Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government's main focus is on building a modern and technology-knowledge based nation.
"Our aim is to turn Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country by building a modern and technology-knowledge based nation," she said while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the newly constructed Rangpur Divisional Headquarter Complex Building as the chief guest.
The function was held at the Multipurpose Hall of Divisional Headquarters Complex in Rangpur and the prime minister joined it virtually from her official residence Ganobhaban.
Referring to the 2008 electoral manifesto of the Awami League, Sheikh Hasina said they have implemented all the development agendas as per the election pledges.
"Today's Bangladesh is a developing country and we have to move ahead further, while I have taken plans for this," she said.
She added that her government has started implementing the 8th Five Year Plan after its formulation while the Perspective Plan (2010-20) that was framed in 2009 has been implemented successfully.
"As the outcome of it, in 2021, Bangladesh became a developing nation when the country was celebrating the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of Independence," she said.
The premier further said her government's goal is to turn Bangladesh into a developed country by 2041.
"To this end, we have formulated the Perspective Plan (2021-2041) and it will be implemented InshaAllah [God willing]," she said.
The prime minister expressed her firm conviction that none can push the country's advancement back.
She told the people of Rangpur that they are enjoying the taste of development as they voted for Nouka (Boat) and it should not be forgotten.
Senior Secretary of Public Administration Ministry KM Ali Azam and Rangpur Divisional Commissioner Md Abdul Wahhab Bhuiyan also spoke on the occasion.
At the outset of the function, an audio-visual documentary on the newly constructed office complex was screened.
The prime minister said the country has far advanced in the last 13 years due to the pragmatic and timely steps of the government.
"We have to go far to build a hunger and poverty free Bangladesh as dreamt by the Father of the Nation," she said.
She added: "Our aim is to stop 'monga' and famine from returning again in the country and put an end to people's sufferings."
She said the government will make each village equipped with modern facilities.
"Rural people will live in their villages and get all urban facilities. People will not need to move as employment opportunities will be created in the villages, and our development programmes are being drawn up taking that into consideration," she added.
She asked all to implement the development programmes properly so the future generation gets a congenial atmosphere for living.
Sheikh Hasina said the government is setting up hundred economic zones across the country to expedite industrialisation for meeting local demand and increasing export items.
"Industries have to be set up in these economic zones, not indiscriminately. We also have to protect our agricultural lands," she said.
She also asked the owners of the industries to put attention to setting up agricultural product processing plants considering area-wise production.
The head of the government said they have set up a testing laboratory needed for exporting food items, adding that gradually, all divisional headquarters will get such laboratories so products from division levels could be sent directly abroad.
Talking about the cold situation, she said the government is helping the people and urged the affluent section of the society to distribute warm clothes among the poor.
She said they had tried to find out the reason behind Monga and took measures accordingly after assuming power in 1996 to eradicate it.
"We have successfully stamped out the Monga at that time," she added.
Unfortunately, the Monga returned to this region when the BNP came to power in 2001, she said.
"But, now Monga has been wiped out permanently when Awami League assumed office again as huge employment opportunities were generated in the region alongside making a surplus of food production," she continued.
Sheikh Hasina also briefly highlighted the development activities carried out by her government, especially for the betterment of the people of the Rangpur division.
She told the people of Rangpur, "your man was in power but they didn't do development whereas Awami League government has implemented huge development activities for changing your livelihoods".
Recalling renowned nuclear scientist and her husband Dr MA Wazed Miah who was a strong vocal of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, she said the government is constructing the nuclear power plant and people of the northern region will be benefited starting from the next year.
Referring to extending the opportunities of higher education for the meritorious students of this region, she said her government has established Agriculture University in Kurigram, Aviation and Aerospace University in Lalmonirhat, Begum Rokeya Institute and Training Centre in Pairaband, Begum Rokeya University in Rangpur and medical colleges etc.
About the health services, she said Sadar health complexes have been upgraded to a 250-bed hospital while other initiatives were taken alongside the expansion of Rangpur Medical College Hospital to provide improved health treatment.
She said her government has constructed Gangachhara Bridge, two bridges on the Dharla River, Ghoraghat Bridge, road bridge on the Teesta River and many more to establish connectivity in the region.
She added that the government is reconstructing the Cheelmari port to facilitate river transportation in the region to boost business while building a dedicated rail bridge on the Jamuna River.
The prime minister also mentioned that they have constructed the Rangpur divisional headquarters complex so that people can avail themselves of services in one place.