PM promises to carry on anti-graft campaign

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DHAKA, Jan 7, 2020 (BSS) – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today promised to
keep up the ongoing anti-graft campaign seeking intensified Anti-Corruption
Commission (ACC) drives to expose to justice illegal wealth amassers in a
nationwide address coinciding with the first anniversary of her government’s
third consecutive term in power.

“The ongoing drive against the corrupt elements will continue … I would
like to warn everybody again that the corrupt elements whoever they might be
and whatever powerful they are, will not be spared,” she said in her address.

The premier added: “I call upon the Anti-Corruption Commission to bring
to the book those, whoever they might be, if found involved in acquiring
illegal wealth.”

Sheikh Hasina said the campaign was required so that none could snatch
rights of common people and advised the corrupt elements to rectify them
immediately in their own interest.

“I work for the common people and I won’t hesitate to take any (required)
step to protect their interest,” she said.

State-run BTV and other TV channels and Bangladesh Betar broadcast
simultaneously her address marking the completion of the first year of the
third consecutive term of the ruling Awami League.

Sheikh Hasina said as part of the anti-graft campaign her government was
spearheading a motivational campaign against corruption considering people’s
participation was a must to check corruption adding that the social menace
would automatically be reduced if the people could be sensitized.

She said harsh drives were simultaneously underway to bring to book those
who were involved in corruption while “initiatives have also been taken to
widen the use of information communication technology (ICT) to stamp out
corruption in various sectors”.

The prime minister said the ongoing drives against militancy, terrorism
and narcotics would continue as well adding that police and other law
enforcement agencies by now significantly succeeded in containing militancy
indebting the countrymen.

“(On the other hand) we’ve taken appropriate measures to enhance capacity
of the law enforcement agencies,” she said.

In her 30-minute speech, SheikhHasina called upon the countrymen to take a fresh vow to establish non-communal Sonar Bangladesh free from hunger, poverty and illiteracy in the
birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

“Let’s take a fresh vow irrespective of party and opinion to establish
secular Sonar Bangladesh free from hunger, poverty and illiteracy in the
birth centenary of the Father of the Nation,” the premier said.

She went on saying: “We want to establish a peaceful society where there
will be no jealousy, hatred and conflict and the people of all religions,
castes and creeds can live in peace. All have been able to perform their
religions with due dignity.”

The premier’s year-ending address also featured issues ranging from
militancy and drugs to foreign relations particularly with neighbours, the
Rohingya crisis, BNP-Jamaat politics, poverty and social safety net, , campus
situation, public health, military affairs and policing.

“Religious leaders along with the imams of mosques have been imparted
with training as none can derail the youth through misinterpretation of the
holy Islam,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said that 650 model mosques were being constructed across
the country under the government initiatives.

The prime minister said being a democratic political party Bangladesh
Awami League is always respectful to the constitution.

“We believe in the rule of law and we also believe that the people’s
mandate is the only way to changeover of state power,” Sheikh Hasina said
adding that her government always welcomed any peaceful democratic movement.

But she said her government would not tolerate destructive activities on
illogical demands and warned that recurrence torching people to death and
arson attacks staged in the past by BNP-Jamaat would never be allowed again
on the soil of Bangladesh.

“We’ve taken all sorts of measures to make parliament effective and the
participation of the lawmakers from both the treasury and opposition benches
makes the Jatiya Sangsad vibrant,” she said.

The premier said all government activities were centered on the interests
of common people and added that she has full confidence in them.

“The people of Bangladesh are very hardworking and having innovative
capacity and they are capable to cope with any situation,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said by nature the hard working common people of the
country are always satisfied with little and the Father of the Nation
struggled throughout his life to establish their rights and bring smile on
their face.

“Being a daughter of him, my only aim (as well) is to bring smile on
their face . . . keep faith in me and I want to be one of you,” she said.

The prime minister said one year has completed after forming the
government following the 11th parliamentary election and the government tried
its best to give the people the highest services.

“We don’t claim cent percent success in all the sectors. But, we can
firmly say that there were no lapses in our endeavours. We will step forward
learning from the past mistakes and experiences,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina added: “New challenges will appear before us. We will face
all the challenges with people’s help, Insha Allah.”

She said Bengalis are a nation of heroes as they earned the country’s
independence at the cost of 30 lakh martyrs.

“Such a nation can never stay behind in the world. We’re also not lagging
behind. Bangladesh has been advancing with tremendous pace towards the
highway of the development,” Sheikh Hasina said.

The premier said her government was entrusted with the task of running
the country consecutively since 2009 and “we’ve been running the government
with a specific target”.

“The target is to give economic emancipation to the people and establish
the basic rights of all alongside improving their living standard,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the government was always aware what it wanted to do
for the countrymen and what it could expecting the people to evaluate its
performance.

“But, we don’t believe in “mukhorochok” (mouthwatering) commitments . .
.We have promised what we can implement,” she said.

The premier said her government had announced the Vision 2021 before the
2008 elections with an objective to transform Bangladesh into a middle income
country.

“The World Bank (already) recognised Bangladesh as a lower-middle income
country in 2015 after crossing the per capita income to $ 1200,” she said.

The prime minister said some “undesirable incidents” took place in one or
two educational institutions last year, “but we want to say firmly, we didn’t
spare anyone involved in the activities (and) administrative and legal
actions were taken against those involved in the incidents”.

Sheikh Hasina said some quarters, however, tried to gain benefit by
creating anarchy and spreading rumours but with people’s help, “we had taken
prompt remedial measures against the misdeeds”.

But she urged all to always remain alert regarding such rumours.

Sheikh Hasina said dengue had appeared as a menace in the past year as
the aedes mosquito carrying its germ created panic across the country.

“Some valuable lives had been lost in the disease despite all kinds of
measures. I express deep sympathy to the bereaved families,” she said.

The premier in her address simultaneously issued orders to all concerned
to take all-out measures to check spread of the aedes mosquitoes beforehand
to prevent recurrence of the disease.

The prime minister also highlighted her government’s tremendous successes in different sectors, including agriculture, health, education, communication, aviation, ICT, women empowerment, tourism, power, sanitation and games and sports.

Mentioning that Bangladesh’s economy is now established on a strong foundation, the premier said small shocks could not be any barrier to the way of progress.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has become one of the five countries in the world in the economic advancement index.

According to the IMF, she said, Bangladesh’s economy secured 30th position on the basis of PPP and its economy will attain 23rd place by 2040 as per the projection of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The premier said Bangladesh will be 26th greater economy in the world by 2030 according to projection of HBSC.

World Economic Forum has said Bangladesh will surpass other Asian countries, including India, in terms of economic growth, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has formulated a 100-year long “Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100” to attain the desired goal of facing adverse impact of climate change.

She said the 7th five-year plan is being implemented incorporating the SDGs into it, while the work on formulating the 8th five-year plan has also started.

Sheikh Hasina said there is a huge difference between today’s Bangladesh and 10-year back Bangladesh.

“The living standard of the people has improved significantly and their purchasing capacity has increased to a great extent”, she said.

The prime minister said the country’s people had forgotten to see the dream of something good.

“But now the people dream and they dream of better life and live beautifully … we are working to transform these dreams into realities,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said that it was beyond the people’s imagination that a bridge will be built over the mighty river Padma and on which they will cross the river directly by vehicles or trains.

“We are going to turn the dream into a reality,” she said, adding the construction of the Padma Bridge is progressing with own finance and over two-third construction work has been completed.

On the relations with neighbouring countries, Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh believes in moving ahead by maintaining good relations with its neghbouring countries and the world.

“The main essence of the foreign policy formulated by the Father of the Nation is ‘friendship to all, malice to none’. Especially, we have attached the highest priority to maintain good relations and harmony with the neighbours,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh wants to resolve bilateral relations through dialogue. “This is not our weakness, rather a strategy. For that reason we didn’t step into the trap despite having provocation from the Myanmar side,” she said.

She said a case has been lodged with the International Court of Justice. “We hope that we will get a formula for permanently resolving the (Rohingya) issue”.

The prime minister said the continuous development in the socioeconomic sector and growing participation of Bangladesh in the international arena have brightened Bangladesh’s image further.

“The global support towards Bangladesh in different international forums, including the United Nations, is the testimony to that,” she said.

Referring to the birth centenary of Father of the nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the prime minister said the year 2020 is especially important in our national life.

She said the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation is set to celebrate this year and the grand opening of the year long programmes will start from March 17 next.

“We’ve already declared 2020-2021 as the “Mujib Borsho”. The programmes of the golden jubilee of the independence and birth centenary of the Father of the Nation will continue simultaneously,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said this celebration is not only a formality, its target is to infuse new strength into the national life and advance another step forward on the way to materialise the dream of the Father of the Nation by teaching the nation with a new mantra on the eve of the golden jubilee of independence.