BSS -31


Sheikh Hasina said her government took all required measures to equip all
armed forces with sophisticated weapons and training in a very short time
besides enhancing the national budget by sixty percent that contributed to
enhancement of the salaries and allowances of every government employees to
enable them lead a decent life.

She said there is no area including housing, transport and medical, where
her government did not extend its hands of cooperation.

The prime minister said the government initiatives boosted the private
sector creating employment opportunities while the steps also allowed rapid
growth of private television channels as means of direct and indirect
livelihood of many people.

Sheikh Hasina said about 100 special economic zones were being established
across the country to create employment opportunities all over the country
and boost up country’s export.

“Bangladesh is now a role model of development in the world,” she said.

She said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman earned an
economic status for Bangladesh as a least developed country (LDC) within
three years of independence through massive development campaign which was
stalled due to the August 15 carnage and it took a long time to regain the

“Bangladesh now, however, has been recognised by the UN as a developing
country. We have to maintain the graduation. We have to go ahead with the
dignity that we have achieved as a developing nation,” the premier said.

She added: “We have reduced the poverty to 21 percent from 40 percent . . .
Yet we have to go far. We have to reduce it five percent more to turn the
country as a hunger and poverty free nation (and) of course we will be able
to do this and we have the confidence”.

Sheikh Hasina said her government succeeded in taking the country’s annual
growth to 7.86 percent while per capital income rose to US $1,751.

The prime minister said her government has created scopes for every people
so that they can earn to maintain their lives as “our goal is to provide
every people a better life”.

Sheikh Hasina said her government got support of every section of people to
take the country to this stage and thanked everybody for backing her

“The election is coming. If people give us vote, if they want us to serve
them, we will come back again. If they don’t give us vote I would not have
any repentance . . . so, it’s my last function with you in our current tenure
and the almighty knows about the future,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina, however, expressed her firm conviction that the pace of
development of Bangladesh would continue as none would be able to suppress
indomitable Bangladesh that “Father of the Nation Bngabandhu Sheikh Mujibur
Rahman uttered in his historic speech on March 7, 1971”.

MORE/AKH/AR/2107 hrs