President Abdul Hamid yesterday urged all, including the treasury and opposition bench members, to play a constructive and effective role in the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) for materializing expectations of the people.
“I urge upon all irrespective of their affiliation with the treasury or the opposition to play effective and constructive roles in the Jatiya Sangsad, the place to fulfill people’s aspirations,” the President said while addressing the inaugural session of 2017 of the 10th Parliament.
In his 136-page speech, Abdul Hamid highlighted the present 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, ICT and public administration.
The session began with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair. Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Leader of the Opposition Raushan Ershad were present during the President’s speech.
President Abdul Hamid said the present government has been working relentlessly to build Bangladesh as a developed and enlightened country by consolidating the democratic system. United efforts will have to be made to eliminate terrorism-militancy by building an exploitation free golden Bengal as dreamt by Bangabandhu, he added.
“We are indebted to the martyrs of liberation war. Let’s come forward . . .we all irrespective of caste and creed and forgetting party and opinion will have to play role to expedite the democratic journey and socioeconomic development to pay the debt of blood of martyrs,” he said.
Abdul Hamid underscored the need for forging a unity to uphold the glorious independence, sustain the spirit of the war of liberation, consolidate democracy and the rule of law in the country.
He said the present government is endeavoring to establish Bangladesh as a developed and enlightened country in a democratic structure eradicating vengeance, bloodshed and confrontation from politics.
Alongside the party in power, the opposition parties have to play a constructive role in intensifying transparency, accountability, tolerance, human rights and the rule of law and materializing the dream and desire of the nation’s advancement, he said.
President Hamid said the present government has been running the affairs of state taking the challenge of continuing the progress of democracy and achieving socioeconomic targets. The government has been making tireless efforts to consolidate the processes of good governance attaching highest priority to growth of democracy, establishment of the rule of law and achievement of socioeconomic enrichment, he said.
“I hope that the government will maintain peace, discipline and stability in state and society overcoming all the challenges,” Abdul Hamid added.
Mentioning that the government is firmly determined to eliminate terrorism and militancy from the country, the President said the government is making all-out efforts to fulfill this.
About the country’s goal to be a middle-income country in 2021 and a developed one in 2041, he hoped that the country would succeed in achieving the targets by consolidating good governance in every stratum of state and society, institutionalizing democracy and ensuring all-out participation of the people.
He said the country has maintained a steady and balanced economic growth due to its prudent fiscal policy and monetary policy.
The President said over the last five years the economy boosted an average of 6.5 percent growth and the GDP growth in fiscal year 2015-16 was 7.1 percent. Per capita national income has stood at US$ 1,465 and the forex reserves were US$32.1 billion in fiscal year 2015-16, he added.
He said the present government is pledged-bound to ensure food security for all and the government has ensured a secured food-stock through importing and procuring from internal sources. A buffer stock of more than 10 lakh tons of food grains has been made for facing food crisis during any natural disaster, he added.
The government has taken up ‘National Industry Policy 2016’ for the development and flourishing of the industrial sector, he said, adding that a time-befitting “Export Policy 2015-18” has been formulated to bring dynamism in the country’s overseas trade.
On the construction of Padma Bridge, Abdul Hamid said the government has attached the highest priority to the construction of the 6.15-km bridge for establishing a proper and coordinated communication network among all regions of the country. The bridge is expected to complete by 2018, he said, adding that agreement has been signed with a Chinese company to build a tunnel under the river Karnophuli at a cost of Tk 8,446 crore, which is expected to complete by 2020.
For the development of railways, he said a total of 40 projects involving a total of Tk 6,834.25 crore have been implemented since 2009. Forty-eight more projects involving Tk 86,431 crore are now under implementation, he added.
About the development in power sector, the President said over 8232 megawatt additional power has been added to the national grid from January 2009 to December 2016. Six under construction power plants having a total general capacity of 2,088 MW will start generation of power by 2017, he added.
He said a total of Tk 3100 crore were allocated for climate trust fund up to 2015-16 and Tk 630.48 crore were allocated from this fund for implementation of a total of 472 projects in 2016.
About local government institutions, the President said the government has taken varied steps to establish local government institutions as a strong and developed service organization.
About the prime minister’s achievements on international front, he said the prime minister has become member of the UN High-Level Panel on Water. The prime minister also participated in Framework Convention on Climate Change-Gi Conference of the Parties (COP 22), Budapest Water Summit 2016 and highlighted Bangladesh position about the global climate situation.
“Forces Goal-2030’ has been formed in order to modernize and reorganize Bangladesh Army to face the challenges of 21st century, he said, adding that different modern weapons have been procured for the force in order to further strengthen and modernize the defence system under this goal. For the development of Bangladesh Air Force, a sum of Tk 2706.95 crore was allocated for this force in fiscal year 2016-17, he said, adding that two submarines procured for China have arrived in the country on December 2016, which will be commissioned soon.
On foreign relations, the President said Bangladesh has established close relations with various forums with a view to improving bilateral relations with neighboring and other countries and strengthening regional and sub-regional cooperation.
“Bangladesh has established herself in the outer world as a committed and responsible state by adding fresh momentum to her relations with the Muslim world and participating effectively in the United Nations and other international organizations and forums,” he said.
President Hamid said Bangladesh has been going ahead with peace, democracy, development and prosperity and the country will be established as a developed nation in the global arena.
“The Bengali nation has to once again forge unwavering unity to uphold the glorious independence obtained in exchange for the three million martyrs’ blood, sustain the spirit of the liberation war, consolidate democracy and the rule of law, eliminate terrorism and militancy and create a exploitation free golden Bengal as dreamt by Bangabandhu,” he added.