“When I work for people, I don’t get tired …it’s my great achievement when people stay well,” she said while receiving blankets from the Bangladesh Association of Banks (BAB), an organisation of the country’s private banks, for the PM’s Relief and Welfare Fund at a ceremony at Ganobhaban in the evening.
A total of 36 private banks under the BAB provided some 27 lakh blankets to the Prime Minister’s Relief and Welfare Fund for distribution among the cold-hit poor people.
Besides, the Prime Minister received a cheque for Tk 10 crore from Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited to procure blankets.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has taken steps to build a habit of using banks among people. “We’ve taken measures to build a habit of using banks among people. They’re using the banks for various purposes like admission (to educational institutions), receiving healthcare and constructing houses. Both the state-owned and private banks are getting benefits from it,” she said.
Hasina said the government has expanded the banking system in the private sector, making it possible to bring rural people under the banking network.
The Prime Minister said her government has been implementing massive programmes to provide an improved, prosperous and decent life to the people of the country. “So, the country has become stronger to a large extent economically. No one now can see Bangladesh with the eye of sympathy in the international arena,” she said.
She said her government is taking the country forward in a planned way. As part of the plan, it opened many sectors for private investors for the first time in the country.
Referring to the criticism against the banking sector, Sheikh Hasina said many things are written about banks. “But those who have idea about it won’t write so much,” she said, adding that many write so with many intentions.
“There’s nothing to worry. If you run the banks honestly, there won’t be any problem,” she said pointing at the representatives of the banks.
The Prime Minister said some quarters had advised them to close down the non-profitable branches of the state-owned banks. “The World Bank had given such a prescription … but when we came to power, we didn’t accept the prescription as economic activities are not equal in all regions,” she said.
Hasina said the banks will make profits in the regions where economic activities are more and those will refrain from those in those areas where economic activities are less.
“I consider it from an overall view. So, why will I shut down banks? Rather I’ll teach people about the use of banks. That’s why we’ve created scope of opening bank account with Tk 10,” she said.
The Prime Minister thanked the private banks for extending their assistance by providing the blankets.
BAB Chairman Nazrul Islam Mazumdar also spoke at the function. PM’s Private Industry and Investment Affairs Adviser Salman F Rahman and Chief of Army Staff General Aziz Ahmed were, among others, present.