More support to be provided for poor, he says
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Sunday said that vaccinating the country's people against Covid-19 is a must and the government is pursuing all possible means to vaccinate the people as fast as possible to ensure their health safety.
"Although we are a bit concerned (about the vaccines), for now, vaccination against Covid-19 is a must. We will have to vaccinate people as fast as possible, and we are pursuing all possible means. Insha Allah, you will get good results," he said.
The finance minister was replying to queries of reporters after chairing two separate meetings virtually on the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) and the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP).
Asked about the macroeconomic attainments in the outgoing fiscal year (FY21), he said that the government has materialized almost all the projections that it had made earlier although it might seem unbelievable.
"Even the toughest sector in this pandemic, that is revenue collection, witnessed 17% growth alongside attaining uptrend in the foreign currency reserve and the inward remittance flow. All turned out to be true, which were supposed to happen. The expatriates have sent money to Bangladesh out of their love, passion and responsibility to the countrymen," he said.
Kamal said that inward remittance flow is poised to reach $25 billion this year which would be the highest ever for Bangladesh.
"We don't believe in ‘no’ rather we believe in ‘yes.’ Almighty Allah has always stood beside us and will also stand beside us in future. May all of us remain healthy, sound and our lives become beautiful despite the pandemic."
Replying to a question about the government steps for the poor ahead of the hard lockdown to be enforced from Monday, he said that the government has been supporting the poor class as cash transfers have already been directed to the poor section of people.
He said the identified poor would be given more support.
The finance minister said there is a separate committee of the government to look into the matter side by side Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina herself is also taking care of the issue adding that the poor are being taken care of and would be taken care of in the days to come.
Replying to another question about the RMG owners’ plea to reschedule their loans beyond June 30, he said a decision in this regard is yet to be taken and everyone would come to know about the development when it is finalized.
Kamal said that he spoke with the Bangladesh Bank governor over the issue while the Prime Minister is also considering the matter. "Everyone concerned is working on it. Let's see what we can do," he said.
To another question, the finance minister said he is also unsure why people dare to cross the oceans to change their fortunes through illegal means instead of using the official channel.
"It is quite unfortunate that, despite repeated calls, people tend to use such risky means," he added.
The finance minister told another questioner that, considering the global situation as well as the prevailing situation in the country amid the pandemic, the government is spending what is necessary and thus working to avert misuse and waste of public funds.