Prime Minister on Friday called for strict enforcement of the existing laws against rape. The PM also put emphasis on enactment of stricter laws against rape and inflicting stringent punishment to the offenders, saying that such a heinous crime is never acceptable, reports BSS. “It’s necessary to frame more strict laws against rape and give stringent punishment for it … such a heinous crime is never acceptable,” she said.
The prime minister simultaneously issued a strong warning against such an offence and said that the government will take necessary actions in this regard.
“We’ll take necessary actions against those who will commit such a crime,” she said. The premier was delivering her valedictory speech of the third session (budget session) of the 11th Jatiya Sangsad in the House with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.
The prime minister said social crimes like unleashing beastly torture on the children and killing people or children in words have increased. “When such a crime is committed, it’s video and information surface,” she said. In this connection, Sheikh Hasina urged those involved in the media to show the picture of the rapist repeatedly.
“I’ll tell those involved in print and electronic media to show the picture of the rapist time and again so that he (rapist) feels shame for the offence,” she said.
The Leader of the House also called upon the male community alongside the womenfolk to be vocal against such a crime. “Why only the females will protest against the rape. The matter is also a shame for the male community as they are committing such a crime. So they’ll have to be more vocal against it,” she said.
The prime minister in her speech also spoke about various issues like spreading of dengue, price hike of gas and age limit for the government jobs and the country’s development in various sectors. She also highly praised the success of the Bangladesh cricket team in the ICC Cricket World Cup and the Bangladesh Parliament Team in the Parliamentary Cricket Tournament.
While talking about spreading of dengue in the country, particularly in the capital, the prime minister urged the people to remain careful about the dengue mosquito and keep their (people) houses neat and clean. Sheikh Hasina said the outbreak of dengue mosquito has increased and such mosquito has become aristocratic as they live in aristocratic places, not in slums or dirty water.
“They don’t die despite spreading medicines on them and it’s a problem,” she said. “So, I will request everybody to stay careful about the dengue mosquito and keep their (people) own houses neat and clean so that such mosquitoes cannot be born,” she added. Defending again the gas price hike, the Leader of the House said the Petrobangla had proposed to raise the price of gas by 102 percent as the import of LNG is very costly.
“As per the Bangladesh Energy Regulatory Commission, there was a necessity to increase the gas price by 75 percent. But considering the economic pressure of the clients, the government has increased the price by 32.08 percent,” she said. Sheikh Hasina said the price of per cubic meter gas at the consumers’ level is Tk 9.80, but import cost of per cubic meter of LNG is Tk 61.12.
“So we’re giving Tk 51.32 subsidy on per cubic meter gas,” she said, adding that the amount of annual subsidy is Tk 19,310 crore. The premier told parliament that the government will give subsidy of Tk 7,990 crore, while the amount from the Energy Security Fund will be Tk 2,420 crore so that the people do not feel more economic pressure in the field.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has kept the price of gas at tolerable level considering the sufferings of the common people. Spelling out various steps of her government for development of the energy sector, she urged the people to be economical in using gas and electricity. Sheikh Hasina said energy is very much necessary for overall development of the country. “We’re providing electricity to 93 percent people and we have achieved capability of producing 22,000 MW power … we’re constructing fertiliser factories, while works of various development projects are going on,” she said.
The Leader of the House said the government has set a target to take the GDP growth to double digit by 2024. “So energy is a must to achieve the goal,” she said. The prime minister said Awami League could not come to power in 2001 as her government had opposed the export of gas. “We suggested export of gas by keeping its reserve for 50 years after meeting the demand of gas of the people as we do politics for the country and welfare of the people,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has taken steps to introduce pre-paid meter for the use of gas and electricity to check its misuse. The prime minister once again apparently ruled out the possibility to extend the age limit for entering the government jobs placing a number of logics in support of keeping this age limit unchanged.
The premier said a student can complete his or her post-graduate degree at the age of 23 years and the success rate of the BCS applicants aged 23-25 years higher than that of examinees aged 25-27 year and much higher than that of BCS candidates aged above 29 year. In this connection, she mentioned the statistics of the 35th, 36th and 37th BCS examinations.
“If the age limit is extended to 35 years, what will be situation? There is a certain age to do work. What will be the consequence? If anyone joins job at the age 35, he or she will have to be imparted training till 37 years,” she added. Elaborating Bangladesh’s tremendous development in various sectors including agriculture, education, health, the prime minister said the country has started its journey towards continental shelf of uplift in the last one decade. “We attained 8.1 percent GDP growth in the last fiscal and set a goal of achieving 8.2 percent GDP in the current fiscal and we’re advancing with this plan,” she said.