July 18, 2024, 11:33 am

Diplomatic correspondent

2024-07-08 09:13:06 BdST

Bangladesh to become homeless-free country soon: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said Bangladesh will become a homeless and landless-free country after the distribution of only 11,000 homes. 

“We’re only 11,000 homes away from making Bangladesh as a homeless and landless-free country,” she said when EU Ambassador Charles Whiteley paid a farewell call on her at her official residence, Ganabhaban. 

She told the envoy that her government has constructed apartments for slum dwellers, where they can reside paying the similar rent they used to pay in slums. In addition, apartments for cleaning workers have also been constructed by her government while homeless people are being given homes under the Ashrayan project, she said. 

“Actually, the target of my government is that there will be no homeless and landless people in Bangladesh,” she added.  

As the EU envoy talked about community clinics, the premier said it is established only for ensuring primary healthcare. Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Md Nayeemul Islam Khan briefed the newsmen after the call on.  

The EU ambassador said that the EU will continue extending cooperation to Bangladesh for its flawless graduation from the Least Developed Country (LDC). 

He told the premier that he will be stationed in Brussels in his next assignment and there, he will work in the Indo-Pacific region and that is why he will keep in touch with Bangladesh.  

Regarding the launching of “Talent Partnership”, the envoy said that this scheme would open the doors of immigration to the EU countries in a legal way as Bangladeshi skilled and qualified people would avail themselves of the opportunities and get legal work permits. 

He said the immigrants could return home after 4/5 years, so there would be no issue of brain drain. 
The premier said, “Our people would go abroad and gather experience and contribute to the country. So, I don’t think it is a brain drain.”

While the issue of a rail link development project on Laksam-Chattogram route, in which the EU was interested in providing support, came up, the premier said that it seemed to be an expensive and non-viable project. The government would rather try to find an appropriate and sustainable project with EU finance as they have full concentration on the development of rail communication, she added. 

About Bangladesh-India connectivity, the premier said that Bangladesh wants to establish connectivity with Nepal and Bhutan through India for import of electricity using Indian territory while India would also communicate with its different parts through Bangladesh. 

“We’re also considering Trans-Asian rail connectivity in this way,” she added. 

To this end, the premier laid emphasis on strengthening BIMSTEC as Bangladesh would take over as its next chair after Thailand. 

The EU ambassador requested the Prime Minister to play a pivotal role in establishing peace in Ukraine and Russia as war is going on there. 

In reply, the Prime Minister said that she is always vocal and talks about peace. “Not only in Ukraine-Russia and Gaza, but also we want peace everywhere.” 

Ambassador-At-Large Mohammad Ziauddin was present on the occasion. 

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