Govt working to strengthen democracy: PM


Asianbangla Desk : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government is working on strengthening democracy in the country and accelerating the country’s development. Unb, Dhaka.

She made the comment when visiting Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland met her at the Prime Minister’s Office.

PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the meeting.

The country’s GDP growth is now 7.78 percent, while the inflation rate is 5.5 percent, she said, adding that her government is working for women empowerment at the grassroots level and now a good number of women is participating in the socioeconomic development.

“We’re encouraging young entrepreneurs — both men and women,” Ihsanul quoted the PM as saying.

About the Rohingya issue, Hasina said Bangladesh is having discussions with Myanmar. The biggest worry for the government is weather.

She said the influx of 1.1 million Rohingyas has created a burden on Bangladesh and locals are also suffering as the Rohingyas have occupied their land in Cox’s Bazar.

Turning to terrorism, Hasina said her government has successfully combated terrorism and engaged the people from all walks of life in the movement against the social menace. “It almost turned into a social movement. We don’t want to allow our children to indulge in terrorism.”

Talking about the election, she said more than 6,000 elections — local body polls and parliamentary by-polls — were held during the current term of her government and all the elections were free and fair.

About sports, the PM said Bangladesh Women Cricket Team has recently clinched the Asian Championship, while the Bangladesh National Cricket Team is also doing well. The government is promoting sports as a whole, she added.

The Commonwealth secretary general stressed the need for trade facilitation among the Commonwealth countries.

She said it will have to reduce trade barriers among the Commonwealth countries and enhance the connectivity for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) network.

Patricia said the Commonwealth is ready to extend cooperation in upholding the democratic process in Bangladesh.

Talking about cricket, the Commonwealth secretary general emphasised the need for the formation of Commonwealth Cricket Club and introduction of Commonwealth Cricket League with the participation of both male and female teams, the PM’s press secretary quoted Patricia as saying.

She said the participation of women in the Commonwealth League will enhance their confidence and determination.

Patricia highly appreciated the women empowerment in Bangladesh and said women should be involved in trade. She also suggested engaging women and girls in the SMEs.

Mentioning that the displaced Rohingyas are burden on Bangladesh, she also praised the PM for hosting 1.1 million Rohingyas and called it a “great compassion”.

Patricia also appreciated the role of Bangladesh in combating terrorism and presented a copy of the Commonwealth Charter to the premier.

PM’s Principal Secretary Nojibur Rahman was present.



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