PM Hasina: Government doing its best to rein in prices of essential commodities

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said her government is doing its best to control the prices of daily essentials in the country amid the high global inflation rate.

“We have been trying our best to keep the prices of essentials under control,” she said while inaugurating 40 new fire stations in different places of the county.  

The prime minister also directed the authorities concerned to take proper actions against the hoarders of essential items and those who play with their prices.

She joined the inaugural function at the Fire Service and Civil Defence Headquarters in Dhaka’s Fulbaria through a videoconference from her official residence Ganabhaban.

Hasina said the Covid-19 pandemic has caused economic recession throughout the world, deepened by the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war.

There is a food crisis even in many developed countries and the inflation rate went up to 17% in some places. The inflation rate is 7-9% in many European countries, she added.

Noting the difficulties to import some goods due to the ongoing war, the prime minister asked the people not to keep an inch of land uncultivated and ensure the optimum use of the soil for food autarky.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the authorities of development works –architects, engineers, or project planners of different ministries– to keep the provision of fire-fighting facilities in every development project.  

She called for ensuring wide roads for smooth movement of fire service vehicles and water sources at nearby places.

“During designing a project, everyone has to keep a few things in mind, and that is– ensuring modern fire extinguishing systems in the institutions and keeping water available for firefighters,” she said.

The prime minister also asked to protect water bodies and conserve rainwater at project sites.

Noting that the country has the capacity to fight fire in 20-storey structures, she said some people even might have plans to construct 30-storey buildings or 40-storey buildings, or even 100-storey skyscrapers.

In this regard, she asked them to consider the firefighting capacity before taking any plan for the construction of the high-rise buildings.

Sheikh Hasina said the fire extinguishing system will have to be kept in every building – offices, courts, schools, colleges, universities, shopping malls, entertainment centres, cinema halls, different factories, and mills.

She asked the fire service department to ensure training and rehearsal over fire extinguishing systems and on what to do in case of fire in educational institutes or mills and factories.

The prime minister said launches too catch fire here, but there is not enough fire extinguishing scope in such a large water vessel. “The matter should be taken care of,” she said.

She stressed the need for keeping open balconies in the multistoried buildings, where a large number of people stay, for sake of rescuing residents in case of fire.

Sheikh Hasina said the government had taken the decision to set up a fire service station in every upazila. “We’re building fire stations even in very remote places,” she said.

Mentioning that there are now 456 fire stations in the country, she referred to the opening Sunday;s 40 more fire stations at 39 upazilas in 25 districts under five divisions.

She said the construction of 55 more fire stations would be completed by June next.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, Secretary of Security Services Division Md Mokabbir Hossain and Director General of Fire Service and Civil Defence Department Major General Md Sazzad Hussain spoke at the function.