Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday stressed the need for planned industrialisation by protecting the arable lands to ensure economic prosperity, urging the youths and women folks to make their contribution to the sector.
"No industry can be built indiscriminately. No damage can be done to the arable lands and three crops lands---we will bring economic prosperity by increasing production through industrialisation," she said.
The premier said this while opening 50 industrial units, projects and facilities in the Economic Zones (EZs) across the country marking the Golden Jubilee of the country's Independence and the Birth Centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
She joined the inaugural function virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence.
The prime minister said, "I'm very happy today, as I inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 50 industrial units and infrastructures despite the world is going through an economic recession due to the Russia-Ukraine war, sanctions and counter sanctions amid the Covid-19 pandemic".
Sheikh Hasina, also Chairman of the Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA), said her government is establishing industries in a planned way across the country.
"We're taking measures to set up industries in each area across the country. We've to protect agricultural land as our population is increasing and we have to feed them," she said.
The prime minister said her government has attached priority to increasing food production through research aimed at meeting the local demand and exporting much more.
"We've to continue the food production alongside going for industrialisation," she said.
The prime minister said her government is working to develop the socio-economic condition of the countrymen alongside increasing exports with enhanced production in industry and agriculture.
"If we can increase the purchasing capacity of the people by ensuring their socio-economic advancement, the local markets will be created in larger volumes and thus the country's industry will be benefited immensely," she said.
Briefly describing the opportunities provided by her government for the youth and women folks to be entrepreneurs, she said all would have to work together to transform Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country by 2041 upholding the country's graduation as a developing nation.
The prime minister emphasised establishing the agriculture and food processing industries as their demands are on the rise across the globe, asking the youths and women folks to extend hand to this sector.
The nation would move ahead keeping its head high with due dignity, she said.
The premier said, "We're establishing 100 economic zones across the country. We have already approved 97 economic zones and 28 of which are currently under development."
The economic zones are expected to create employment for one crore people directly and indirectly, she said, adding that employment for 40,000 people have already been created in the zones.
So far, 12 privately owned economic zones have received licenses to operate and nearly $4 billion have been invested in these economic zones, she said.
She mentioned that her government is allocating economic zones to various foreign countries as they are showing interest in investing money in Bangladesh.
She said, "We have given lands for setting up economic zones for Japan and India. We will arrange lands for Saudi Arabia and Singapore alongside other countries that are showing interest."
The prime minister called upon the businessmen to make strides to meet the demand of the countrymen through operation of their industries.
She said, "The businessmen will definitely do business. We're preparing the ground and giving every scope to do so. So, you have to work for the welfare of the people. The more you work for the people's wellbeing, the more opportunities you will get from the government. But don't do anything for which the people will get hurt or suffer."
The premier also instructed the business people to arrange employment for the families who will give land for the economic zones alongside ensuring hygienic working environment, security and every facility that included day-care centres.
"No Hawa Bhaban currently exists and you (businessmen) have to give no percentage of your profit to them and don't need to run here and there to get work. We have been able to bring the country into discipline," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the purchasing capacity of the people is increasing with escalating per capita income and it has risen to 2824 US dollars as the government has been in power for 14 years in a row thanks to the people of the country.
"The people who have eyes can witness the huge development of Bangladesh," she said.