People will evaluate our work: PM
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday said she is optimistic that the people will rightly evaluate the progress of the country made by her government.
“As we tread the path of development we never fall back,” she said in a resolute voice in a televised address to the nation on her completion of the fourth year of second consecutive term in office.
Hasina urged the people to take the right decision in coming days taking into consideration the country's position ten years ago.
She expressed her firm conviction that all registered political parties would take part in the next general election to help uphold the country's democratic process and noted that the election commission by now has earned people's confidence through holding city corporation polls.
"The Honourable president constituted the new Election Commission through a search committee. This commission has by now conducted several local body elections including two city corporation polls," the premier said.
The premier said in line with the constitution the next election is set to be held at the end of 2018 and ahead of the polls an election time government will be formed and "that government will provide all assistance to the election commission".
"People want peace. They will no longer accept any attempt to boycott polls and destruction of public property in the name of movement," she said.
In her 26-minute address the premier sought national unity for future Bangladesh saying: "Let us all, irrespective of party and opinion, join hands to build a developed, happy and prosperous Bangladesh for the future generation".
Hasina reiterated her determination to build Bangladesh as a middle income country by 2021 and a developed and prosperous one by 2041.
"We are not sitting idle with only our goals. We have formulated necessary plan and is implementing those plans to achieve the cherished goal," she said.
The premier said 47 years have elapsed since the independence and now "we want to live as a dignified nation keeping our head high in the world community".
"If it is your expectation, we will always remain beside you," she said.
Hasina said with people's mandate she assumed office thrice and tried heart and soul to protect the dignity of their mandate and expected the people to evaluate her government's success or failure.
She said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman liberated the country to implement an ideology and spirit aiming at getting the people rid of hunger and poverty while "my determination is to implement Bangabandhu's aspiration".
The premier said an orchestrated plot barred Awami League's return to power in 2001, but after that election people saw a reign of political rouges to mark the subsequent years with unbridled corruption, plundering of public money, emergence of terrorism and indiscriminate political killings.
Hasina said for seven years Bangladesh suffered as BNP and their cohorts were installed to power while after assuming office with peoples mandate in 2009 polls her government continued to make sincere efforts for overall national.
She, however said counting from the time of Bangabandhu's 1975 assassination, Bangladesh was virtually deprived of development for 28 years as the subsequent rulers did nothing for public welfare other than making their own fortune.
"Now all development plans in the country are being implemented with specific plans for achieving specific goals," the premier said.
But, she said BNP-Jamaat alliance created an unprecedented political mayhem during 2013-2015 killing some 500 people, wounding several thousand others, burning down 3,500 transports, 29 railway bogies and nine lunches and 76 government offices.
"Even they set mosques ablaze and burnt hundreds of copies of holy Quran. Even roadside trees and domestic animals could not escape their wrath," she said.
The premier said her party's 2014 election victory helped Bangladesh to be on the development track for nine consecutive years while its economic growth was spurring in full swing defying the global economic recession.
She said compared to GDP size of about Taka 4.84 crore during the BNP regime in 2006, the figure now stood at over 19.75 crore as the growth rate grew to 7.2 percent from 5.2 at that time.
The premier said Bangladesh was now being looked at with appreciation by international community as its per capita income rose to US$ 1,610 which was only $543 in 2005, reducing the poverty rate to 22 percent from 41 percent during the period.
The government, she said, undertook a plan to set up 100 special economic zones in the country to create employment opportunities adding none would remain jobless or starve in future once the economic zones were established.
The premier at the same time highlighted the government's success in combating militancy and terrorism and appreciated the performance of the law enforcing agencies in maintaining order.