Successes due to Govt’s high ambition: Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Wednesday said the country has been able to achieve tremendous successes in different fields over the last four and a half years as the present government is ‘highly ambitious’.“The country could achieve such level of successes in this tenure as the government is highly ambitious,” he said while addressing the inaugural function of the five-day National Fish Fair-2013 held on the Ramna Batamul premises in the city.
Speaking on the occasion as the chief guest, Muhith said the budget size witnessed a 222 percent growth during the present government as it has been able to generate more resources and revenue earnings.
Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas, State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Mohammad Abdul Hye, Ministry Secretary Ujjal Bikash Dutta and Chairman of the Bangladesh Fisheries Development Corporation Piyush Costa spoke on the occasion as special guests. DG of the Department of Fisheries Syed Arif Azad presided.
Forty-three stalls have been set up in the fair which will remain open from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm every day till July 7. During the fair, different types of formalin-free fishes will be on display apart from exhibition of various live fishes and the techniques of modern fish farming.
The ‘National Fish Fair’ is being organised by the Department of Fisheries under the Fisheries and Livestock Ministry as part of the ‘National Fisheries Week 2013’.
Noting that agriculture and rural areas are the bases of the country’s economy, the Finance Minister emphasised the need for giving more priority to these for ensuring development. “If the base doesn’t remain intact, then we’ll have to run into trouble time and again,” he added.
Responding to the demand of the Fisheries and Livestock Minister to increase manpower in various departments under it, the Finance Minister said the demand is rationale and there would be something during the period of the present government.
He, however, said the present government believes in continuity of the government activities that means the successive government would carry forward the activities and initiatives undertaken by the present government.
Mentioning that the economy of the country has reached such a stage where anyone could not do anything at his or her wish, Muhith turned to the countrywide daylong hartal called by Chhatra Shibir today (Wednesday). “Hartal now often becomes violent. People had to accept hartal against their will as they don’t want to fall victim of it.”
He also said that the fisheries sector has been given due priority by this government for the sake of the country’s interest.
Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdul Latif Biswas said 27 development projects have been undertaken during the tenure of the present government in a bid to increase fish production to meet the growing demand of protein.
Highlighting various achievements and initiatives in the fisheries sector by the present government, he said projects have been undertaken to increase fish production in beels, haors, sanctuaries, availability of the formalin-free fishes in markets using digital detection kits and export earnings of Tk 4,703 crore in the last fiscal year.
Mentioning that the fisheries sector is playing an important role in meeting up the demand of protein, State Minister for Fisheries and Livestock Mohammad Abdul Hye stressed the need for ensuring optimum utilization of water bodies for increasing fish production.
Ministry Secretary Ujjal Bikash Dutta said the fish production in the country now stands at 32.60 lakh metric tons which was 25 lakh metric tons four years back despite various adversities and manpower constraints.
He said the production of Hilsa has reached 3.47 lakh metric tons following the implementation of Jatka protection drives alongside the comprehensive programme in increasing Hilsa production is now being replicated by the West Bengal government for its success.
Director General of the Department of Fisheries Syed Arif Azad informed the audience that fisheries export was 27 percent higher in FY12 compared to the previous fiscal, some 0.6 million new workforces have been engaged in the fisheries sector last year while the average growth in the fisheries sector in the last four years was 6.22 percent.
He also unveiled a government plan to raise fish production by 25 percent by 2015.                      – UNB

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