Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Address To Nation

 

Following is the full text of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's address to the nation over radio and television on completion of two years of the present government.

Dear Countrymen,

Assalamu Alaikum

Greetings of English New Year to you all.

Today is January 12. With your support, Bangladesh Awami League formed the government on this day in 2014. I, with your doa, took oath as the prime minister.

After forming the government for the second consecutive term, we have been continuing the development activities and progress as per our pledges to the people.

On the second anniversary of the government, I extend my heartiest
congratulations and greetings to all the democracy-loving people of Bangladesh.

I am recalling, with profound respect, the greatest Bangalee of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

I am remembering the four national leaders -- Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, Captain M Mansur Ali and AHM Qamaruzzaman -- who were killed in prison on November 3, 1975.

I am recalling 30 lakh martyrs of Great War of Liberation.

I am conveying my heartiest sympathy to the war-wounded freedom fighters, families who lost their near and dear ones and two lakh mothers and sisters who were tortured in 1971.

I am recalling, with deep sorrow, the victims of brutal assassination on August 15, 1975, my mother Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib, my three brothers -- Captain Sheikh Kamal, Lieutenant Sheikh Jamal and 10-year-old Sheikh Russell, Kamal's and Jamal's newly married wives Sultana and Rosy respectively, lone brother of Bangabandhu Sheikh Naser, military secretary to Bangabandhu Brigadier Jamil and other martyrs of that night.

I am recalling the 22 martyred leaders and workers of Awami League
including Ivy Rahman who were killed in grenade attacks on August 21, 2004.

I am remembering 21,000 leaders and workers of Bangladesh Awami League including former finance minister SAMS Kibria and Ahsanullah Master, Manjurul Imam and Mamtazuddin who were victims of brutal killings during the BNP-Jamaat alliance government.

I am paying tributes to lawmakers of the 10th Jatiya Sangsad who passed away.

Dear Countrymen,

Before the January 5, 2014 national election, the hatred and barbaric terrorism harboured across the country by BNP-Jamaat alliance will never be forgotten.

Their atrocities are only tantamount to the brutality carried out by Pakistani occupation forces and their collaborators in 1971.

I am remembering, with deep respect, the persons who were killed in the violence of BNP-Jamaat alliance. I am conveying deep condolences to their family members and expressing profound sympathy to the wounded persons.

Dear countrymen,

Innocent bus drivers, passengers of bus and CNG-run three- wheelers, presiding officers, members of police, BGB, Ansar and army, even schoolteachers and children were killed in petrol-bomb attacks, arson and terrorism unleashed by the BNP-Jamaat alliance. Many were burnt and crippled for life and they were forced to lead an inhuman life.

Ignoring terrorism and bomb explosions, you made the democracy winner on that day. But the BNP-Jamaat cannot tolerate democracy and development. The BNP-Jamaat leadership cannot accept that the people will live in peace and with smile.

BNP-Jamaat again embarked on terrorism and violence from January 4, 2015, when Bangladesh is a role model in the entire world, when different organisations including the United Nations recognized Bangladesh and honoured it with awards for the country's development in different sectors including overall economic uplift, political stability, good governance, Jatiya Sangsad election, digitization, achieving MDGs and combating adverse impacts of climate change.

In order to save war criminals and refrain from appearing before the court by the BNP chief, BNP-Jamaat started blockade for indefinite period and launched rampage and massacre.

Some 231 innocent people were killed and 1,180 others injured in the petrol bomb attacks. A total of 2,903 vehicles, 18 trains and eight launches were torched.

Some 70 government offices, establishments were vandalized and six land offices were set on fire in a planned way.

Keeping people in sufferings and inflicting inhuman pain on them, the BNP chief along with 68 others stayed in their office for 92 days by leading a lavish life and staging drama. He gave orders for carrying out massacre and rampage.

The terrorist acts of Khaleda Zia did not get public support and she returned home with failure after appearing in the court and begging pardon.

I express my sincere gratitude to you for protesting the unethical blockade programme of the BNP-Jamaat nexus.

The arsonists have been brought to justice after their arrest and their trail is underway. The culprits, who snatched your near and dear ones and caused damage to the life and property, must be punished. Dear countrymen

An unprecedented success has been achieved in the country's socioeconomic field with your cooperation. There was worldwide economic recession and serious food crisis when we formed government in 2009.

Due to misrule, corruption and terrorism of the BNP-Jamaat government and the two-year tyrannical rule of the subsequent caretaker government, the country's economy was shattered and at a disorderly state.

After assuming office, we reestablished discipline in all sectors, while confidence and trust were restored among the people.

The 6th Five-Year Plan has been implemented for the overall development. Now the 7th Five-Year Plan has begun.

Bangladesh is now on the highway of development. Bangladesh is a role model of development in the world.

On the basis of GDP, Bangladesh is the 45th economy in the world while it achieved 33rd place on the basis of purchasing capacity.

According to the maternal index of "Save The Children", Bangladesh was placed at 130th position, India at 140th and Pakistan at 149th.

As per the world peace report of Institute for Economic and Peace, an Australia-based research organization, Bangladesh secured 84th position, India 143th and Pakistan 154.

According to democracy index of Intelligence Unit of the Economist, Bangladesh bagged 85th position and Pakistan 108th.

In the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Management, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said: "Bangladesh set an example in disaster preparedness and management."

In the last fiscal year, 6.5 percent growth was achieved. In the last five years, the average growth rate was 6.2 percent.

Attaining unprecedented success in country's socio-economic sectors has been possible with your cooperation. There were economic recession and serious food scarcity across the globe when we formed the government in 2009.

The country's economic condition was devastating and chaotic because of the misrule, corruption and terrorism of BNP-Jamaat and the repressive policy of subsequent caretaker government for two years.

After assuming office, we brought back discipline in all sectors. Confidence and trust were restored in the people.

The implementation of the 6th five-year plan has been completed. Now the implementation of the 7th five-year plan has started.

Bangladesh is now on the highway of development. Bangladesh is the role model of development in the world.

Bangladesh's economy is the 45th in the world on the basis of GDP and 33rd on the basis of purchasing power.

In the maternal index of Save the Children, the position of Bangladesh is 13th while India's 140th and Pakistan's 149th.

As per the world peace report of Australia-based research organization Institute for Economics and Peace, the position of Bangladesh is 84th while India's 143rd and Pakistan's 15th.

The position of Bangladesh in democracy index of Intelligence Unit of the Economist is 85th while Pakistan's 108th.

In the third UN global conference on disaster risk management, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, 'Bangladesh has created an instance in world in disaster preparedness and management.'

The country attained 6.5 percent growth in the last fiscal year. The average growth in last five years was 6.2 percent.

Bangladesh is in the fifth position in global economy regarding attaining economic growth.

Very few countries of the world could sustain over 6 percent growth for a long time. The rate of growth will soon surpass 7 percent.

The size of budget in the current fiscal 2015-2016 is Taka 2 lakh 95 thousand 100 crore. The per capita income in the last year of BNP-Jamaat tenure was 543 dollars, which has now increased to 1 thousand 314 dollars.

Five crore people have come up to the middle income level from law-income tier. We have lowered the rate of poverty to 22.4 percent from 41.5 percent.

In 2006, the rate of ultra poor was 24.2 percent, which has now declined to 7.9 percent.

People's income and employment opportunities have increased. We have provided public and private jobs to 1.5 crore people.

During our tenure, 35 lakh 75 thousand 348 workers got overseas employment.

Remittance income in 2006 was only 4.80 billion dollars, which increased to 15.2 billion dollars in fiscal 2014-15.

In the same period, the foreign exchange reserve increased from 3.48 billion dollars to 27 billion dollars. Export income increased to 32.2 billion dollars in 2014-15 fiscal.

Power generation capacity has now increased to 14 thousand 77 megawatts. Currently, 12 thousand megawatts is being generated. The number of power stations crossed 100. Forty-four lakh solar panels have been installed.

About 75 percent people are getting electricity. We will reach electricity to every house by 2021, Insha Allah.

The daily production of gas was 1,600 million cubic feet in 2,006, which increased to 2 thousand 728 million cubic feet in 2015.

One hundred economic zones would be set up in the country. Of those, work is going on for 16.

We have carried out extensive development in transport sector. In Dhaka, Hatirjhil project, Kuril-Bishwa Road Multipurpose Flyover, Mirpur-Bimanbandar Zillur Rahman Flyover, Banani overpass, Mayor

Hanif Flyover, Tongi Alhanullah Master Flyover and Chittagong Bahaddarhat Flyover have been inaugurated.

The construction of Maghbazar-Malibagh flyover will end soon. Work on the construction of elevated expressway and metro rail in Dhaka is going on.

The work on Taka 28,000-crore Padma Bridge, the biggest construction project in the country's history, is going on with our own resources. Vehicles will ply on Padma Bridge by 2018.

The Padma Bridge will contribute 1.2 percent to GDP. It will improve the lot of the people of 21 south-western districts. Trade, business and industries will boosted, employment opportunities will be created. Shariatpur and Keraniganj will be vibrant.

My government has improved four-lane Nabinagar-DEPZ-Chandra road and Dhaka-Chittagong and Joydebpur-Mymensingh road.

The construction of a tunnel under the Karnafuli river in Chittagong will begin very soon. We have taken initiatives to start construction of third Shitalakkha Bridge in Narayanganj.

Joydebpur-Tangail-Alenga highway will be upgraded to 4-lane soon.

The constriction of 4-lane second Kanchpur, second Meghna and second Gumti bridges and the main work of Airport to Gazipur Bus Rapid Transit will begin.

The country was in a state of food deficit during the rule of BNP-Jamaat alliance, but the present Awami League government made the country self-reliant in food-grain. Total food-grain production was 3 crore 84 lakh 18 thousand metric tons in 2014-15 financial year. We are now exporting rice.

Fish production also surged to 45 lakh tons. Today, Bangladesh is the world's fourth largest sweet-water fish producing country.

After assuming power in 2001, BNP-Jamaat's policy reduced the rate of literacy to 44.0 percent from 65.0 percent. The country's current rate of literacy, however, is 71.0 percent.

The Awami League government distributed a total of 192 crore free
textbooks among the secondary school students in the past seven years.

We have also distributed 33 crore 37 lakh 62 thousand 722 free textbooks among the students on January 1 this year.

A total of 1 crore 21 lakh 78 thousand 129 students covering from primary to graduate levels were given scholarships and stipends.

A total of 26 thousand 193 primary schools had been nationalised and jobs of 1 lakh teachers were brought under the government's payroll.

The status of assistant teacher of high schools and head-teacher of the primary schools was upgraded to the second class from the third class.

A school and a college are being nationalised in each of the upzilas where there were no school and college.

Each of the districts will have a government or a non-government
university.

A total of 3 thousand 172 computer labs have been set up in the
educational institutions across the country. Multimedia class rooms also opened in 23 thousand 331 secondary schools, and all the high schools would get the multimedia class rooms in phases.

Dear countrymen,

The health services are now available at the people's door steps.

Health services are being provided to rural community from 16 thousand 500 community clinics and union health centres across the country. People are also getting 32 types of medicine free of cost.

So far, 12 thousand 500 doctors and 13 thousand health workers have been appointed. Additional 10 thousand nurses would be appointed soon.

The average life expectancy was 66.5 years, which rose to 71 years when the child and mother mortality rates reduced.

Eleven new medical colleges have been inaugurated.

Some 1 lakh people, living under poverty, would get health cards, which would be given to all poor families in phases.

Dear countrymen,

We have established Digital Bangladesh through continuous efforts in the past seven years. A total of 5 thousand 275 digital centres have been established where 200 types of digital services are being offered to public, and each entrepreneur of this sector is earning Taka 20 thousand to 1 lakh a month.

The number of mobile phone users is now over 13 crore and the number of internet users is 5 crore 7 lakh 7 thousand.

We hope the Bangabandhu Satalite-1 would be launched into the orbit by 2016.

Two hi-tech parks, one in Kaliakoir under Gazipur district and another one in Jessore have been set up. The process for establishing silicon cities at the divisional headquarters are also going on.

Free internet services are being offered at the public universities through installing wifi.

The world's largest portal of 25 thousand websites namely "Bangladesh National Portal" has been introduced, which has got international award.

Bangladesh is now ahead of India and Pakistan in terms of internet use. The 3G service has already been introduced, and the 4-G service would also be launched by this year.

The work for transforming 8 thousand post offices into digital centres across the country is on progress.

With support from Russia and a cost of Taka 1 lakh 1 thousand 200 crore, the installation work of the country's most expensive project, the 2400-megawatts Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant, has started.

The country last year earned $400 million from IT and ITS sectors.

Honourable countrymen,

Implementation of the National Women Development Policy has started to ensure women empowerment. Law has also been formulated to protect women from repression. The maternity leave with pay increased to six months from four months.

The gender sensitive budget is being prepared for 40 ministries. Seats have also been reserved for women to ensure their participation in the local governance. As a country of gender parity Bangladesh retained the top position among the South Asian countries for this year too. The country also won "WIP 2015" from the Women in Parliament Global Forum.

The Jatiya Sangsad has been made the centre of all activities. I would like to thank the opposition parties for their participation in the Jatiya Sangsad and their opinion on various issues.

The retirement age for public servants increased to 59 years and that of to 60 years for the freedom fighters.

The salaries of the government employees and armed forces have been raised by 132.0 percent, with keeping immense opportunity of promotion and up-gradation of status.

We believe in peace and co-existence. The main principle of our foreign policy is- 'friendship with all, malice to none". On that principle we could build good relation with neighbours and unfold new path of regional cooperation.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the then prime minister of India Indira Ghandi signed the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) in 1974, which was passed immediately by Bangladesh parliament. Indian parliament approved the agreement after long 44 years, ending 68-years sufferings of the 52 thousand people of the enclaves.

We have settled the land boundary problem with India peacefully through discussion and Bangladesh has got 10,050 acres of land from India after exchange of the enclaves. Motor vehicles agreement has been signed among Bangladesh-India, Nepal and Bhutan to expedite economic and social development of the region.

Bangabandhu framed the Maritime Act in 1974. On that framework, we have settled maritime dispute with Myanmar and India peacefully. Bangladesh achieved absolute sovereignty on 1,18,813-square kilometers of sea area. It has made easy the exploitation of marine resources and it would have special contribution to national economy.

Now Bangladesh is a brand name in the UN peacekeeping mission which is very much glorious for us.

Peace loving countrymen,

Bangladesh is progressing fast to the peak of prosperity with the united efforts of all. At that time the cohorts of the anti-liberation force became active again to create instability and anarchy in the country. We are a peace-loving nation. Bangalees don't believe in violence.

Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony where people of every religion are living in peace for thousands of years. Everybody is performing their religion freely. None will be allowed to destroy the communal harmony.

We are taking stern action against the persons going destructive. If necessary, we will go tough against them. The main objective of the defeated force of 1971 is to instigate militancy and protect war criminals, mass murderers, Rajakars and Al-badrs.

War criminals were brought to the court of justice as it was our commitment to the nation. The verdicts against the war criminals are being executed. None will be able to obstruct the trial. People have rejected those who don't want the trial of the war criminals.

The top leader of a political party and her associates made offensive remarks about the 30 lakh martyrs who embraced martyrdom for the country's independence. They also undermined the martyred intellectuals. We vehemently condemn their remarks. People of this country have rejected them.

The persons who distorted history would be dumped in the waste-bin of the history. No derogatory remark against the War of Liberation and Freedom Fighters will be tolerated. Please build consensus against them and we will remain beside you.

Last week peaceful election was held in 223 pourasabhas and the election was free, fair and peaceful than any other previous ones. You have elected the candidates of your own choice and rejected militants, arsonists and bomb attackers. For this, I congratulate you.

Respectable countrymen,

In 2008, we told you that we will make Bangladesh a middle income country by 2021. Now Bangladesh is a low-middle income country. Insha Allah before 2021 we will be a middle income nation. According to the HOPE index of Gallop, people of Bangladesh are the most optimistic people after Switzerland.

Insha Allah we will make Bangladesh a middle-income country by 2021 and a developed and prosperous nation by 2041 with the support of the people who are optimistic and determined. I seek your wholehearted support in this regard.

Our goal is to work for the people and change their lots. Awami League has earned independence for the country and struggled for restoring democracy. The country has moved forward when Awami League was in power.

Bangladesh now stands on a crucial and historic juncture of development path. Let us keep above all partisan sentiment and narrow split. Let us continue our development efforts and make the country hunger and poverty free.

We are the victorious nation in the War of Liberation. None will be able to suppress us. We will surely be able to make our position in the society of the world as a victorious nation. And Insha Allah we will be able to build a 'Sonar Bangla' as was dreamt by the Father of the Nation.

It's my prayers to the almighty to keep all of you well and healthy.

Thank you again.

Khoda Hafez

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