Finance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on Wednesday said at least three crore people of the country were still living below the poverty line and the current Awami League-led government needed to stay in power for another term to remove poverty from the country.
‘Poverty will not remain in the country by 2024 if the party [Awami League] comes to power again,’ he said at the inaugural ceremony of the four-day GAPEXPO-2018 at the International Convention City, Bashundhara in Dhaka.
Another term is needed for Sheikh Hasina for poverty alleviation by the time, he said.
The Bangladesh Garment Accessories and Packaging Manufacturers and Exporters Association is holding the fair to showcase garment accessories and packaging materials and related machinery.
Three other four-day fairs — 17th edition of GARMENTECH Bangladesh, 1st edition of PRINTECH Bangladesh and 9th edition of International Yarn and Fabrics Sourcing Fair — being organised by Zakaria Trade & Fair International and ASK Trade & Exhibitions Pvt Ltd
also began on the day at the same venue.
Muhith claimed that the rate of poverty declined by nearly 10 per cent in the last nine years of Awami League government.
But still more than 10 per cent of people in the country are living below the poverty line, he said.
He said that around 10-12 per cent of the country’s population — mainly aged, widows and physically and mentally challenged — would remain below the poverty line and dependent on the state even after 2024.
Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Md Siddiqur Rahman, Exporters Association of Bangladesh president Abdus Salam Murshedy and BGAPMEA second vice-president Moazzem Hossain Moti spoke, among others, at the programme. BGAPMEA president Md Abdul Kader Khan chaired the function.
Kader said that the garment accessories and packaging sector fetched $6.7 billion in export earnings in the last fiscal year (2016-2017) and has the potential to attain $12 billion in export earnings by 2021.
More than 450 companies from 24 countries are exhibiting their products including garment machinery, accessories, packaging products machinery and raw materials at about 600 booths under eight halls at the fair venue.
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