Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged all concerned to become frugal, avoiding luxurious items, controlling expenditure and stopping wastage and checking misuse of funds in the wake of global economic condition.
She gave the directives while chairing physically at the 6th meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) in this fiscal year (FY23) held on Tuesday at the NEC conference room in the city's Sher-e-Bangla Nagar area.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Planning Minister MA Mannan said that the premier in the meeting urged all concerned to become frugal, stopping wastage and avoiding luxurious items since the world is on the brink of experiencing another economic recession.
State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam, Planning Commission members and secretaries concerned were present at the briefing.
Mannan said the prime minister asked the authorities concerned to come up with rural small projects or public welfare-oriented projects.
"The prime minister said luxury projects can't be taken up. But, we can't compromise with the small rural projects or welfare oriented projects. Mega projects can't be undertaken now," said the planning minister.
He said that the prime minister, also the ECNEC chairperson, stressed the need for conducting thorough feasibility study in case of undertaking any big project.
She also asked the authorities concerned to find out uncultivated lands everywhere across the country and thus transform those lands as arable ones.
The planning minister said the premier has put utmost importance on boosting agricultural production to become self reliant as well as increasing production of poultry, cattle, vegetables to meet the demand of protein and nutrition.
He said the prime minister had mentioned that production would have to be raised while not a single inch of land can be kept uncultivated.
In this regard, the premier directed the cabinet secretary to identify the uncultivated lands across the country with the help of concerned deputy commissioners.
The planning minister said although Bangladesh has literally come out from the tunnel of COVID-19, but the country is still suffering from the Dengue.
The prime minister called upon all concerned including the concerned authorities and countrymen to become more aware to clean their houses, offices and yards to minimize the prevalence of the Dengue fever.
Answering to a question, Mannan said that there was no such specific discussion in the meeting over the country's foreign currency reserve situation although the countries across the world are experiencing slowdown and also are on the verge of another economic recession. "Since the country is small, the impact gets heavier on us," he said.
Noting that Bangladesh is a victim of the current global condition, he said the context is being changed every moment and the country has to move forward through necessary adjustments. "But, I think we're still in a comfortable position as the international financing institution like IMF had made a good projection for us. The inflation is also witnessing downtrend...we've to hold our position strongly and thus move forward," he said.
Citing some latest figures on FDI, inward remittance, export earnings and LC openings, State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam said that although Bangladesh is under some pressure, but it is not true that the country is under severe crisis or any disaster. "We're moving forward in terms of attracting FDI, inward remittance and export earnings," he said.
Mentioning that the foreign currency reserve has declined below $35 billion due to the recent ACU payment, Dr Alam said with the current forex reserve, it is still possible to meet the import bills of four and a half months.