People’s Expectations and Achievements of the Sheikh Hasina Government

Hiren Pandit: The 12th National Parliament election will be held as per the schedule announced by the Election Commission. Before the elections, the people of the country must sit down to compare their achievements and non-achievements. What did Bangladesh get in Sheikh Hasina’s 15-year rule? We see how the last 15 years have passed.

Bangladesh has made significant progress in global SDGs achievement rankings, rising from 120th to 101st in just seven years. According to the Global Sustainable Development Report 2023, Bangladesh is ranked 101st out of 166 countries in 2022, this position was 116th in 2019. Bangladesh has achieved a promising average GDP growth of 6.7% over the last fifteen years with an emphasis on poverty alleviation. The first three SDGs are related to eradicating poverty, eradicating hunger, and improving public health and Bangladesh has made good progress in all three and is on track to achieve the targets. Four of the 17 targets under the three SDGs have already been met. Six are on track and five need more attention.

By achieving the 2030 agenda, our dear motherland Bangladesh is moving forward with the commitment to implement the goals of sustainable development without leaving anyone behind. After successfully implementing the pledge to build Digital Bangladesh, Bangladesh is now moving forward with new programs. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is working relentlessly towards the implementation of SDGs by 2030 and building a Smart Bangladesh by 2041. A cost-effective, sustainable, intelligent, knowledge-based, innovative Smart Bangladesh will be built on these four main foundations: Smart Citizen, Smart Economy, Smart Government, and Smart Society.

Since independence in 1971, the economy of Bangladesh has made significant progress. At that time, many people expressed doubts about the economic survival of Bangladesh. But there is no economic or social indicator of the country that has not progressed, even the biggest critics are now praising Bangladesh. Economists say that Bangladesh’s achievements in 52 years are incredible. Bangladesh has done what the world could not imagine. The garment industry of Bangladesh is one of the largest industries in the world.

Sheikh Hasina’s dynamic, energetic, and strong leadership from 1996 to 2001 and from 2009 to now has radically transformed Bangladesh. The country has set a shining example of sustainable development. The economy of Bangladesh has gone from a weak, underdeveloped, shaky state to a strong one. Every day new aspects of the modern transformation of conventional infrastructure are unfolding. A renaissance has taken place in previously neglected sectors or businesses. The scenario of immense possibilities is motivating and exciting for the people of this country. Those potential sectors which have been nurtured for a long time due to neglect are gradually waking up. Sheikh Hasina, the pioneer of development and the leader of developed Bangladesh, is always trying to advance those possibilities by providing necessary cooperation and patronage.

The country has achieved self-sufficiency in food production and has become a role model in disaster management. Bangladesh has empowered women and reduced infant mortality. The story of Bangladesh is how the country beat all odds and self-financed billions of dollars to build a bridge over the mighty Padma River and inaugurated the bridge on June 25 last year. Metrorail launched in December 2022. Things are unbelievable to many. The story is about its growing portfolio of mega-structures and the launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 the second one in the works. The story of Bangladesh is about the migration of millions of Bangladeshis who are increasing the country’s foreign exchange reserves by sending huge amounts of remittances.

She has taken Bangladesh to the digital era, nuclear energy era, and space technology era. Under his steady and pragmatic leadership, the country has successfully tackled terrorism, extremism, and climate challenges. Bangladesh is considered a stable and prosperous young country in the world. It fulfills its international obligations, observes international treaties, and respects the cultural rights of all people. Going forward with Bangabandhu’s firm commitment to building Sonar Bangla, our beloved motherland Bangladesh will become a developed Smart Bangladesh by 2041 by achieving the SDGs by 2030.

Digital Bangladesh is already working to improve and modernize the citizens’ quality of life and facilitate the citizens. Services, education, health, management, working methods, industry, trade and production, economy, social and cultural life in digital mode. As technology has become accessible to every citizen of the country, arrangements are being made to reach marginalized people as well. Technology has become a trusted medium in all civic services and livelihoods.

In the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the IT sector of Bangladesh has focused on various infrastructural developments including the development of skilled human resources. Bangladesh is trying to be among the top 50 countries in the United Nations e-Governance Development Index for the next five years. One Country One Rate program brings internet access to people at affordable cost.

With the help of information technology, young people are building small and large IT firms, e-commerce sites, app-based services, and other enterprises. Besides, some major achievements including Bangladesh’s first satellite in space have taken Bangladesh to a unique height in the world. Bangladesh’s position in the world economy is now 35th. Bangladesh is now the fifth fastest-growing country in the world. The once ‘bottomless basket’ is set to become the world’s 25th largest economy by 2036. But soon after independence, there were concerns about the economic future of Bangladesh. This concern was mainly spread by the Pakistan government which was defeated in the war of 1971.

Padma Bridge was inaugurated in June last year after overcoming many hurdles. This bridge directly connects 21 districts of the southern region with the capital Dhaka and other parts of the country by road. The largest pigeon bridge in the southern region was inaugurated last October. In November last year, 100 bridges in 25 districts of the country were opened for traffic. Many highways in the country have been upgraded to four or more lanes. Others are in progress. Pending the opening of the tunnel under the Karnaphuli River in Chattogram, the Metrorail has been launched in Dhaka and a section of the Airport-Qutubkhali Expressway has been opened.

A nuclear power plant has been constructed and satellite Bangabandhu-1 has been launched now work is underway for satellite Bangabandhu-2. Delta Plan-2100 has been formulated to protect our generations from the impacts of climate change and build a better future. The whole world is passing through an unstable economic situation today. At the end of 2019, the world was hit by the coronavirus pandemic. In these two years 2020 and 2021, a deep wound was created in the world economy. Many countries’ economies collapsed. Our economy also suffers. Just as our economy was recovering from the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine war began. This war is not just a war of arms; added to this is a terrible economic war. The effects of economic warfare are not confined to a single country but spread worldwide. As the loss of life due to coronavirus has been reduced by taking timely measures, all efforts have been made to keep the economy running.

But we need to increase agricultural production. Our soil is fertile. Why do we need to import agricultural products from outside where trees grow and bear fruit when seeds are planted in the ground? We have to utilize every inch of land and not leave it fallow. Crisis will come. Don’t be afraid of crisis. With everyone’s help, it has been possible to successfully deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Bangladesh will also successfully deal with the current global recession.

Bangladesh has also strengthened its position in space. The launch of Bangabandhu Satellite-1 has added a new dimension to our science and technology. Inauguration of Metrorail and Padma Bridge are both development milestones. Successfully combating the coronavirus pandemic, education, communication infrastructure, gas, electricity, women’s education, 100% increase in salaries and allowances of employees, health care, achieving self-sufficiency in food production, social programs for backward communities, helpless, elderly, widows, disabled persons, abused women. The Awami League government led by the Prime Minister has played a major role in the overall development of various sectors, including aid, autism, assisting poor freedom fighters, shelter projects, one house and one farm project, and women’s empowerment. Delivering free new books to students on the first day of the year, mainstreaming and recognizing Madrasah education, establishing medical universities and modernizing medical systems, initiatives to establish universities in every district, formulating women’s policies and empowering women, building digital Bangladesh and achieving a revolution in the ICT sector, Corona Pandemic The Awami League government under the leadership of the successful statesman Sheikh Hasina, who has made Bangladesh stand at the top of South Asia and the fifth place in the world, including the country in the ranks of the developing world, is the contribution of the Awami League government.

In 2018, no one thought about the coronavirus pandemic. No one ever thought of a war like the Russia-Ukraine war. Especially the coronavirus pandemic, war, global recession, political unrest, stagnation, giving unnecessary advice about foreigners on internal issues, complaining about foreigners, disinformation, rumors, government development not visible to any civil society, politicizing and depoliticizing everything, inflation, curbing the increase in commodity prices, ensuring quality education, creating skilled youth power, diversifying foreign trade, finding new destinations for foreign labor markets, and preventing the decline of reserves must be kept in mind.

It is not possible to provide new gas and electricity connections to the industry. The discovery of two gas fields and the acquisition of two gas fields is also a relief for the government. However, due to the increase in the price of oil and electricity in six phases, the common people have suffered. As a matter of priority, as per the election manifesto on establishing good governance, the strong suppression of terrorism and militancy is quite positive.

However, the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations are keeping a watchful eye on the elections this time. If they see signs of irregularities in the election, they are threatening to impose various sanctions against Bangladesh before the election. It would be disastrous for both Awami League and Bangladesh. However, during the last 15 years of rule of Awami League, a very appreciable dynamic was created in the economy of Bangladesh. But some allegations of irregularities, corruption, looting, and money laundering have made those achievements questionable.

We are a winning nation. As a victorious nation, we can stand tall in the court of the world. We will not bow down to anyone, we will not walk by bowing down to anyone. Father of the Nation Bangabandhu repeatedly said that by using that wealth, we will be glorified in our glory in the World Assembly, we will build ourselves and we will walk with our heads high to the whole world. This will be the most important step for the people of this country.An unprecedented success has also been seen in the production of food grains in Bangladesh. But the people will decide how they want to move Bangladesh forward in the future, and where they want to see it.

Hiren Pandit is a columnist and a researcher.

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