Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said it is better to spend reserve money for the welfare of the people rather than sitting idle on it.
"We can't sit idle with this (reserve) money, we have to spend it for the welfare of the people," she said at the oath taking ceremony of the newly elected chairmen and members of 59 zila parishads at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the capital.
She said communication, transportation, imports and everything were almost stalled during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, the reserve money swelled to almost $48 billion.
She said when the world was returning to normalcy the Ukraine-Russia War started followed by sanctions. "As a result, prices of every item have increased worldwide with higher transportation costs," she said.
She said despite the cost the government is importing everything to make those available to the common people.
She said the government is procuring food, fuel oil, gas, edible oil, wheat and corn at very high prices.
Sheikh Hasina said through the 1 crore TCB cards the government is supplying essential items at lower prices, while 50 lakh people are getting rice at the rate of Tk15 per kilogram.
"Those who are totally incapable, we are giving them food at free of cost," she said.
She also said the government is giving houses to homeless people.
The PM said the government has invested $8 billion in various infrastructural development constructions.
"We have utilised our own reserve money, we did not take loans from others," she said.
She said the reserve money was given as a loan to Biman Bangladesh Airlines to procure aircraft.
The prime minister said the government is providing stimulus packages for export-oriented industries.
Pointing to the BNP's severe propaganda regarding the reserve money she said they will definitely do it as their leader Tarique Rahman has been convicted in a money laundering case.