Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday directed the administration to stay ready to extend all kinds of assistance to the flood-hit people as the flood may prolong this time.
“There is an apprehension that the flood may prolong this time…the prime minister has given a clear instruction to the administration that it will have to provide people with whatever assistance they need,” Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said at a press briefing after the cabinet meeting.
The meeting was held virtually, with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.
The PM joined the meeting from the Gono Bhaban through videoconferencing, while the other cabinet members were connected from the Bangladesh Secretariat.
“It [admin] will have to be careful about such flooding at this time of Covid period,” the premier was quoted as saying.
Hasina directed the field-level administrations to provide all kinds of relief materials and take measures so that the flood victims can take shelter in schools, colleges, and madrasas where there is a lack of shelter centres, said the cabinet secretary.
All the field-level government employees, working up to union level under the ministries or divisions concerned, particularly education, health, madrasa education, family welfare and agriculture, must be present at their work stations during the flood, Anwarul said.
During the long unscheduled discussion at the meeting, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Enamur Rahman explained the preparations taken to tackle the possible prolonged flood, said the cabinet secretary.
He said though there is an in-built mechanism at the field-level administration to face flood, this time extra efforts are being made as there is a fear that this flood may last long.
Referring to a Canadian university forecast, Anwarul said floodwater may get stuck up for a longer period from the beginning of the Bengali month of Bhadra as the world climate scenario shows that the water level in different seas, including the Bay of Bengal, is now on the rise.
The PM asked the authorities concerned to personally make sure the rehabilitation programmes taken up for the flood victims are implemented effectively and timely, he said.
If the flood prolongs, it will help enhance the productivity of T Aman (Ropa Aman) due to siltation to be caused by the flooding, the cabinet secretary said, adding that the bumper production of crops was also seen after the floods in 1988 and 1998.
CABINET CLEARS BILL
During yesterday’s meeting, the cabinet approved the draft of the Bangladesh Madrasah Education Board Bill-2020 to replace a 1978 ordinance in this regard.
“According to the article 28 of the proposed law, there will be [legal] protection of the activities the Madrasa Education Board has so far done since 1978. The activities would be considered as done under this [proposed] law and no activity [of the previous time] can be challenged as illegal,” said cabinet secretary.
He said two important changes were brought to the bill as the employees of the board were declared as public servants, and their retirement age was fixed at 60 years like all other education boards.
In December last year, the cabinet approved the bill in principle bringing some amendments to the existing Madrasah Education Ordinance-1978 as the Supreme Court declared all the laws made during military regimes illegal.
Yesterday, the cabinet also approved the draft of an agreement to be signed between the government of Bangladesh and Lumbini Development Trust of Nepal to set up a Buddha temple at Lumbini in Nepal with financing of Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, the Cabinet Division said some 71.43 percent of the cabinet’s decisions have so far been implemented in the April to June quarter. Out of the 28 decisions, 20 have been implemented while the rest are being implemented.