Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said that her government will be able to implement the Taka 761,785-crore national budget for fiscal year 2023-24 as they have shown their capacity earlier.
“We’ve placed the biggest size of national budget in the history of the country and we are determined to implement this budget. We can implement it and the Awami League can do it,” she said.
The Premier said this while addressing the commissioning ceremony of the new intercity train “Chilahati Express” on the Chilahati-Dhaka-Chilahati route.
Virtually joining the event, which was held at Chilahati Railway Station in Nilphamari, from her official residence Ganabhaban, she said that many people would say many things (about this budget), but “we, Awami League (AL), know about this country’s wellbeing and its people also”.
In 2006 during the BNP regime, the size of the budget was only Taka 61,000 crore, Sheikh Hasina said, adding, “But our government unveiled a Taka 761,785-crore national budget on June 1 last.
She said that a group of people are availing the option of several number of televisions, which licenses were given to the private sector by the AL government, always criticise whatever the government does and find “but” (flaws) there, sitting in air-conditioned rooms.
They also spread some words to disappoint the people and talk against Bangladesh before the foreigners, she said, adding, “But what they get from it, I don’t know, they may collect some hadia (money) which actually I can’t say, they get satisfaction talking against Bangladesh”.
About the people who used to say that it is not possible for the government to implement after placing the national budget every year, she said the government does it and shows it through implementation.
“I want to say to these types of people that please keep in mind what you said last year and where today’s Bangladesh has come from, please calculate and compare it,” she added.
Sheikh Hasina said that the price of each product across the globe has been raised due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine-Russia War and sanction-counter sanctions.
She said that prices of fuel oil, gas, food stuff, wheat, sugar and everything that Bangladesh is importing from other countries, have been increased along with the hike in transportation costs, which is mounting pressure on the country’s economy.
“We’ve taken some initiatives to tackle the situation,” she added.
At the ceremony, the Premier flagged off the “Chilahati Express” which will run on the route six days a week. The capacity of the intercity train is 800 passengers.
Chilahati Railway Station is an important intersection in Nilphamari district as the Haldibari-Chilahati route was revived to resume rail communication between Bangladesh and India. Alongside goods-laden wagons, the inter-country Mitali Express is running on this route.
Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah moderated the ceremony, while railway secretary Dr. Md. Humayun Kabir delivered a welcome address. Railways Minister Md. Nurul Islam Sujan, MP, also spoke on the occasion.
A video documentary on the Bangladesh Railway (BR) was screened.
Since 2009 after assuming power, the Awami League government in the last 14 years has installed a total of 740km of new railway track, while converted 280km of rail track into dual-gauge and rehabilitated 1308km of rail track.
During the period, a total of 114 locomotives were collected for the Bangladesh Railway (BR) along with 623 new passenger carriages and 516 goods-carrying wagons.
In addition, the signalling systems of 130 railway stations have been modernised.
Now, 142 new trains are running for passengers’ movement.