Saturday, 27 November, 2021

Govt working with highest priority to improve living standards of marginal communities: Mannan

Planning Minister MA Mannan said on Monday that the main goal of the government is to build a hunger and poverty free country especially to improve the living standards of the marginal communities and the government is working accordingly giving highest priority.

"Bangladesh has been able to save its economy under the farsighted and strategic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Bangladesh has been able to notch positive GDP growth during this period although the GDP growth in most of the countries of the world including in India registered negative," he said.

The Planning Minister was addressing the National Dialogue on LDC Graduation as the chief guest held at a city hotel organized by Centre for Governance Studies (CGS).

 The Dialogue was split into three sessions. The first session was on "Preparedness for smooth and sustainable LDC graduation,"; the 2nd session was on "LDC graduation and effective development cooperation"; and the 3rd session was on "LDC Graduation: Opportunities and challenges for commerce and trade".

The day-long dialogue was addressed among others by World Bank Country Director Mercy Tembon, former minister Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, former State Minister for Foreign Affairs Abul Hasan Chowdhury, Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh Mustafa Osman Turan, deputy resident representative of UNDP Van 
Nguyen, president of Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry Selima Ahmad, MP, executive director of Policy Research Institute (PRI) Dr Ahsan H Mansur, executive director of RAPID Dr M Abu Eusuf, chairman, Department of Development Studies of Dhaka University Prof Rashed Al Mahmud Titumir, former NBR Chairman Dr Muhammad Abdul Mazid and secretary SHUJAN Dr Badiul Alam Majumder.

CGS chairman Dr Manjur Ahmed Chowdhury inaugurated the dialogue while executive director of CGS Zillur Rahman gave the welcome address.

The Planning Minister said that the government had kept operational the agriculture and the industry sectors striking a balance between the lives and livelihood during the pandemic while lockdowns were enforced in such a way so that there was no impact on production. 

Besides, he said at the very beginning of the pandemic, the government announced various stimulus packages to offset the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of this, there was no such problem in disbursing the salaries of the RMG workers and thus the production process remained operational.

The Planning Minister said that the objectives of the present government are to ensure overall development of the country for which electricity connections have been reached to the doorsteps of common people while huge subsidies are being given in the agricultural inputs.

Apart from this, mega projects are being implemented for ensuring overall infrastructural development. 

World Bank Country Director Mercy Tembon said that Bangladesh would need to make effective reforms in the areas of education, health, revenue structure, export policy and strategy in order to face the post LDC 
graduation challenges. 

In this regard, she suggested for boosting export competitiveness, increasing business facilities, reducing duty in international trade and playing the pivotal role by the private sector for industrialization. 

The speakers at the Dialogue suggested the government for taking a strategic working plan in consultation with all the concerned stakeholders of the country for smooth and sustainable graduation from the LDCs.