Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday said the priority of the government in this Covid-19 pandemic is to ensure food and shelter for people alongside ensuring vaccine.
"We need to think about our priority. Our priority is to provide food and shelter. At this stage of the budget, I don't think there's any necessity for approving additional fund (for different ministries)," she said.
The Prime Minister said this while approving the revised Annual Development Programme (ADP) for 2020-21 fiscal at the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting held at the NEC conference room.
She joined the programme virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
Sheikh Hasina said this is not the right time [due to pandemic] to place demands for additional allocations by ministries…but arrangements could be made for essential development and maintenance," she said.
Describing the present situation as critical one due to the stagnant economic situation across the world due to the coronavirus, she said the big issue for the government is now to make sure people do not suffer due to the Covid-19, avoid the scarcity of food and medical treatment and ensure vaccine for all the eligible people. "They (mass people) could lead a better life and should not suffer economically, and our priority is to ensure that."
Sheikh Hasina said the government has procured Covid-19 vaccine and will procure more to ensure it for all the 17 crore people of the country.
Recalling the early days of Covid-19 pandemic, she said the government was worried what would happen next. "Ultimately, we took some timely steps so that we could maintain the pace of our progress. Those who've come up with proposals seeking additional fund need to keep in mind that we're running our country in an unnatural situation," she said.
The Prime Minister mentioned that the government has to give a special attention to rural areas so that villagers have the easy access to food, health, medical facilities and security.