Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said that Bangladesh's development forged ahead despite the Covid-19 pandemic that affected the global economy and created food shortage in many developed countries.
"We've been able to continue the development trend of Bangladesh despite facing the coronavirus," she told a function arranged to distribute the Swadhinata Purashkar-2022 (Independence Award-2022) at Shapla Hall of the Prime Minister's Office.
The prime minister said that the people now get to know even the small problems of the country because of the media freedom guaranteed by her government.
"We know that massive food shortage has been seen in many developed countries as well," she said, adding that many people throughout the world went below the poverty margin.
She said these problems faced by many countries went unreported, while in Bangladesh the media could write about it.
The prime minister said there were only one television and one radio station in the country in the past before she opened the electronic media to the private sector.
Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh has gained economic self-sufficiency. "Now we can implement our development projects with 90% finance from our own resources," she added.
She said her Awami League government has been working to reach the benefits of independence to the doorstep of every house in the country.
"We achieved Independence. Our goal is to reach its benefits to every house upholding this Independence. And we've been working with this goal," she said.
The Prime Minister took pride in Bangladesh being graduated to a developing country during the celebration of the golden jubilee of independence.
Bangladesh has been able to continue the economic development momentum, attain GDP growth and increase per capita income amid the fallout of Covid-19 pandemic as her government has been working in planned ways, she said.
She also attributed the success to proper designing and execution of every project with specific goals.
"Since we could ensure food security alongside increasing per capita income, the lifestyle of the people has improved and their life expectancy has gone up," she said.
Talking about her government's success in electricity generation, she said today her government has been able to provide electricity to the cent per cent people in the country. "We've been able to illuminate every house," she added.
In this context, she recalled that her 1996-2001 government had increased the power generation capacity to 4,300 MW from only 1500 MW. Unfortunately, the generation capacity came down to 3,200 MW again when AL was not in office, she added.
Hasina congratulated the recipients of the Independence Award 2022. "It is a great honour for me that I could hand over the Swadhinata Purashkar' to you attending the function in person," she said.
She stressed the need for also awarding the dignified people, who are working for the welfare of the people silently at grassroots without coming to the limelight.