Hasina asks ministers, partymen to show results

Monday, December 20, 2010

DHAKA - A fortnight away from completing two years in office, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has warned her ministers and party colleagues that their “honeymoon is over” and they must work to show results over the next three years.

The people will want to see output, concrete results, and will evaluate the government critically in the remaining three years of its tenure, Hasina told her weekly cabinet meeting Sunday.

Hasina directed all ministries to expedite their work, saying that her government’s “honeymoon period is over after being in power for nearly two years”, the Daily Star reported Monday.

She also warned of “subversive acts”, linking last week’s fire in a garment factory that killed 24 to sabotage. Her government is tackling an ongoing stir by garment industry workers who complain of non-implementation of the new wage structure that the government devised in June.

The prime minister also mentioned the word “conspiracies” in the context of the trial of Islamists accused of war crimes - killing of unarmed civilians during the 1971 liberation movement.

The arrest of a top opposition lawmaker, Salauddin Quader Choudhury, last week led to partial paralysing of Chittagong, the country’s main port.

To deal with such situations, Hasina asked members of the ruling Awami League to stay vigilant and “not depend only on intelligence agencies for information”, the newspaper said.

Hasina expressed dissatisfaction over poor performance of some ministries and asked them to pay more attention to work.

She said she had information that some ministries were not performing as expected. Expressing disappointment, she said the government’s development works are not being reviewed on a monthly basis by some ministries.

“It must not go on, as the government will have to be accountable to the people for every step in the coming years. People will judge the government very critically and will want output in every step. So I urge all of you to expedite development works,” she told her cabinet colleagues.

“The time for getting easy praise is over. Now we will have to face difficulties in every step. Our government’s success or failure will depend on the actions we take in the remaining three years,” she said.

A presentation of the government’s activities in the 2009-10 fiscal year was shown to the cabinet, and the prime minister expressed satisfaction regarding the overall progress of development activities.

The Hasina-led alliance had swept the parliamentary elections in December 2008. Former prime minister Khaleda Zia, now leading the opposition, has been agitating against the government, and asked Hasina to step down, saying the country was in danger.

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