(ADDs details, correcting previous report)
Hasan urges all to shun political instigate demonstrations over relief
DHAKA, April 17, 2020 (BSS) – Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today urged all to stop instigating and hiring people for staging demonstrations over relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“You have seen demonstrations for relief at different places of the country in the last several days in different media,” he said in a press briefing at his official Minto road residence.
Hasan added: “But different media also carried news today referring to intelligence reports that some of these demonstrations were backed by political instigations.”
Hasan, also Awami League Joint General Secretary, said this while talking about contemporary issues in a statement online from his official Minto road residence.
The minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s allocation of Taka 1,00,000 crore to face the COVID-19 crisis would save the country’s economy and the distressed people’s livelihood as well.
“The allocation of around $12 billion (Taka 1,00,000 crore) is 3.3 percent of the country’s total GDP. It will save the livelihood of working class people,” he said.
Hasan said the premier declared that ration cards would be provided to additional 50 lakh low income people who could buy rice at Taka 10 per kilogram,’
Currently, 50 lakh extreme poor and distressed people are getting rice at Taka 10 per kg under the government’s ration card facilities.
The government has taken a decision to bring 50 lakh more such people under the facilities to minimise their hardship in the current situation that has emerged due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Hasan said many social safety net programmes are going on for the welfare of the people.
The government is providing 30kg rice at a price of Tk 10 per kg to each of 50 lakh low income families in seven months in a year, a beneficial programme to meet the need for rice for around 2.5 crore people, he said.
Hasan said the government is committed to reach out relief goods to each distressed person.
Law enforcement agencies, district administrations and city corporations are playing making all out efforts to this end, he added.
Eve, he said, a hotline number ‘333’ was opened for relief and if some calls up in that number succor was being reached at his or her doorsteps and “at least I don’t know if any such arrangement has been made in any of the neighbouring countries”
“Against the backdrop of these efforts, on behalf of BNP criticisms and photo sessions are being made everyday . . . I would like to request BNP not to get engaged in criticism, photo sessions and instigations (and) stand by the people,” Hasan said.
The minister said a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader was arrested in Rajshahi in a criminal case but BNP demanded his release and asked “should the authorities keep stop arresting persons in criminal cases”.
He minister said there are more than 70,000 local government representatives in the country whereas some of them have been found involved in relief distribution irregularities.
Hasan said stern actions would be taken against any irregularities and corruption in relief distribution as the prime minister has already given instructions to this end.
Hasan said the local administration is taking strict action against those who are being found involved in such misdeeds.