Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque on Saturday said the government will bear 100 percent cost of the medical treatment of all the freedom fighters of the country from the next fiscal year.
He came up with the disclosure while taking part in general discussions on the proposed national budget for 2018-19 fiscal year.
Mozammel lamented that introduction of ‘Swadhinata’ allowance for freedom fighters was not accommodated in the proposed budget, though only Tk 360 crore would require to provide the Swadhinata allowance on the occasion of 26th March Independence Day.
He hoped that the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister would consider the introduction of the allowance.
He, however, said Boishakhi allowance marking the first day of Bengali New Year and Victory Day allowance have been recognised in the proposed budget.
The Liberation War Minister said the trial of the killers of Bangabandhu was held but the local and international forces involved in the killing have not been identified yet.
Mentioning that both the US and Pakistani missions in Dhaka remained open overnight on August 15, 1975 he said, “It’s still mysterious. What did they do on that night? The mystery needs to be unfolded.”
He said a fact-finding commission should be formed to reveal the real history of the country’s Independence War and the controversial role of late president Ziaur Rahman.
Participating in the discussion, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said there are some deviations in the proposed budget for 2018-19 over protecting the country’s local industries.
He, however, said he has already talked to the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister to look into the matter.
Tofail said overall the budget is ‘excellent saying that ‘it is a pro-people budget and all the people of the country will enjoy its benefits’.
He said the government has already started negotiations with European and other countries so that Bangladesh’s products continue enjoying the existing market access to the countries under the GSP-plus facilities when it will be stopped.
Joining the discussion, opposition chief whip Tajul Islam Choudhury put forward six recommendations to remove the weakness of the budget for the sake of its implementation.
The suggestions include reducing the prices of diesel and kerosene, decreasing interest rate on saving certificate, bringing rice prices under control, formation of a reform commission for the banking and financial sector to remove the weakness of the sector, devaluation of Taka against foreign currency for a short term to give facilities to the export and remittance sectors, and proper supervision of the development works.
He also criticised the Finance Minister for not saying anything about share market scams in the proposed budget.
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu, Jasod MP Moinuddin Khan Badal, State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroze Chumki, Awami League MPs Nurul Islam Sujan and Nazrul Islam Babu, among others, participated in the discussion on the proposed budget.