HPM Sheikh Hasina directs secretaries for faster implementation of development budget


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked top bureaucrats of her government to fix strategies for faster implementation of development budget from the beginning of the new fiscal.

"The rate of implementing annual development budget should be higher than the existing proportion," she told a meeting with the secretaries of different ministries and divisions at Bangladesh Secretariat.

The premier added: "So you (secretaries) have to sketch out strategies at the beginning of the year now for implanting development budget instead of speeding up your efforts at the later part of the fiscal."

Her meeting with the secretaries came on completion of the third year of the second tenure of her government in the office while this was her second such meeting with the top brass of the civil administration during her current term in office.

"Paper work of the projects and inter ministerial meeting, if required, must be completed within the rainy season and physical work of the projects must start immediately after the monsoon," she said.

The premier urged the government officials to be more sincere in completing the Fast Track projects within stipulated timeframe.

Sheikh Hasina described secretaries as the "main driving force of a government" saying a political government come to power only for a certain period while a secretary has the opportunity to serve the country for a longer period.

"So it in fact depends on the secretaries how the country will run," she said.

The premier described the incumbent lineup of top bureaucrats as a "good team" expressing her satisfaction for having the opportunity to work with a group of efficient secretaries to implement her ruling Awami League's political vision and plans.

She asked the secretaries to give extra attention to rural development as her government attached utmost importance to the development of the rural areas and create employment opportunities in villages.

"There should have immense employment opportunities to stop the influx of people to cities," she said adding that all development plans should be inclusive and beneficial for maximum number of people.

Sheikh Hasina also said a stronger rural economy would also help reduce discrepancies between rich and poor and build an exploitation free society as dreamt by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

At the beginning of the meeting Cabinet Secretary M Shafiul Alam gave welcome address highlighting the success of the government in socioeconomic areas and reform measures to establish a dynamic, accountable and transparent administration.

Premier’s Principal Secretary Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury and Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim were present, among others, joined the meeting.

Sheikh Hasina urged the secretaries to entrust efficient officers with important tasks and said “the best performers must be awarded while worst performers should be reprimand”.

Simultaneously, she sounded a strong note of warning against corruption in government services and asked the secretaries to take a tougher stance in this regard saying "the government has increased the salaries of the government employees and so corruption in public offices must be contained".

The Prime Minister asked secretaries to strengthen their efforts to establish good governance at all levels saying service oriented agencies have to take initiative so that service seekers are not harassed.

She simultaneously urged the top bureaucrats to put in their efforts to take forward the projects taken for welfare of the poor people including the projects for providing housing facilities, stop river erosion, rural communications.

Sheikh Hasina also laid importance on stamping out inter-cadre disparities, ensure rightful promotion and posting and training of younger officers on priority basis since they would remain in service for a long time.

She urged the officials to strengthen awareness campaign against militancy and drug side by side taking action against the menaces in the field level.

Highlighting the country's socioeconomic progress during the tenure of her government the prime minister said, "We have to go far way".

"We have liberated the country. We have freed the power from the military rulers who attempted to make Bangladesh a failed state," she said.

Sheikh Hasina said once Bangladesh was known as a land of poverty and disasters but now the country could overcome the situation through implementing many pragmatic programmes.

Pointing out Bangladesh's success in implementing Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) she said everybody has to work with same spirit for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Asking the officials to give utmost importance to environmental issues in implementing development works the prime minister said industries should not be grown damaging the agricultural land.

"There must have water bodies in every housing, industrial or educational institutions project," she said adding that water bodies beside the roads should be protected.

The prime minister asked the secretaries to launch a massive tree plantation drive in the country giving priorities as much as possible the local varieties on the both side of the roads and open spaces.

Sheikh Hasina urged the officials to encourage the food processing industries in the rural areas saying a region should be given priority for agro-progressing industries based on the availability of that kind of produces in that particular area.

"Bangladesh has immense scope to fetch huge foreign exchange from export of agro-processing items," she said.

She asked the cabinet secretary to take steps to constitute a high level monitoring committee for reducing the procrastination and backlogging of law suits aimed at lessening public sufferings.

"All concerned officials must be more careful to protect the public interests in the cases against the government," she said asking the cabinet secretary to conduct a feasibility study for introducing attorney services in this regard.

The Prime Minister asked the secretary of the Law Ministry for development of necessary software for monitoring the disposal of the law suits of public interests at district level and give responsibility on assistant/deputy attorney generals for settlement of the cases.

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