PM says no scarcity of food in country, urges to follow health codes to fight COVID-19

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Dhaka, April 18: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday said the government has taken measures to ensure food security for the country’s people considering the possible impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.“We’ve taken different measures to ensure food security for the people of the country,” she told Parliament participating in discussion on the condolence motion over the death of sitting MP and former land minister Shamsur Rahman Sherif.

“We’ve no scarcity of food and won’t have as well. But we should continue our agricultural production,” she said adding that the government will provide farmers loans at 4 percent interest to continue production.

Prime Minister and Leader of the House also reiterated her call to all to follow the health codes and instructions properly to contain the novel coronavirus.

“I would like to urge the people of all walks of life, including elected public representatives and party leaders and workers, to obey the directives on health consciousness that are being given time and again in view of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina further said, “Please everybody follow the (health) guidelines. If you do it you can keep protected yourselves and similarly (can keep protected) others and life of anybody will not be put at risk.”

“For your little mistake, you may be infected by the virus and you can also transmit the disease to others. So remain careful so that it doesn’t happen,” she added.

She said the government has taken plans and measures to keep the country’s economy moving and vibrant in the next three years so that the people of Bangladesh will never suffer in case of the worldwide famine triggered by coronavirus pandemic.

“If we can harvest the paddy properly (this season), we’ll not have any problem of food,” Sheikh Hasina said, adding that now there is opportunity for day labourers to earn money from harvesting paddy.

The Prime Minister said the government will use the money of some development projects for the welfare of the people.

“We’ve many development projects which don’t need to be completed now. We can save the money from these and use for the welfare of the people,” she said.

About Shamsur Rahman, the Prime Minister said he actively participated in every movement and struggle including the Language Movement and the Liberation War.

Noting that he stood beside the people in any disaster, she said his demise is a loss for the people of the country and also the country.”

Sheikh Hasina, also President of Bangladesh Awami League, said Shamsur Rahman is one of those who always stood beside her and supported her. “He was a strong pillar for our organisation.”

Sheikh Hasina expressed deep shock at his death and conveyed profound sympathy to the bereaved family members.

Earlier, Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury moved the condolence motion in the House at the beginning of the day’s business.

AL senior parliamentarians Shajahan Khan, Matia Chowdhury and Mohammad Nasim, Opposition chief whip Mashiur Rahman Ranga also joined the discussion.

On April 2, Shamsur Rahman Sherif, also President of Pabna district unit of Awami League, passed away at a hospital in Dhaka.