Stop provocation, or else, govt to stop funding public univs: PM
Published : Sunday, 10 November, 2019 at 12:00 AM Count : 89
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday warned public university teachers not to provoke their students into the wrong path.
If they do so the government will stop funding the public universities, Sheikh Hasina, also Awami League President, said on Saturday.
"Some people are unnecessarily raising allegations against the university authorities without examining that whether those are right or wrong," he observed.
In an apparent reference to the current unrest in Jahangirnagar University and other public universities, the Premier said if the situation continued the government might stop funding these institutions which would require agitators or their instigators to bear their study expenses.
She said, "You cannot forget that we were also students of the universities and pursued study there. It's unacceptable to lead students to a wrong way through provocation and sweet words. Nobody can allow this. The government will stop all money, because the public universities are autonomous bodies. Why will the expenses of those are borne who instigate the students?"
She made the comments while inaugurating Bangladesh Jatiya Sramik League's 13th national council at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka.
Sramik League President Shukkur Mahmud chaired the programme while AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader, also Road Transport and Bridges Minister, AL Labour Affairs Habibur Rahman Shiraz, State Minister for Labour and Employment Monnujan Sufian and General Secretary of Shramik League Sirajul Islam Khan also spoke on the occasion.
"Those, who are waging the movements at the universities for various demands, will have to think that what they would do," she said adding that there is no country like Bangladesh, where the public universities provide education to students at so much low cost.
"It's true that autonomy prevails in public universities in Bangladesh. But it's the government which provides money. How much money a student of a public university spends on study? It's maximum Tk 150 a month. Can they pursue higher study with this money?" she questioned.
The PM also questioned as to how much money is spent in each semester after being admitted to the private universities.
Sheikh Hasina said Tk 2 lakh or more is being spent for a student at a public university. The amount is higher at engineering, medical or vocational institutions and the government is providing all expenses, she said.
"We want discipline to exist there and the students to get proper education. We want them to build their life beautifully," she said.
She said, "Many people say that we don't understand the public universities. It seems that only those creating disorder understand public universities. Those who are hampering the student's study by wasting working hours only understand public universities. We'll not understand it."
Sheikh Hasina said the government will provide money and do all development projects and those staging demonstrations feel very good to accept it. "But the government cannot take any action there, it can never happen," she said.
The Prime Minister said, "There is a saying that 'independence is good, but it's not for boys' and this will have to be kept in mind. I think it's better not to speak such type of childish word."
International Labour Organisation (ILO) Country Director Tuomo Poutiainen, General Secretary of International Trade Union Confederation - Asia Pacific (ITUC AP) Shoya Yoshida and South Asian Regional Trade Union Council General Secretary Laxman Bahadur Basnet also addressed the council.
According to the organisers, more than 8,000 councilors along with equal number of delegates from 78 district committees across the country with the BJSL's central committee leaders joined the conference.
In the council sessions, Fazlul Haque Montu and KM Azam Khasru were elected president and general secretary of the organization in presence of the senior leaders of Awami League including Obaidul Quader.
In the last conference of the organization held on July 19 in 2012, labor leaders Sukkur Mahmud and Sirajul Islam were elected president and general secretary respectively of the body.
Terming Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (BAKSAL), which was formed by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1975, as a platform of unity, she said, "Bangabandhu had given a call to unite the nation after the country's independence. The name of the unity is BAKSAL. It was the platform of unity with the people of all class."
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the rulers of Pakistan regime had shut down hundreds of industries in the country before the independence. After the independence, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman reopened the industries after nationalization.
"More than 82 percent of the country's people were then living below the poverty level. He had taken steps to change the fate of the labour class people. He had also taken measures for the farmers as most of the country's people were farmer and our economy is also based on agriculture. He had taken steps to build up the economy of the war-wounded nation," she added.
She said Bangladesh is progressing fast as a massive change took place in the last one decade in the country. "But we saw frequent coups, killings and conspiracies after the assassination of Bangabandhu in 1975," she said.
The Premier said, "We didn't hear those who are talking today say anything against the military dictator at that time. Rather we saw them licking the boots of the military dictator."
Elaborating her government's various steps for the welfare of the workers, the Prime Minister said, "We're always sincere in the wellbeing of the working class. Whatever classes the people belong to we treat them as human beings and we give the dignity of their labour."
Sheikh Hasina said her government did not only keep the country's economy dependent on agriculture it has also given attention to industrialization alongside agriculture, she said.
The Prime Minister said after 1975, a scope was given for looting in the name of privatisation of the state-owned enterprises. "Most of the organisations were in a critical condition," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said industrialization is advancing thanks to various steps of her government. "Whenever the Awami League government came to power, it worked for the welfare of the working class people," she said.
Pointing out increase of salaries for the workers, the Prime Minister said her government had raised the minimum wages for them by 380 percent to Tk 8000 from Tk 1600.
"We've established Workers Welfare Foundation Fund for the workers working in institutional and non-institutional sectors and Tk 400 crore were deposited in the fund," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the government had enacted many time-befitting laws for the welfare of the workers. "To remove child labour, we have framed Child Labour Policy-2010," she said.
The Prime Minister said the government is setting up 100 economic zones across the country for further industrialization and generating employment. "We've taken the initiatives so that mills and factories are not established here and thereby destroying farmland," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is now marching ahead with a huge success of development along with the spirit of the liberation war due to continuation of the government since 2009.
In this regard, the Prime Minister called upon leaders and workers of Jatiya Sramik League to work for further development of the country and ensure welfare of the workers.