Planning Minister MA Mannan has said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been making all-out efforts for the overall development of the Chattogram hill tracts region despite the fact that the issue of harmony, potential and development in this area is quite complex.
“The role that the Prime Minister has been playing since the peace agreement, makes her position clear regarding this issue. She has also instructed us to undertake more and more projects in the hilly areas. We are taking different projects and whenever any project comes to us, we try to pass it quickly,” Mannan said.
He made the remarks while speaking as the chief guest at a seminar titled “Harmony, Prosperity and Development: Chattogram Hill Tracts in the 21st Century”, jointly organised by Bhorer Kagoj and Institute of Conflict, Law and Development Studies (ICLDS) at Hotel Amari in the capital on Sunday.
The Planning Minister further said that the per capita expenditure on development of Chattogram hill tracts is much higher than other parts of the country.
“The government is determined to continue this trend of development in the future,” he added.
Mentioning that Chattogram hill tracts is not a burden of the country, Chattogram Hill Tracts Affairs Minister Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing said, “Everyone has to work together to get peace and prosperity.”
He further said, “After the independence of the country, Bangabandhu visited the Chattogram hill tracts and took initiative to bring forward the people who lagged behind. As part of it, he formed the Chattogram Hill Tracts Development Board. The government is working considering the hilly areas as an important region of the country. The peace treaty was signed as part of it.”
Aroma Dutta, Member of Parliament from women's reserved seat, Naba Bikram Kishore Tripura, former Chairman, Chattogram Hill Tracts Development Board, Mohammad Zamir, Chairman, ICLDS, Major General (Retd) Abdur Rashid, Executive Director, ICLDS, Former Chairman of University Grants Commission Prof Abdul Mannan, Chairman of Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board Nikhil Kumar Chakma and former Ambassador Major General M Ashab Uddin also spoke at the seminar, among others.