The prime minister approves the revised Annual Development Program (ADP) for FY2020-21 on Tuesday
The government’s priority during the Covid-19 pandemic is to ensure food and shelter for people, as well as ensuring access to the Sars-CoV-2 vaccine, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said.
“We need to think about our priority. Our priority is to provide food and shelter. At this stage of the budget, I don't think there is any necessity for approving additional fund (for different ministries)," she said on Tuesday, while approving the revised Annual Development Program (ADP) for the 2020-21 fiscal year at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting.
The prime minister attended the meeting, held at the NEC conference room, via videoconference from her official residence Ganabhaban.
Addressing the meeting, Sheikh Hasina said due to the pandemic, now was not the right time for the ministries to place demands for additional allocations.
“But arrangements can be made for essential development and maintenance," she added.
Describing the present situation as critical due to the stagnant economic situation across the world due to Covid-19, she said the big issue for the government was now to make sure that people do not suffer, avoid scarcity of food and medical treatment, and ensure vaccine for all the eligible people.
"The mass people can lead a better life and should not suffer economically, and our priority is to ensure that," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government would procure more shots of Covid-19 vaccine to ensure that all of the 170 million people of the country get it.
Recalling the early days of the pandemic, she said the government was worried what would happen next.
"Ultimately, we took some timely steps so we could maintain the pace of our progress. Those who have come up with proposals seeking additional funds need to keep in mind that we are running our country in an unusual situation," she said.
The prime minister mentioned that the government had to give special attention to rural areas so that villagers have easy access to food, health, medical facilities and security.