June 02, 2016
Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina called upon the leaders of the wealthiest nations at the Outreach Meeting of the recently held G7 Summit in Japan to be more generous to less developed countries. With a less focus on aid dependency, the Premier rather called for a transfer of technology, expanded assistance in resource mobilisation and capacity building focusing on climate change. Given that actions of rich countries have often caused developing countries to suffer, she aptly pointed out that the main threat to world peace now is the growing inequality among nations.
As a glowing testament to all out support for Bangladesh, Japan has reaffirmed that it would fulfill its commitment to provide $6 billion development package, of which $1.5 billion would be released this year. At an official bilateral meeting between HPM Sheikh Hasina and Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, the latter reiterated his unequivocal support for his Bangladesh counterpart and also agreed in principle to take steps for building the third terminal of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by 2019. Agreements were also forged to take the bilateral partnership to a new height, which took shape after Hasina's visit to Japan in 2014.
Appreciating Bangladesh’s socio-economic development model, British Prime Minister David Cameron asserted his country’s commitment to stand as a shared partner of the success stories that Bangladesh has underwent under the leadership of HPM Sheikh Hasina. The commitment was made when the British Premier held a meeting with his Bangladesh counterpart at the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Japan. Commitments were also asserted by both the leaders as regards extending, forging and fostering the bilateral cooperation in relevant and necessary sectors.
Bangladesh has proposed developing a common platform to boost up the flow of remittance in the SAARC region and Sri Lanka might share its initiative to constitute a financial centre to this end. HPM Sheikh Hasina came up with the proposal at a meeting with the Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena in Nagoya city, Japan. During the sideline event, the Bangladesh Premier, upon request from the Sri Lankan President, assured him of resuming Biman Bangladesh Airlines' direct flights between Dhaka and Colombo.
Growth and Development
The overall manpower export from Bangladesh is expected to witness a robust growth at the end of this year, given that as many as 3,03,284 workers have already went abroad and employed. Initiatives undertaken by the present government like establishment of various institutions for building skilled and semi-skilled manpower, and able and prudent trade diplomatic policies have largely contributed to the success, signaling inflow of a high surge of remittance in the country.
Bangladesh’s apparel manufacturers have entered into sustainable manufacturing practices by establishing eco-friendly factories and introducing energy-efficient latest technologies to give a cushion against carbon emission. Owing to the strong reformation efforts as put in place by the government, so far 300 RMG units were transformed into Eco-friendly, around 118 units registered as green and an allocation worth $591 million is being spent on green financing.
The government will announce a separate roadmap for the first time for 10 mega-projects, for which about over $200 million will be allocated in the upcoming budget. This move stands as a testament to the heartfelt efforts as placed by the government to ensure quick implementation of the projects that would change the course of national progress. Padma Birdge, the biggest infrastructure undertaking till date, has seen completion of 33% works while the satisfactory progress is witnessed in other mega projects.
Social Justice and Equity
As part of stepped up efforts to implement pro-people policies as envisioned by the present government, the allocation for safety net programmes is set to rise about 16% year-on-year in the upcoming budget. At present, over $682 million has been allocated for 18 programmes under the social safety net scheme, which will be increased by more than $127 million in the upcoming fiscal year. With the total number of beneficiaries standing at 3 million, an additional 1,50,000 will be brought under the scheme.
The government is planning a security fund against bank loan, to be lent from the banking system, for the purpose of education. Introduced by the present government, the school banking scheme has earned popularity and deemed as a model abroad. The total deposit in the 1.3 million banking accounts owned by school students in the country crossed $10 million as on December 31, 2015, thanks to the banks offering higher interests on these deposits than other comparable schemes.
International and Regional Cooperation
Last week saw the China’s Defence Minister Gen Chang Wanquan flew in Bangladesh and expressed his country’s resolve to stand beside and provide necessary cooperation to the present government in its effort to make Bangladesh a higher middle income nation by 2021. During a meeting with HPM Sheikh Hasina, the envoy expressed optimism to help the Bangladeshi Armed Forces get equipped with modern technologies and enhance their capacities.
Works are well underway to start direct coastal shipping 'soon' between Bangladesh and Thailand to cut short the trade route as well as costs. To this end, talks are on to connect the Chittagong Port in the Bay of Bengal with the Ranong Port in the East of the Andaman coast in south-western Thailand. Given that Bangladesh eyes to explore the market of Thailand, this move would make businesses cost effective and result in a rise in the bilateral trade ties between the countries.
In a gesture of humanitarian support for the flood torn Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, at the directives of HPM Sheikh Hasina, has decided to extend emergency humanitarian support to Sri Lanka as a quick response to reduce the plight of the people affected by incessant flood and landslide. In view of that a 350 members relief support team organized by Bangladesh Navy left Chittagong for Colombo by a ship of the Navy.
Power and Energy
The government is likely to allocate around Taka 15,000 crore for the power and the energy sectors to implement as many as 88 projects in the next Fiscal Year (FY) beginning on July 1 this year. In accordance with its electoral promise to ensure electricity for all by 2021, this government has been attaching its topmost priority to this sector. Till date, under the watch of the present government, around 76% of the entire population gained access to electricity while the total power generation capacity has been doubled to over 14,000 MW.
The government has cleared a new rural electrification project to provide 2.5 million new connections to meet the growing demand for power. As part of this project, the government puts focus to give the transmission line a complete overhaul, given that the country bid farewell to the nagging problem of load shedding. As of now, the Rural Electrification Board, has taken the charge to set up new transmission lines to light up 1 million more rural houses.
Bangladesh Awami League Bangladesh Insight Archives