Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed government officials involved with development projects to reduce the number of foreign trips, slash related allocations, and include only essential personnel for such travels.
Her directive came at a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) as a project on expanding the cultivation of improved varieties of grasses for livestock proposed sending 32 government officials abroad for training.
The meeting approved the project involving Tk3.20 crore for the officials' foreign trip. The project aims at developing livestock nutrition and handing over the technology to farmers.
Sheikh Hasina participated in the Ecnec meeting from Ganabhaban, while ministers and secretaries attended the programme from the NEC Conference Room in Dhaka.
Briefing the media after the meeting, Planning Secretary Md Asadul Islam said, "Along with officials from the Department of Livestock Services, the project [on expanding cultivation of grasses] also proposed foreign travels for officials from other ministries and divisions on training purposes.
"Expressing her concerns over the matter, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the officials to reduce the number of such foreign trips, and related allocations."
She also asked the ministries and divisions to provide her with a list of all contractors that are working in construction projects.
The list must include the total the number of work a contractor has been involved in, their current progress and the time it took for them to complete finished projects, said the planning secretary quoting the prime minister.
Asadul added that the prime minister has asked officials concerned to give new work to contractors after checking the quality of their previous work and completion times.
Sheikh Hasina also asked officials to give work to new firms, instead of a handful of selected ones, so that the new firms can gain more experience, the planning secretary added.
Md Asadul Islam said, "Giving instructions regarding the Covid-19 vaccine, the prime minister pointed out that importing the vaccines is just part of the job, as related officials must be trained to administer the vaccines properly.
"She directed us to develop the cold chain system and launch a special initiative for waste management during vaccination."
The prime minister later directed the officials concerned to have drainage systems built beside the highways to keep those from getting waterlogged. She also asked officials to have resting facilities built beside the highways for drivers and helpers, he added.