Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the LGRD ministry to sketch out a master plan to build up all upazila under a specific development design. “The design must be aimed at protecting cropland and check sporadic construction of buildings, roads and other structures,” she added, while visiting the Local Government, Rural Development (LGRD) and Cooperatives Ministry at Bangladesh Secretariat on Sunday. Sheikh Hasina further said: “Unplanned development of the upazilas should be regulated and roads and ways of the upazilas should have to be made in a planned manner to save cropland as well as public money.
“The master plan should have a complete layout for housings, hospitals, markets, schools, collages, playgrounds, agricultural farms, industries and other facilities. People would accept the concept if we (the government) can do this properly.” Referring to the Bangabandhu’s initiative to constitute 60 districts, the prime minister said Bangabandhu made every district as an administrative unit to carry out development, adding: “We should also do something like that to ensure development from grassroots level.” Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Md Tazul Islam gave welcome address, while State Minister Swapan Bhattacharjee and Secretary SM Golam Faruk and senior officials of the ministry and Prime Minister Office were present.
The prime minister also mentioned the government is mulling to prepare annual budget separately for every district and upazila considering its size, population and geographical aspects to meet the demands of the local people, reach the services to the doorsteps of the people and ensure optimum utilization of public money. Pointing out the importance of the LGRD Ministry for Bangladesh’s development, the premier said her government wants to decentralize the administration gradually aimed at strengthening the local government bodies, engaging them in their local development initiatives and making all development sustainable.
“We give highest budget allocation for the LGRD ministry. We will be able to alleviate poverty to a larger extent if the LGRD ministry functions properly,” the prime minister said, adding that the country would go ahead as quick as “we (the government) can free the country from poverty.” Sheikh Hasina also said the country’s local government will be made stronger than before through the decentralization of power. Highlighting the development plans of the government, she said the national budget will be prepared on the basis of districts in the future.
Moreover, she emphasized ensuring the availability of safe drinking water, sanitation, and public health services, as well as the development of roads in rural areas. Sheikh Hasina further said it was essential for government officials to work with honesty and integrity to ensure a developed and prosperous Bangladesh.