PM Sheikh Hasina today slammed critics who opposed the deals signed with India and said those who made such remarks are “novice or motivated”.

“Some people said that I will sell off the country. I did not insist any businessman accompany me to New Delhi. Whoever wanted to come, I brought them here,” she said.

“Now you (businessmen) have to say whether I sold out the country or I am taking back something?” she said, adding that: “Those who made such criticism are a novice or motivated”.

The prime minister said this while addressing a meeting with the businessmen from India and Bangladesh, our New Delhi correspondent reports.

Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICC) and Federation of Bangladesh Chambers and Commerce of Industry (FBCCI) jointly arranged the programme.

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BNP has been pulling up on the government for signing those deals with India, terming that they were tantamount to “selling out Bangladesh”.

BSS adds: The premier urged the Indian entrepreneurs to bring their businesses and investments in Bangladesh to improve the life and livelihood of the people of the region.

“Our aim is to create an innovative and pragmatic economy which would ensure an inclusive society and job opportunities … I’m sure, together we can bring in a difference in the life and livelihood of the people of our region.”

The prime minister said Bangladesh is a stable country and is marching forward on a right path and also enjoys an excellent relationship with India with a vision to develop together.

“You’re rich and that’s why I urge you to take this opportunity to bring your businesses and investments in Bangladesh,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the Indian business community can take full advantage of Bangladesh’s steady economic growth, high demographic dividend, competitive business cost and large consumer base.

“We have an Indo-Bangla investment agreement in place to protect your investment … we’re providing attractive packages including 100% repatriation of profit and invested capital,” she said.

The prime minister said currently, Bangladesh is getting benefits of Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) from 38 countries of the world including EU, Japan, Australia and Canada.

“You can also avail duty-free and quota-free benefits extended to Bangladesh from countries such as China, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia and Chile. We have a large domestic market of around 160 million people,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh is setting up 100 special economic zones to boost industrialisation and to attract foreign investment. “Special economic zones in Mongla, Bheramara and Mirshorai have been exclusively dedicated to Indian investors,” she said.

The premier said the government has set up high-tech parks for attracting investments in the technology sector and also established the Bangladesh Investment Development Authority (BIDA) and Bangladesh Export Processing Zone Authority (BEPZA).

“To facilitate further investments, One Stop Service Act is currently being finalised,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said energy security continues to remain an important element of our business. Our power generation capacity is now 15,726 megawatt. We plan to achieve 24,000 megawatts by 2021.

The prime minister said Bangladesh is investing in infrastructural development projects like the Padma Multipurpose Bridge and Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant.