Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called upon countrymen to take an oath so that no one can toy with people's fate and hinder the country's development again.
"We have to take a fresh vow to take our country to new heights keeping Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's birth centenary and 50 years of independence at the forefront," the prime minister said in her televised address to the nation on Thursday on the eve of the Golden Jubilee of Independence.
Highlighting various indicators of Bangladesh's development, the premier said, "Even a decade ago, Bangladesh was presented as an example of poverty and underdevelopment. But development experts now present Bangladesh as an ideal model of poverty alleviation and development."
The PM further said Bangladesh has achieved unimaginable success in the socio-economic index over the last 12 years. Last month, Bangladesh got a final recommendation to move out of the least developed country status.
Bangladesh has not only surpassed its neighbours in many indicators such as life expectancy, gender equality, universal primary education, women's education and their political rights, women and child mortality, sanitation, food availability, etc, but in many cases, the country has outdone many developed countries too.
Terming this an achievement of people of the country, Sheikh Hasina said the country's entrepreneurs, farmers, workers, professionals and expatriates, all have made the very difficult task of alleviating poverty possible with their labour, talent and innovative power.
"My government has created a supportive environment only by providing policy support. You [people] have proved that if people of Bangladesh get a favourable environment, they can make anything possible."
The prime minister presented a comparative picture of several socio-economic indicators from 2005-06 to the present.
She said the per capita income was $543 at that time, which is now $2,064. The poverty rate has come down to 20.5% from 41.5%. The size of the gross domestic product has increased from Tk4.82 lakh crore to Tk28 lakh crore. The foreign exchange reserves were less than $1 billion 15 years ago, which has now exceeded $44 billion.
Sheikh Hasina said the size of the national budget increased to Tk5.68 lakh crore in the fiscal 2020-21 from Tk61,000 crore in FY06. In the meantime, the average life expectancy has risen to 72.6 years from 59 years, while infant and maternal mortality rates have decreased.
The premier said the social safety allocation at that time was Tk373 crore, which has spiralled to Tk95,574 crore in the current financial year.
"Production of grains has tripled. Power generation capacity has increased from 4,900MW to 24,421MW."
On the eve of the Golden Jubilee of Independence and the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the premier congratulated the citizens.
Sheikh Hasina highlighted the outstanding contribution of Bangabandhu in the freedom movement and the Liberation War of Bangladesh.
She said, "Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib not only dreamed, he knew how to realise the dreams.
"The political struggles for 24 long years led to the independence of the country. And Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led it from the beginning to the end."
Hasina said, "He [Bangabandhu] carefully nurtured the seeds of independence that he had sown in the movements for establishing Bangla as the official language, and transformed it into a mature spirit for the Liberation War. This was how Sheikh Mujib became Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib."
She further said the anti-liberation quarter halted the country's development and shattered the spirit of 1971 by assassinating Bangabandhu and his family members just three years after independence.
The PM said undemocratic rulers who illegally seized power after 1975 derailed Bangladesh and deceived the people for 21 long years. By plundering the wealth of the people and depriving them of their fundamental rights, they introduced Bangladesh as a country of beggars to the world.
Noting that the anti-liberation forces are still active inside and outside the country, the daughter of Bangabandhu urged all to be vigilant and thwart plots against the nation.