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Middle East conflict may affect country’s economy: PM



Published: 08 May 2024,

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina answered the questions of parliamentarians in the National Assembly on Wednesday: PID

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that the glimpse of creating a conflict situation in the Middle East can be assumed to have an impact on the social, political and economic spheres of Bangladesh as well as the whole world. This conflict may have some effect on the country’s economy. The head of government also said that the government has taken various advance steps to mitigate the possible negative impact on the economy.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said these things in response to a question from Samil Uddin Ahmed, a member of parliament of the government party in the National Parliament today on Wednesday. He said, due to the instability of the world market, inconsistencies in market management and the increase in global fuel prices, the inflation of the country is likely to increase slightly. In addition, if the ‘supply-chain’ of goods is damaged due to the conflict situation, the transport costs related to exports to Iran or neighboring regions may increase. Exporters may face tougher competition due to increased manufacturing and supply costs.

The Prime Minister told the Parliament that in such a situation, he has instructed all the ministries and departments of the government to keep an eye on the ongoing events in the Middle East and determine their respective actions. He gave instructions to make necessary preparations taking into account the fact that some sectors may be affected if the conflict is prolonged.

Highlighting various advance steps taken by the government, Sheikh Hasina said that any conflict or news of conflict in the Middle East affects the fuel oil market. This increases the cost of shipping goods, which puts pressure on import costs. Fertilizer import costs are affected. It will strengthen existing relations with countries like China, Morocco, Tunisia, Canada, Russia etc. as an alternative source.

Inflation is largely moderate

In response to the question, the Prime Minister said that the government has continued all kinds of activities to keep the prices of daily necessities normal.

The head of government said that the price of some products of the world market such as fuel oil, edible oil, wheat, fertilizers and various food products, consumer goods and industrial raw materials are increasing and the country is feeling the pressure of import inflation. In addition, there are fears that the crisis will intensify as a result of the renewed conflict in the Middle East. However, even in this situation, his government is making all-out efforts to control inflation and mitigate its impact on the people.

Pointing out that the recent fall in the exchange rate of the rupee is having an adverse effect on domestic inflation, the Prime Minister said, in this case, the currency exchange policy based on ‘crawling peg’ (in this method, the price of the dollar fluctuates within a certain limit) will be adopted soon to bring stability to the exchange rate of foreign currency. This system is expected to prevent abnormal fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. As a result, it will also help in controlling inflation.

In response to another question, the Prime Minister said that the service provided to the people with the manpower available in TCB is sufficient. The government is taking measures to ensure that the common people do not suffer.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, ‘Yes, commodity prices have increased; which has an effect. Especially those with limited income are suffering. However, there is not much trouble for those who can or are producing themselves in the village. There is no moaning. However, we always try to keep the prices under control. For which we have taken the necessary steps to produce the product in the country as well as importing it. No matter how much money it costs. But we are spending. Which is also putting pressure on our reserves. People’s welfare is our most important thing. We are keeping an eye on that.

“They die themselves and kill the passengers”

In response to a supplementary question from the opposition chief whip Mujibul Haque, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasized on increasing awareness to prevent road accidents. He said, ‘What to do if people don’t get awareness! It is difficult to understand when the helper is driving or who does not have a license, when he starts driving a car. And while driving like this, the accident happened. They also die and kill the passengers.

The Prime Minister said, “Our per capita income has increased. Purchasing power has increased. We have also given people the opportunity to buy cars. I have also given opportunities to government officials and employees. Now we have so many cars, but compared to that the number of drivers is very less.

Stating that the government is taking measures to train drivers, Sheikh Hasina said that many restrooms are being constructed so that drivers do not have to drive continuously for a long time. Those who do not have a license to drive a heavy vehicle should not drive it. To do so would be suicidal. People should be stopped from this suicidal system.

” Not because it’s our country, but around the world, go to other countries—how many people die in accidents? It is very sad. We have identified accident prone areas and taken steps to make them accident free. Due to which accidents are not happening in many areas. There is a problem with this driver.’

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina advised private car drivers to be sincere too. He said, ‘I will tell everyone, you drive the car with the drivers. Whether he played on time or not, whether he was able to rest…many don’t do that. You ask to drive. The car keeps moving. You come to parties and invitations, but whether the driver plays or not, he doesn’t care. Be sincere about that.



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