Welfare State and Smart Bangladesh

Hiren Pandit: Bangladesh will become the hub in the next few days. After successfully implementing the promise of building Digital Bangladesh, Bangladesh is now moving forward with a new program. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working relentlessly towards the implementation of SDGs by 2030 and building a Smart Bangladesh by 2041. Today’s students will one day face the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution and build a smart Bangladesh. A cost-effective, sustainable, intelligent, knowledge-based, innovative Smart Bangladesh will be built on the four main foundations of Smart Citizen, Smart Economy, Smart Government, and Smart Society.

In a parliamentary democracy, the national parliament is the focal point of democracy. If the national parliament is active and dynamic, the development of people’s lives and the realization of their hopes and aspirations are possible. The government can also be brought into accountability and transparency. The standing committees of the National Parliament play a very active role in monitoring and supervising the activities of various ministries. In the meeting of the committee on the errors and omissions of the various activities of the ministry, they made recommendations and everything including the administration can be brought under accountability.

Making Parliament dynamic and continuing this trend is a very important milestone in consolidating our democracy. Everyone should work regardless of party affiliation to develop democracy. Contribute to the establishment of a tolerant democratic system by removing violence from politics. In light of the established democratic norms and the constitution, the people of Bangladesh are enriching and accelerating the history of democracy in Bangladesh by exercising their right to vote impartially. The brave sons of the nation have gifted us an independent sovereign country in exchange for millions of lives. It is our responsibility to accelerate the progress of this country and nation. Participate in the formation of a welfare-oriented state away from any destructive activities.

We must stand united against any evil forces that threaten democracy. The progress and development of the country continues through the active participation of the people of the country under the leadership of Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. A non-communal, self-reliant, and poverty-free Bangladesh is being developed in the spirit and ideals of the liberation war. The development of Bangladesh in the last 53 years is commendable and has the contribution of people from all walks of life.

Bangladesh is a war-torn country after independence. We had nothing then. Per capita income, exports, and repatriation income were all just names. The country has slowly come out from there. Great progress has been made in the last 15 years. Although the trend started in the nineties. Of course, the biggest contributors are exports, remittances, and agriculture. Agriculture has diversified. As a result, we are self-sufficient in food. But there are some challenges. Dependence on clothing is high. Product diversification and new market expansion required Remittances are high but low compared to many neighboring countries. It should increase. Bangladesh, created by the sweat and labor of farmers, laborers, and expatriates, is becoming a legend of development and an example of development to the world.

After independence, the budget of only 786 crore rupees has increased almost a thousand times and now it is 7 lakh 61 thousand 785 crore taka. According to the data, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger’s ‘bottomless basket’ is now overflowing with success stories. According to the report by the US think tank Wealth-X, it is not just GDP growth; Bangladesh is at the top of the world in terms of very rich growth. Bangladesh is close to many countries in the world in terms of increasing the number of rich including America, Canada, England, Japan, Hong Kong, China and India. Over the past decade, the number of wealthy individuals in Bangladesh has grown at an average rate of 14.3%, with a net worth of more than US$5 million.

In war-torn Bengal, there is a food shortage of 7.5 crore people, but the total crop production is 1 crore tons. After 50 years there are about 16 crore people in Bangladesh. Crop production has reached four crore tons. Deficit Bangladesh is now almost self-sufficient in food. Overcoming all obstacles, conquering the minds and souls of farmers in almost all subsectors of agriculture through hard work and sweat. For 50 years, working people have pushed the wheels of prosperity behind and formed the basis of the country’s economy. Despite hundreds of adversities, they have made the progress of the garment sector of Bangladesh unstoppable. The red-green flag is constantly striving to raise the top of the world. One crore 22 lahks 55 thousand 915 migrant workers are taking Bangladesh forward on the path of development by sending almost the entire income of their inhuman labor to the country. An analysis of data by the Government Planning Commission, a domestic and foreign research institute, shows that the country that was born from the rubble in 1971, 53 years later, is now one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

Almost all of the eight goals of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have made positive progress. Now the implementation of SDGs in sustainable development is progressing. For almost a decade, Bangladesh has been called Diamond, Emerging Tiger by the world’s top organizations and various development partners, especially the World Bank, IMF, ADB, JICA, Goldman Sachs, Wall Street Journal, HSBC, Citibank NA, PwC. This is why it is ahead of many countries in the world including neighboring countries in terms of consistently high GDP growth, poverty alleviation, education, infrastructural development, reserves, remittances or remittance income, exports, per capita income, income, social security and other key indicators of the economy. Bangladesh is now a surprise to development partners.

According to the data, the Post-Independence Annual Development Program or ADP has reached Tk 2.25 trillion from just Tk 501 crore. Then the per capita income was 129 taka and now it exceeds 2795 dollars. While GDP growth was below 3 percent, it has now reached 8 percent. Bangladesh is far ahead of India and Pakistan in almost all social and cultural indicators. Bangladesh’s achievements in all indicators like female education, population growth rate, income, trade deficit, poverty and extreme poverty reduction, safe drinking water, housing, school enrollment, maternal mortality rate, and infant mortality rate are universally recognized. So much for that success; Progress, arguably, in the three main sectors of the economy, agriculture, exports and repatriation income, is dependent on capacity building in all other areas.

The farmers of Bangladesh have faced all kinds of natural calamities including storm surges, floods and droughts and have maintained the progress of agriculture with redoubled tenacity and strength. At present more than 47 percent of the total labor force of Bangladesh is engaged in agriculture. By using all kinds of agricultural inputs including improved seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides, they have been able to produce several times more crops despite land degradation. After independence, 10 percent of the country’s land was under high-yielding crops. Now it has crossed 90 percent. 10 percent of the land was under irrigation, now it is 80 percent. As a result, the production of paddy increased three times, wheat doubled, vegetables five times, and maize ten times. Currently, Bangladesh ranks third in the world in rice production, third in vegetable production, third in open-water freshwater fish production, seventh in mango production, seventh in potato production, and eighth in guava production. Enviable success in the poultry and dairy sector. All these have been made possible by the hard work of the farmers.

The export and apparel sector is contributing as much as agriculture as it moves the country from an underdeveloped to a developing country. Around 4 million workers are employed in this sector at relatively low wages, leading the world in competition. As a result, Bangladesh is the world’s top garment exporter after China. The sector was not on the list of export income 50 years ago, but in the fiscal year 2018-19, 3 thousand 413 million dollars came to the country from this sector, which amounted to 2 lakh 90 thousand 105 million taka in 2013. local currency Despite the slight decrease in exports due to Corona, 83 percent of the total export earnings came from ready-made garments. In the last 53 years, the garment sector has changed the face of the country’s export earnings. Export income increased 96 times in five decades. The sector is advancing the prosperity of Bangladesh through employment of rural men and women, socio-economic empowerment of women and expansion of numerous allied industries. What was once a hazardous factory has now been transformed into an eco-friendly garment factory.

Bangladesh also tops the list of environmentally friendly factories in the world. What can be a bigger surprise than 53 years of independence? The sector is leading the global market by efficiently combining price, quality, and lead time. Apart from this, the sector which is playing an important role in enriching and developing Bangladesh is expatriate income. Migrants leave their families and loved ones to work day and night as workers and send the bulk of their earnings back home. Today, the prosperity of the country has come based on this. But from 1996 to 1997 the number of people working abroad was only 14 thousand now it is 1 crore 20 lakh 55,915 people. In 1986-88, the expatriate income was only 49 million dollars, but in 2023 it will reach 27 billion dollars in Bangladesh. Its amount in Bangladeshi currency is 1 lakh 8 thousand crores. The country has an adequate supply of food grains, while strong foreign exchange reserves in the form of land exports and remittances. The combined result of these is the power to move the country forward.

Roads, highways, and mega projects across the country. The inauguration of Padma Bridge, Bangabandhu Tunnel, Metro Rail, Expressways and Roop Pur Nuclear Power Plant are helping accelerate the high growth potential of the country. The use of information technology is increasing. According to NBR’s analysis, the country’s digital platform business will stand at around Tk 26,000 crore in the coming year. About 7 lakh youth are earning foreign currency from home through outsourcing using technology. The export income of this sector has also exceeded 1 billion dollars. Almost 100 percent of the country’s mobile phone sets are being manufactured on imports. The export field is being created ahead. 100 Special Economic Zones have created huge domestic and foreign investment areas.

Hiren Pandit is a columnist and a researcher

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