Full text of PM’s speech


DHAKA, Jan 7, 2020 (BSS) – Following is the full text of the speech of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

Dear countrymen,

Bangladesh Awami League formed government for the fourth term on January 7 last year in post-75 period after winning the 11th national parliamentary election held on December 30 in 2018 with a huge margin. Today I appeared before you on the completion of one year as I took oath for the fourth term as the Prime Minister. I have extended my heartfelt greetings to you all on the Christian New Year.

I am recalling with profound respect Father of the Nation and the greatest Bangalee of all times Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on this auspicious occasion. I am recalling the four national leaders, 30 lakh martyrs and two lakh repressed mothers-sisters. I salute the freedom fighters.

I recall with deep sorrow my mother Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib, three brothers—freedom fighter Captain Sheikh Kamal, freedom fighter Lieutenant Sheikh Jamal, and 10-year-old Sheikh Russell—newly-wed wives of Kamal and Jamal, Sultana Kamal and Rosi Jamal, my paternal uncle freedom fighter Sheikh Abu Naser, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s military secretary Brigadier Jamil and ASI Siddiqur Rahman of police’s detective branch and all the martyrs brutally killed on the night of August 15, 1975.

I pay deep respect to the oldest political party of the subcontinent Bangladesh Awami League’s founding president Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, general secretary Shamsul Haque and champion of democracy Hussain Shaheed Suhrawardy.

I recall 22 leaders and activists of Awami League, including Ivy Rahman, who were killed in the grenade attacks in 2004. I recall 21,000 leaders and activists, including former finance minister Shah AMS Kibria, Awami League leaders Ahsanullah Master, Monjurul Imam and Momtajuddin, who were brutally killed after BNP-Jamaat alliance assumed office in 2001.

I recall the people killed in the arson and petrol bomb attacks from 2013 to 2015. I express sympathy to families of the injured and the deceased.

I recall with profound honour the distinguished personalities, including politicians and public representatives, who passed away after formation of the government through the 11th parliamentary election.

The year of 2020 is especially important one in our national life. The birth centenary of the greatest Bangalee of all times, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is going to be celebrated this year. The grand opening of the yearlong programmes will start from March 17 next. We have already declared 2020-2021 the “Mujib Year”.

The programme of the golden jubilee of the independence and birth centenary of the Father of the Nation will continue simultaneously. This celebration is not only a formality, the target of the celebration is to infuse living power afresh in the national life; go one step forward on the way to materialise the dream of the Father of the Nation to teach the nation new mantra on the eve of the golden jubilee of the independence.

Dear Countrymen,

We have been entrusted with running the government consecutively since 2009. We have been running the government with a specific target. That target is to give economic emancipation to the people and establish the basic rights of all with improving their living standard.

The Father of the Nation had utilized his full strength to reorganise the war-ravaged country standing on the destroyed infrastructures and economy caused by the 24 years’ repression and the “scorched soil policy” of Pakistan during the Liberation War of 1971. He had reached Bangladesh to a dignified position in the world only within three and a half years. Bangladesh has been upgraded to a least developed country. But, the progress had been halted after the assassination of the Father of the Nation on August 15 in 1975.

Bangladesh became an undignified country due to isolation from the people, looting, and running of the state without having a philosophy by the governments after the 1975 (except the Awami League government). Bangladesh was known as a country of storm, tidal surge and beggars, poor and skinny people in the globe. We had taken the charge of running the government in 1996 after 21 years, when the poverty rate was 55 percent. We have taken some epoch-making initiatives during the tenure of 1996-2001. We had introduced various allowances for the poor and marginal people, special programmes such as Ashrayan Prokolpo, Ghore Fera and set up community clinics which have been playing special role in reducing poverty and improving the living standard of the poor and marginal people.

The country within a short span of time had achieved self-sufficiency in food production for taking up pro-farmer and agriculture friendly policy. Besides, we had taken short, mid and long term policies in different sectors with their far-reaching impact on the economy. When the country headed towards the highway of development after tackling the economic standstill, at that time the BNP-Jamaat came to power in 2001 through conspiracy. Repression and torture started on the leaders and activists of the Awami League under the patronisation of the government. Twenty-one thousand leaders and activists were murdered. Many ongoing development projects were stopped only for political reasons. With the opening of the “Hawa Bhaban”, the looting of state properties had continued freely. The military-controlled caretaker government of 2007 was the inevitable outcome of that obvious consequence. That government had kept me in jail without any cause.

We had taken the charge of running the state after taking huge mandate in the 9th parliamentary election in 2009. We had been able to add a new dimension to the economic advancement of Bangladesh after overcoming the financial and administrative indiscipline of two years of BNP-Jamaat and caretaker government as well as the global economic meltdown. As part of its continuation, Bangladesh has been established as a well-known country in the world in terms of socio-economic development. Bangladesh had achieved remarkable success in securing high growth rate in GDP and various social indexes. Bangladesh had been able to surpass

not only neighbouring countries in South Asia but also many developed countries in terms of poverty reduction, women empowerment, reduction of child and mother mortality rate, increase of education and life expectancy rate and in various indexes.

Dear Countrymen,

We are always aware of what we wanted to do for you and what we have done.
You must evaluate. But, we don’t believe in fascinating commitments. We
pledge what we have ability to implement. We had declared the Vision 2021
before the election of 2008.The main target of the vision was to transform
Bangladesh into a middle-income country. The World Bank recognised Bangladesh
as a lower-middle income country in 2015 as the per capita income exceeded
$1,200. The per capita income increased to $1,909 in 2019 from $543 in 2005-
06 fiscal.

The poverty rate was 41.5 percent in 2005-06 fiscal. Now the poverty rate
has been reduced to 20.5 percent. According to the estimate of World Economic
Forum, the rate of working people living below the poverty line was 73.5
percent in 2010. The rate was reduced to 10.4 percent in 2018. The United
Nations gave Bangladesh a place in the developing country’s list from the
least developed one in 2018.

The annual financial plan has proved that Bangladesh’s economy is
flourishing. The size of budget was Taka 61,000 crore in the 2005-06 fiscal
year which was the last year of BNP government. The size of budget stands at
Taka 5, 23,190 crore in the 2019-20 fiscal year increasing by over eight and
half times. The Annual Development Programme stands at Taka 2,02,721 crore.
Ninety percent of the budget is now being implemented with country’s own

The GDP growth rate was 8.15 percent in the last fiscal. The inflation rate
was below 6 percent. The price of essential goods was normal except the price
of import-based onion during last few days of the (last) year.

Bangladesh economy is now established on the strong base. Small shocks
cannot be obstacles on the way to this progress. Bangladesh is now one of the
five countries in the world in the indexes of economic uplift. According to
the estimate of IMF, Bangladesh’s economy is on the 30th position on the
basis of PPP. Bangladesh’s economy will attain the 23rd position by 2040 as
per the projection of Price Water House Coopers. Bangladesh will be the 26th
greatest economy in the world by 2030 according to projection of HBSC. World
Economic Forum says Bangladesh will surpass Asian countries, including India,
in terms of economic growth.

We have launched Bangabandhu Satellite-1 into the orbit. The construction
of 2,400 megawatt nuclear power plant at Rooppur in Pabna is going on. The
enclave problem with India has been resolved with implementation of the land
boundary agreement. Our sovereign rights have been established on the huge
water of the Bay of Bengal with resolving the maritime boundary dispute with
Myanmar and India. The door of blue economy has been opened.

We have formulated a hundred year long “Bangladesh Delta Plan 2100” to
achieve the desired development facing the adverse impacts of climate change.

The 7th five-year plan is being implemented incorporating the SDGs into it.
The work on formulating the 8th five-year plan has also begun.

Dear Countrymen,

There is a huge difference between today’s Bangladesh and that of 10 years back. The living standard of the people has improved. Purchasing capacity has increased. The country’s people had almost forgotten to dream of something good. People dream today. Dream of better life. Dream of living beautifully. We are working to transform the dream into a reality.

It was beyond the people’s imagination that a bridge would be built on the mighty river Padma and through which they will cross the river directly by vehicles or trains. We are going to turn the dream into a reality. Construction of the Padma Bridge is progressing with own finance. Over two-third of the construction works have been completed. About half of the Padma Bridge is now visible. The construction of metro rail is progressing fast to curb the traffic jam in the capital. A feasibility study on constructing of subway rail has begun. The construction work of the elevated expressway from airport to Kutubkhali is also progressing rapidly. The country’s first tunnel is being built under the Karnaphuli river in Chattogram.

The works of upgrading Chandra-Bangabandhu Bridge East Station, Bangabandhu Bridge West Station-Rangpur and Dhaka-Sylhet highways to four-lane are underway after upgrading the Dhaka-Chattogram, Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Chandra highways into four-lane.

The construction of new railway lines, addition of new coaches and engines and launching e-ticketing and new trains have introduced a new era in the rail communication. A total of 401 kilometers of new railway lines have been built since 2009. As many as 122 new trains have been launched. I hope the train operation on the Padma bridge will start from the day of inauguration of the bridge. All districts of the country are being brought under the railway connectivity.

The number of own aircrafts of the Biman Bangladesh Airlines stands at 18 with adding of six new dreamliners to the Biman fleet. The construction work of the third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (HSIA) has started.

Initiative has taken to reach urban amenities to every village of the country. Electricity has already been reached to houses of 95 percent people. Ninety seven percent of the people have been brought under the hygienic sanitation facilities. Mega power projects are being implemented in Rampal, Matarbari, Payra and Moheskhali to produce sustainable power and ensure its supply. Everyday 650 million cubic feet gas has already been being added to the national greed from the LNG terminal at Moheskhali. Mini stadiums and auditoriums are being built at every upazila for physical and mental growth of the juvenile and young generation.

Today the health services have been reached to the doorsteps of the commoners through 18,500 community clinics and union health service centres. With increasing of bed numbers, other facilities have also been increased at the hospitals at upazila and district levels. Different specialized institutes and hospitals, including cardiovascular, kidney, cancer, neuro, eye, burn, ear, nose and throat ailments, have been set up. Nursing institutes have been built to meet the growing demand of the nurses.

A total of 20,102 doctors and 21,697 nurses have been recruited in the past 11 years. Works are underway to construct at least one medical college and hospital in every district.

We have achieved self-sufficiency in production or crops, fish and meat. Bangladesh has secured fourth position in rice production and third in fish and vegetable production in the world. Prices of agricultural inputs have been decreased several times. The prices of Diammonium phosphate or DAP fertilizer has been made Taka 16 per kg at the farmer level by reducing Taka 9 per kg in the last month. Agricultural equipment and machinery are being distributed among the farmers at subsidized price.

Scholarships and stipends are being given to over 2.3 crore students from primary to higher education level every year. Since 2010, free textbooks are being given among the students up to secondary level on the first day of year. We have so far nationalized 26,193 primary schools, 685 secondary schools and colleges. As many as 4661 educational institutions were enlisted in the MPO since 2009. The current education rate has crossed 73 percent.

The allocation in social safety net sector was Taka 373 crore in 2005-06 fiscal. The allocation stands at Taka 74,367 crore in the current fiscal year. Around 5.10 crore people are being benefitted directly or indirectly. We have been implementing more than one project as none remain homeless. Houses are being built for those families who have no house but land. Besides, houses are being built for landless and the homeless people due to river erosion. Taka 100 crore has been allocated for that.

Nowadays, over 15 crore SIMs are being used in Bangladesh. The number of internet users is around nine crore. Broad band connection has been reached to over 3500 unions of the country. We have taken initiatives to introduce 5G after 4G.

Our main target is to generate employments for the youth. We have set a target to create 1.5 crore employments during the current tenure. The work on establishing 100 economic zones both in public and private sectors is going on. Work on setting up industries-factories in 15 economic zones has already started. Huge numbers of foreign and local investors are coming to invest in these economic zones. Construction of over two dozens of high-tech parks and IT villages is continuing.

Vocational and technical educational institutions are being set up across the country to create skilled manpower. Necessary trainings are being imparted to create employment through free-lancing. Over six lakh free-lancers were able to create employment for them in IT sector. Besides, agriculture, fisheries, animal husbandry, tourism and service sectors have huge potential of employment generation.

Dear Countrymen,

The work to make stronger all the forces in line with the “Armed Forces Goal-2030” is continuing. We are doing everything what is necessary to make the defence force capable to face any attack and aggression of external enemies.

Our police side by side with other law enforcement agencies have made significant success in resisting the spread of militancy. So, the countrymen are grateful to them. We have taken appropriate measures to enhance capability of the law enforcement agencies.

Bangladesh believes in the policy of going ahead with maintaining good relations with its neghbouring countries and the world. Our pathway is on the basis of the main essence of the foreign policy formulated by the Father of the Nation “friendship to all, malice to none”. Especially, we have put the highest priority to maintain good relations and harmony with the neighbours. We want to resolve bilateral relations through dialogue. It is not our weakness, rather strategy. For that reason, we didn’t step into the trap despite having provocation from the Myanmar side. A case has been lodged with the International Court of Justice. We hope that we will get a formula to permanently resolve the issue.

The continuous development in the socio-economic sector and growing participation of Bangladesh in the international arena have brightened Bangladesh’s image. The global support towards Bangladesh in different international forums including the United Nations is the testimony of that. Recently, Bangladesh has been elected in some international organizations including ECOSOC, CFC, CIAP and APDIM. Some Bangladesh’s resolutions such as “Peace Culture”, “Natural Plant Fibers and Sustainable Development” and in Rohingya issue have been accepted in the United Nations this year.

Dear Countrymen,

You might remember that I had called upon the people involved in corruption to correct them in the address to the nation after forming the government last year. I work for the common people. I will not hesitate to take any measures for the welfare of the people.

The ongoing drive against corrupts will be continued. I once again want to alert everyone that corrupt elements whoever they are, how much powerful they are, will not be spared.

I call upon the Anti-Corruption Commission to bring to book the people whoever are found involved in acquiring illegal wealth. It will be ensured as none can take away the rights of commoners. Besides, we have taken measures to create awareness against corruption. Initiatives have taken to stamp out corruption in various sectors with the expansion of information communication technology. People’s participation is a must to stop corruption. The corruption will be reduced automatically if people become aware against corruption.

Our drive against militancy, terrorism and narcotics will be continued. Religious leaders along with the imams of mosques have been imparted with training as none can divert the youth to wrong path giving misinterpretation of the holy religion Islam. As many as 650 mosques are being constructed across the country.

We want to establish a peaceful society where there will be no jealousy -hatred-conflict. The people of all religions, castes and creeds can live in peace. All have been able to perform their own religion with due dignity.

Bangladesh Awami League is a democratic political party. We are respectful to the Constitution. We believe in the rule of law. We believe the people’s mandate is only way to changeover the power. We welcome any peaceful democratic movement. But, we don’t tolerate destructive activities on illogical demands.

Dear Countrymen,

In the past, you have witnessed the arson-terrorism of BNP and killing of people by setting fire in the name of movement. The recurrence of such destructive activities will not be allowed in the soil of Bangladesh.

We have taken all sorts of measures to make effective the parliament. The participation of the lawmakers from both the treasury and opposition benches makes the parliament vibrant.

Dear Countrymen,

One year has completed after forming the government following the 11th parliamentary election. We have tried our best to give you the highest services. We don’t claim that we become hundred percent successful in all sectors. But, we can say it firmly that there was no laps in our efforts. We will step forward with overcoming the past mistakes and utilizing experiences as well. New challenges will appear before us. We will face all the challenges with the help of the people, Insha Allah.

Undesirable incidents were taken place one or two educational institutions in last year. We want to firmly say that we didn’t spare anyone involved in the activities. Administrative and legal actions were taken immediately against those involved in the incidents. Some sections tried to take advantage of the incidents creating anarchy by spreading rumours. We have taken prompt preventive measures against the misdeeds with the help of the people. We will have to remain alert always against such rumours.

The Aedes mosquito-borne dengue fever created panic across the country last year. Some valuable lives had been lost in the disease despite taking all kinds of measures. I express deep sympathy to the bereaved families. I am giving order to all the concerned people to take all-out measures to stop the spread of the aedes mosquitoes.

Dear Countrymen, My all works are centering on the common people. I have full confidence in you. The people of Bangladesh is very hardworking and having innovative capacity. They are capable of coping with any situation. The hard-working common people of the country are usually satisfied with little things. The Father of the Nation had struggled throughout his life to establish the rights of these people and bring smile on their faces. Being a daughter of him, my only aim is to bring smile on their faces. Keep faith in me. I want to remain as one of you.

Dear Countrymen,

Bangalee is a nation of heroes. We have earned independence of the country in exchange of the sacrifice of 30 lakh martyrs. Such nation can never stay behind in the world. We are no more lagging behind. Bangladesh has been advancing with tremendous pace on the highway of the development. Let us take a fresh vow irrespective of parties and opinions to establish secular Sonar Bangladesh to be freed from hunger, poverty and illiteracy in the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation. Stay well and healthy. May the Great Rabbul Al-Amin help us.

Khoda Hafez. Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu. Long Live Bangladesh.