The government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina completes its two years of its third term today, clocking the record to be in power for 12 straight years.
Awami League General Secretary and Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader believes Bangladesh has been setting numerous milestones in all indicators of developments in the last 12 years, owing to the continuation of the government.
"Bangladesh is now a role model for development in the world. Most of the economic and socio-economic indicators are reflecting unprecedented progress, lifting the country above its South Asian neighbours," he said.
Apart from development, the government led by Sheikh Hasina has been praised globally in tackling the pandemic. To boost the economy cushioning the virus fallout, the government announced 19 stimulus packages worth Tk103,117 crore – which is 3.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP).
The country set up several records even amid the virus pandemic. The country is enjoying a surge remittance inflow. In 2020, Bangladeshis abroad remitted $21.74 billion which is 20% more than the previous year.
Foreign reserves have also registered a record – $43 billion – which is the all-time high.
The country also entered the era of nuclear power plants in 2010 with Sheikh Hasina in power. The most expensive power plant in the history of the country in Pabna's Ishwardi is expected to come into production in 2024. The 2,400 MW plant costs the government Tk1.12 lakh crore.
After a disagreement with the World Bank over corruption, when the premier announced the construction of the Padma Bridge with own funds, many criticized the move as unrealistic. The bridge, however, is nearing completion gradually since all the spans have already been installed.
In the meantime, people's dream to avail the metro rail service is also about to be fulfilled.
Construction of the deep seaports in Cox's Bazar Matarbari and Patuakhali's Payra have also begun. Construction of Bangabandhu Tunnel under the River Karnafuli has also posted 61% implementation. Once completed, the tunnel will turn Chattogram into a "one city two towns" similar to China's Shanghai River.
Apart from continuing development since assuming office in the current term, various activities taken by the government including the anti-casino raids came to the spotlight.
Bangladesh has earned the global role model status in dealing with pandemic and natural disasters, noting so, Obaidul Quader said Sheikh Hasina's wisdom, determination, courage, honesty and hard work are now appreciated by the world leaders.
The minister said the country's transportation sector has witnessed a revolution under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina.
He said the role of the prime minister is crucial in providing electricity to all, Payra Sea Port, Matarbari project, deep sea ports, textbook festival on the first day of the year. Metrorail, Karnaphuli Tunnel and Elevated Expressway are being constructed under her leadership. The dream of a bridge across the Padma is now visible.
Information Minister and Awami League Publicity Affairs Secretary Hasan Mahmud said, "We used to say 12 years ago that we would build a hunger-free and poverty-free country. Under the dynamic leadership of Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has already overcome hunger and become self-sufficient in foods. We are about to graduate to a middle income country from the least developed one. We have surpassed Pakistan in all indicators and also India in many."
The information minister said, "In 2020, only 22 countries witnessed significant GDP growth, and Bangladesh is the third among them. Although exports of almost all countries declined, our exports increased compared to the previous year, remittances increased by 35%, foreign exchange reserves increased by $10 billion."
He said the country's energy demand has also increased – which is a sign of progress.
Despite being the most densely populated country, Bangladesh according to a Bloomberg report is the most capable in dealing with the pandemic in the subcontinent and the 20th in the world.
The poverty rate has come down from 41.5% of 2006 to less than 20% now, and the extreme poverty rate has declined from 24.23% to 10%. In the meantime, the average life expectancy jumped from 65 years to 73.2 years – much higher than India and Pakistan.
Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim said, "Under Sheikh Hasina's magical leadership, we have achieved many ambitious targets including long-term planning, GDP growth, exports and establishment of 100 special economic zones."
He said, "I hope Bangladesh will be the 21st largest economy in the world by 2035."
On 23 June 1996, Sheikh Hasina became the prime minister for the first time. The Awami League under her leadership won the majority in the 12 June national elections that year.
Awami League got defeated in the 2001 general election, and Sheikh Hasina became the leader of the opposition. On 29 December, 2008, the Awami League-led grand alliance won the majority in the 9th national election, and Sheikh Hasina formed the government for the second time.
After Awami League's victory in the general election held on 5 January 2014, Sheikh Hasina was sworn in as the prime minister for the third time on 12 January. Under her leadership, the Awami League government started its journey for the second time in a row.
Besides, the Awami League formed the government on 7 January, 2019 after winning the 11th parliamentary election held on 30 December, 2018.