Work jointly to establish exploitation-free ‘Sonar Bangla’: President

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SANGSAD BHABAN, Jan 30, 2019 (BSS) – President M Abdul Hamid today said
the Bangalee nation needs to forge unwavering unity to build exploitation
free “Sonar Bangla” by uprooting terrorism, militancy, drug abuse and
corruption from the society.

“I urge upon all, irrespective of political affiliations, religion, caste,
and creed to accelerate the ongoing democratic process and socio-economic
development of the country,” the President said while addressing the first
session of the 11th Parliament with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in
the chair.

Leader of the House Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Opposition’s Deputy
Leader GM Quader and lawmakers of both treasury and opposition benches were
also present during the President’s speech.

The head of the state called upon the treasury bench and opposition to
jointly play a constructive and effective role in parliament to establish
an exploitation-free ‘Sonar Bangla’ dreamed by Father of the Nation
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Terming the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) as the centre-point of people’s hopes and
aspirations, he said no nation can ever achieve peace and happiness without
consensus about national issues.

Abdul Hamid categorically called for a concerted effort from all
political parties and people to reach a consensus on the basic issues of
the country, including regular practice of democracy, rules of law and
unending socio-economic development.

“The treasury bench and opposition will have to play constructive role to
ensure transparency, accountability, tolerance, human rights and rule of
law and to materialize the nation’s dream and aspiration,” he added.

In his 187-page speech, the President highlighted Sheikh Hasina
government’s activities and successes in different areas, including
economy, trade and commerce, agriculture, power, foreign relations,
tourism, education, health, good governance, women and children
development, sports and youth development, rural development, expatriates’
welfare, science and technology, development of foreign relations,
information and communication technology (ICT) and public administration.

Referring to formation of new government, the President said, “A fresh
spirit has been infused in all spheres of national life after the
assumption of office by the newly formed government.”

He hoped that the multidimensional initiatives undertaken by the government
under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in various areas will
be further strengthened and expedited in days to come.

“Ours is a journey towards peace, democracy, development and prosperity . .
. And we have to keep it up,” President Hamid mentioned.

He said the nation will celebrate centenary birthday of the father of the
nation in 2020 and the golden jubilee of the Independence in 2021 for being
a middle income country.

“Nevertheless, our dream is not limited here . . . We need to look beyond
2021 and the nation expects that we will appear to the international arena
as a developed and prosperous country by 2041 showing our dignity,” he
added.

President Hamid said Bangladesh is now known to the world as a state of
emerging economy owing to efficient management of the government.

“Despite various global and domestic adversities, Bangladeshi economy has
been able to maintain macroeconomic stability, which has earned international
acclaims for the country,” he said.

About the economic situation, he said, Bangladesh holds the 33rd place in
world economy and 41st place in GDP based on purchasing Power Parity (PPP).
The GDP in FY 2017-18 has been Taka 22 lakh crore, which is five times higher
than that of the FY 2005-06.

“During 2005-06 the per capita income was US$ 543, which was increased to
US$ 1,751 in FY 2017-18,” the President mentioned.

He noted that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has achieved different
prestigious and international awards for her uncompromising and charismatic
leadership for ensuring peace and security for development, democratic
practice, good governance, eliminating terrorism, empowering women,
developing and expanding education, health and ICT sectors and mitigating
challenges caused by environmental changes.

He congratulated the prime minister as these international acclaims of her
have elevated the image of Bangladesh to a new height across the globe.

The President said the 7th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) has been prepared
aiming at empowering citizens by accelerating growth, creating more jobs, and
reducing poverty level to implement over a period of July 2015 to June 2020,
which is at operational stage.

In last 10 years of the government, he said huge employment opportunities
have been created and about 1.34 core people got jobs in different areas at
home and 80 lakh others in abroad.

The government earlier created more employment opportunities by reopening
of the closed mills and factories which plays an important role in fulfilling
the election manifesto of the government.

The Present said the government is firmly pledge-bound to eliminate all
forms of terrorism and militancy from the country and to fulfil this pledge
all-out efforts are being made in continuation of the steps taken by the
previous government of grand alliance.

On foreign relations, the President said Bangladesh has been successful in
improving bilateral relations with neighbouring countries and in
international diplomacy.

The government has been continuing its unending efforts to preserve and
widen rights of Bangladesh on important global issues, he added.

About women and children development, teh President said Prime Minister
Sheikh Hasina has taken several programmes to ensure women and children
rights as well as women empowerment in Bangladesh.

The number for reserved seats in parliament has been extended to 50
targeting at women empowerment, he said, adding, “The arrangements have been
made for increasing the number of reserved women seats to one-third of the
total seats in union parishads, upazila parishads and municipalities for
direct election.”

Saying that Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony, the President
said the government is working for nourishing religious culture, concerns and
spirit to scale up the values of people as well as the socio-cultural
condition.

Abdul Hamid said the government’s ‘zero tolerance policy’ against drug,
militancy and fanaticism, have got worldwide appreciation and “Comfort has
been restored in the civic life.”

The government’s commitment to build “Digital Bangladesh” has been on
course to be fulfilled for last 10 years, he said adding that Premier’s ICT
Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy was awarded ‘ICT for Development’ award at the 71st
conference of UNO held in 2016 for his special contributions to the IT
sector.

The President , in his nearly one and a half hour speech, also mentioned
different development in health sector and highlighted the contribution of
Saima Wazed, daughter of the prime minister, for overall progress in autism
in Bangladesh setting an example that earned global commendation.