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Govt to procure 21 lakh MT food grains this season: PM

20 April 2020, 9:30:21

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the government will procure 21 lakh metric tons (MT) of food grains in the current season to ensure food security in the country and fair prices of the farmers’ produces.

“The harvesting (of Boro paddy) has already begun. We’ll purchase 21 lakh MT food grains this season so that the country doesn’t experience any food crisis in future and we could continue extending food assistance to the people,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said, of the 21 lakh MT food grains, the government will buy 8 lakh MT paddy, 10 lakh MT rice, 2.20 lakh MT Atap (sunned) rice and 80,000 MT wheat.

The prime minister made the announcement while interacting with the public representatives and officials of eight districts of Dhaka and Mymensingh divisions on the present coronavirus situation in the country through a videoconference from her official Ganabhaban residence here this morning.

The districts are Manikganj, Gazipur, Tangail and Kishoreganj of Dhaka division and Jamalpur, Sherpur, Netrokona and Mymensingh of Mymensingh division.

The prime minister also said the government has taken special measures for smooth supply of the essential goods in the upcoming Ramadan.

Sheikh Hasina reiterated her call to the people to follow the health codes and instructions properly to contain the spread of COVID-19 outbreak.

“(It’s natural that) disasters will come and those will have to be faced. We’ve taken adequate preparations to prevent the deadly disease,” she said, seeking cooperation of the people to this end.

The premier said the people will have to stay alert so that the deadly virus does not spread further. “Consciousness of the people in this regard is very essential to prevent the disease,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina urged the people not to be frustrated in this situation and fight the disease with courage.

“You should face the situation bravely instead of being frustrated … this crisis will be over soon,” she said.

The premier said the Bangalee nation triumphed the victory in the Liberation War by responding to the call of Bangabandhu.

“We’re a victorious nation and we’ve to fight against the deadly disease with courage … Insha Allah we’ll be victorious in this battle too like the Liberation War,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has undertaken various plans and measures to keep up the pace of the country’s economy .

“We’ve taken short, medium and long-term plans to deal with the impacts of the pandemic and keep the country’s economy dynamic in the next three years,” she said.

In this connection, the prime minister urged the people not to worry and tackle the situation with courage.

“(It’s natural that) cyclone and disasters will come. But there is nothing to worry and be frustrated. Those will have to be faced with courage from respective positions of everybody and we must have that preparation,” she said.

The prime minister said her government has announced a set of stimulus packages of Taka 95,619 crore which is 3.3 percent of total GDP to offset the economic fallout of the COVID-19.

“We’ve prepared the packages keeping the mind the people of all classes and professions including farmers, workers, potters, blacksmiths, fishermen, day-labourers, weavers and small traders,” she said.

She said the government simultaneously announced packages for small, cottage, medium and heavy industries including garments, and the affected people will get loans from this at low interest rates.

Sheikh Hasina said the government will issue 50 lakh more ration cards for the poor and distressed people to provide them with rice at Taka 10 per kilogram in this perilous moment.

“With the issuance of 50 lakh ration cards, the number of ration card holders will stand at 1 crore meaning that at least five crore people will get its benefits,” she said.

“There will be no food crisis in the country Insha Allah,” she added.

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