Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the much-awaited Padma Multipurpose Bridge will on June 25, opening up a new era in the country’s communication network, which is expected to greatly contribute to the national economy. The huge infrastructure project, with the main bridge spanning 6.15 km in length, is the largest and most challenging in Bangladesh's history. The bridge standing across the Padma River to link the northeastern and southwestern areas of Bangladesh is also a key part of an anticipated trans-Asian railway network. Earlier, HPM Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the main construction work of the bridge in 2015. The Padma multipurpose bridge is located about 40 km southwest of Dhaka.
Owing to prudent leadership of HPM Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has escaped such situations and is increasingly seen as an emerging middle power while countries in South Asia are mired in economic crises or face a debt trap with China, , according to South China Morning Post (SCMP). And despite being courted by the United States militarily, Dhaka has not been anxious to strengthen such ties as the government carries out a deft “three-way balancing” act between India, China and the US, SCMP reports quoting analysts. In recent weeks, Sri Lanka has been going through its worst economic crisis since independence in 1948, and is on the verge of bankruptcy due to economic mismanagement and a massive shortage of foreign exchange reserves.
Addressing virtually the handing over ceremony of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) Presidency, HPM Sheikh Hasina said the Forum emerged as legitimate voice for most climate-affected countries under Bangladesh's presidency, hoping it would continue to push developed countries to deliver their commitments under the Paris Agreement. "The CVF is now a significant presence in the international climate setting. It has emerged as the legitimate voice for countries most affected by climate change (under Bangladesh's presidency. The rise in CVF membership is proof of that," she said. She also mentioned that 1.5 billion people in CVF member countries are faced with climate emergencies.
A fresh chapter in FAO-Bangladesh cooperation was marked this week with the signing of a new five-year Country Programming Framework (CPF) that will accelerate the pace of agricultural transformation. The CPF 2022-26 for Bangladesh is a strategic planning and management tool that provides the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with a sound basis for developing its mid-term country programme, in line with the policies and development priorities of the government, according to media reports. HPM Sheikh Hasina has approved the key document which prioritizes sustainable and green agri-economic growth with a focus on women and youth, as well as the delivery of healthy, safe and nutritious food.
During a recent visit to Bangladesh, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi called for sustained and predictable support for Rohingyas and local host communities in Bangladesh, underscoring the need for maintaining their hopes for voluntary return to Myanmar once the situation allows. “The world must remember the crisis that Rohingya refugees and their hosts have been facing for the last five years. The refugees’ lives depend on how the international community responds in caring for them,” he added.
At the directives of HPM Sheikh Hasina, the Awami League led government will increase the programmes of distributing rice at the rate of Tk 10 per kg to the extremely poor families in the upcoming budget under the food-friendly programme. Under the scheme, around 1.1 million more beneficiaries will be included given the overall allocation to the social security sector will be increased in the budget for 2022-23 fiscal. At present as many as 5.7 million elderly people in the country are getting an old-aged allowance with each of them is getting Tk 500 every month as an allowance. Envisaged and introduced by HPM Sheikh Hasina, the allowance turned out as a big booster in turning around lives of million thanks to a social security scheme.
Smartphone penetration in Bangladesh is fast approaching 50% as the coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the adoption of digital technologies to work, study and find entertainment using smart devices. Since Awami League led government came to power, as many as 14 such plants have been set up in Bangladesh, creating jobs for around 16,000 people while another four are in the pipeline. Thanks to the Digital Bangladesh campaign, a vision to transform the country into the technologically advanced one, the number of locally manufactured handsets was 20.6 million in the last fiscal year, with smartphones accounting for 42%. From March 2020 to March 2022, mobile network operators added 10.8 million new internet users, taking the total number of subscribers to 11.9 million.
Exporters fetched $1.3 billion from shipping home textiles in the July-April period of the current fiscal year, posting 39% year-on-year growth. Receipts from shipments of home textile items such as bed sheets, pillow covers, curtains and cushion covers were higher than export receipts from agricultural products as well as leather and leather goods during the period. Home textile exports were 28% higher than its nearest peer, agricultural products, namely dry foods, vegetables, tobacco and spices.

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