Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said the national economy made a turnaround with its desired pace due to the government’s timely decision to give stimulus packages to various sectors and groups during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We have taken the step at the right time…we didn’t think about how much money we have or what we have, we just thought about keeping our economy moving,” she said.
The premier was speaking at the weekly Ecnec meeting held at NEC auditorium in the capital. She joined the meeting virtually from the Gono Bhaban.
Hasina said the idea behind giving the packages to different industrial sectors, including agriculture, SMEs, heavy industries and RMG, and other groups like the poor, day-labourers and distressed people during the pandemic period was to keep the wheels of the economy turning.
“If we want to keep the wheels of the economy turning, we have to provide money to these sectors and groups…we have to transfer money to the hands of the people,” she added.
The government so far has announced 21 stimulus packages worth $13.25 billion which is equivalent to 4.03 percent of the country’s total GDP.
The PM mentioned that cash incentives to various groups of people and sectors have helped the overall economy rebound greatly.
She said the government has attached utmost importance to the agriculture sector to continue its development for improving the production of food grains so that people do not suffer from food scarcity in any way. “And we have been able to maintain that.”
About the stimulus packages, Hasina said the government has given incentives to businesspeople and they returned to their businesses from the time they had started receiving those.
“We didn’t leave out any sector in providing the stimulus packages…we have been able to reach out to all sorts of businesses; we have given them money, cash and incentives in time. This has enabled them to continue their business.”
The PM said the day-labourers also started getting their jobs back while the businesses started operating again.
She said the government has given incentives to the agriculture sector directly and also to SMEs, heavy industries, RMG sector and other industries in phases.
As a result, the economy has regained its pace, the premier added.