Bangladesh's journey to success

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Published on March 26, 2024
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As Bangladesh prepares to commemorate its 54th independence day on March 26th, its citizens can feel a sense of pride in the remarkable achievements accomplished in many areas over the years. The country has strived forward and solidified its position as a key economic force in Asia due to its remarkable rate of growth.

The per capita income of the country has witnessed a substantial increase, while the GDP growth has been consistently constant over recent years. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic causing an economic downturn in many major nations, our economy experienced a rapid increase, resulting in a GDP growth rate. Moreover, it has made significant advancements in social metrics, exceeding other countries in South Asia, including India..

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government has demonstrated its reliability in fostering the country's development by the implementation of major projects like the Padma bridge, Metro rail, Karnaphuli river underwater tunnel, and elevated expressways. During the Covid-19 pandemic, while most of the world's greatest countries faced challenges in maintaining their economic development, the government demonstrated remarkable efficiency in tackling the problems caused by the pandemic. Bangladesh's government implemented an extensive incentive package during the Covid-19 pandemic to bolster several sectors of its economy, making it one of the largest in the world.

Bangladesh's geopolitical importance has significantly increased. The likes of China and the United States, and a significant number of other countries have demonstrated their eagerness to collaborate closely with our government. The country's geographical position has rendered it a significant determinant in regional geopolitics. For example, the country has great importance in the Asian Highway project whose main objective is to establish a connection and generate revenues. Bangladesh possesses tremendous potential in growing the realm of transnational transit and regional connections.

Nevertheless, certain sectors require urgent focus, since their failure might have a detrimental impact in other areas.

The government must urgently address the issue of market price regulation for various goods, as their significant growth is negatively affecting the lives and livelihoods of the country's population. Notwithstanding the endeavours of government organizations, business syndicates are manipulating market prices to their advantage. Undoubtedly, international market prices have been affected by the global economic crisis caused by the economic strain resulting from the post-Covid-19 pandemic and the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. However, the competent authorities must implement robust measures against unscrupulous businessmen, and their networks to restore a sense of comfort among the bulk of the population.

The government should prioritize the higher education sector, as it is widely regarded as the foundation of the nation. The substantial debate has focused on the wrongdoing and ineptitude displayed by the majority of Vice-Chancellors in public universities. Taking firm measures against the corrupt Vice Chancellors will not only rescue the affected educational institutions but also foster a favourable perception of the government among all stakeholders in the education industry. The government must exercise caution when selecting individuals for the positions of Vice-Chancellor (VC) and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Pro-VC) in public universities. The candidate's scholastic prowess and managerial aptitude must be taken into account. If applicants who do not deserve it are placed in positions of importance, they will not be able to effectively contribute to improving the quality of education. Instead, they would engage in various unscrupulous tactics, such as manipulating the recruiting process and embezzling funds from building projects.

The government should also monitor the presence of infiltrators within the administration and political parties. In recent years, we have observed the prevalence of infiltrators exerting control over many industries. This would marginalize the committed supporters in administration and party politics and lead to indifference among them, finally causing them to disengage from political and administrative activities. The administration should also contemplate disseminating its achievements over 15 years. A significant portion of the rural people remains uninformed of some noteworthy achievements of the government. Consequently, upon being informed of these achievements, individuals will be motivated to further endorse the government in all its endeavours.

The prime minister has been tirelessly trying to fulfill the vision of Bangabandhu to create a prosperous Bangladesh. Through her endeavours to establish a "Sonar Bangla," she has achieved a significant number of her objectives. Nevertheless, she may have attained more triumph if she had secured wholehearted collaboration from all the individuals accountable for overseeing various sectors. Thus, she must maintain a state of constant alertness while selecting individuals for various administrative roles. We have received a recommendation for graduation into a developing nation and expect to achieve upper-middle-income status by 2031 and developed country status by 2041. Hence, the prime minister must begin her new endeavour on the occasion of our nation's 53rd anniversary of independence, ensuring the complete eradication of corruption in both politics and administration. If she can accomplish so, the establishment of "Sonar Bangla" will become a reality shortly.

Writer: Dr Pranab Kumar Panday, Professor in the Department of Public Administration at the University of Rajshahi.