The atmosphere in ministries was festive on Tuesday as all the new cabinet members took over amid warm welcome by officials with the ministers promising to do their best for the development of the country and the welfare of people.
Though nearly half of the total ministers got the cabinet berth for the first time, they looked very confident on the first day of office and shared their various plans and priority areas with journalists and officials.
They also talked tough against corruption and assured of discharging their duties with sincerity and honesty as per people’s hopes and aspirations.
The new ministers also sought cooperation of all so that they can implement their party’s election pledges.
“We need active collaboration, cooperation and partnership from all. We need support from all. We need active initiatives. We need cooperation from friendly countries, too,” new Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen told reporters at his ministry.
State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam and Foreign Secretary M Shahidul Haque were, among others, present.
Highlighting development initiatives of the government, minister Momen said Bangladesh wants to give a boost to its “economic diplomacy” as it is very important globally.
The Foreign Minister sought cooperation from all, including journalists, academicians, philanthropists and businesspeople, in government’s journey on the highway of development saying everyone wants to build Sonar Bangla. “My door will remain open always for any recommendations.”
Education Minister Dr Dipu Moni said the main challenge of her ministry is to tackle the perennial problem of question paper leakage.
Talking to journalists after joining office at the Secretariat for the first time, she also said, “People have elected the government by casting their votes for Awami League with some expectations and we’ll try our best to fulfill that. The government will do whatever is necessary,” she said.
The minister also urged all to work as a team and implement all the election pledges made by the government.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said the execution of government’s zero-tolerance policy against militancy will be their first challenge. “We haven’t allowed militancy to raise its ugly head and won’t allow so in the future, too.”
He also said they want to maintain zero tolerance against drug abuse. “The menace of drug abuse will be rooted out from society at any cost.”
Asaduzzaman voiced his determination to complete the unfinished works, which he termed as one of his big challenges.
New Information Minister Hasan Mahmud promised to deal with upstart online media with the help of journalists.
“I’ve been involved with the media for a long time,” he said adding, “Journalists have many problems. I know about some and will try to learn about others.”
New Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder sought cooperation from his ministry officials so that he can discharge his duties with honesty.
“I’ve reached this stage with my honesty and sincerity. I seek cooperation from you all so that I can work without sacrificing my honesty,” he told the officials at the Secretariat.
State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Nasrul Hamid said they will now pay more attention to the development of the country’s energy sector.
“We had given more time for the development of the power sector in the previous years. Now, we’ll concentrate more on the energy sector,” he told the officials of his ministry who gathered to greet him at the Bidyut Bhaban in the city.
The junior minister suggested that the officials should not feel hesitation in making any decision. “You’ve to take decisions promptly instead of making any delay on any issue,” he said.
He said he will devise plans for his ministry in the next three months and then go for implementing those in the next four and half years. “Our main target will be the year of 2021 and all plans will be made keeping in mind that target,” he added.
New Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury told employees and staff of his ministry that he would not tolerate corruption.
The minister said a two-year plan would be adopted for the ministry’s development. “Field-level land offices will be brought under automation and closed circuit cameras will be installed at every land office,” he said.
The minister also asked the employees to ensure highest skill and accountability at the field level and urged all to complete their works in time. He also asked them to work as a team and ensure better services for the people.
Warning those involved in corruption, Saifuzzaman said: “Be careful or face dire consequences.”
Textiles and Jute Minister Golam Dastagir Gazi said he wants to develop the textiles and jute sector utilising his experiences in the industrial sector.
Outgoing Textiles and Jute Minister Emaz Uddin Pramanik welcomed the new minister and handed over the charge.
New Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun promised to work hard and show zero tolerance against corruption.
He was greeted by his predecessor Amir Hossain Amu at a programme at the ministry. A documentary on the successes and challenges of the ministry was screened there.
“It’s a big ministry. There are lots of works to do and the people expect more from this ministry. I hope we’ll be able to implement government’s commitment of zero tolerance against corruption,” the new minister said.
New Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives Minister Tajul Islam said all civic amenities would be extended to villages across the country.
“There’ll be surprises in the development of the infrastructure sector in the next five years. No corruption will be tolerated,” he said while talking to reporters after joining office.
“We will work with a zero tolerance policy in implementing all sorts of development projects,” the minister added.
State Minister for Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment Imran Ahmad said effective measures will be taken to lower the migration cost.
He came up with the remarks while exchanging views with the Reporters for Bangladeshi Migrants (RBM) at Probashi Kalyan Bhaban.
Imran also said steps will be taken to make a database of the workers who return home from different countries.
Issuing a note of warning, the state minister said no corruption will be tolerated in exporting labours. “What happened in the past is not my business. I’ll see what happens in the future.”
Awami League President Sheikh Hasina along with her 46 cabinet members on Monday took oath following her party Awami League’s massive victory in the 11th national election on December 30.
Apart from the Prime Minister, there are 24 ministers, 19 state ministers and three deputy ministers in the new cabinet.
Of the 47-member cabinet, 27 are new faces who are picked in a bid to infuse dynamism into the cabinet activities to implement the election manifesto the ruling party placed before the nation.unb