Apr 27, 2020


HPM Sheikh Hasina leads Bangladesh’s fight against Covid-19

While countries around the world have come to a halt as the COVID-19 or Coronavirus is spreading out every minute, Bangladesh, under the able leadership of Honourable Prime Minister, (HPM), Sheikh Hasina, has rolled out numerous steps to curb the spreading and to help people cope with the pandemic. Thanks to HPM’s round the clock supervision, public holiday, since 26th March, has been announced, movement of public transports got restricted, livelihood opportunities for the impoverished being rolled out, health care services are being arranged, and law enforcing agencies, district administrations and party leaders and activists have stepped forward in minimizing the hardship of poor people. On top of those, the Bangladesh Premier has initiated a number of stimulus packages aiming to address the impact of coronavirus in the economy.

Covid-19 Efforts: HPM Sheikh Hasina lauded in Forbes

Forbes, an American business magazine, has lauded HPM Sheikh Hasina’s response to the coronavirus pandemic in Bangladesh and said she showed her talents during this crisis. The magazine in an article that highlighted eight women leaders also said her efforts ‘deserve to be recognised’. In reference to HPM’s efforts, it observed “She was quick off her feet standing up to this one, with a response the World Economic Forum called “admirable”. “After the first case was diagnosed in early March, she closed educational institutions and nudged all non-essential businesses to go online. Then she harnessed tech, installing screening devices across international airports which screened some 650,000 people (of which 37,000 were immediately quarantined), something the UK still isn’t doing,” the Forbes article wrote about Hasina.

Tackling Covid -19: Bangladesh allocates $509 million for farmers

A new stimulus package worth over $509 million has been rolled out to give financial assistance to small and medium farmers and help them face the fallout of Covid-19. "Bangladesh Bank will formulate a new refinancing scheme to pump running capital into the agricultural sector. We'll create this stimulus package only for the agricultural sector," added HPM Sheikh Hasina. The money from this fund will be disbursed among small and medium farmers, including that of poultry and dairy sector, in rural areas, she said. Noting that the government has already allocated $11 million for the agriculture ministry for the mechanisation of harvesting process of crops, she said the government would also provide another allocation in this regard.

HPM Sheikh Hasina for a global partnership to fight Covid-19

HPM Sheikh Hasina called for forging a collective global partnership and greater unity to fight the coronavirus pandemic as she placed a five-point proposal that includes devising meaningful strategies. While addressing a virtual regional conference on COVID-19, organized by the World Economic Forum (WEF), the Premier placed five proposals as the world goes through such a complex scenario. Extensive efforts for tackling inequality, devising strategies and practical support measures, robust global leadership from G7, G20 and OECD among other plans she pointed out to help the world to better prepare for the future.

COVID-19 Fallout: HPM unveils $1.5 billion bailout plan

HPM Sheikh Hasina yesterday announced as many as four stimulus packages to overcome the possible economic shock from the ongoing shutdown enforced to prevent the coronavirus spread. With the previously announced stimulus package worth $590 million, the amount of the whole package now stands over $1.5 billion. The premier said the government simultaneously took four programmes under the work plan to be implemented in phases categorised as "immediate, short and long". "The four programmes are: increasing public expenditure, formulating a stimulus package, widening social safety net coverage and increasing monetary supply," she said.

Bold, timely, focused: Business community and economists on HPM’s stimulus package

Bangladesh's business community and economists showered praise on HPM Sheikh Hasina after she unveiled a whopping package worth $1.5 billion in a move to tackle the fallouts of the deadly coronavirus, calling the fund bold, time-befitting and focused. The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), the apex trade body of the country, welcomed the package and termed it very much targeted and focused. According to economists, this package will safeguard minimal unemployment and help maintain normal economic activities. This fund will also help the private sector and export-oriented sectors. The financial package will put a positive impact on the financial sector and give a boost to the confidence of the economy as well.

Bangladesh to issue 10 million OMS cards during virus shutdown

The government is set to double its allocation of ration cards to 10 million under a special open market sale or OMS scheme offering subsidised rice at $.11 per kg to the poor and needy during the nationwide lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus. HPM Sheikh Hasina made the announcement, saying, “I am aware that people are suffering as everything is closed now. Day labourers, farmers, small traders and others from the lower income groups are suffering the most”. The new list of ration cards will include the poor and unemployed under city corporations, district and municipality areas. Previously, this facility was open only for villagers. The minister also said the local civil administration would fix the distribution process in association with local public representatives and OMS dealers. A card holder would be able to buy a maximum of 20kg of rice per month.

Fighting Covid -19: Bangladesh rolls out incentives for those on the front line

The government announced to provide two months' basic salary as incentive for doctors and other health workers who are on the front line in the war against Covid-19 pandemic. The health professionals will also get an insurance coverage. Government officials and law enforcers, who too are putting their lives at risk to make the ongoing shutdown effective and curb the spread of coronavirus, will get insurance coverage. According to media reports, if anyone catches the infection, there would be a health insurance coverage depending on ranks, position and grade.

Govt announces financial package for migrants

As part of an array of measures to help people overcome the fallout, caused by the deadly virus, the government has planned on arranging loans for returnee migrant workers to enable them to pursue viable income activities, particularly in the agriculture sector. The loans, to be arranged by the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment . Meanwhile, the government announced that every Bangladeshi returnee will be given an amount as conveyance on arrival at the airport and the families of expatriate workers who died of coronavirus will be given $30000 each.

Dealing Covid-19: AL leaders stand beside low-income people

The ruling Awami League leaders and MPs (Members of the Parliament) have stood beside the low-income people across the country by providing food assistance to especially those who have lost their means of daily income due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by coronavirus pandemic. Following the directives of HPM Sheikh Hasina, the party leaders and MPs fan out across the country to help the low-income groups including beggars, day-labourers, rickshaw and van pullers, transport workers, restaurants workers and roadside tea vendors. Even, to relieve farmers of a growing labour crisis, leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the Awami League student body, have started lending a hand to rice farmers in harvesting the produce across the country.

Bangladesh sets milestone in poverty reduction

According to a recent government report, the country has reached a milestone in cutting poverty since its independence, supported by continuous progress in the social sector. Lowering poverty has turned out as a major success of the Awami League government. Owing to a set of prudent policies and initiatives, the government was able to gradually brought poverty down to 21.8% in 2018 from 33.4% in 2009 while the rate of extreme poverty fell to 13.3% in 2018 from 44% in 1972. After taking office in early 2009, the government formulated a number of mid and long terms economic plans like sixth and seventh five-year plans, Vision 2021, Agenda 2030 and Vision 2041 and Delta Plan 2100.

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