President Md Abdul Hamid has urged Bangladeshis to forge unwavering unity once again to build an exploitation-free “Sonar Bangla” by uprooting terrorism and militancy from the society.
“We have to work together to root out terrorism and militancy from the society imbued with the spirit of Liberation War... Let’s honour the immeasurable sacrifice of the three million martyrs by expediting country’s democratic process and socio-economic development,” he said while addressing the inaugural session of 2018 of the 10th Parliament on Sunday evening.
In his 186-page scripted speech, the president highlighted the government's multiple development achievements in different sectors, including economy, trade and commerce, agriculture, power, foreign relations, tourism, education, health, women and children development, rural development, expatriates' welfare, science and technology, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and public administration.
The session began with Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair. Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Raushon Ershad were present during the president’s speech.
Noting that the parliament is the centre of all hopes and aspirations of the people, Hamid asked lawmakers, including treasury and opposition bench members, to play a constructive role in strengthening transparency, accountability, tolerance, human rights and rule of law, and implement successfully the public dreams and aspirations of mass people.
He said the government has been working relentlessly to build hunger and poverty-free, progressive democratic and non-communal “Digital Bangladesh” envisioned by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“The socioeconomic sector has seen significant advancement as a result of implementation of different projects and programs undertaken in the light of the Perspective Plan and the 6th Five-year Plan based on the ‘Vision-20121’ and ‘Charter for Change’,” he mentioned.
The president said the nation expects that Bangladesh will emerge as a middle-income nation during the Golden Jubilee of independence in 2021 and a developed nation in 2041.
“We will be able to develop a welfare state based on an ideal society by achieving the targeted goals through establishment of good governance and social justice, institutionalisation of democracy and direct involvement of people in every sphere of our society,” he hoped.
Referring to the successful trial of different sensational cases, including the Bangabandhu Murder Case and war crimes trial, Hamid said the incumbent government was continuing its all-out efforts to consolidate the rule of law.
He said the government was endeavouring to establish Bangladesh as a developed and enlightened country in a democratic structure, eradicating vengeance, bloodshed and confrontation from politics.
“The present government has been able to maintain sustainable economic growth. As per provisional estimates, GDP growth increased to 7.28% in FY 2016-17 while this growth rate was 7.11% in the proceeding FY 2015-16,” he said.
According to the final estimates, he pointed out that the average per capita national income increased to $ 1,610 in FY 2016-17 – up $145 from the preceding fiscal year.
Due to the implementation of prudent fiscal and appropriate monetary policy, the government had achieved considerable progress in the socioeconomic sectors along with a stable overall macroeconomic environment, President Hamid added.
He said after coming to power in 2009, the government made rapid and spectacular progress in various sectors, particularly in infrastructure, energy and power, and ICT, and attracted investments in private and public sectors.
Highlighting the ‘National Social Security Strategy’, he said the rate of poverty was reduced to 24.3% in 2016 while it was 31.5% in 2010 and the extent of extreme poverty, over the same period, was also reduced to 12.9% from 17.6%.
He said despite various global and domestic challenges, Bangladesh’s economy has maintained macroeconomic stability which has earned international acclaim.
“If the development continues fairly, the desired growth and the targets of SDGs are expected to be achieved leading Bangladesh to the status of a middle-income country by 2021 and developed country by 2041,” said the president.