Saturday, 23 October, 2021

Cherishing Bangabandhu’s economic model

Before the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman could complete the fourth year of his rule in the war-torn Bangladesh, a bunch of disgruntled army personnel killed him along with all his family members on the 15th of this month in 1975. The three and a half years of his tenure is too short a period to build a country devastated by the Pakistani occupation forces and their local lackeys.

On his return to his dream country from captivity in Pakistan, Bangabandhu got only a barren land and a poor population – with no wealth and no foreign currency reserve to start with. The financial condition of the country can be perceived from the fact that the size of the first national budget of the newly independent country was Tk 7,860 million. Naturally, Bangabandhu’s topmost priorities were to rehabilitate the poor and the destitute, and to restore the road communication network and bring mills and factories to production.

It is based on this poor financial background that the shabby national economy started its weak journey. But Bangabandhu had no doubt about the bright prospect of the economy. Bangabandhu’s successes in economic management at the earliest stage of the country cannot therefore be judged purely based on numerical calculations. Yet he was able to raise the per capita income to $271 from $93 within three and a half years of his administration.

Bangabandhu laid the foundation of the economy based on his futuristic economic philosophy and a long-term policy for the development of different sectors including agriculture, finance, power and energy, and communication network. The tremendous success that the country has now achieved in the economic front would not have been possible without this foundation. Bangabandhu also set the public-private partnership model which is being carried forward now by his worthy daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Had not the economic journey of the country been interrupted by anti-liberation forces after the brutal assassination of Bangabandhu, Bangladesh would have by now occupied an even better position in the comity of nations. In this month of mourning, we vow to bring Bangabandhu’s dream for a poverty and exploitation-free Bangladesh into reality.