Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the countrymen not to listen to any false propaganda about foreign exchange reserves and liquidity in banks, saying that Bangladesh is economically stable even though many developed countries are in danger due to Corona and Russia-Ukraine war.

The Prime Minister said these things while addressing the chief guest at the graduation ceremony of ‘National Defense Course-2022’ and ‘Amourd Forces War Course’ at the Defense Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) Sheikh Hasina Complex in Mirpur Cantonment on Monday.

The Prime Minister said, ‘Inflation has increased internationally. Many developed countries are economically distressed and facing problems, depleting their reserves. In that situation we can say that we have been able to keep Bangladesh in a stable state.

Sheikh Hasina said, Bangladesh’s misfortune is that whenever the country moves towards economic progress in a peaceful state, not everyone likes it, this is the reality.

The Prime Minister said that the father of the nation was able to build a war-torn country and raise the growth to 9 percent. And before Covid, Awami League raised above 8 percent. But Covid-19 and the subsequent Russia-Ukraine war and the sanctions surrounding it have also disrupted the economic conditions of many developed countries. Global inflation has increased. Rich countries are also taking measures to save electricity and energy today. Their food prices are increasing, reserves are decreasing. Even in this situation, we have been able to keep Bangladesh in a stable state.

At this time, the Prime Minister urged people not to listen to the mischievous attempts to spread fear and said that many rich countries are taking measures to save energy during this wartime crisis. We also take various steps. However, people are being pulled in favor of energy by showing various fears.

Showing a comparative picture of the country’s past and present reserves, Sheikh Hasina said, “After twenty one years in 1996, when the Awami League government was formed, the reserves were only 2.5 billion US dollars. Then his government took initiative to increase that reserve. When they formed the government for the second time in 2009, they got 5 billion dollars in reserves which they managed to increase to 48 billion dollars during the successive governments.

He said that travel and imports were stopped during Corona. Reserves accumulate for this. Later when all channels were opened we had to spend the reserve on imports. It took us a lot of money to buy vaccines, fund vaccine research, and buy corona treatment equipment. These cost us dollars.

The Prime Minister said that when only the vaccine research is going on, his government spends 1200 crore rupees to book the vaccine and take risks for the people of the country. But many developed countries did not give free vaccines. At that time the financial incentives given by his government to all sections including the businessmen of the country also cost money and greatly increased the supply of money at the grass root level. As a result, besides dealing with Corona, the economy is also able to sustain.

The Prime Minister said that due to the war and sanctions, the cost of imports has already increased to a large extent. He gave an example saying that wheat which was once available for $200 is now being bought for $600. The transportation cost which was 800 dollars has gone to 3 thousand 800 dollars. But even though the reserve was spent here, his government did not care about the people of the country.

He reiterated his government’s call to increase production by utilizing every inch of land in the country, noting that the government’s exports and investments have also increased.

He said that the father of the nation built a war-torn country by capitalizing only on land and people and left Bangladesh at the level of a less developed country. He urged everyone to move forward by remembering that.

The Prime Minister called upon everyone to be frugal by avoiding luxury. Because the shock of global economic recession has also hit Bangladesh. The world is now a global village and interdependent. Keeping that in mind, he requested everyone to be frugal.

He said, we have to protect our country and resources. We are not going to get hands on anyone, we are going to produce our own crops and build our own country. If we can continue with this sense of self-respect, Inshallah Bangladesh will move forward, no one can stop us.

Sheikh Hasina said, I announced in the election manifesto to make digital Bangladesh. Many were still smiling. Today Digital Bangladesh is an example to the whole world. The boys and girls in the village earn dollars through freelancing. We have made this opportunity.

He said, there were many attempts to slander me and my family about the Padma Bridge. But it has been proven that there was no corruption here. Then we decided to build Padma Bridge on our own. Many people said then, it is never possible. When I discussed with the heads of government of many countries, they said, it is not possible.

The Prime Minister said, ‘The character of Bengalis is to make the impossible possible. We can do it. We did it’.

Pointing out that our armed forces stand by the people in any disaster, Sheikh Hasina said that as they have earned the trust and confidence of the people in the country, they are also playing a role in peacekeeping missions abroad with great efficiency.

He said, it should always be remembered that our armed forces were formed through the great liberation war. Therefore, the biggest goal is to always maintain the quality of our country and to stand by and cooperate with them.

Sheikh Hasina said, we give scholarships to 2 crore 53 lakh students. Old Age Allowance, Widow Allowance and Disability Allowance have been arranged. I am building houses for 3.5 million landless people. He also mentioned that the army, navy and air force have contributed in this work.

The Prime Minister congratulated the graduates on today’s graduation ceremony. He thanked all those conducting the course and wished the National Defense College all round success.

The Prime Minister later attended the 19th joint meeting of the Governing Body of the National Defense College (NDC) and the Defense Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) held at the Sheikh Hasina Complex, DSCSC, Mirpur Cantonment. NDC and DSSC Chairperson Sheikh Hasina presided over the meeting.

(05 December)