The government is going to set about 7.50% gross domestic product (GDP) growth target for the upcoming fiscal year 2023-24, according to media reports. Moreover, being successful in making Bangladesh digital, Honourable Prime Minister (HPM) Sheikh Hasina has stepped up efforts towards building smart Bangladesh, a vision of a developed Bangladesh that her party pledged to realise by 2041. HPM has directed to increase the implementation rate of Annual Development Program (ADP) in the coming days, strengthen the monitoring system, maintain foreign exchange reserves, prevent hundi and increase remittances through legal channels and rural development. Development once again took centre stage with an allocation of Tk 2.78 trillion – a 15% jump from the revised budget for FY23.
An allocation of Tk 4,755 crore has been proposed for the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs in the financial year 2023-2024. The proposed fund would be spent on ensuring the welfare of women and children to be implemented in FY24 are the establishment of day-care centres in 64 districts for the children of working mothers; manufacture and distribution of sanitary towels for adolescent health protection and women's economic empowerment; and providing bicycles to school-going girls for adolescent empowerment. Capacity building of the Directorate of Women Affairs to prevent violence against women and child marriage; construction of Sheikh Hasina Women's Welfare Dormitory and Working Women's Hostel; establishment of retirement homes also featured in the budget.
The education sector has received a Tk7,000 crore boost in the proposed budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year. According to media reports, the proposed amount would be spent on providing with total of 59,000 laptops, multimedia projectors and sound system along with internet connectivity to more than 50,000 government primary schools across the country to set up multimedia classrooms. As many as 800 officers have been trained on ICT and more than 100,000 teachers have been given hands-on training to create digital educational content. As many as 315 private secondary schools located in upazila headquarters, except government schools, have been converted into model schools, he said, adding that the construction work of 180 buildings has been completed for government post-graduate colleges located at the district headquarters.
In the budget for the financial year 2023-24, the Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change has received a slightly higher allocation than the previous year. Moreover, the total budget allocation for climate-relevant initiatives across 25 ministries and divisions accounts for 54.09% of their combined budgets. The government has recognized the significance of addressing climate change and has accorded importance to this issue in the proposed allocations for other ministries. Bangladesh's government has also given importance to dealing with the impact of climate change to ensure long-term sustainable development. Of the total allocation for the 25 climate-relevant ministries and divisions, 8.99% is specifically set for climate-relevant expenditures.
As part of extended safety net coverage, as many as 1,09,68,878 marginalised, rural and helpless people under 23 categories have been provided with monthly allowances across the country aimed at curbing the menace of poverty and hunger. According to media reports, works are underway to bring all destitute along with transgender, bede, tea workers and other marginal section of people under the social protection programme. As of now around 5.7 million old aged people are getting regular monthly cash allowance, while 2.4 million widows and oppressed women are receiving cash monthly allowance from the government through mobile banking and agent banking process.
Bangladesh has made significant progress, and moved four notches up to the 89th position in Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023. In 2023, the startup scene of Dhaka developed considerably and increased in the Global Ecosystem Index by 115 spots to stand in the 211th position, said the recently released report. This year’s report ranks the startup ecosystems of 1,000 cities and 100 countries, and features several new sections and an improved algorithm. This advancement stands as a testament to the country’s rise in transforming the digital landscape in sync with the government’s pledge to build “Smart Bangladesh by 2041”.
With the national election slated for less than seven months, a growing leadership crisis seems to have plagued Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), a marker that observers believe explains the party’s sheer reluctance to boycott polls. Its fugitive acting chief Tarique Rahman’s call from London to overthrow the government with all-out violence, instead of taking part in elections caused an open “rebellion” at the party’s grassroots level against the Tarique-backed top echelons, according to reports in Bangladesh media. The party’s central command has so far expelled 43 more of its leaders in Sylhet for taking part in the Sylhet City Corporation (SCC) election defying party decision, taking the total number of expulsion over 100.
Bangladesh is now exporting fish and fish-made products to over 50 countries across the world. Bangladesh annually produces 2,61,154 tonnes of shrimp, where 11.7% or 30,571.40 tonnes of frozen shrimp were exported abroad during 2021-22. In the same fiscal, the country earned Taka 3,636.59 crore foreign currency from shrimp export. Currently, Bangladesh is now exporting different types of shrimp, including Bagda, Galda, Harina and different carp fishes while exports of dry fishes, scale of fishes and shrimp shells take place regularly.
Bangladesh has made remarkable development and economic growth since independence, said Abdoulaye Seck, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan. Bangladesh and the World Bank signed two financing agreements totaling $858 million to enhance climate-resilient agricultural growth, food security, and improve road safety. It will help increase entrepreneurship and access to services by expanding access to digital agricultural services tools, improved food safety processes, and increased female and youth entrepreneurship.


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