2020-03-25 22:41:34 BdST

‘Tk 50.0b stimulus package for export-oriented sectors to pay wages’PM offers big aid for workers, poor


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today lent her support for the coronavirus-hit workers and the poor when she announced a Tk5,000 crore incentive for export-oriented industries that would be spent explicitly to pay wages to workers.

In a televised address to the nation last night, she also announced wider social safety net measures for low-income and homeless people to help them tackle tough times during the coronavirus crisis.

"The country's production and exports may be harmed due to the coronavirus. I hereby declare a Tk5,000-crore incentive package for export-oriented industries. The money can be utilised to only pay the workers," she said.

The premier also said low-income people will receive government assistance under the "Ghore Fera" (Returning Homes) programme in their village homes because many have lost jobs due to the coronavirus.

Besides, the homeless and landless will get free housing, food for six months and some cash while programmes such as Vulnerable Group Development, Vulnerable Group Feeding and Tk10 per kg rice sales will be continued.

While Hasina was delivering her speech, the disaster management ministry had already dispatched 500 tonnes of rice and cash between Tk5lakh and Tk10 lakh to all the district administrations.

The prime minister also said free medicine and treatment are being offered to the poor.

In her speech, she recalled Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and lakhs of valiant freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives to the very cause of the liberation of Bangladesh from the Pakistani occupation forces.

She said this year's Independence Day is being celebrated in a different approach as the whole world is reeling because of the deadly coronavirus.

She called on the people to refrain from stockpiling daily commodities so that the limited-income group do not suffer in the wake of a shortage in food and other necessary products in markets.

"The country has witnessed a mega yield of Aman paddy and other crops this season. Government silos countrywide have 17 lakh tonnes of food grains stocked…Now is the time to help each other and show humanity," she said.

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