The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is keen to assist Bangladesh in further strengthening its local government structure.
This was revealed when UNCDF Executive Secretary David Morrison paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office yesterday, said PM's Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad.
Welcoming the UN organisation's keenness, the PM reiterated the government's strong commitment to continuing to work for ensuring effective local government for the greater interest of the mass people.
The premier told Morrison that the government is working hard to establish cent percent pro-people local government across the country.
In this regard, the premier mentioned the success of the government in facilitating people with direct elections to elect their own representatives in the upazila parishads, just after taking office in January 2009.
As the UNCDF Executive Secretary highly lauded Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's vision of putting good governance prominently in its development focus, the PM vowed to maximise the welfare of the people through implementation of various development projects.
She reiterated the government's pledge to introduce free education up to graduate level, particularly for socio-economically vulnerable students.
The PM was also eulogised for her government's steps taken to improve service delivery for the poor.
In reply, the premier told the UNCDF official that though the last BNP-Jamaat government had stopped the project, the present government has again started setting up 18,000 community health clinics to bring quality and economical medical services to the poor people.
In this regard, Hasina lamented that the previous government had closed almost all development projects initiated by the last Awami League government just on political grounds.
She observed that governments will change time to time through elections, but development projects taken by a particular government should not be closed by the next government just for political reasons.
Hasina told the UN official that her government is continuing various development projects taken by the previous government, which have really been proved as pro-people.
The UN organisation also appreciated the present government's agenda for “change” through implementing the vision of digital Bangladesh.
During the meeting, Morrison handed over a letter from the PM of Uganda to Sheikh Hasina, through which she has been invited to be one of the three key panellists of the inaugural session of the Global Forum on Local Development, to be held in Kampala, Uganda from 4-6 October, along with the President of Uganda and the UNDP administrator.
Ambassador at Large M Ziauddin and PM's Office Secretary Mollah Waheeduzzaman were also present.