The prime minister urged the people not to be panicked over spreading of rumours about the crisis of essential goods
Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina said her government is taking proper steps to check the deadly coronavirus which first broke out in China and its spreading in the country.
She also said the government remains very much alert about the raw materials which are imported from China. "We're looking alternative way and we're taking steps to import raw materials, including that of for pharmaceutical industry, available in other countries," she said.
The prime minister urged the people not to be panicked over spreading of rumours about the crisis of essential goods.
Sheikh Hasina said many people start buying excessive quantity of goods following the rumours. "It was seen that onion was rotten or thrown into ponds, rivers or lakes by those who purchased the essential cooking ingredient excessively," she said.
"So nobody should be panicked as we are very much aware and we're inquiring frequently what exist where and how much we need and accordingly we're taking measures," she said.
She said the people who come from China and other countries where the disease has broken out are being examined immediately after their arrival in the airports and other places.
"We're not giving on arrival visa to the people of those countries who were previously given such visa," she said.
The Leader of the House said if anybody is suspected about the disease, he or she is being sent for necessary tests and later he or she is being released after keeping him/her in quarantine so that it cannot spread in Bangladesh.
Sheikh Hasina said a problem regarding dengue was created in the country last year.
"A symptom on increasing mosquito menace is being seen and in this connection, I'll like to tell the countrymen that they'll have to stay careful about it and keep their houses and surrounding areas clean so that mosquitoes cannot breed," she said.
"You'll also have to look into the matter by yourselves and you'll be freed from mosquito menace if you can keep your house clean," she added.
Responding to the claim of the opposition leader about the crisis of the money in the country, the prime minister said the amount of forex reserve in Bangladesh is now over 32 billion dollars.
"So there is nothing to be worried about it and we can import foods of six months through the present reserve and we can say that there is no crisis of money in the banks," she said.
The prime minister said moreover 18 billion dollar remittances came to the country. "We've given two percent incentive in this regard, and as a result the expatriates are sending money through legal channel," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said massive development is going on in every field including service sector, social safety programme and infrastructure development. "If crisis of money prevails, then how we're doing these works?" she questioned.
"We've increased our fiscal budget seven times and taken massive development programmes," she said.
The prime minister said: " We're not only saying the country is advancing towards development, from the research institutes to those who do business are also acknowledging it."
Sheikh Hasina said a huge number of people have come to Bangladesh to invest here. "Bangladesh is the most attractive place for investment not only in South Asia, also in Southeast Asia," she said.
"We're not only saying that our economy is progressing fast. Many thinkers and economists of India or Pakistan are also praising our economic advancement," she said.
She continued: "We've been able to increase our GDP rate to over 8 percent and we're much ahead in this index not only from the South Asian countries also from the Southeast Asian nations."
About the government's vision to turn Bangladesh into Singapore, the prime minister said: "We can claim that certainly our economy is strong than Singapore."
Sheikh Hasina went on saying: "So I think there is no reason to be panicked in this regard and all will've to see that they don't count loss while going to stock after buying excessively in fear of the crisis."
She also announced her government's "zero tolerance policy" against the rapists like terrorism, militancy and narcotics and warned that the government will take stern action against the culprits.
"We notice a problem (currently) as some beasts in the name of human beings are doing a very heinous crime like rape … they're rapping from minor children to girls," she said while taking part in the thanksgiving motion on the President's speech as well as delivering her winding up speech of the sixth session of the 11th Jatiya Sangsad on February 18.
Sheikh Hasina added: "I'll call them inferior to the beasts and they've no principles, and how human beings can possess such hateful character?"
Sheikh Hasina said her government has adopted zero tolerance policy against terrorism, militancy and drugs and has been taking proper action against these social menaces.
"Like that we're declaring zero tolerance policy against the rape and the rapists. We're taking stringent measures against the heinous crime and it'll continue … we're very much aware of it," she said.
In this connection, the prime minister called upon the people to help arrest the culprits who are committing such crimes.
"I would like to urge the countrymen to extend cooperation to arrest those who're committing such crimes," she said.
The Leader of the House said those who are committing such a heinous crime cannot understand that they have also mother, sisters and daughters. "How human beings can possess so nefarious character?" she questioned.
In her over half an hour speech, Sheikh Hasina also touched on different issues like deadly coronavirus, keeping prices of essentials in the upcoming Ramadan, economy, mosquito menace as well as the country's development in various sectors.
About price spiral of essential goods during the Ramadan, the prime minister said a game on essential commodities is always played during the Ramadan.
"Sometimes the prices of some goods soar or decline during the time, and a problem on onion was created recently," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the people of the country have more attraction towards some goods during the Ramadan which is absent in other countries.
"We've taken steps to import, buy and store the products like onion, garlic, grammes, sugar and oil properly and we've also taken initiatives to boost production of the onion and garlic so that this crisis does not arise," she said.
Pointing out killings, repression and arson attacks unleashed by the BNP-Jamaat nexus in the past, Sheikh Hasina said government is taking the country forward by facing such types of heinous crimes.
The prime minister thanked the President for highlighting the country's tremendous socioeconomic development through his speech.