Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged the people to take austerity measures amid the high inflation and price hike of goods across the world due to the Russia-Ukraine war and the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Yes, it is true that prices of goods have shot up to some extent. But it is still uncertain how much the prices would soar further. It is not only in Bangladesh, but also throughout the world. Rather we've been able to keep these under control at least [to some extent]. We've been trying our best," she said.
The premier was addressing a discussion through a virtual platform from her official residence Ganabhaban.
Bangladesh Awami League arranged the discussion at its central office in the city's Bangabandhu Avenue marking the historic Six-Point Day. Sheikh Hasina, also the AL president, chaired it.
She said this war doesn't seem to end so soon. "We all have to be economical. We'll have to pay attention so that food will no way be wasted," she said adding that the shipping cost to transport goods went up from US$ 800 to US$ 2500-US$ 3,000.
Pointing to the readymade garment workers' movement for raising salaries, the premier said they might lose their jobs if any unrest is created in the sector now in this tough time when the purchasing power of the people is declining in the export markets of Bangladeshi clothes.
"If any kind of unrest is created following someone's words, it will harm not only the country but also the workers. Everyone will have to keep it in mind. I think the matter should be informed to the workers and their leaders," she said.
She said the labour leaders will not face any trouble as they will get a good amount of money from instigators. "But what will be the fate of workers? They will be affected for taking to the street," she added.
Hasina said her government increased the salary of the apparel workers on several occasions. A worker now gets Tk8,000-Tk10,000 a month and other facilities, but the salary was only Tk1,600 in the past, she added.
On 7 June in 1966, Bangladesh's founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman launched a massive movement against the misrule of the Pakistanis on the basis of the 6-point demand, the Magna Carta of the Bengalis, demanding autonomy for the then East Pakistan.