Hiren Pandit :
The 12th National Parliament election was held on January 7. Awami League took the oath of the 36-member cabinet under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on January 11 based on absolute majority. Earlier on December 27, the government articulated its commitment to the people with the slogan ‘Smart Bangladesh: Where Development Shines, Accelerating Employment’. Awami League has prioritized 11 issues by promising to build a smart Bangladesh.
Creation of employment, keeping the price of goods within the purchasing power, establishing consistency between incomes, keeping the youth and youth society involved in the transformation and development of the country, taking measures against capital smugglers, eliminating bribery and corruption, bringing debt-tax-evasion and seizing the illegal assets of the corrupt. The party promised.
Apart from this, in agriculture, service, economic, and industrial production sectors, ensuring the fundamental rights of third-gender people have also been given importance. Awami League has promised that modern civic facilities will be extended to every village. For this purpose, the youth will be provided with self-employment in the village. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the constitution has pledged that the state will take effective measures to achieve a radical transformation of rural areas through the development of the agricultural revolution, electrification of rural areas, development of cottage industry and other industries and development of education, communication system and public health to continuously eliminate urban and rural disparity. Considering the village as the central philosophy of development and prosperity, this issue was included with special importance in the election manifesto of the Awami League in the last election. Roads have been improved and expanded in each upazila, connecting each village to the upazila headquarters and the upazila to the district headquarters and national highways. Electricity supply has been ensured in every village.
Drinking water and sewage systems have been completed, which will be further improved and expanded. The government has borne the cost of primary and secondary schools. Financial assistance is being provided for teachers’ salaries in private schools. We have to find a solution to the political conflict problems in our society.
Our economy is another big challenge. There are fuel shortages, inflation, income inequality, commodity price hikes, and syndicates. Low-income people are facing many challenges. There are political and diplomatic challenges. There is no simple formula for overcoming these challenges, whether political, economic or diplomatic. Considering these as large-scale issues, systematic changes should be made.
The 12th parliamentary election was closely watched not only by the country but also by foreign circles. Many doubts, crises, uncertainty and fear are created around the election long before the election. Although some countries reacted negatively to the election, most of the countries of the world welcomed the election in a positive manner and the winning party. After the formation of the new government, there are several challenges in the management of the country.
Dealing with the economic crisis, removing instability in the commodity market, curbing corruption and money laundering, returning banks and the financial sector to normal, and working especially in areas of tension at the diplomatic level. Foreign observers from the United States, Canada, Russia, OIC, various Arab countries, and other countries expressed their opinion that the election was free, fair, and peaceful after observing the election. They praised the polling environment as well as cited the polling method as a model for other countries to follow. We are interested in the free flow and transparency of election information. Due to the long history of elections, the political process of Bangladesh is progressing steadily. Bangladesh has a strong democratic base, which is very important.
Focusing on the 12th National Parliament election, the Awami League has promised to build a smart Bangladesh from digital Bangladesh. If elected by the people’s vote, Bangladesh will become a smart country free of hunger and poverty by 2041 through the formation of smart citizens, smart government, smart economy, and smart society in keeping with the fourth industrial revolution. Commitment has been expressed to build as. Other promises made by Awami League to the countrymen in the coming years are establishing the rule of law as per the constitution and building a society free from terrorism, guaranteeing universal human rights as well as measures to prevent any attempt to violate human rights and the freedom of the media – the continuation of the process of ensuring the free flow of information, justice.
To maintain the independence and dignity of the department, to develop an efficient, enterprising, IT-based, corruption-free, patriotic, public welfare-oriented administrative system through merit-based recruitment, to transform the law enforcement force into a people-friendly, smart, modern force, to continue the zero-tolerance policy against corruption, to decentralize the power of the Union. – Increasing the capacity and autonomy of municipalities and city corporations including upazila-district councils, expansion of modern urban facilities in every village, suppression of terrorism and extremism, as well as efforts to build a non-communal Bangladesh and its eradication, playing an important role in the formation of the South Asia Task Force.
Among the 11 issues that are most important in this manifesto are – reducing the price of goods and bringing them within the purchasing power of all, vocational education and youth employment, expanding the protection of democratic systems at all levels, ensuring the effectiveness and accountability of law enforcement agencies, increasing efficiency and capacity in the financial sector, low- Facilitating the health care of the income earners, integrated agricultural system and mechanization for profitable agriculture, expansion of industry by increasing investment with the benefit of visible infrastructure, involvement of everyone in the universal pension system, prevention of sectarianism and all types of terrorism and terrorism, building smart Bangladesh based on modern technology, etc.
The economy of the country should be kept dynamic in the coming days with more importance to face various economic challenges of the future. A major challenge before the new government is to control the rise in commodity prices. Bringing comfort back to common people. Solving the dollar crisis, and political instability of the economy. The elections were completely free, fair, orderly, participatory, and competitive. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has pledged to make Bangladesh a developed, prosperous and smart Bangladesh by 2041.
A smart government will take forward the dream of Sonar Bangla with the determination to build a smart country. Reducing income inequality is also a big challenge for the government. The fundamentals of the economy are in crisis. Stagnation in investment, decline in employment and rise in inflation have increased the suffering of low-income people. Discrimination has been created in Bangladesh. This disparity is structural. The main reason for this is that the tax-GDP ratio is very low. As the incomes of the rich have increased, their propensity to invest has not increased, and they are not paying as much in taxes. The burden of value-added tax falls heavily on the poor. The same is true of any indirect tax, not just VAT. A country’s economy is said to be good overall when people see that it can improve the quality of life of the people at all levels. The government should ensure good governance. Failure to do so, failure to rein in corruption in the banking sector, failure to ensure accountability, the overall economy will be under pressure.
Not only the financial sector, but in general everything needs to be transparent to prevent corruption and money laundering. Awami League’s goal this year is to transition the country from digital to smart Bangladesh. In this context, she said, technological capability is necessary to survive in the world competition in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. For this reason, it was announced to build ‘Smart Bangladesh’ by combining the four pillars of ‘Smart Citizen’, ‘Smart Government’, ‘Smart Economy’ and ‘Smart Society’. Implementation of Smart Bangladesh mentions work in each area. It has been promised to make Bangladesh a hunger-poverty-free Smart Sonar Bangla by 2041 if elected by the people. As long as the healthy flow does not return to the politics of our country, the weakness of our internal politics will not be removed.
A fair, beautiful, free, neutral, and acceptable election was expected by all. Bangladesh is going to become a developing country. Bangladesh is working towards establishing a prosperous and smart Bangladesh, free from exploitation and discrimination, free from hunger and poverty through the implementation of SDGs. In a democratic regime, the best means of changing the government is through fair and free elections. Through elections, the people can elect representatives of their choice and hold the governing power.
Hiren Pandit is a columnist and a researcher