Budget designed to cut poverty: PM

Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said that the proposed budget has been formulated to free people from poverty.

Published : 11 June 2010, 07:39 AM
Updated : 11 June 2010, 07:39 AM
Dhaka, June 11 (bdnews24.com) – Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has said that the proposed budget has been formulated to free people from poverty.
"No one can say that it is a budget to kill the poor, rather it is intended to benefit everyone and for the country's overall economic development," Hasina said on Friday.
She was speaking at a programme to mark the second anniversary of her release from jail at Ganabhaban.
Hasina was arrested from her Dhanmondi residence, Sudha Sadan, on July 16, 2007 on charges of extortion and was freed on June 11 the next year.
Cabinet members, notable persons and journalists attended the programme.
Finance minister AMA Muhith on Thursday unveiled a $19 billion (around Tk 1,321 billion) budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year.
Regarding comments from different quarters, especially the opposition BNP, the prime minister said, "Many have termed it as a highly-ambitious budget. But I think our ambition is to free the people from poverty."
"Inshaallah, we will be able to implement the budget."
She also said that it would not be proper to make the people frightened by terming the budget 'ambitious'.
"We want to make sure that people's expectations are met in our efforts towards economic development."
"We don't have much time, we have to develop faster," the prime minister added.
Regarding her release from prison, the Awami League president said, "It was not the day of my freedom but the day of the freedom of democracy. When I was arrested, I asked for freedom of democracy in the country.
"Economic development without democracy is impossible," she added.
She also expressed her gratitude to the people, and party leaders and supporters for whose efforts, she said, she was freed.
Quoting her father's independence hero Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's historic speech on Mar 7, 1971, "You cannot suppress us," Hasina said, "None could dominate us."
The prime minister said, "We want to ensure economic liberty of the people alongside good life, medical facilities and education.
"I hope we will carry the responsibility put upon us by the people," she added.
Talking about the three couples whose wedding was held at Ganabhaban on Wednesday, Hasina thanked all the participants for their curiosity and inspiration.
Rituals of the three weddings — Runa with Jamil, Ratna with Suman and Asma with Alamgir — were concluded just before 11pm on Wednesday at the prime minister's official residence.
Ratna, Runa and Asma lost their families to a raging fire in Old Dhaka's Nimtali that claimed 121 lives.
Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher