Noting that publishing book is a very noble and creative profession, Agriculture Minister Dr. Muhammad Abdur Razzaque on Saturday stressed the need for finding ways to keep sustaining the publishing industry.
“Book publishers and sellers do not have a chance to become rich overnight. Publishing book is a very noble, creative and intellectual work and it is very important in the development and progress of human civilization,” he said.
The minister mentioned that the size of the book industry in Bangladesh has become much larger and the printing industry has also developed to international standard. But in this age of information technology, the industry faces many challenges, he said.
“I think the joy of reading a printed book and reading a book on a computer or mobile screen is not same. The attraction of the book will always remain,” he said.
He was speaking as the chief guest at the general annual meeting of Bangladesh Book Publishers and Sellers Association at the auditorium of Institution of Engineers in the capital.
Razzaque said publishers need to focus on increasing number of printed books through the use of advanced technology and underlined the need for finding out ways to remain the publishing industry by tackling challenges.
The minister further said that Bangladesh is no longer a country dependent on foreign aid.
Once, 15-20 percent of the budget would come from foreign aid, but now, it has come down to less than 2 percent, he said, adding that donor countries and institutions, including the World Bank, used to consider themselves the kings of the country and show their strength and power.
“Now the king of the country is the common people who belong to all power and they (people) were being led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he said.
Under the strong and far-sighted leadership of Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has achieved unprecedented success in all fields including economy, infrastructure development, agriculture, health and education, he added.
State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain was present as the inaugural speaker, said a press release.
“Investing in child’s education is best. The child will have to be educated and brought up and for this, besides text books, children need to be encouraged to read creative books,” he said.
He urged the book publishers to print more books on the liberation war.
Sellers Association President Md Arif Hossain Choton chaired the programme while Dhaka south city unit Awami League President Abu Ahmed Monnafi, First Vice President of the association Kaiser E Alam Pradhan, its Vice Presidents Shyamal Pal, Mirza Ali Ashraf Kashem, city unit President Mazharul Islam, and former President Alamgir Sikder Loton spoke, among others.