congratulated and thanked on behalf of the nation through special discussion in Parliament for her courageous and firm leadership, unconditional love for the people and providing the nation the gift of Padma Bridge.” He said the Prime Minister will open Padma Bridge, the much desired largest infrastructure project in the history of Bangladesh, on June 25, 2022. “This day will always be remembered as a glorious day in our national life,” he said. Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the Padma Bridge on July 4, 2001 aiming to improve the living standards of more than three crore people of the country’s 21 southwestern districts. “The 6.15-km bridge with four-lane highway and one lane railway is a reality today. It is a symbol of pride, self-confidence, ability and self-respect for Bengalis,” said Whip Noor-E-Alam Chowdhury. He said it is none other than Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who deserves the credit for this achievement as she was uncompromising, steadfast and unwavering like her father in the construction of the Padma Bridge by ignoring hundreds of adversities, obstacles, baseless allegations and conspiracies of the World Bank. “Sheikh Hasina did not bow her head to any pressure that day,” the chief whip added. He said today Sheikh Hasina has opened the door to the immense potential of Bangladesh through the successful implementation of the Padma Bridge. According to the economic survey, the implementation of the Padma Bridge project will increase the country's GDP by at least 1.23 percent per year, he added. Awami League lawmakers Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Obaidul Quader, Matia Chowdhury, Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, Shajahan Khan and Muhammad Faruk Khan; Jatiya Party lawmakers Kazi Firoz Rashid, Anisul Islam Mahmud and Fakhrul Imam; JaSod MP Hasanul Haq Inu; Workers Party MP Rashed Khan Menon; and BNP lawmakers Harunur Rashid and Rumeen Farhana, among others, participate in the discussion.
Wondering how the Civil Surgeon’s office in Dhaka could issue a directive asking all concerned not to share information of Covid patients with the media, Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader on Saturday said such an instruction is “contrary to democracy and good governance”. In a statement, he also said the directive that says the media workers will not get information from any hospital in Dhaka district, except from the civil surgeon’s office, during the pandemic is incompatible with the democratic system. “Free flow of information is an essential precondition to the establishment of democracy and good governance.” Read: Covid situation taking a terrible turn: GM Quader GM Quader, also the deputy opposition leader in parliament, also said. “We’re surprised to see that the directive issued by the Civil Surgeon of Dhaka has not been withdrawn yet though 24 hours have passed by.” He said the nation depends on the media for getting authentic information during the pandemic while the government, administration, political parties, volunteers and civil society come forward in every difficult time after seeing the media reports. Besides, the Jatiya Party chief said, there is an apprehension of increasing irregularities and corruption when accurate information are not found in the media. He feared that rumours and conspiracies will also spread in the absence of free flow of information. GM Quader said it is important to find out as to why the Dhaka Civil Surgeon wanted to disrupt the normal activities of the media when the Coronavirus infection has been showing an uptrend. Read: Corruption in health sector widespread: GM Quader He also said hiding information from the media during such a catastrophic period is not a normal matter. “So, the instruction for not providing information by the Dhaka District Civil Surgeon's office must be withdrawn immediately.” According to media reports, the office of Dhaka’s Civil Surgeon on Thursday asked doctors working at different hospitals not to comment on or exchange any information about healthcare activities or the disease and patients with the media amid the pandemic. The Civil Surgeon also urged the media to refrain from taking photos and video footage, or interviewing Covid-19 patients in hospitals.
Jatiya Party Chairman on Thursday termed the proposed budget for 2021-22 FY imaginary and unrealistic, and said the government will not be able to implement it. “We can assume that this fictitious and impractical budget can’t be implemented,” he told reporters after coming out of parliament’s budget session. GM Quader, also the deputy opposition leader in parliament, said there is a huge deficit in the proposed budget and the system that has been mentioned to fill the deficit is not realistic. “This budget needs to be rearranged extensively.” He thinks the allocation for the health sector has been increased slightly while that for the social safety net is much less in compression with the size of the total budget. GM Quader also said the allocation for the disaster management sector is not satisfactory. He said the finance minister has prepared the budget based on his perceptions without considering the reality. “This budget has to be changed rigorously to give it a real shape.” The Jatiya Party chief said though the minister has proposed increasing the expenditure in the budget but he has failed to outline how the revenue will be collected. “As per the target of last year's budget, even 60 percent of the revenue couldn’t be collected in 10 months. I don't know how much they’ll be able to collect in the next two months,” he said. He said there is no clear guideline in the budget about creating jobs and providing financial assistance for those who have become unemployed and gone below the poverty line during the corona period. GM Quader said common people had an expectation that a large allocation will be given for the health sector, but it did not happen with the routine increase amid the corona crisis.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday said their party has to motivate people to make their movement for the ‘restoration’ of democracy a success.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Wednesday said there can be no compromise on the issue of independence and Liberation War.
The ‘Narcotics Control (Amendment) Bill, 2020’ was passed in Parliament on Thursday dropping the provision of setting up separate narcotic control tribunals to pave the way for competent courts to try narcotic-related crimes.
The Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2020 was passed in Parliament on Wednesday to empower the BERC to make any change in tariff more than one time per financial year.