Govt to go all the way for country’s development: PM
Terming the present government a pro-business and pro-investment one, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said it wants to leave no stone unturned for the sake of the county’s rapid economic progress.
“For the sake of the country’s rapid economic development, we want to utilise all the scopes. We’ll go for all ways — public, private, public-private partnership or government-to-government one — whichever will be the best for us,” she said.
The Prime Minister was speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the development activities of 10 economic zones held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC), aiming to boost both foreign and domestic investments in the country.
The economic zones are: Mirsarai Economic Zone, Sabrang Tourism Park, Srihatta Economic Zone, Mongla Economic Zone, AK Khan Economic Zone, Abdul Monem Economic Zone, Meghna Economic Zone, Meghna Industrial Economic Zone, Bay Economic Zone and Amra Economic Zone.
The Prime Minister said the government wants to create an excellent investment environment in the country as it is a pro-business and pro-investment one. “We don’t want to do business as we actually want to create scopes for businessmen to do business.”
She mentioned that the government has enacted a number of investment-friendly laws to attract more investors from home and abroad. “We want to see a greater competition among investors,” she said.
Hasina also noted that the government has already introduced one-stop service to ensure a hassle-free environment for the investors. “For the convenience of businessmen, we’re going to merge the Board of Investment and Privatisation Commission. We’ll enact a law in this regard,” she added.
Observing that Bangladesh has limited cultivable land, the Prime Minister said the industrialisation should be done in a planned way. “We have to ensure the food security of the country’s 16 crore people and we have to save our environment, too.”
The Prime Minister laid emphasis on setting up industries based on a zoning system. “In our country, we produce different items in different places, so our industrialisation should be based on that.”
Attaching more importance to saving the environment, the Prime Minister said, “You should keep in mind that there should not be any adverse effect on the environment due to the industrialisation. That means, waste should not travel to rivers and land and there should be a waste management system. That can be ETP or STP which one is appropriate.”
Hasina said the industrial areas should have water reservoirs, green trees and environment-friendly waste treatment plant. “This is my only condition… it’s urgently needed to protect the environment of our country and this is also necessary for you.”
She requested the industry owners to build dormitories for their workers, especially the female ones, in order to give them a better place for living. “And this will also help you to get better production,” she said.
Noting that Bangladesh has a huge domestic market of 16 crore people, she said if the country’s per capita income increases, it would help the businessmen to get a significant consumers in the domestic market. “If you want to flourish the industrialisation, you have to improve the per capita income,” she said.
The Prime Minister hoped that the new 10 economic zones would contribute a lot to materialising the government’s vision to upgrade the country’s status to a middle-income one in 2021 and to the developed one by 2041.
Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu and Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal addressed the function as special guests while Housing and Public Works Minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain spoke from Mirersarai Economic Zone through videoconferencing.
Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Md Abul Kalam Azad delivered the welcome address at the function. Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority Executive Chairman Paban Chowdhury also spoke.
Managing Director of PowerPac Economic Zone Private Limited Ron Haq Sikder, Managing Director of Aman Economic Zone Md Rafiqul Islam, Managing Director of Bay Economic Zone Ziaur Rahman, Managing Director of Meghna Economic Zone (EZ) and Meghna Industrial EZ Mostofa Kamal, Managing Director of AK Khan Economic Zone Salahuddin Kasem Khan and Managing Director of Abdul Monem Economic Zone ASM Mainuddin Monem also spoke at the function.
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