Dhaka: Visiting World Bank Executive Director Aparna Subramani yesterday said the bank must support the national priority of any country as she paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“I feel that the World Bank should give support to the national priority of any country,” PM’s Press Secretary Ihsanul Karim quoted the World Bank executive director as saying while briefing reporters after the meeting at Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban here this evening.
Subramani’s comments came when the prime minister raised the issue of World Bank’s imposition of condition on giving loan in the case of providing subsidy by different countries for the development of various sectors including agriculture.
The World Bank executive director said the bank is focusing on financing the SME sector for development of different countries of the world including Bangladesh.
Subramani highly appreciated Bangladesh’s impressive socioeconomic progress under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. “You’ve brought Bangladesh to a proud position,” she told the premier.
In this connection, the World Bank executive director mentioned Bangladesh’s 7.7 percent GDP growth, saying that it’s a huge achievement for the country. “It’s a success story of Bangladesh which other countries could follow,” she said.
“Bangladesh has set outstanding examples in the world in many socioeconomic indices like increasing average life expectancy of the people, reducing child and mother mortality rate and ensuring women empowerment,” she said.
The prime minister said her party has a specific policy on socioeconomic development for which the country witnessed massive progress and uplift in the last nine and a half years.
Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had started rebuilding the war-ravaged country soon after the independence, she said and regretted that the progress was halted after his brutal assassination in 1975.
“Bangladesh could have been more developed had Bangabandhu been alive,” she said.
Sheikh Hasina said the country witnessed military rule for a long time which created obstacles to development of the country.
The prime minister mentioned that the first priority of her government was to ensure food security and social safety of the people as well as to make the country poverty and hunger-free as dreamt by the Father of the Nation.
Sheikh Hasina said her government has already ensured social safety of the people, especially for women. The girls have advanced than boys at primary level due to special emphasis of the government on girl education, she said.
At the meeting, the prime minister also mentioned her refugee life for long six years after the August 15 carnage in 1975, saying the military dictator did not allow her to return home at that time.
PM’s Principal Secretary Md Nojibur Rahman was present on the occasion, among others.
Aparna Subramani, an Indian national, serves as the Executive Director at the World Bank Group representing Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka since September 1, 2017.