PM announces cash assistance for jobless before Eid
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday announced that the government will provide cash assistance before Eid to mitigate the sufferings of those rendered jobless amid the coronavirus outbreak. “We want to give cash assistance ahead of the Eid to those who have lost jobs due to the nationwide shutdown over the coronavirus pandemic to minimise their plight … we’ll do it to ensure their food security,” she said.
The prime minister made the announcement while exchanging views with the public representatives and officials of eight districts of Rangpur division on the present coronavirus situation of the country through a videoconference from her official Ganabhaban residence. The districts are Panchagarh, Thakurgaon, Dinajpur, Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Rangpur and Gaibandha.
The prime minister also declared suspension of realising bank interest for two months and also hinted at extending the ongoing government holidays till May 15 in view of the coronavirus outbreak. Sheikh Hasina said the government has directed to open haats-bazzars (markets) and shops so the people do not face any problem to have iftar and sehri and they can buy goods as the Eid-ul-Fitr is ahead. The prime minister said to keep the wheels of the economy running, the government has also instructed to reopen small and medium industries across the country by keeping the people protected and giving attention to their health.
“We’ve already reopened the offices and courts in a limited scale so that the people don’t suffer in getting services,” she said. The premier said the government stopped the movement of buses, launches and trains alongside the flights considering the situation arising out of coronavirus outbreak. “But we’ve resumed the operation of rail services in a limited scale for the convenience of the people and postal parcel service,” she said.
In this connection, Sheikh Hasina said these will have to be done by avoiding mass gathering as there is a chance of spreading the disease further for this. “All will have to maintain social distancing and avoid mass gathering as there is a scope to be infected for violating these rules,” she said. While talking about payment of bank loan interests, the prime minister said many people have already taken bank loans – ranging from big to small amounts.
“But realising their loan interest has been suspended for two months as they had no work and business in the last two months due to the pandemic,” she said. “We’ll take the next steps considering the issues that who have taken what amount of loan and for which sector.