- Published on Monday, 16 January 2017 10:23
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Development and democracy are complementary to each other. The general election on 5 January, 2014 was an important and unique milestone of the country for sustainability of the Constitution and democratic process.
The people of Bangladesh are always concerned about the interest of the country. Active participation, cooperation and consolidated efforts are essential for development to continue. Effective and integrated effort of the grand alliance government led by the Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has resulted in the increase of national income and allocation of national budget even in the backdrop of world economic recession.
The country has also shown success in attaining Millenium Development Goals and moved to the status of lower middle income country from low income country. Besides, progress has been achieved in different sectors including agriculture, education and health. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina as a leader is also accorded by the world as Bangladesh has been recognized in different levels of international arena. The present government is confident to attain vision 2021 with the combination of this success and recognition.
A brief account of the development activities and progresses achieved by the present alliance government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during the past three years is presented below:
Finance, Commerce and Planning
Average economic growth rate in the last three years was 6.5 percent. Besides per capita income has increased up to USD 1,466, reserve has reached almost US Dollar 31 billion and foreign remittance stood at USD 16 billion. After implementing National Pay Scale in 2015, the 7th Five Year Plan has been undertaken by the government. According to experts, it’s a bold and visionary plan.
The national budget for FY2016-17 is bigger than the previous year by 49 thousand crore taka and the Annual Development program expenditure for 2016-17 stands at USD15.63 billion. By the end of 2016, the size of Bangladesh’s economy stood at more thanUSD 10 billion.
Bangladesh earned USD 34.9 billion from export sector. In the first half of FY 2016-17, the country earned USD 16.8 billion, 4.44% more than the same period in FY 2015-16.
According to a report of the World Bank titled 'South Asia's Turn: Policies to Boost Competitiveness and Create the Next Export Powerhouse', Bangladesh can become an export powerhouse at the level of its East Asian neighbors by improving its business competitiveness and trade regime
In the national budget for FY2016-17, education sector has been awarded with the highest budget of USD 6.7 billion. The net rate of primary school enrollment reached to 97.3 percent in 2014. The drop-out rate has reduced to 20.9 percent. A total of 36 crore 21 lakh 82 thousand and 245 copies of text books have been distributed among 4.26 crore students in 2017 academic year. With a view to building 'Digital Bangladesh, as announced by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, internet facilities have been introduced in field level offices related to primary education including 55 Primary Training Institutes (PTI) having a computer lab. Laptop, multimedia, internet modem and sound systems have been supplied to 5 thousand and 430 primary schools.
To prevent drop-out of the poor students Taka 970.27 crore has been distributed among 49 lakh 23 thousand and 485 students as stipends and free studentship in 2013-14. Bangladesh achieved parity in the number of male and female students in primary level in 2012, three years ahead of the stipulated timeframe of the United Nations. It became possible as a result of hard work and who e hearted effort of the alliance government.
Establishment of Technical schools in 100 Upazilas is going on under a project to establish training schools in every upazila. 13.11 percent students got the opportunity to have technical education in the fiscal year 2014-15. Land has been allocated to establish an autistic academy in Purbachal, Dhaka. The academy will have two different dormitories, each with a capacity to accommodate 100 autistic boys and girls. Welfare activities for the autistic children of the country is going on with the sincere and hard work of SaimaWazed, the Chairperson of the National Advisory Committee of Bangladesh on Autism.
Health and Sanitation
The prospect of Bangladesh health sector is being reflected in various indicators. Life expectancy has reached to 71.8 years. Child mortality has reduced to 29 in per thousand live births. Maternal mortality has also come down to 170 in per 100 thousand cases.24-hour health service in 64 district hospitals and 421 upazilla hospitals is available in number 16263 from mobile.
In 2016, Bangladesh has been awarded by WHO for eradicating the threat of Tetanus among mothers and children. To ensure quality services for the poor patients, 10000 senior staff nurse were appointed at a time in government hospital around the country. This has been the largest recruitment in this sector. Bangladesh’s proposal on Autism and Neurodevelopmental disorder has been adopted by WHO.
Previously, Bangladesh exported medicine to 85 countries. In 2016, the number increased to 125 including UK and USA.
A number of hospitals in sub-district level are offering evening services for the patients from remote areas. More than 50 thousand patients have received service in this program. The expansion of the project is undergoing.
Agriculture, Food and Industry
The production of food in 2015-16 was 391.05 lakh metric tons. To sustain the agricultural production subsidy of Taka 7,101 crore was distributed among the farmers. With the vision to continue the progress in agriculture sector, the Awami League government has allocated USD 1.14 billion as subsidy for the farmers.A project of USD 31 million for mechanizing farms is being implemented with the goal to complete in 2018.
Taka 10.6 crore has also been distributed to supply agricultural instruments in the marshland areas. 70 high yielding verities of crops have been developed in last three years that are disease resistant and can sustain against drought, flood and salinity. It is now possible to yield sate crop production as the farmers are encouraged to use natural fertilizer and pesticides.
Food grain production has risen to 35.68 lakh metric tons in 2016. 12 lakh metric tons of rice and 2 kith 4 thousand metric tons of wheat has been collected in 2015 from internal sources to ensure safety of food storage. Total food storage in 2015 was 15 lakh 46 thousand and 939 metric tons. During the present tenure of the alliance government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh exported 25 thousand metric tons of rice in Sri Lanka, which is the first incident to export rice to any other country. A total of 11 lakh 27 thousand metric tons of rice and 4 lakh 47 thousand metric tons of wheat have been distributed under the public food distribution program. The storage capacity of government warehouses has been raised to 2 million metric tons. Government has also taken up a project to provide 500 thousand cylos in family level.
Average annual growth rate in the fisheries sector at present is 6.23 percent. About 1 crore 80 latch people lives on this sector. 35.48 lakh metric tons of fish and shrimp were produced in 2013-14 using appropriate technology to achieve vision 2021. In the last three years additional 15 thousand metric tons of fish was produced and 1.61 lull metric tons of fish and fish products have been exported earning Taka 9.5 thousand crore as foreign exchange. Bangladesh stands fourth in the world in producing inland freshwater fish. Bangladesh has been included as the pilot country in Blue Growth Economy. In 2014-15 milk production reached to 69.70 lakh metric tons. In the same period the production of meat and egg stood at 58.6 lakh metric tons and 1 thousand 99 crore and 52 lakh pieces respectively.
A project to establish Shahjalal Fertilizer Factory has been taken with a yearly production capacity of 5 lakh 80 thousand metric tons to meet the demand of urea. In 2014-15 Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) has identified 3,890 small and 8,934 prospective cottage industry entrepreneurs who have been provided with different suggestions and services. Food, microbiology, cement and textile laboratory of Bangladesh Standard Tasting Institute (BSTI) has attained accreditation from National Accreditation Board for Testing Laboratories (NABL), India.
Power and Energy
Bangladesh has achieved enviable sums in power sector with the leadership of Sheikh Hasina, leader of the incumbent alliance government. The production capacity of electricity (greed connected) in the country has been raised to15351megawatts from 10,289 megawatts during the past three years. Maximum electricity generation in 2013 was 6,675 megawatts which rose to 9036megawatts in 2016. Per capita electricity generation has been raised to 407kilowatt/hour which in 2013 was 321 kilowatt/hour. Daily gas production has increased to 2,700+ million cubic feet and in addition Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has been identified as alternative energy. After the completion of daily 500 mmcfd capacitated Floating Storage Re-gasification Unit (FSRU) LNG terminal, with the technical assistance of Excelerate Energy (EE) of Singapore, it will be possible to connect additional electricity to the national greed by 2017.
Road, Rail, Water Transport and Local Communication Infrastructure
The construction work of the main structure of Padma Bridge has become visible. About 40 percent work of this fast track mega project has been completed .The construction of the connecting road in Mawa section has been completed. About 70 percent work of the connecting road in Jajira point has been completed. On August 7, the first span of the superstructure of the Bridge reached Mawa site from China. A total of 41 spans are required for the 6.15-km superstructure of the bridge and all the spans will come from China. On a monthly basis, 1-2 spans will come from China every month. The weight of each 150-metre span is some 2,900 tonnes. The spans are being made of steel plate with 20-80 mm thickness in a Chinese factory.
Preparatory work of 20-kilometer-long Metro Rail from Uttara to Bangladesh Bank costing Taka 22 thousand crore has been done to ease traffic congestion of Dhaka city. On June, 2016 HPM Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the construction work. Another fast track mega project, Dhaka-Chittagong four-lane highway has been completed and opened in July, 2016.
An agreement has been signed with the government of China to make a 3.5 kilometer long tunnel under the bed of the river Kamaphuli in Chittagong.
Upgradation of 184 kilometer out of 198 kilometer of Dhaka-Chittagong highway to four lanes has no far been completed. Six highways comprising 227 kilometers have been developed in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region. 35 kilometer longThanchi-Ali kadam highway is now open for traffic. Construction of many bridges including Kazin Bazaar Bridge on Surma river of Sylhet, Seventh Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge in Madaripur, Sheikh Russel Bridge, Surma Bridge in Sunamganj, Birulia Bridge on Birulia-Ashulia road, Arial Khan Bridge, Old Brahmaputra Bridge and Kolatoli Bridge has already been completed.
Different ministries/divisions are working together in line with the long term planning of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to minimize the traffic congestion of Dhaka city. In connection to this, the work of 24 kilometer long elevated expressway has been started.
The preparatory work of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) from HazratShahjalal Ai/port to Joydevpur intersection has been completed. Government has signed a deal with a Chinese farm. Once constructed, 25 thousand people can commute in every hour. 2 lakh 21 thousand and 238 sets of digital number plate have been assembled in different vehicles. 2 lakh and 425 digital smart card driving licenses have been distributed in fiscal year 2014-15. Under the non-development head for repair and maintenance, rehabilitation of 125 kilometer road except surfacing, seal coating of 271 kilometer road with carpeting, overlay of 1,474 kilometer road, DBST of 253 kilometer, construction/reconstruction of 21 bridges and 107 culverts has been completed during fiscal year 2014-15. Bus services to Kolkata- Dhaka- Agartala and Dhaka-Sylhet- Shilong- Gouhati- Dhaka has been launched in 2105. E-Ticketing system for air-conditioned buses of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) plying on Abdullahpur-Motijheel route has been introduced. Two new bus depots in Gabtoli and Mohammadpur under BRTC have come into operation in fiscal year 2014-15.
In 2016, three new express train service have been launched with the coaches imported from Indonesia. These trains are running on Dhaka-Sirajganj-Dhaka and Dhaka-Dinajpur-Dhaka route. In total, 7 new trains were launched this year.
Construction work of 61 kilometer double line with modernization of signaling system in 11 stations from Laksham to Chinki Astana has been inaugurated for the development of railway. Physical infrastructure development of 64 kilometer double line from Tongi to Bhoirob Bazar, including signaling system has already been completed. Besides process to procure 100 meter gauge and 170 broad gauge passenger coach is underway.
The fast track project of constructing a deep sea port at Payra, Patuakhali is at a furious pace. Because of the growing demand, government opened the port at a limited scale. The 142 million dollar project will be finished by the end of 2018.
Long awaited New Mooring Container Terminal in Chittagong is now in operation with container handling capacity in four terminals. Two new ferry routes between Mehendigonj of Barisal and Shariatpur and Matlabupazilla of Chandpur and Narayanganj are now in operation.
Currently, only the ships with highest 9.5 meter draft can anchor at the Chittagong port. To increase the ability to allow the ships with more drafts, government is planning to build ‘Bay Terminal’ which will allow larger ships to anchor in Chittagong Port. Already a deal has been signed to do the feasibility study for the terminal.
Under different development projects of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), 9,135 kilometers of road (Upazila, union and village level) and 43,250 meters of bridge/culvert have been constructed. LGED is operating the construction project of 8.25 kilometer long four lane "Moghbazar-Mouchak Integrated Flyover" with a stipulated cost of Taka 773 crore to minimize traffic congestion of the capital.
Science, Information Technology and Post & Telecommunication
In 2016, the Asian-Oceanian Computing Industry Organization has awarded Bangladesh with ASOCIO Digital Government Award-2016 for using ICT in receiving public services. In September 2016Prime Minister’s ICT Advisor SajeebWazed Joy was awarded with ICT for Development Award 2016.
Up to October, 2016, the number of mobile and internet users has reached about 120.7 million and 66.9 million respectively. Tele density and internet density has also reached to 83.09 and 34.4 percent respectively. To increase the teledensiti to 100 percent and internet density to 65 percent by the end of 2021, government has enacted National Telecommunication policy 2016.
Seven projects with a cost of Taka 688.11 crore have been materialized and 2,439 students / researchers have been assisted with funds under national science and technology fellowship program in the last three years for the progress of science and technology. With the bold leadership of Sheikh basins, Prime Minister of the alliance government, three agreements have been signed with the Russian Federation nominated contractors to construct Ruppur Nuclear Power Plant with a capacity of 2400 megawatt.
Division of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has set up connectivity in 18,130 government offices in district and upazila level. The division is working to develop a regional network between Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Bhutan and has installed optical fiber up to Banglabandha. Bangladesh received South-South Cooperation Visionary Award-2014 from the UN and the Global ICT Excellence Award-2014 from the World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA). International Tele-communication Union (ITU) has awarded Bangladesh the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) Prize-2014 and ICTs in Sustainable Development Award -2015.
SEM/RIM registration with biometrics and National ID verification system has started to be implemented since December, 2015. Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC), one of the largest revenue earners of the government, has earned USD 532 Million in FY 2015-16. Directorate of Bangladesh Post Office has introduced mobile money order and cash card. Post E-center has started operation in 3,500 post offices so far. Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited (BTCL) has given 1 lakh 39 thousand new digital connections and replaced 1 lakh old connections in Dhaka city. 7,154Kilometer optical fiber has already been installed in 950 unionsand 300 unions are now under optical network. Government is pledge-bound to launch 4G service by 2017. Voicemail service will also be introduced very soon.
Social Welfare and Security, Land for Landless, Women and Children Development
Total number of beneficiaries under Rural Social Service (RSS) program is 24,15,000. Government has initiated a program to distribute rice costing 10 tk per KG. Five million family will receive 30 KG rice per month under this program. Under Rural Maternity Center (RMC) Program for the empowerment and economic emancipation of women 8,34,960 persons are getting benefits from 318 programs in 64 districts.
In 2016, most of the allowance rates under social welfare program have been increased. Old age allowance is now 500 tk/month and beneficiaries increased to 31.5 million. Widow and destitute women allowance increased to 500 tk and 11.5 million rural women are now being benefitted from this program. In FY 2016-17, six million USD has been allocated for physically challenged students.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s special project ‘Ekti Bari EktiKhamar’ has been eradicating poverty through enabling rural people to create small savings. Hundred branches of PalliShanchay Bank have been opened to monitor this project further.
Under the project of rehabilitating the insolvent disabled persons, 750,000 people are being benefitted. In 2016-17 budget, more than USD 68 million has been allocated for them at a rate of Tk 600 per month.
Under the second phase of Prime Minister special project, Ashrayan-2, twenty two thousand families have been rehabilitated in 238 areas all over the country. Under the whole project, 122 thousand families have received USD 12.294 million loan.
More than 150 thousand persons are getting benefit under rehabilitation program for the disabled and acid victims.
Ekti Bari EktiKhamar (One House One Farm) Project is one of the eight innovative initiatives of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to alleviate poverty and to make the people of the country self reliant. Besides, the government is implementing various projects for poverty alleviation and rural development. Char Livelihood Project-2, Integrated Rural Development Program, Rural Housing (modern housing) Scheme, Economic Empowerment of the Poorest (EEP), Extension Program of Milk Vita, Construction of Bangabandhu Academy for Poverty Alleviation and Rural Development etc. are among the mentionable. At present the number of small scale agriculture based farm stands at 18.72 lakh. The beneficiaries has transacted USD 326.19 million through online which is a result of digital Bangladesh. 485 upazilas of 64 districts are already covered by online transaction facility. Bangladesh Rural Development Board (BRDB) has developed 1,99,688 societies and groups so far wider its poverty alleviation program. 18,460 deep tube wells, 44523 shallow tube wells, 19,405 power generated pumps and 2,73,000 hand generated pumps has been distributed among the members of BRDB under irrigation project to boost up agricultural production. Bangladesh Academy of Rural Development (BARD) has trained up 3651 participants through 88 training programs and awareness building workshops. About 2.5 lakh people directly and 1 million people are indirectly benefitted in 28 upazilas of Kurigram, Jamalpur, Gaibandha, Bogra and Sirajgonj district under Char Livelihood Project
Expatriates Welfare and Overseas Employment
In 2016, a record number of workers, more than 750 thousand labours went abroad. The Present alliance government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has been able to prevent illegal and irregular migration. Illegal migration of about 2 thousand Bangladeshi citizens was prevented last year due to strengthened enforcement of the vigilance taskforce to check human trafficking and illegal and irregular migration. Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, for the first time, has nominated 14 recruiting agencies to send safe and skilled worker in Singapore for building construction sector. Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed between International Manpower Development Organization of Japan and the ministry to send technical intern in Japan. Besides, related 4 technical agreements have also been signed with Bureau of Manpower, Employment and Training (BMET). Construction of 24 Technical Training Centers has been completed under a project of constructing 30 Technical Training Centers in different districts (2. phase). Institute of Marine Technology (IMT) has been set up in Munshiganj, Faridpur, Chandpur, Sirajgonj and Bagerhat district. ProbashiKalyan Bank has disbursed migration loan among 9,513 out bound workers and rehabilitation loan among 150 homecoming workers in 64 districts.
Like most of the developed countries, Bangladesh has also taken up the initiative to make the country’s judicial system digital. The first step has been taken jointly by the Supreme Court and Bangladesh Computer Council in 10 Districts under a pilot project. This project will enable the trial seekers to know about the court proceedings and verdict of cases by mobile phone while staying at home. And the people concerned with the trial process, between the higher court and the lower court, could also complete their activities quickly by collecting information related to the cases. It will also help to preserve records of the old cases and its verdicts. A more advanced case management in online will also be introduced. In the higher judiciary, mobile phone applications have already been launched, which allow lawyers and litigants to get updates about cases on their mobile phones. These app users are able to search for cases using individual case numbers, party names, respondent names, and names of the advocates.
2016 has been a milestone for Bangladesh’s international affairs. This year, Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Bangladesh and signed 26 deals ranging from trade to anti-terrorism cooperation.
The US Foreign Minister of the Obama government, John Kerry also visited Bangladesh. Durin his visit, Mr. Kerry praised Awami League government’s effort to eliminate militancy and terrorism. He reiterated his country’s promise to work with Bangladesh in establishing peace and religious harmony in this area.
This year Bangladesh hosted the 9th summit of Global Forum on Migration and Development where 600 representatives from 130 nations and 60 representatives from 30 civil society organizations and NGOs participated.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina represented Bangladesh also in the 71st session of United Nations General Assembly, Global Women Leader’s Forum, G7 Outreach Summit, ASEM Summit, Budapest Water Summit, BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit and Global Fund Replenishment Conference.
The Forbes magazine in 2016 listed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in 36th position on the list of World’s Most Powerful Women. The Fortune magazine places her in 10th on the list of ‘World’s Greatest Leaders’.
" The Foreign Policy", an influential periodical of the United States of America has stated Sheikh Hasina, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh as one of the leading thinkers of the world and has included her among 13 top thinkers in the category of "decision makers" for creating substantive awareness against adverse effects of climate change and its prevention. Bangladesh has been awarded with glorious Women in Parliament (WIP) Global Forum Award 2015 for significant success in attaining gender parity and empowerment of women in politics. In 2014 Honorable Prime Minister received the Peace Tree prize of UNESCO. Bangladesh has achieved significant success in attaining Millennium Development Goals. Participants from Bangladesh were elected Chairperson of the Executive Committee of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), President of Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Director General of International Mobile Satellite Organization (IMSO) and member of Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 2014. In the same year Bangladesh became the member of UN Human Rights Council, UNICEF Executive Board, Governing body of International Labor Organization (ILO) and ITU council. In 2015 International Institute of Mother Language of Bangladesh received category II status of UNESCO and Bangladesh took charge as the LDC Chair at the UN General Assembly. Permanent secretariat of BIMSTEC has been established in Dhaka in 2014.22 significant treaties have been signed between Bangladesh and India during the visit of Indian Prime Minister to Bangladesh.
Environment and Forest
The Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina has been awarded with Champions of the Earth Award in 2015 as recognition of governments effort to minimize effect of climate change. Approximately 45 thousand people have been benefited as a result of the Sundarbans Environmental and Livelihood Security Project (SELS) to create alternative employment opportunity. Taka 18 crore has been collected in 2014-15 fiscal year as penalty from 402 institutions for polluting the environment. Sanctuary and eco parks in different parts of the country and Green belt in about 2 lakh hector area of coastal districts have been developed. 5 lakh families have come under social forestry network. 8 Thousand Bio gas plants have been established with 72 percent industries having ETP. 15 Latch modern cookers have been distributed. Bangladesh, as a developing country is the first to develop a trot fund from her own resource to cope up the effects of climate change.
Construction work of 16 storied `Tothya Bhaban' (Information Building) for Department of Films and Publications (DFP), Mass Communication Department (MCD) and Bangladesh Film Censor Board, under Ministry of Information, has been inaugurated to ensure better service and prompt action in fast changing scenario. In line with the directions of the Prime Minister of the alliance government, the construction work of government buildings is progressing fast. A project for building Head Quarter for Bangladesh Television has been implemented. Information Commission has conducted training courses for 8,878 designated officers, journalists, sub editors, sub inspectors and teachers in the last three years and disposed of 557 complaints out of 587. Another 30 such complaints are under process of disposal.
Housing and Public Works
With the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakha (RAJUK) has established 90 thousand apartments to minimize accommodation problems under Uttara Model Town (Phase-3), Purbachal New Town and Jhilmil housing project. Besides, The National Housing Authority and Public Works Department has constructed 8881 flats to accommodate government employees and to sell among the low and middle income groups. An effort to construct 5,000 flats on shared basis in Kurail of the capital is underway. Initiative to construct country's highest 130 storied building in Purbachal as a symbol of national development and progress is also on.
During the visit of the Indian Prime Minister in Bangladesh the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), 1974 (Mujib-Indira Agreement) between Bangladesh and India has been implemented. Instruments of ratification of the LBA have been exchanged. The appointed day for the physical exchange of the enclaves were set on 1 August 2015. As a result, Bangladesh received all the enclaves of India inside Bangladesh and ceded all the enclaves of Bangladesh inside India to India. This long standing issue has been resolved with the personal initiative and hard work of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Additional 80 Border Operation Post (BOP) has been constructed along with 527 BOP's with a view to modernize the Border Guard Bangladesh and strengthen border security. About I crore 25 latch Machine Readable Passports (MRP) and 2 lakh 50 thousand Machine Readable Visas has been distributed including the nonresident Bangladeshis.
Civil Aviation and Tourism
Since 2016, the Cox’s Bazar Airport development project worth USD 151.45 million has been running in full swing. Under this project, increasing the length of runway to 9000 feet from 6775 feet, breadth has been increased to 200 feet from 150 feet, installing air lighting system and purchasing fire fighting vehicles have been going on.
Building of a new 10 storied Parjatan Motel in place of Hotel Soikot in Chittagong costing Mica 4302 lath is about to complete. Construction of terminal 1 and 2, internal terminal, VVIP Complex, control tower building and fire alarm and detection system of power house of Hunt Shahjalal International Airport has been completed. Biman Bangladesh Airlines has profited Taka USD 34.914 million in FY 2015-16 which was USD 29.48 million in financial year 2014-15.
Textiles and Jute
Initiative has been taken to frame Jute Law 2015, Jute Policy 2015, Textile Mills Law 2015 and Textile Policy 2015 to identify the present problems of jute and textile sector. Use of jute bags for paddy, rice, wheat, maize, fertilizer and sugar under 'Jute Packaging Act 2010' has been made mandatory to ensure the use of environment friendly jute and jute products.
In 2016, two submarines have been added to Bangladesh armada. The submarines have been named BNS Nabajatra and BNS Joyjatra respectively. Two frigate and one corvette have also been commissioned to Bangladesh Navy this year.
With the farsighted thoughts of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh Army completed a project titled 'Construction of BMA Bangabandhu Complex, Bhatiary, Chittagong' to update and modernize Bangladesh Military Academy in 2015. Project entitled 'Construction of BAFA Bangabandhu Complex, Jessore' is under implementation. 7 agro- meteorological observation posts have been constructed under `Upgradation of Agro-Meteorological Services' project. 6 permanent GNSS/ GPS stations, Digital Mapping Unit (DMU) has been set up in Dhaka, Rangpur, Chittagong, Khulna, Rajshahi and Moulvibazar under `Improvement of Digital Mapping System of Survey of Bangladesh (Revised) Project'. Besides aerial photography of the whole country has been completed and satellite image for international boundary, coastal area and the Sundarbans have been purchased.
Liberation War Affairs
A unique project to provide houses for the poor and injured freedom fighters has been initiated in 2016. Under this project, Bir Nibash, 62 houses have been handed over to the freedom fighters in Sylhet. The allowance for the freedom fighters has also been increased. Currently, the general freedom fighters are receiving Tk. 10000 per month. The number of beneficiaries is now 200,000. From January 2017, among the 676 decorated freedom fighters, families of Bir Shreshthas will receive Tk. 30000 per month, Tk. 15000 for Bir Protiks, Tk. 25000 for Bir Uttams, Tk. 20000 for Bir Bikrams have been allocated per month.
For the war-wounded, deceased war-wounded and martyred families it has been increased to minimum Taka 18 thousand to maximum 48 thousand considering their state of disability. The introduction of honorarium for the veteran freedom fighters and martyred freedom fighters is an epoch-making initiative of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. 'Housing Project for the Landless and Insolvent Freedom Fighters' has a provision to build 2,971 houses. Construction of 43 complexes has been completed under 'Building Complex for Freedom Fighters in Every District Project'. 81 complexes in different upazilas have already been completed wader a project named 'Building Complex for Freedom Fighters in Every Upazila'. Construction of 59 memorials has been completed under the project of building memorials of Liberation War.
Islamic Foundation Bangladesh has offered pre-primary and moral education to 1 lakh 50 thousand children, Quranic and moral education to 10 latch 29 thousand boys and girls and literacy to 38 thousand 400 adults in the last three years. Besides Talcs 42 crore 98 lakh and 86 thousand has been disbursed as assistance for the reconstruction of different religious institutions and rehabilitation of the destitute. Online Registration of the Haze Pilgrims has been introduced in 2015. Every Pilgrim is now notified by 6 SMS before the Hazz and bulletins and information services through IVR system.
15 eminent personalities have been awarded with 'Ekushey Padak' for their invaluable contribution to the nation in different sectors. A MoU on cultural activities between Bangladesh and Malaysia in 2014 and three years cultural exchange program between Bangladesh and India in 2015 have been signed. Taka 2 crore 27 lakh has been distributed among 1,025 libraries as grant from non government libraries development fund in 2014-15 financial year. Besides a grant of Taka 4 crore 86 lakh 15 thousand has been granted against 1,174 cultural organizations from fine arts and theatre fund.
192.42 kilometers of river have been dredged in the last three years. It includes test dredging in 22 kilometer areas of river Jamuna under "Capital (pilot) Dredging of River System in Bangladesh" project. Four cross bars have been developed adjacent to Sirajgonj town by the dredged materials and about 16 Square kilometers of land have permanently been recovered. 1,4792 hectares of land have been settled among 17,533 landless families under the settlement and development projects in the coastal strips.
Youth and Sports
As a result of the affinity of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for sports, cricket has helped Bangladesh to raise its profile in international arena. Bangladesh has successfully organized the World T-20 Bangladesh- 2014 and Asia Cup Cricket- 2014. Bangladesh became champion in the under-16 SAFF Football Championship defeating India and also became unbeaten champion in the first round of World Hockey League. National Service Program has been extended to 17 upazilas of 17 districts and 14,718 persons have been employed after training. Decision has been taken to extend this program to 20 upazilas in 2015-16 financial year.
Due to prudence, farsightedness and statesmanship of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, leader of the present alliance government, Bangladesh will soon become a middle income country. The economy of Bangladesh has been able to achieve sustainable progress confronting national and international challenges as democracy and development has been sustained by the present government since 2009. The alliance government is working constantly to be a middle income country by the year 2021. Bangladesh will be regarded as a role model worldwide if this democracy and development can be continued inspired by the spirit of Liberation War.