Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has over the years have set rare examples of humanity and fellowship, besides statesmanship and on Thursday she set another act not only to define all those but to honour her ailing finance minister by choosing to present the majority part of the national budget for 2019-2020 fiscal year.
The premier also set an example of how to honour a man who has, despite being sick, prepared the tough task of preparing the challenging annual fiscal plan for 2019-2020 by not allowing anyone else to do the job.The move surprised the country’s people as this is for the first time in Bangladesh’s political history that the prime minister stood in instead of another minister to present a plan much of which contains her vision to turn the nation into a prosperous one.
She is also scheduled to stand-in for the finance minister in today’s post-budget press conference at 3:00 pm, official sources said.
Sheikh Hasina has set examples of humanity and statesmanship by sheltering the Rohingyas fleeing persecution at home in Myanmar, helping people in need of educational or medical assistance and adopted many distressed young people as her own children.
Her statesmanship has made her one of the top leaders in the comity of nations and a leader to reckon with —- the first for this country.
Her down-to-earth behavior with those who come to see her, by not only embracing them, but often breaking her security cordons to be amongst these people from all walks of life.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal joined the parliament’s budget session Thursday after driving from the city’s Apollo Hospital where he was admitted a few days ago after falling ill reportedly with dengue.However, Gazi Touhidul Islam, a finance ministry spokesperson, said in a statement on Tuesday, “Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal went to Apollo Hospital for a routine medical check-up. He is completely healthy. He will present the budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year before the parliament on Jun 13, 2019.”
Kamal looked little tired when he entered the house along with the prime minister wearing a black Mujib Coat and the briefcase containing the fiscal plan. He fumbled several times after starting his maiden budget speech in the parliament. Then he requested Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury if he could deliver his speech by sitting in the chair due to illness instead of standing, which has been a traditional practice.
When the finance minister found it difficult to carry on even after that, he asked for assistance from the Speaker so that the remaining part of the speech could be presented by someone else.
Sheikh Hasina in an unprecedented act of statesmanship, humanity and fellowship took the responsibility of presenting the rest of the national budget. She added few things to the plan and quipped laughingly when parts of the speech praised her.
“These words are in the finance minister’s words, not mine. I would never praise myself,” she said making the lawmakers laugh.
Kamal, a man with many feathers on his hat, was the planning minister in the premier’s last cabinet and his performance was praised. His appointment to the crucial post of finance minister was seen as an acknowledgement of his good work by the premier.
Kamal after arriving at the Parliament Secretariat building from the hospital joined the cabinet meeting where the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year was approved. He also joined parliament on Wednesday a day after being admitted in the hospital.