Jan 15, 2018
Under the dynamic stewardship of Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh last year witnessed stunning successes in infrastructure development, poverty alleviation, power generation, nutrition, maternal and child health, primary education, women empowerment etc. Bangladesh's economy posted a GDP (gross domestic product) growth rate of 7.28%, a foreign currency reserve of $32.1 billion, and exports worth $38.50 billion in 2016- 17 fiscal year. Per capita income has surged to $1,610 when the inflation was 5.03% in December, the lowest in past 53 months. Poverty has been slashed from 57% to 22% in less than two decades, while life expectancy increased to 72 years. On impact, the lives of 162 million people are being transformed into a digitalized knowledge-based society thanks to the present government's 'Digital Bangladesh' vision.
Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal expressed his optimism that 2018 will be a good and happy year for the economy and Bangladesh would achieve 8% growth by the next fiscal year. According to media reports, it will be possible to attain 8% growth easily, if the country could properly utilise the resilient, vibrant and young generation. Moreover, the improvements in the social development indicators were even more impressive, making Bangladesh a leader from a laggard in relation to per capita income in cross-country comparisons.
The World Bank has painted a brighter picture for Bangladesh's economy for the next two fiscal years, pinning hopes on strong domestic demand, exports, investment and remittance. According to the Global Economic Prospects, a flagship report of the World Bank Group, remittances are expected to rebound as growth firms up in Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Bangladesh is among the top 17 out of 134 countries in the list of GEP forecasts that are projected to have a healthy growth rate in 2017-18.
HPM Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the country's first six-lane flyover at Mohipal in Feni to ease further road communications between Dhaka and southeastern port city of Chittagong. The flyover, with 660 metres in length and 24.62 metres in width, connected Dhaka-Chittagong and Feni-Laxmipur national highways. A service road has been constructed as part of the project with its length being 1,370 metres and width 7.5 meters alongside a footpath. The flyover has 11 spans and 132 guarders. The length of the flyover is 660 metres while the width is 24.62 metres.
The government has approved 13 projects involving an overall estimated cost of US$ 14 billion including one project to ensure infrastructural development of some 3,250 private secondary schools across the country. Under the project titled "Upward extension of selected private secondary schools", there will be upward extension of academic buildings of some 3,250 private secondary schools as well as supply of necessary furniture in those schools. Under the project, some 160 upazila ICT Resource and Training Centers, each having a two-story building, would be set up in some 125 upazilas.
The World Bank signed an agreement with Bangladesh giving $245 million to help the country improve equity, efficiency and transparency of its major safety net programmes. The additional financing to the Safety Net Systems for the Poorest Project will help improve beneficiary targeting, information management, and benefit payment of the country's five large safety net schemes. In 2016-17, Bangladesh spent about $3.5 billion on social protection, which was about 1.4% of the country's gross domestic product. To ensure effective use of public resources, the WB is supporting the country to build common digital platforms to better administer safety net programmes.
Over 1,75,000 landless and homeless families across the country have gotten shelters and livelihood through one of the HPM’s 10 priority initiatives, 'Ashrayan Prakalpa'. In 2010, the government has undertaken the Ashrayan-2 project for providing shelter for around 2,50,000 families at a cost worth $48 million within the 2019. Under this project, the government has rehabilitated a total of 69,570 families from July, 2010 to December 2017. In the same period, the government has constructed 7,543 barrack houses and rehabilitated 39,425 families there. The government has rehabilitated 29,587 families, who constructed houses on their own.
A target has been set of sending 1.2 million workers abroad in 2018 while more than one million [10 workers were sent abroad to different countries last year, a 33% rise compared to the number of workers sent abroad in the previous year. Owing to successful labour diplomacy by the government, at present, 10.5 million Bangladeshis are employed in 165 countries and the migrant workers remittance last year stood at US $13.52 billion.
Exports rose 7.15% year-on-year to $17.92 billion in the first half of the fiscal year, maintaining the growth momentum largely on the back of garments, jute, jute goods and furniture. Bangladesh also beat the export target for July-December by 0.23%, according to the Export Promotion Bureau. Alone in December, exports receipts stood at $3.09 billion, up 8.42% over the same month in the last fiscal year, while exports of leather and leather goods, the second largest export earning sector after garments, fell 1.21% year-on-year to $620.27 million in the period.
Revenue earnings have increased at an average rate of 14.28% over the last five years that has ultimately boosted the government's capacity to finance priority projects with own funds. Revenue collection soared to a record high in fiscal year 2016-17 (FY17) from that of previous year, according to the National Board of Revenue (NBR). In the first five months (July-November) of the current fiscal year (2017-18), the NBR collected revenue worth $911 million.
A four-day regional conference of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) started in Rangpur. The conference will mainly discuss the issues of bilateral interest such as killing of Bangladeshi people by the BSF at borders, illegal infiltration into Bangladesh territory by the BSF personnel and Indian citizens, arrest of Bangladeshi nationals by the BSF, and smuggling of goods, illegal firearms-ammunition and illegal drugs.
A 13-member OIC delegation began its planned visit to Rohingya camps in Cox's Bazar as the Muslim countries major grouping visibly preferred to mount pressures on Myanmar for safe and dignified repatriation of its forcibly displaced minority people. The delegation arrived in Dhaka last week on a four-day visit to acquire first-hand information on the defiance of human rights by Myanmar through forcing tens of thousands of minority Rohingya Muslims to flee their home and take refuge in Bangladesh. According to media reports, they lauded HPM Sheikh Hasina for providing shelters Rohingyas since the exodus began on August 25 last year following an army crackdown in their homeland in Rakhine state of Myanmar.
A specialised police unit, expected to start operations in a few months, will be equipped with the software named open source intelligence (OSINT) to mine any remarks or postings that are defamatory, can hurt religious sentiment and can constitute an offence under the ICT Act. Presently, police search contentious items online manually. With OSINT, a search with the word “Bangladesh”, for example, will bring up all social media posts or remarks about Bangladesh. According to media reports, a dedicated police unit for investigating ICT cases may ensure punishment in 75 to 80% cases, ultimately reducing the crime rate.
The electronic government procurement (e-GP) till date witnessed an exponential growth since its introduction in 2011 to conduct public procurement online as about 80 percent of country's total public procurement up to the value worth $12 million have come under e-GP till December 2017. Upon inauguration of the e-GP portal hosted at www.eprocure.gov.bd by the HPM on June 2, 2011, tender through online was first invited on August 23, 2011. On January 25, 2011 e-GP Guidelines was issued in line with the Public Procurement Act-2006 and Public Procurement Rules-2008.
Bangladesh Insight Archives
This email was sent by: Bangladesh Awami League
To unsubscribe click: here