Saturday, 22 January, 2022
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Full text of PM’s address to nation

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina addressed the nation on Friday on completion of the third year of her government. The full text of her televised address is as follows:

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Dear Countrymen,

Assalamu Alaikum. 

I extend my heartiest greetings and congratulations to the countrymen on the occasion of the third anniversary of forming government through the eleventh Jatiya Sangsad (JS) elections. I extend New Year 2022 greetings to you.

I recall with profound respect the greatest Bangalee of all times Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

I recall four national leaders - Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, Captain M Mansur Ali and AHM Qamaruzzaman. 

I pay tributes to 30 lakh martyrs and two lakh violated mothers and sisters. I salute the freedom fighters with due respect. 

With profound sorrow, I recall all martyrs of August 15, 1975, including my mother Sheikh Fazilatunnesa Mujib, three brothers - Freedom Fighter Captain Sheikh Kamal, Freedom Fighter Lieutenant Sheikh Jamal and 10-year-old Sheikh Russel - Kamal and Jamal’s newly married wives - Sultana Kamal and Rosy Jamal respectively, my uncle Sheikh Abu Naser, Freedom Fighter youth leader Sheikh Fazlul Haque Mani, Freedom Fighter Agriculture Minister Abdur Rab Serniabat, Brigadier Jamil and ASI of police Siddiqur Rahman.  

I pay glowing tributes to the subcontinent’s one of the oldest political parties -Awami League’s founding President Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhasani, founding General Secretary Shamsul Haque and champion of democracy Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy. 

I recall 22 leaders and workers of Awami League, including Ivy Rahman, who were killed in August 21, 2004 grenade attacks.   

I recall 21,000 leaders and workers including former Finance Minister Shah AMS Kibria, Awami League leaders Ahsanullah Master, Manjurul Imam and Mamtaz Uddin who were victims of brutal killings after 2001.

I recall those who were killed in arson terrorism and petrol bomb attacks carried out by BNP-Jamaat alliance between 2013 and 2015. I convey sympathy to the wounded persons and members of bereaved families. 

I pray for eternal peace of the departed souls of the noted personalities, including politicians, public representatives and educationists, who passed away after the formation of the government through the 11th Jatiya Sangsad elections. 

I pray for eternal peace of the departed souls of those front-liners, including doctors, nurses and technicians, who passed away while containing coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak and I also convey deep sympathy to the members of the bereaved families. I also remembered of the law enforcing agencies and others who sacrificed their lives in combating Covid-19.

Dear Countrymen,

We had to pass the years of 2020 and 2021 through a deep crisis due to coronavirus pandemic. The crisis is not over yet. Amid this, a new coronavirus variant is spreading quickly in different countries in the world again. We have to be careful right now. We have to follow health guidelines. I am requesting those who have not taken vaccine yet to get inoculated quickly. Covid-19 vaccination programme is going on in full swing now. A programme has been taken to bring 1 crore people under vaccination every month from the current month through mass vaccination. Around 12 crore 95 lakh 80 thousand doses of vaccine have been administered so far. Of them, around 7 crore 58 lakh people received the first dose and 5 crore 35 lakh 82 thousand people got the second dose. The vaccination with booster dose begun last month. At present, we have over 9.5 crore doses of vaccine in reserve.

Coronavirus pandemic has created a deep wound in the world economy. Different countries have faced economic fall down. Our economy also faced a loss. Economic stagnation occurred. But we have been able to overcome it, by a great extent lot, with your cooperation.

We are continuing our efforts to keep running the wheels of economy through different policy supports and liberal financial stimulus packages.

We have so far announced stimulus programmes worth Taka 1, 87,679 crore through 28 packages. Of those, Taka 1,06,522 crore has been spent till October last which is 56.76 percent of total allocation. With this, around 6 crore 74 lakh people and around 118,000 institutions have been benefited.

Our GDP growth rate was 5.43 percent in the last fiscal year after facing the coronavirus impacts. As per projections of different international organizations, Bangladesh was at the highest position in Asia in terms of GDP growth rate. Per capita income stood at $2554 in 2021.

According to a report of “The Economist” in 2020, Bangladesh ranked ninth in the list of 66 emerging strong economies. According to a forecast of the World Economic Forum, Bangladesh will be the 24th largest economy in the world by 2030.

Dear Countrymen,

We achieved independence and a sovereign Bangladesh through political struggles of 24 years and the Liberation War under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. We celebrated the golden jubilee of our independence in 2021. Along with that we celebrated Mujib Barsho.

Though the celebration took place on a limited scale due to coronavirus pandemic, there was no lack of enthusiasm and excitement among the people. The countrymen took a fresh oath to build the nation imbued with the spirit and mantra of the Liberation War.

The Father of the Nation’s dream was to build a repression-deprivation-free, democratic and non-communal state where people irrespective of religion, caste, creed and profession will live in peace and comfort and every human being will get food, clothe, shelter and treatment facilities.    

Unfortunately, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib couldn’t materialize the dream. The anti-liberation radical forces assassinated him along with most of his family members on August 15, 1975. Through his assassination, Bangladesh’s journey towards progress had halted.

    Then many conspiracies and plots were hatched. The people of this country witnessed various evil acts of the rulers, including repression under military rule, lack of democracy, derailing of Liberation War spirit and distortion of history. Bangladesh was kept dependent on others through the looting of public money, making the people deprived and betraying with the blood of 30 lakh martyrs.

I returned to the country in 1981 after spending six years in exile after the tragic incident of 1975. I devoted myself in the struggle for restoring democracy and realizing people’s right to vote and food. My only goal was to bring smile on the faces of the people of the Bangla through materializing the dream of the Father of the Nation.

After long 21 years, Bangladesh Awami League took the charge of running the state through people’s votes in 1996. Assuming the office, we took initiatives to build Bangladesh as a self-dignified country in the world. In the midway, between 2001 and 2008 during the period of BNP-Jamaat regime and the caretaker government, our efforts faced a setback.

Since the Awami League government took the charge of running the state in 2009, Bangladesh has been established as a self-dignified country in the world in the last 13 years. Bangladesh has achieved unprecedented progress in the socio-economic and infrastructural sectors. The year 2021 was an extraordinary one for getting recognition of our development journey. We got the final recommendation on our graduation to a developing nation last year. This achievement during the golden jubilee of independence and Mujib Barsho brought tremendous joy and pride for the Bangalee nation.

Dear Countrymen,

Before the eleventh parliamentary elections in 2018, we had announced a manifesto titled 'Bangladesh on the Path of Prosperity'. The main theme of our election manifesto was to build a non-communal Bangladesh free from hunger, poverty and illiteracy by eliminating terrorism and militancy and by building a skilled, service-oriented and accountable administration. Bangladesh will be an upper middle-income country by 2031 and it will be a high-income and prosperous country by 2041.

We achieved the status of a developing country before 2021. We have prepared a roadmap to reach the desired destination. 

The Eighth Five-Year Plan for 2021-2025 tenure was approved in the last year. For its accomplishment, the cost has been estimated at Taka 64, 95, 980 crore. A goal has been set to create 1 crore 16 lakh 70 thousand employments during this period.

After the implementation of the Eighth Five-Year Plan, the poverty rate will come down to 15.6 percent and the extreme poverty rate to 7.4 percent. In the concluding year of 2025, the GDP growth rate will stand at 8.51 percent. Along with the Eighth Five-Year Plan, the implementation of “Prime Minister’s Ten Initiatives” will be continued which would help alleviate poverty.

Dear Countrymen,

The year 2022 will be a year of milestone for Bangladesh in infrastructural development. After a few months, we are going to inaugurate the much-anticipated Padma Bridge in June next. Overcoming many conspiracies and impediments, we are going to complete the construction of Padma Bridge with our own funds.

This bridge will directly connect the country’s southern part with the capital and other regions. It is expected that the bridge will boost the GDP by 1.2 percent.

We have taken a plan to begin the metro-rail operation on 14 kilometers from Uttara to Agargaon by the end of this year. Experimental train movement has already begun on this part. Hopefully, metro-rail will bring a revolutionary change in the capital Dhaka’s transport sector. The country’s first ever tunnel will be inaugurated beneath Karnaphuli river in Chattogram in October next. 

Works of other mega projects are also going on in full swing. It is expected that the 1,200-megawatt capacity first unit of the ‘Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant’, the largest development project in country’s history at a cost of Taka 1,13,000 crore, will be inaugurated by April next year.

Dear Countrymen,

As the people's government, I think it is our duty as well as responsibility to improve the living standard of the people. It is up to you to evaluate what we have done for the people in the last 13 years. But I can firmly say that we have been able to successfully implement the promises we made earlier.

I would like to present some aspects before you.

Nowadays electricity is the most important commodity. You can remember the situation of the power supply before our government assumed office in 2009. In that period, the power generation capacity was maximum 4200 megawatt. At present, the capacity of daily power generation stands at 25,000 megawatt.

Today, we achieved self-sufficiency in power generation by adopting short-term, midterm and long-term plans as we took the charge of the government.

We had pledged to reach electricity to the houses of cent percent people during the Mujib Year and the Golden Jubilee of Independence. We have fulfilled our pledges word for word. As part of a long-term plan, a 1,320-megawatt capacity power plant has already been set up at Payra.

A total of 7,800mw capacity power plants are being constructed at Rampal, Payra, Banshkhali, Moheshkhali and Matarbari.

In 2009, 1,744 million cubic feet gas was used to be supplied to the national grid, which now stands at 2,525 million cubic feet. Liquefied gas is being imported since 2018 to meet the growing demand of gas. In the New Year, good news for us is that the quantity of the discovered gas hydrates in the Bay of Bengal is around 17 to 103 trillion cubic feet (TCF).

Dear Countrymen,

Today, Bangladesh is self-sufficient in food production. At present the production of cereal food-grains stands at 4 crore 55 lakh metric tons. Bangladesh attained third position in rice, vegetable and onion productions in the world. This revolution in agriculture has been possible through continued policy support and incentives. Bangladesh is also self-sufficient in fish, meat, egg and vegetables productions. Bangladesh stands second in terms of growth rate of fish production in inland open water and the first among 11 hilsa producing countries.

Dear Countrymen,

Our villages were always out of development plans during the tenures of the past governments. We are the first to integrate rural development into the mainstream of development. By including the theme 'My Village, My Town' in our election manifesto in 2018, we pledged to expand modern urban facilities in every village.

Today, there are concrete roads in almost all villages of the country. From 2009 to 2021, 66,755 kilometres roads were developed in rural areas, 3.94 lakh bridges-culverts were constructed, and 1,767 union parishad complexes, 1,025 cyclone shelter centres and 326 upazila parisahd complexes were built and extended. 

From 2009 to 2021, 458 kilometres national highways were upgraded into four lanes or above. In addition, works are underway to upgrade 887 kilometres national highways into four lanes or above. Construction works of 46.73 kilometres elevated express highway from Dhaka airport to Kutubkhali will be completed by 2023.

Works of 37 projects involving Taka 13,371.45 crore continue aiming to make Bangladesh Railway a time-befitting and modern public transportation. Feasibility study is going on to set up circular railways around Dhaka. From 2009 to 2021, 451 kilometres new rail tracks were set up and 1,181 kilometres rail lines were rehabilitated while 428 new rail bridges were constructed. Construction work of 4.8-kilometre Bangabandhu Railway Bridge over the Jamuna River is progressing fast. Twelve state-of-the-art Boeing and Dreamliner aircraft were added to the fleet of Biman Bangladesh Airlines. Besides, three Dash-8-400 aircraft were added to its fleet.

A remarkable progress was achieved in the overall health sector of Bangladesh, both in public and private sectors. Healthcare facilities are being provided to the general people, including rural women and children, from 18.500 community clinics and union health complexes. At the same time, 30 items of medicines are being given to them free of cost. Due to expansion and improvement of our health services, life expectancy of the people increased to 72.8 years in 2019-20. Mortality rate of under-five children was 28 per 1,000 live births, while under-one child mortality rate reduced to 15. The rate of maternal mortality stands 165 per every lakh.

Dear Countrymen,

Considering the safety of students, our educational institutions had to remain closed due to coronavirus pandemic. But academic activities were not stopped. Education programmes have remained functional at the school level through television and online. As the intensity of the pandemic has decreased a little, the admission process is already underway after completing the examinations. Distribution of new books began on the first day of the year. 

In fiscal 2020-21, 2,958 stipends were distributed among around 2.3 crore students from primary to higher education levels. In 2021, about Taka 111 crore was distributed among 2,10,049 students of graduation and equivalent levels too under the Prime Minister’s Education Assistance Trust.

In 7,624 MPO-listed madrasas of the country, 1,48,061 teachers and employees are being given salary-allowances of Taka 276 crore per month. In 2020, 499 new madrasas were brought under the MPO system. A quarterly grant of Taka 3.15 crore is being given to 4,529 teachers of 1,519 ebtedayee madrasas. Dawra-e-Hadith has been given the status equivalent to masters. A total of 560 model mosques and Islamic cultural centres are being built across the country.

As a result of our government's visionary initiatives to establish Digital Bangladesh, digital technology has emerged as a savior in this critical period. Internet connections have been given to 18,434 government institutions and 3,800 unions of the country through the installation of fiber optic cable. As the ninth country in the world, Bangladesh entered the era of 5G network last month.

The number of internet users increased to 11 crore during the coronavirus pandemic. Commoners were able to continue their normal life by doing trade and business online and availing themselves of online transaction facilities. Apart from creating their employment opportunities, our about six lakh youths are earning remittance through freelancing. We are providing capital to the entrepreneurs of this sector on soft conditions.

Apart from broadcasting the programmes of the country’s all television channels using our own satellite Bangabandhu-1, internet services are being provided in 31 islands through it. Some banks and army are receiving the service of the satellite Bangabandhu-1.

After the internet revolution, the world is now going to enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution of digital technology. 

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution will create challenges on the one hand, it will open up the door of possibilities on the other. We have to create skilled manpower fit for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We have a huge number of young people. We are taking all possible measures to make this young generation educated in technical education and make them capable of facing the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Under the social safety net programmes in fiscal 2021-22, a total of Taka 1,07,614 crore was allocated for providing allowances to elderly people, widows and divorced women, insolvent people with disabilities, stipend for the students with disabilities, tea workers, gipsy community and third gender community. The number of the beneficiaries is 1,02,87,000. The allowance for a freedom fighter increased to Taka 20,000 form Taka 12,000.

Under the Mujib Ashrayan Project-2, 1,48,397 landless and homeless families have been given houses, allocating two decimal khas land to each.

Some 4,447 flats are being constructed in 139 five-storey buildings at Khurushkul in Cox's Bazar. These flats will be distributed among the climate refugees. Meanwhile, 19 buildings have been handed over to the allotters.

In addition, 10,000 flats are being constructed in Mirpur of Dhaka for slum dwellers. There, flats were distributed among 300 families last year.

Half of the country's population are women. The country’s development is not possible without them. That is why we have taken steps to include women in production and service-oriented works. Training centres have been set up in every upazila to develop women as skilled human resources. Special loans have been arranged for women entrepreneurs at low interest rates.

Dear Countrymen,

We are working to establish global peace by following the motto of the foreign policy formulated by the Father of the Nation – “Friendship to all, malice to none”. Bangladesh's representation in international forums, including different UN bodies, has increased largely. Bangladesh is currently at the top among the countries sending peacekeepers to the UN peacekeeping missions.

All efforts are on for repatriation of 1.1 million forcibly displaced Rohingyas to their own country - Myanmar - peacefully. To minimise their sufferings in different camps in Cox's Bazar, improved infrastructures have been constructed in Bahasanchar to make it livable for one lakh people.

Dear Countrymen,

Today, Bangladesh is advancing on the highway of development at an indomitable pace. Many could not tolerate it or they are not tolerating it. So, staying home and abroad, the anti-Bangladesh and anti-independence forces are hatching conspiracy to stop this progress. They are trying to make people confused by disseminating false, fabricated and imaginary information in social media. They are also trying to mislead our development partners abroad.

But, we have to remain alert so that none can play game with the fate of the people. Our development advancement cannot be allowed to be hindered in any way. The people are the source of power. We believe in people’s power. So, our stand is with the people.

We have taken a tough stance against corruption. No matter which party the corrupt people belong to and how powerful they are; they are not getting spared and will not be spared. To this end, the Anti-Corruption Commission is performing its responsibilities independently. However, it is urgent to create social awareness to prevent this menace.

We have resisted the rise of militancy with an iron hand. Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony. People of all religions and castes have been living here maintaining mutual tolerance and they will continue to do so in the future.

Dear Countrymen,

In the last 13 years, Bangladesh has advanced a lot. Today, Bangladesh is leading in South Asia in various socioeconomic indicators, including poverty alleviation, development of health system, reduction of maternal and child mortality rates, increase in life expectancy, women empowerment and the rise in education rate. It has been possible as you kept trust in us. You helped us maintain the continuity of development by giving the opportunity to run the state three times in a row. Continuing this trend, we are working towards the goal of building a welfare-oriented, developed and prosperous Bangladesh so that it can join the list of developed countries by 2041. So, I hope you will remain with us in the future as you were with us in the past. The aim of our all activities at the present and in future is to build a potential future for the new generation. Only a young generation with boundless energy can build a progressive and non-communal Bangladesh by overcoming all obstacles. The dream of that Bangladesh was seen by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the Father of the Nation. Only the strength of youth can implement the spirit of the Liberation War of Bangladesh. I firmly believe that our generations after generations would move forward in the future with their heads high.

May the Great Allah save the mankind from the new wave of coronavirus - this is my prayer. Stay fine, stay healthy. May Almighty Allah save the mankind and my country men.

 

Khoda Hafez

Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu

May Bangladesh Live Forever