Column
Development in last 3 years

25 Feb 2017

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The Awami League-led government has completed three years of its second consecutive term in office in January this year. The general election held on January 5, 2014 was an important and unique milestone for sustainability of the Constitution and democratic process in the country.

Listed below is a brief account of the development and success achieved by the Sheikh Hasina-led government in the last three years.

 

Development and success are complementary to each other. Untiring efforts of the  government have resulted in increase of national income even in the backdrop of world economic recession. The country has shown tremendous success in attaining Millennium Development Goals and

 

Progress has been achieved in different sectors including agriculture, education and health. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as a leader has been accorded due recognition by the world for her success and Bangladesh has been recognized in different levels of international arena. The present government is determined to attain ‘Vision 2021’ with the combination of this success and recognition.

 

Bangladesh has achieved enviable growth in power sector under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership. The production capacity of electricity (grid connected) in the country has been raised to 15,351 mega watts from 10,289 mega watts during the past three years. Maximum electricity generation in 2013 was 6,675 mega watts which rose to 9,036 mega watts in 2016. Per capita electricity generation has been raised to 407 kilo watt/hour which in 2013 was 321 kilo watt/hour
According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, average economic growth rate in the last three years was 6.5 per cent. Besides, per capita income has increased up to US $ 1,466, forex reserve has reached moved to the status of lower middle income country.  almost US $ 31 billion and foreign remittance stood at US $ 16 billion.

 

The national budget for the FY 2016-17 is bigger than the previous year by Tk 49 thousand crore. Annual Development Programme expenditure for 2016-17 stands at US $ 15.63 billion. By the end of 2016 the size of Bangladesh economy stood at more than US $ 10 billion.

 

Bangladesh earned US $ 34.9 billion from export sector. In the first half of 2016-17 the country earned US $ 16.8 billion, 4.44 % more than the same period in 2015-16. According to a recent World Bank report titled “South Asia’s turn: Policies to boost competitiveness and Create the Next Powerhouse”, Bangladesh could become an export powerhouse at the level of its East Asian neighbours by improving its business competitiveness and trade regime.

 

In the budget 2016-17 education sector has been awarded with the highest budget of US $ 6.7 billion. Net rate of primary school enrollment reached 97.3% in 2014. The drop-out rate has reduced to 20.9%. A total of 36, 21, 82,245 copies of text books have been distributed among 4.26 crore students in the academic year 2017. With a view to building “Digital Bangladesh”, internet facilities have been introduced in field level offices related to primary education. To prevent drop-out of poor students, Tk 970.27 crore has been distributed among 49, 23,485 students as stipends and free-studentship in 2013-14. Bangladesh achieved parity in the number of male and female students in primary level in 2012, three years ahead of the stipulated time frame of the UN.

 

Establishment of technical schools in 100 Upazilas is going on under a project to establish training schools in every Upazila. 13.11% students got the opportunity to get technical education in the tear 2014-15. Land has been allocated to establish an autistic academy in Purbachal, Dhaka. Welfare activities for autistic children are going on under supervision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s daughter Saima Wazed.

 

The prospect of Bangladesh in health sector is being reflected in various indicators. Life expectancy has reached to 71.8 years. Child mortality has reduced to 29 in per thousand live births. Mental mortality has also come down to 170 in per 1000 cases. 24-hour health service in 64 district hospitals and 421 Upazila hospitals is now available.

 

Production of food in 2015-16 was 391.05 lakh metric ton. To sustain the agricultural production, subsidy of Tk 7,101 crore was distributed among the farmers. With a vision to continue progress in agriculture sector, the government has allocated US $ 1.14 billion as subsidy for the farmers. A project of US $ 31 million for mechanizing farms is being implemented with the goal to complete in 2018.

 

Food grain production has risen to 35.68 lakh metric ton in 2016. Total food storage in 2015 was 15, 46,939 metric ton. During the present term of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh exported 25,000 metric ton rice to Sri Lanka which is the first instance of export of rice by Bangladesh to any country. A total of 11, 27,000 metric ton rice and 4, 47,000 metric ton wheat have been distributed under public food distribution programme.

 

Bangladesh has achieved enviable growth in power sector under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership. The production capacity of electricity (grid connected) in the country has been raised to 15,351 mega watts from 10,289 mega watts during the past three years. Maximum electricity generation in 2013 was 6,675 mega watts which rose to 9,036 mega watts in 2016. Per capita electricity generation has been raised to 407 kilo watt/hour which in 2013 was 321 kilo watt/hour

 

Daily gas production has increased to 2,700+million cubic feet and in addition liquefied natural gas has been identified as alternative energy.

 

The construction work of the main structure of Padma Bridge is becoming increasingly visible. About 40% work of this mega project has been completed. The construction of the connecting road in Mawa section has been completed. About 70% work of the connecting  road in Jajira point has also been completed. The first span of superstructure of the bridge reached Mawa site from China in August 2016. A total of 41 spans are required for the 6.15 km superstructure of the bridge and all these will come from China.

 

Preparatory work of 20 km metro rail from Uttara to Bangladesh Bank in Dhaka costing Tk 22,000 crore has been done to ease traffic congestion in Dhaka city. Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway has been completed and opened to traffic in 2016.

 

An agreement has been signed with the government of China to make a 3.5 km tunnel under the bed of river Karnaphuli in Chittagong. Up-gradation of 184 km out of 194 km of Dhaka-Chittagong highway has been completed. Six highways comprising 227 km have been developed in Chittagong Hill Tracts region. Construction of many bridges including Kazir Bazar bridge on Surma river of Sylhet, 7th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge in Madaripur, Sheikh Russel Bridge, Surma Bridge in Sunamganj, Birulia Bridge, Arial Bridge, Old Brahmaputra Bridge and Kolatoli Bridge have already been completed.

 

The preparatory work of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) from Hazrat Shahjalal Airport to Joydevpur intersection has been completed. The government has signed a deal with a Chinese firm in this regard.

 

Bus services to Kolkata-Dhaka-Agartala and Dhaka-Sylhet- Shillong-Guahati-Dhaka have been launched in 2015.

 

In 2016 three new express train services have been launched with coaches imported from Indonesia. These are running on Dhaka-Sirajganj-Dhaka and Dhaka-Dinajpur-Dhaka route. In total 7 new trains have been launched this year. Construction of 61 km double line with modernization of signaling system in eleven stations from Laksham to Chinki Astana has been inaugurated for development of railway. Besides, process to procure 100 meter gauge and 170 broad gauge passenger coach is under way.

 

Fast track project of constructing a deep sea port at Payra, Patuakhali is nearing completion. The port has already been opened partially because of growing demand. The $ 142 million project will be completed by 2018.

 

Long awaited New Mooring Container terminal in Chittagong is now operational with container handling capacity in four terminals. Now, only the ships with highest 9.5 meter draft can anchor at Chittagong port. To increase the ability to allow ships with more drafts, the government is planning to build ‘Bay Terminal’ which will allow larger ships to anchor in Chittagong port.

 

Up to October 2016, the number of mobile and internet users reached about 120.7 million and 66.9 million respectively. Tele density and internet density have reached to 83.09% and 34.4% respectively. To increase the Tele density to hundred per cent and internet density to 65% by the end of 2021 the government has enacted National Telecommunication Policy 2016.

 

Information and Communication Technology Division has set up connectivity in 18,130 government offices in district and Upazila level. This division is working to develop a regional network between Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan and has installed optical fiber up to Banglabandha.

 

In 2016, the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization (ASOCIO) has awarded Bangladesh with ASOCIO Digital Government Award 2016 for using Information Communication Technology in receiving public services.

 

Bangladesh received South-South Cooperation Visionary Award 2014 from the UN and the Global ICT Excellence Award-2014 from the World Information Technology and Services Alliance. International Telecommunication Union has awarded Bangladesh the World Summit on Information Society Prize-2014 and ICTs in Sustainable Development Award-2015. Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission, one of the largest revenue earners of the government, has earned US $ 532 million in 2015-16.

 

Three agreements have been signed with the Russian Federation-nominated contractors for construction of Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant with a capacity of 2400 mega watt.

 

Total number of beneficiaries under Rural Social Service Programme is 24,15,000. The government has initiated a program to distribute rice at Tk 10 per kg. Under this scheme five million people will receive 30 kg rice per month. ‘Ekti bari ekti khamar’ (one house one farm) project is one among the innovative initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to alleviate poverty and make the people self reliant. This project has been eradicating poverty through enabling rural people to create small savings. Hundred branches of Palli Sanchay Bank have been opened to monitor this project. The government is implementing various other projects for poverty eradication and rural development. More than 150 thousand persons are benefitted under rehabilitation programme for the disabled. ‘Ekti bari ekti khamar’ project is one of the eight innovative initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to alleviate poverty and make the poor people self reliant.

Bangladesh has achieved enviable growth in power sector under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s leadership. The production capacity of electricity (grid connected) in the country has been raised to 15,351 mega watts from 10,289 mega watts during the past three years. Maximum electricity generation in 2013 was 6,675 mega watts which rose to 9,036 mega watts in 2016. Per capita electricity generation has been raised to 407 kilo watt/hour which in 2013 was 321 kilo watt/hour

 

Under the project of rehabilitating the insolvent disabled persons, 7, 50,000 people are being benefitted. In budget 2016-17 more than $ 68 million has been allocated for them at a rate of Tk 600 per month. Under the second phase of Prime Minister’s special project ‘Ashrayan 2’ twenty two thousand families have been rehabilitated in 238 areas spread across the country. Under the whole project, 122 thousand families have received US $ 12,294 million loan.

 

In 2016 a record number of workers, more than 7,50,000 labours went abroad. Illegal migration of about two thousand Bangladeshi citizens was prevented in 2015. Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, for the first time, has nominated 14 recruiting agencies to send safe and skilled workers in Singapore for construction sector.

 

MoU has been signed between International Manpower Development Organization of Japan and the Ministry to send technical intern in Japan. Besides, related four technical agreements have also been signed with Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training. Institute of Marine Technology has been set up in Munshiganj, Faridpur, Chandpur, Sirajganj and Bagerhat districts. Probashi Kalyan Bank has disbursed migration loan among 9513 workers and rehabilitation loan among home-bound workers in 2016 in 64 districts.

 

During the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bangladesh in 2016 the Land Boundary Agreement 1974 has been implemented. Instruments of ratification of the agreement have been exchanged. As a result Bangladesh has received all the enclaves of India inside Bangladesh and ceded all the enclaves of Bangladesh inside India to India. This long standing issue has been resolved due to personal initiative and hard work of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

 

Due to prudence, farsightedness and statesmanship of the Sheikh Hasina-led government, the country would soon become a middle income country. Bangladesh’s economy has been able to achieve sustainable progress confronting national and international challenges as democracy and development has been sustained since 2009 by Sheikh Hasina who is firmly determined to turn Bangladesh in to a middle income country by 2021. Bangladesh will be regarded as a role model worldwide if democracy and development can be continued inspired by the spirit of Liberation War.

 

The Forbes magazine in 2016 listed Sheikh Hasina in 36th position on the list of “World’s Most Powerful Women”. The Fortune magazine placed her in 10th on the list of “World’s greatest leaders”. ‘The Foreign Policy’, an influential periodical of the US has included her among 13 top thinkers in the category of ‘decision makers’ for creating substantive awareness against adverse effects of climate change and its prevention.




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