PM Hasina defends decision to increase fuel prices, questions subsidies

PM Hasina defends decision to increase fuel prices, questions subsidies

“How much government can it subsidize?” she said at the virtual press conference held on Wednesday. She noted that it contributes Tk 530 billion for fertilizer, energy, fuel and other industries.

A reporter inquired if there is a plan by the government to cut the cost of diesel. Hasina stated that Bangladesh imports diesel from abroad which means that the cost is expected to increase on the domestic market as global prices increase. “But the government has been subsidizing many sectors.”

The minister also highlighted Tk 23 billion amount of subsidy to the sector of fuel and the fuel sector, she stated: “We can’t use up all the money from the budget of the nation to pay for subsidies. This will result in the end of all developmental projects.”

“We always keep in mind our obligation towards people. We have never met a person that we haven’t assisted by providing cash in the course of the outbreak of coronavirus. We’ve distributed cash numerous times.”

“What do we do? What is our income? What are our resources? Visit developed countries and you’ll notice an acute shortage of food. In London you’ll notice that the stores are depleted. There’s plenty of food products in the country.”

The trend of the tax-evasion industry, she explained that everybody is trying to get around paying taxes. “So what happens to the cash come from? Do we need to go bankrupt?”

The government is currently importing LNG, or liquefied natural Gas, LNG to address gas-related issues and is also paying massive subsidy for LNG, Hasina said.

“We keep an eye on the people around us to ensure that they don’t have to suffer or face a crisis in food.”

The prime minister was present at the press meeting from her Ganabhaban residence to discuss her experiences from her two-week official visit to United Kingdom and France.

KHALEDA’S FATE “LIES in the law’

Hasina claimed that she’s done all she could within her power to secure the rights of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Ziza on suspended sentences in corruption cases, however the matter of her treatment in the foreign country is dependent of the rules and regulations.

Former Prime Minister Khaleda was found guilty in two graft cases , and was sent to jail just three years back. In light of the COVID-19 disease the government accepted the family of Khaleda a request for a conditional release from jail due to “humanitarian reason” on April 20, 2020.

She is now with her Gulshan home under the supervision of her own doctors and has only had limited contact with her fellow residents. The BNP head was recently transferred to the hospital. The 76-year-old is suffering from diabetes, arthritis as well as complications with kidneys and lung function. She was hospitalized with COVID-19 too.

After her family had filed numerous requests to permit her to travel overseas for advanced medical treatments The government informed her that she was required to go back to the jail first in order to apply for permission.

Hasina spoke about the political aspects of Khaleda’s situation, pointing out that Khaleda’s BNP Chief’s son Tarique Rahman has been found guilty of being the mastermind behind the Aug. 21 2004 grenade blast which was a plot to take Hasina’s life. The prime minister also stated the BNP the founder, as well as Khaleda’s husband Ziaur Rahman awarded top government posts to self-proclaimed murderers from Bangabandhu sheikh Mujibur Rahman as well as the majority of members of Hasina’s family.

“I took a humane attitude to such a cruel person. I utilized every power I could. What more do they need?” Hasina said after she was asked by a reporter whether the government had any plans to grant Khaleda the right to go overseas.

“Isn’t it sufficient to allow Khaleda Zia to return home from prison and get treatment?”

“Would you greet someone with a garland , if they attempted to take your life? And if someone offered ambassadorships to the murderers of your family rather than calling them to justice What would you say in their place?”

“I’ve done everything I can do. The issue now rests on what the laws say,” Hasina said about Khaleda’s family’s pleas.

In addition, the prime minister called for the recall of Colonel Khandaker Abdul Rashid who, as a wanted convict in the Bangabandhu murder trial, and was elected an MP in an election organized by Khaleda’s government in the year 1996.

It was the Awami League government following its election in 1996 , recalled Khairuzzaman when he was the acting ambassador to Manila.

Lieutenant Khairuzzaman was charged of the killings of four of the nation’s leaders imprisoned. He was convicted and placed on a forced retirement later. Khaleda’s government released him and allowed him to return to his job, Hasina said.

“You ought to be ashamed of asking me to show your sympathy to her, the people who have killed my parents, and even my baby Russel (Hasina’s younger brother, sheikh Russel).”

AL to continue handing Tickets in Local GOVT POLLS

Hasina acknowledged that violent clashes were taking during the Awami League during Union Parishad elections, but blamed the BNP for “instigating” the violence.

A lot of the fights took place between supporters of Awami League’s candidates for the union council chairman’s posts as well as rebel candidates of the party ruling.

“Member candidates are not chosen by political parties, however they are at odds. The conflict isn’t that they occur because of Awami League’s nomination of candidates for the position chairperson,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated, ruling out the possibility of a stop to selecting candidate candidates for local government elections.

“The others [other than the AL members and candidates] aren’t running for election with the nominating their party. They are provoking the violence.”

“We never want deaths. This should never occur. We will take action whenever death occurs.”

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