Friday, 2 December, 2022
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Economic Development by Sheikh Hasina’s Government

Dr. Md. Shafiqul Islam

Bangladesh is the 30th largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, with an average annual GDP growth of 6.6% since 2009 and Real GDP growth has hit 7.50% in the 2022-23 Fiscal Year. The economic progress of the current government has put Bangladesh ahead of other Asian countries, which deserves research and recognition. Despite the global economic crisis, Bangladesh has achieved remarkable continuous progress over the past decade and is on the way to becoming a developing country from the Least Developed Country Group (LDC). The country's standard of living, wealth creation, infrastructure and internal resilience have all improved dramatically under the current government, which indicates the success of this government's effective plan.

Bangladesh has achieved unprecedented success in the socio-economic sector and women empowerment in the last decade. The infant mortality rate has come down to 23.67 per thousand. The maternal mortality rate has decreased to 173 per 100,000 live births. The average life expectancy of people has increased to 73 years. Bangladesh is making great progress in political and social empowerment of women. In this regard, the position of Bangladesh is 7th in the world.

Private investment in public utilities increased and public investment strengthened. During this period, the country's infrastructure, especially the telecommunication technology, the power sector made rapid improvements, which significantly increased human efficiency. Several sources of electricity have improved power transmission and distribution, such as the telecom industry. The Sheikh Hasina government has contributed to the development of several planned and extended highways and roads. The government continues to prioritise development of the garment sector, which forms the country's most labour-intensive manufacturing market.

Many community clinics have been established to serve the rural population. Apart from this, primary and secondary education is supported for all, with a special focus on children, resulting in greater retention of students in school, reductions in child marriage, maternal and neonatal mortality, and increased women's empowerment. Bangladesh is one of the most adapted countries to climate change, improving creativity by designing and implementing programs employing indigenous inputs in agriculture, oil and water resources. In 2015, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh was awarded the UN's highest environmental award 'Champions of the Earth' for effectively fighting climate change. The construction of the Padma Bridge, the fifth largest bridge in the world, without the support of international donors, demonstrates the country's economic strength and sustainability of financial and organisational growth.

Bangladesh became independent in 1971 with a GDP growth rate of -14% and no foreign exchange reserves. Bangabandhu started to rebuild war-torn Bangladesh in 1971, and in 2009 the people elected Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina as Prime Minister. From 1974 to 2019, Bangladesh's GDP grew by roughly 17% while from 2008 to 2019, it stagnated at 38%. And average GDP per capita increased by 3.05 per cent; in 2008 it was 4.81 and in 2019 it was 7.03.

In 2019, Bangladesh exported goods and services worth 44,961 million dollars. Bangladesh's exports of goods and services increased from USD 7.214 million to USD 44.961 million from 2000 to 2019, with an annual growth of 27.02 per cent. From 2008 to 2019, exports of goods and services increased rapidly. Changes from 2008 to 2016 are above the exponential trend line. Export of goods and services was 18294.9362 million dollars in 2008 and 33057.41997 million dollars in 2019. This means that the present government has succeeded in transforming Bangladesh from LDC to developing country. And if the country moves forward, it will soon be recognised as a developed country.

Bangladesh's transition from LDC to developing country category reflects its exceptional achievements in key socio-economic development indicators as well as global recognition. The current Sheikh Hasina government is taking new steps to increase its success and global reputation.

Padma Bridge is not only a bridge, but also the dream of 18 crore people of Bangladesh. It is the result of the personal initiative of the current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The Padma Bridge will play an important role in the economic and fortune development of the 21 districts of the southern region. I believe that the number of poor people in these regions will decrease. A preliminary study shows that the implementation of this bridge will have an additional impact of 1.2 per cent on the country's GDP and an additional 1.0 per cent growth of Bangladesh due to the rail link on the Padma Bridge. It is an unprecedented development. Bangladesh government must be more careful to maintain the current development and progress.

 

The writer is an Associate Professor, Dept. of Accounting & Information

Systems, Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University