Bangladesh: government kept vigil against hoarding of staples


Dhaka : Prime Minister and Awami League president Sheikh Hasina today said her government ordered a vigil against hoarding of staples by dishonest businessmen to create artificial crisis of rice in the market.

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“The government has started enquiring if the food prices were being hiked through hoarding,” she said while addressing the opening session of her party’s central working committee meeting here.

She added: “the businessmen now appeared to be discouraged in importing rice, there could be some design behind it.”

Sheikh Hasina, however, said the price of rice went up across the world but “we have adequate stock of rice . . . we are not faced with any stock deficit in the country”.

Party officials familiar with the meeting said she reviewed the country’s latest political, economic and social situation and particularly the recent local government elections.

Sheikh Hasina said during the previous 1996-2001 tenure of her Awami League government the rice price came down to Taka 10,while it went up again during the subsequent BNP-Jamaat alliance government and “they have to answer why they allowed it to happen”.

“The country is faced with different problems but we are not sitting idle, we have put in our best efforts to solve them,” the premier said.

She said in the past 40 years of independence, Awami League was in power only for 10 years and the country could not witness the desired pace of development as the anti-democracy and anti- liberation forces were in power.

“Those who were in power in the past, they remained influential in every places till now, they are plotting to obstruct the development and we have to proceed defying the obstructions,” Sheikh Hasina said.

She also said the country could overcome the stigma of being a corruption and militancy-prone nation as it was being branded during the BNP-Jamaat regime.

“We have been able to erase the stigma with our hard efforts and regained our image in the international arena,” the Awami League chief said.

Reiterating her government’s firm commitment to hold the trial of war criminals, Sheikh Hasina said it is Ziaur Rahman, who had allowed to give scope them for doing politics.

“The anti-liberation forces do not want the trial of the 1971 culprits and they would do such work secretly so that the people are fed up with the government as they know that the trial of war criminals must be held if Awami League remains in power,” she said.

Referring to holding of recent pourasabha polls and by- elections in two JS seats, the AL chief said it has been proved first after 1975 that the fair, neutral and peaceful elections could be held when a political party remains in power.

“The victory and defeat are parts of the elections. But the big matter is that the people have exercised their voting rights independently and the Election Commission has performed its responsibility independently and it is the victory of Awami League politics,” she said.

Awami League, she said, always struggled and took part in movements for establishing constitutional voting rights of the people as it believes in the voting rights of the people.

About the results of pourasabha polls, Sheikh Hasina said the results of the party would have been better there not had been any rebel country.

Referring to power and energy crisis, she said the corruption and failure of the BNP-Jamaat alliance government are responsible for this crisis. She mentioned the steps her government has taken for solving the problems like power and energy crisis and said the government is making all out efforts to solve all basic problems of the people.

“Awami League could only bring economic freedom of the people because they are awarded when AL remains in power. But the people are rebuked when BNP comes to power,” she said.

The AL chief called upon all to work unitedly for implementing the development works taken by her government.