Government’s debt situation is not critical: PM in Parliament
Prime Minister and Leader of Parliament Sheikh Hasina has urged the countrymen to be prepared for any situation in the ongoing economic recession. He said, ‘What is going to happen in the future is a matter of fear. Where developed countries are suffering, we have to suffer. I said – we have to be ready in any situation. We are working for the people of the country. We are trying our best to make the people of the country better.’
He said these things in the closing speech of the 20th session of the National Parliament on Sunday. Speaker before this. The meeting of Parliament started under the chairmanship of Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury.
The Prime Minister said that there is a pressure on us due to the increase in the price of the dollar. The focus is on reducing the pressure on the dollar from January next year. It is also expected that the increased pressure of loan opening will end by December.
In his speech, the head of government highlighted various measures taken by the government including the country’s import-export situation, reserves, global recession situation. He said that after the corona subsided, as everything was open, our imports started to increase. Immediately our reserves began to decrease. With the reserves we have, it is possible to import for at least five months. A reserve of three months of imports is sufficient as per international standards. He also said, ‘Where did the reserve go? Just saying it won’t do. We have given corona vaccine for free. But this vaccine had to be bought with dollars. Had to buy a syringe. I have given a separate allowance to the medical staff during the Corona period.
The Prime Minister said, from now on we have to constantly review and decide on the future. In that case we have to reduce the import of luxury goods or we have to tax them more.
Addressing the countrymen, Sheikh Hasina said, ‘If you don’t drive an expensive car… what happens if you don’t eat our grapes and apples? Now we have a lot of local fruits. We have watermelons and amra. We have our own. I will tell everyone – we must pay attention to this matter.’
Stating that the debt situation of the government is not critical, the parliament leader said, ‘Government debt is only 36 percent of GDP. Foreign debt is 13.5 percent. We have never defaulted. I won’t be in the future, inshallah.’
Highlighting the steps taken by the government to keep the wheels of the economy moving, the Prime Minister said, ‘We are trying hard to keep the economy going. I will tell everyone that everyone should do some austerity. Must save money. Power switch should be kept off unless necessary. Mobile, TV, Telephone.. whatever. In England it is strictly prescribed. If the electricity bill increased, they would also fine. They have increased the electricity bill by 80 percent. There is rationing. Europe is planning how they will supply electricity this winter.’
He said, we are taking measures against dengue. But for that every house should take protection against dengue. Don’t let dengue develop in your house. Must sleep with a mosquito net. Referring to the transport strike based on BNP’s program, he said, “If the bus owners don’t run the bus, what can we do?”
Stating that global inflation has increased due to the Russia-Ukraine war, the Prime Minister said that it has also affected Bangladesh. The cost of importing goods, especially foodstuff, fertiliser, seeds and oil, has increased. Stating that production is decreasing due to sanctions and counter-sanctions due to the war between Russia and Ukraine, he said, “The cost of importing products is increasing, it is becoming difficult to get products.”
The twentieth session is over
Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chowdhury read out the President’s order regarding the end of the session on Sunday night. Before this, a speech of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on April 7, 1972 was shown in the first council of Awami League in the session room. This session started on October 30.