Be rational about rising fuel prices because subsidies have a limit: PM

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The government is spending some Tk 53,000 crore on subsidies for diesel, power generation and other sectors, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told media on Wednesday.

“The government has been forced to increase the prices of diesel and kerosene due to the rising international market,” she said during a virtual press conference from her official residence in Ganabhaban.

“How much can the government subsidize? ” she said.

Prime Minister Hasina called on everyone to be more “rational” because there is a limit to government subsidies.

“We cannot use all the money in the national budget to pay for subsidies. This will cause all development projects to stop,” she said.

“Fuel prices have increased in the international market. We have to buy fuel to meet our demands,” she said, noting that of the Tk 53,000 crore spent on subsidies, Tk 23,000 crore will go diesel only.

“We make sure that people do not suffer. We are aware of our responsibilities to citizens. The necessary measures have been taken to control the prices of basic items in the market. Efforts are in place to ensure food security. “, added the Prime Minister.

She said the government provides subsidies for power generation. Our farmers benefit directly from government cash assistance. It has also provided cash assistance to the marginalized population amid the Covid-19 pandemic, she added.

“But there’s not much we can do.”

Highlighting the tendency of people to evade taxes, she said everyone tries to avoid paying taxes. “So where will the money come from?” Should we go bankrupt?

The government imports liquefied natural gas or LNG to deal with a gas crisis and also pays huge subsidies there, Hasina said.

Sheikh Hasina said that the major achievement of COP26 is that heads of state and government around the world have agreed to further accelerate the climate finance process, including the allocation of $ 100 billion each year, by respecting the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

She described the adoption of the “Dhaka-Glasgow Declaration” at the COP26 conference as the result of Bangladesh’s leading role in climate diplomacy.

During the COP26 which has just ended, Bangladesh joined forces with 99 other countries to reduce carbon emissions and thus prevent the planet from warming by 1.5 degrees compared to the temperature of the era. pre-industrial. He pledged to reduce carbon emissions by almost 90 million tonnes or 22% of carbon dioxide by 2030.

However, the country has targeted 41,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity generation out of the current 24,000 MW by the same period and most of it would come from burning fossil fuels like coal.

Responding to the question of whether Bangladesh is capable of carrying out huge development work and reducing carbon emissions at the same time, the Prime Minister said, “Of course we have the capacity. While undertaking projects, we take steps so that carbon emissions can be avoided.

“We are not responsible for carbon emissions. Even then, we have retained provisions for industrial waste management as well as tree planting in all of our projects. In other words, we are taking measures to prevent any type of pollution. “

The prime minister said the government plans to build temperature-controlled freight villages to support foreign exports.

“The facilities for storing raw hides will be improved. Initiatives will be taken for the development of the leather industry. In addition, we have plans to offer incentives to young people working in the ICT sector.

“However, I don’t know how long I will stay in power to complete these projects.”

Regarding the violence and killings in the recent UP elections, the Prime Minister said: “Election-related violence has been drastically reduced in the history of Bangladesh. than to continue. No violence and no death of people after exercising their right to vote is ever acceptable. “

The Awami League leader said his party would take tough action against party men who participated in the elections as rebel candidates.

She also pointed the finger at the BNP which officially abstained from participating in the current union elections, but, according to the Prime Minister, was the instigator of the violence.

When asked if her government would take special measures for the treatment of Khaleda Zia, Prime Minister Hasina said: “The government has done what it was supposed to do for the treatment of Khaleda Zia who is sentenced in a criminal court. corruption case. The rest is a matter of law. . “

The Prime Minister hailed the recent public interest in seeking justice for the deaths and atrocities committed during the years of military rule following the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“The families of the victims are still demanding justice, but have received little attention so far. They endured a long period of desperation.

No action has been taken on the four murders at BTV either, she said. “Until we can get justice for these crimes, our pain will not decrease.”

Hasina thanked those who had recently put these issues in the spotlight.

Hasina noted that 19 coups d’état followed the Bangabandhu assassination. The hangings, military trials, courts martial that followed resulted in thousands of deaths, she said.

Asked about extrajudicial killings, the Prime Minister said: “These cases are under investigation. Lawsuits are ongoing.

“However, such incidents are happening all over the world, including the United States.”

In response to another question, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina advised the Bangladesh cricket team not to be disappointed even if they returned from the T20 World Cup after losing all of their matches in the Super Twelve stage.

“Yes, what we expected didn’t happen. But I never disappoint our boys. I tell them to play better, to be more attentive and to train more.”

Stressing that Bangladeshi cricketers should be well prepared for the future, Sheikh Hasina said: “I want them to train more so they can play better.”


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