Nobody will suffer for food: HPM Sheikh Hasina

 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has reiterated her government's commitment to continue support for the flood victims, saying that nobody will suffer for food.

"I give you my word that none will suffer for food ... we want the countrymen not to go through ordeal in anyway and we are taking steps to that end," she said.

The premier said this while distributing relief materials among the flood-stricken people and paddy seedlings to the affected farmers at Sariakandi Degree College Ground here this afternoon.

Agriculture Minister Begum Matia Chowdhury, Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, Food Minister Advocate Qamrul Islam, Water Resources Minister Anisul Islam Mahmud, Awami League Joint Secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak, local parliament member Abdul Mannan, AL Relief and Welfare Secretary Sujit Roy Nandi, President of US chapter of Awami League Siddikur Rahman, Bangladesh Chhatra League President Saifur Rahman Sohag also spoke on the occasion.

Sheikh Hasina, the Awami League president, said her government would continue to distribute food to the flood-hit people through VGF and VGD programmes.

"We would continue to provide food for the flood victims so that not a single person suffers for want of food ... we won't let anybody to suffer for food," she said.

The prime minister said said it's a responsibility of the government to mitigate sorrow and suffering of the people. "The Awami League government has been discharging that responsibility properly."

Sheikh Hasina said her government will reconstruct the houses damaged by the deluge or river erosion. "We would give land to those whose land was devoured by the river and we would reconstruct the educational institutions that were damaged in the current flood," she said.

The prime minister said in order to put a clamp on the rice prices in the country, the government has cut the import tariffs on rice to two percent from 28 percent and taken steps to import 15 lakh metric tons of rice.

Pointing out various steps for rehabilitation of the flood-affected farmers, the premier said the agriculture loan among the share croppers will continue, while realizing interest from the farmers who took agri loan will remain suspended.

Mentioning that the aim of the Awami League government is to change the lot of the people, Sheikh Hasina said the people get food and medicare and the students get textbooks for free when the party comes to power. "The poverty is reduced and the employment of the people is generated when we remain in power," she said.

The prime minister said the Father of the Nation had initiated the "Cluster Village" project for rehabilitation of the landless and homeless people.

"Following the footprint of Bangabandhu, our government is providing homes to the homeless through Ashrayan Project."

The prime minister said Bangladesh would have been a developed and prosperous country within 10 years of independence, had the trend of development initiated by Bangabandhu continued.

Reaffirming her government's firm stance against terrorism and militancy, Sheikh Hasina said her government doesn't want these scourges on Bangladesh's soil.

In this regard, the prime minister renewed her call to parents, guardians, religious leaders and teachers to keep vigilance on the children so that they don't get engaged in militancy, terrorism and addicted in drug.

The parents will have to give attention to what their children do and with whom they develop relationship. "On the other hand, the teachers will have to be alert so that students pursue their studies and don't remain absent in classes," she said.

"We don't want terrorism and militancy on Bangladesh's soil and you have witnessed the dreadful picture of it during the BNP-Jamaat rule," she added.

The prime minister said it's BNP which had created terrorism, militancy and Bangla Bhai during its five-year rule from 2001. "They again unleashed terrorism and rampage in the three consecutive years from 2013 in the name of overthrowing government and foiling the 2014 elections," she said.

The prime minister said her government has taken steps to protect the entire Bangladesh from river erosion. "We are taking three projects in Bogra to check the river erosion of Jamuna, Bangalee and Korotoa rivers we would give special attention so that these schemes are implemented," she said.

Mentioning that the country's development is accelerated and employment is generated, if the communication system is developed, Sheikh Hasina said the government would take necessary measure for expansion of Bogra-Sariaknadi Road.

"We are taking steps for reconstruction of the bridge on the Bangalee river," she said.

The Awami League chief expressed gratitude to the people of Sariakandi for making victorious her party candidate by casting vote for boat in the 2008 and 2014 elections.

She said Bangladesh is a riverine country and flood will come and the Bangalees have no way except boat. "The boat will be always utilised for work and it's a reality ... the fortune of the people is changed when the boat comes to power," she said.

The premier later exchanged views with political leaders, the local elite and the government officials involved in flood management at Sariakandi Degree College Hall Room.

Earlier, the prime minister visited Gobindaganj upazila in Gaibandha and distributed relief materials among the flood-stricken people and paddy seedlings to the affected farmers on the Gobindaganj Upazila Parishad premises.

She distributed relief goods among the flood-hit people of Gobindaganj upazila including a good number of Santal families.

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