Inside Bangladesh

PM Hasina seeks planned industrialisation for economic prosperity

Publish: 01:58 PM, 20 Nov, 2022


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today (20 November) stressed the need for planned industrialisation by protecting the arable lands to ensure economic prosperity, urging the youths and women folks to make their contribution to the sector.

"No industry can be built indiscriminately. No damage can be done to the arable lands...we will bring economic prosperity by increasing production through industrialisation," she said.

The premier said this while opening 50 industrial units, projects and facilities in the Economic Zones (EZs) across the country marking the Golden Jubilee of the country's Independence and the Birth Centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

She joined the inaugural function virtually from her official Ganabhaban residence here.

The prime minister said, "I'm very happy today, as I inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of 50 industrial units and infrastructures despite the world is going through an economic recession due to the Russia-Ukraine War, sanctions and counter-sanctions amid the Covid-19 pandemic."

Four factories at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Shilpa Nagar (BSMSN) in Chattogram and eight factories in different private EZs were launched among the 50 industrial facilities.

These industrial units have already invested over US$967.73 million in the economic zones and will make further investments of nearly $331.27 million.

The premier laid the foundation stone of 29 industrial units in different EZs, which have so far invested $610 million and are in the process to invest $1,922.39 million more.

Administration buildings of BSMSN, Jamalpur Economic Zone, Srihatta EZ, and Sabrang Tourism Park were inaugurated as well.

The prime minister also formally opened the 20-kilometre Sheikh Hasina Sarani, 230-KVA gridline and substation at the BSMSN and laid the foundation stone of a water treatment plant having 50 million litres per day (MLD) capacity.

Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury, PM's Private Industry and Investment adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, Chattogram-1 constituency lawmaker Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Vice-Chairman of the Bashundhara Group Safwan Sobhan spoke at the function at BSMSN end in Chattogram.

Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority (BEZA) Executive Chairman Shaikh Yusuf Harun gave the address of welcome.

A video documentary on the development activities of the BEZA was screened at the function.

BEZA aims to establish economic zones in all potential areas in Bangladesh, including backward and underdeveloped regions, with a view to encouraging rapid economic development through the increase and diversification of industry, employment, production and export.

Of the planned 100 economic zones, the government has approved 97 economic zones, 28 of which are currently under development.

So far, 12 privately owned economic zones have received licenses to operate and nearly $4 billion have been invested in these economic zones.

The goal of the economic zones is to create employment for 10 million people directly and indirectly. It is also expected that export products worth $40 billion will be produced annually from these economic zones.

Investors can avail of tax holidays and duty-free imports of raw materials and machinery at the economic zones.

The economic zones have attracted foreign direct investments from different countries, including Japan, China, India, Australia, the Netherlands, Germany, America, the United Kingdom, Singapore, South Korea and Norway.


Economic prosperity   Bangladesh   Sheikh Hasina   PM  


Inside Bangladesh

Bangladesh moves forward with ideals of Language Movement: PM

Publish: 08:50 PM, 22 Feb, 2024


Prime Minister and Awami League (AL) President Sheikh Hasina today said that Bangladesh is moving forward with the ideals taught by the great Language Movement of 1952.

“No country can progress without ideals. And the Great Ekush (February 21) has taught us this ideology . . . Bangladesh today is moving forward with the ideals, resulting in the change of fate of the people of the country,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said this while addressing as the chair at a discussion meeting organised by Bangladesh Awami League (AL) on the occasion of Mohan Shaheed Dibosh and International Mother Language Day at the AL office in city’s Tejgaon area.

“The Great Ekush (February 21) taught us not to bow down, it also taught us to walk with our heads high, and to go forward with ideals,” she said.

Paying respect to all the martyrs of the Language Movement (February 21, 1952), the premier urged all to walk worldwide with their heads high.

“Today, we have got our independence only through the spirit that emerged from the Language Movement,” she said, adding, “We have to make this independence meaningful, and it must be carried forward.”

Sheikh Hasina noted that those who wanted to erase the history of the country’s independence distorting the truth will gradually go to hell.

“And the Bangalees will continue to hold their heads high in the world arena with their independent belief and this is the reality,” she added.

AL Presidium Members Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim and Dr Abdur Razzaque, Advisory Council Member and Cultural Affairs Sub-Committee Chairman Ataur Rahman, Dhaka South City AL President Abu Ahmed Mannafi, Dhaka North City AL President Sheikh Bazlur Rahman, Dhaka District AL President Benzir Ahmed and Bangla Academy Director General Poet Mohammad Nurul Huda also spoke.

AL publicity and publication secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap and his deputy Syed Abdul Awal Shameem moderated the discussion.

At the outset, one minute silence was also observed to pay deep tribute to the martyrs of the Language Movement.

Mentioning that the government is doing every work in a planned way and properly, the Prime Minister said, “We want to give a better life to the people of this country, and Awami League works with the plan to change the fate of the people further.”

She said that Awami League has earned people's trust, love and confidence because it works for the people, adding, “as a result of which people have elected us again and again through vote”.

Sheikh Hasina said people of Bangladesh witnessed the uplifting of their socio-economic situation in the last 15 years. “All people up to the village-level have seen improvement. The development of any country can’t be possible without following an ideology. And this ideology we learnt from February 21,” she said.

She said the sacrifice in the 1952 Language Movement had taught the nation to move with an ideology without bowing down to anyone.

The premier firmly said none can pull Bangladesh back anymore, adding, “We’ve to go forward with this conviction.”

Pointing at BNP, Sheikh Hasina said now they wanted to remove AL from the power through waging movement and resist the election, but failed.

She said the most fair, free and impartial election was held on January 7, 2024 after 1975.

“Despite making thousands of attempts, spreading false accusation, and carrying out various lobbying at home and abroad, they could not resist the people as they spontaneously cast votes,” she said.

The Prime Minister said larger numbers of young and female voters cast their votes this time.

She said now again they (BNP) are making very big (hollow) remarks that they would topple the government through movement. “Jamaat and BNP are there. Okay, fine. But some leftist parties are also there who would wage movement and make revolution,” she added.   

Sheikh Hasina said that there have been many conspiracies to prevent her from assuming power, “but, I have come to power for fifth time”.

Referring to her announcement to build smart Bangladesh, she said that her government had framed Perspective Plan for 2010 to 2021, and formulated another Perspective Plan for 2021 to 2041 to determine how Bangladesh will move forward in the coming days.

“Our young people have to prepare themselves accordingly,” she added.

The Prime Minister said that the greatest joy and achievement prevail not in enjoyment but in sacrifice. “This should be remembered as millions of martyrs have taught us that.”

Mentioning that Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman also taught it, she said, “So, Bangladesh will move forward with his ideals. No one can pull Bangladesh back. We have to move forward with this motto.”


Inside Bangladesh

Explore marine resources maintaining friendly relations with neighbours: PM

Publish: 01:34 PM, 22 Feb, 2024


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today stressed extracting marine resources from Bangladesh’s vast maritime zones maintaining friendly relations with the neighboring countries to tap potential of the "Blue Economy" for the country's socio-economic advancement.

"We have to explore the marine resources from the maritime areas we achieved. I believe the announcement of the blue economy will be implemented. We have to use the vast marine resources for the socio-economic development of Bangladesh" she said.

The premier made the remarks at a function marking the golden jubilee of enacting the law titled "The Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974" at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) here this morning.

She said: "We will have to be cautious in extracting our marine resources and in continuing business and trade using seaways maintaining our foreign policy "Friendship to all, malice to none."

Sheikh Hasina said conflicting situations are being seen in many areas across the globe. But there is no conflict in this region, she said.

"This zone is very safe as there is no mess with each other here," she added.

The prime minister said the Bay of Bengal is a part of the Indian Ocean and it is very important marine way as international business and trade have been continuing using this way since ancient times.

"All our countries have been doing trade and commerce equally using the seaway. International commerce is also going on. No conflict has ever been seen. I want such peaceful situation always," she said.

She expressed her hope that this zone will remain peaceful for trade and commerce in the days to come.

The prime minister reiterated that Bangladesh always believe in peace, adding, "We don't want war rather we want peace. Peace shows the path of development and progress and helps the nation march forward".

She said, "We will never engage in war. But, we have to have capability to protect our sovereignty."

She later visited different stalls of the maritime stakeholders at the BICC.

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury spoke at the function.

Secretary (Maritime Affairs Unit) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rear Admiral (Retd) Md Khurshed Alam presented the keynote speech and Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Nazmul Hassan gave the address of welcome.

An audio-visual documentary to mark the celebration of golden jubilee of adopting "The Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974" was screened at the function.

Sheikh Hasina said Awami League government always followed the foreign policy formulated by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and at the same time, took initiative to establish rights on the marine resources in line with "The Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974."

The prime minister said Bangladesh had established its rights on the vast marine areas and its resources by winning legal battles with Myanmar and India in the international court in 2012 and 2014.

She said Bangabandhu had first taken the initiative to establish rights on marine areas by enacting the maritime law in 1974 which the United Nations adopted in 1982.

The Father of the Nation with his wisdom had opened the path of prosperity using the marine resources with enacting the laws for the country's overall socio-economic development, she said.

She also said the subsequent governments after 1975 plot did not take any initiative to establish the rights on the vast sea areas.

The premier said the AL government had again taken initiative upon assuming office in 1996 after a long 21 years, adding that the initiative did not attain success as the Awami League did not come to power in 2001.

No initiative was taken by the BNP government after assuming power in 2001, she said.

But, after coming to power for second time, the AL government had taken measures to this end and established rights on vast sea areas and its resources, she added.

The marine resources can contribute immensely to the advancement of national economy, the head of the government said.

"We have been attaching priority to ensuring maximum use of the marine resources alongside its protection," she said.

To this end, she also said her government has been working to make Bangladesh Navy and coast guard stronger to foster their ability to secure the vast marine areas.

"We are working to use the marine resources appropriately so we can utilize it for the socio-economic development of the people," she said.

She continued they have already established an institute to conduct research to ensure maximum use of the marine resources.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has established Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Marine University and marine institute to develop skilled manpower which is required to boost the blue economy.

She said, "The Territorial Waters and Maritime Zones Act, 1974" has been acting as an important guidelines and hoped that it will also work in the same way in the future.

She, as well, reiterated her commitment to transform Bangladesh into a developed, prosperous and smart country free from poverty and hunger by 2041, saying. "We must implement the dream of the Father of the Nation."

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina   Bangabandhu International Conference Centre  


Inside Bangladesh

President, PM pay homage to language heroes

Publish: 09:57 AM, 21 Feb, 2024


President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have paid rich tributes to the martyrs of the historic Language Movement marking the Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day.

Both the Head of the State and the Head of the Government paid homage by placing wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar in the city at one minute past midnight tonight.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina arrived at the Shaheed Minar premises seven minutes before the clock struck 12 midnight, while President Shahabuddin reached the Central Shaheed Minar three minutes before the zero hour.

The President and the Premier proceeded to the altar of the Central Shaheed Minar together in slow pace while playing the historic immortal song on the Amar Ekushey "Amar Vaiyer Rokte Rangano Ekushey February . . . Ami Ki Vulitey Pari ?"

President Shahabuddin was the first to lay wreath at the Central Shaheed Minar. Just after the President, the premier placed wreath at the Shaheed Minar.

They stood in solemn silence for some time as a mark of profound respect to the memories of the Language Heroes.

Speaker, ministers, advisers to the prime minister, parliament members, chiefs of the three services, senior Awami League leaders, freedom fighters, foreign diplomats and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.

Subsequently, flanked by cabinet members and senior leaders of the party, Sheikh Hasina, also the President of ruling Bangladesh Awami League, placed another wreath at the Shaheed Minar on behalf of the party.

Later, Jatiya Sangsad Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury placed wreaths at the Central Shaheed Minar.

Earlier, on arrival at the Shaheed Minar, the President was received by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Vice Chancellor of Dhaka University Professor ASM Maksud Kamal.

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament GM Quader also placed a wreath at the Shaheed Minar.

Later, chiefs of the three services, inspector general of police, the ambassadors and high commissioners of different countries, the heads of different international organizations, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB), war-wounded freedom fighters and Dhaka University Alumni Association (DUAA), among others, placed wreaths at the Shaheed Minar.

Later, the Shaheed Minar was opened to the public when hundreds of people from all walks of life walked barefoot with flowers in hands and humming "Amar Bhaiyer Rokte Rangano Ekushey February" to recall the supreme sacrifice of the language heroes on this day in 1952.



Inside Bangladesh

PM to hand over 'Ekushey Padak-2024' today

Publish: 11:35 AM, 20 Feb, 2024


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will hand over the "Ekushey Padak-2024" to 21 eminent individuals today on the occasion of the Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day.

The premier will hand over the Ekushey Padak, the second highest civilian award in Bangladesh, at a programme at Osmani Memorial Auditorium here at 11 am.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday issued separate messages on the occasion of awarding the Ekushey Padak.

In the separate messages, both the President and the Prime Minister wished success of the event.

The nation is set to observe the "Amar Ekushey and the International Mother Language Day" on February 21 to pay glowing tributes to the Language Movement martyrs who made supreme sacrifice for the cause of the mother language on this day in 1952.

President Mohammed Shahabuddin, in his message, said the Great Language Movement is an unforgettable event in the national history and the seed of Bangladesh's independence was sown through the language movement.

He recalled with respect the contribution of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led the All Party Council for Struggle on State Language formed in 1948 to establish the right of mother tongue.

President Shahabuddin said the spirit of Amar Ekushey (1952's Language Movement) is an eternal inspiration for world people of different mother tongues to protect their respective mother languages.

The Head of the State paid profound respect to the memory of the immortal martyrs of the country's long struggle for independence, including the country's Great Language Movement of February 21, 1952.

"The United Nations has declared February 21 as International Mother Language Day and our mother language day is now become a festival of honoring mother languages of all," he added.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, paid her deep respect to the memory of all the martyrs who sacrificed their lives to protect and uphold the dignity of the mother language 'Bangla' on February 21, 1952.

With utmost respect, the premier remembered all language movement veterans, including the greatest Bengali of all time, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led the fight for the dignity of the Bengali language.

As the martyrs of Ekushey are the illustrious sons of the nation, the recipients of the prestigious Ekushey padak in different categories are also pride of the nation, the prime minister said, adding that award-prize inspires people in their way of life although these personalities do not work for such awards or prizes.

With the spirit of Amar Ekushey, we are awarding the prestigious Ekushey Padak to all those who have made great contributions in various fields in the development of art, literature, science and culture and building an enlightened society in the country, Sheikh Hasina added.

Noting that during the tenure of the Awami League government, the amount of money given to the award recipients has been increased several times, she said in the last 2020, it has been increased to Taka four lakh each.

A total of 565 distinguished individuals and reputed institutions were awarded 'Ekushey Padak' in recognition of their contributions in various fields in national life, the premier mentioned.

The young generation following the path of this year's Ekushey Padak awardees and institutions will play an active role in building the 'Sonar Bangla' (golden Bangladesh) envisioned by the Father of the Nation and enrich our language and literature by practicing Bengali's glorious history, tradition, art, literature and culture in days to come, she hoped.

The premier said a total of 21 individuals will get the country's second-highest civilian award, the Ekushey Padak, this year in recognition of their contributions to various fields.

This year two people got the award in the Language Movement category, one in making documentation on the Liberation War, 11 in Shilpakala (acting, music, recitation, arts and painting), two in social service, one in education and four in language and literature.

Md Ashrafuddin Ahmed and valiant Freedom Fighter Hatem Ali Mia (posthumously) have been named for the award in the Language Movement category.

Jalal Uddin Kha (posthumously), Freedom Fighter Kolyani Ghose, Bidit Lal Das (posthumously), Andru Kishore (posthumously) and Shuvra Deb will receive the award in the category of Shilpakala (music) while Shibli Mohammad in Shilpakala (dance), Doly Zahur and MA Alamgir in Shilpakala (acting), Khan Md Mustafa Walid (Shimul Mustafa), Rupa Chakrabarti in Shilpakala (recitation), Shajahan Ahmed Bikash in Shilpakala (painting), Kawsar Chowdhury in Shilpakala (documentation), Md Ziaul Haque and Rafique Ahmed in social service, Muhammad Samad, Luthfur Rahman Ritan, Minar Mansur and Rudra Muhammad Shahidullah (posthumously) (language and literature) and Professor Dr venerable Jinabodhi (education) have been named for the awards.

The cultural affairs ministry confers the award with a gold medal, a certificate of honour and cash.


Inside Bangladesh

Counter conspiracies against country's prosperity: PM Hasina tells expatriates

Publish: 11:01 AM, 19 Feb, 2024


Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the expatriate Bangladeshis to give a befitting reply to the conspiracies against the country's prosperity with correct information.

"Some people don't want the progress of the country and the continuation of democracy. They are conspiring against the country's prosperity by giving false information. You (expatriate Bangladeshis) have to give a reply to the conspiracies raising correct information," she said.

The prime minister made the remarks while exchanging views with the leaders of All European Expatriate Awami League at her Place of Residence in Munich, Germany on Sunday afternoon.

She asked them to maintain communication with the leaders of their host countries and inform them of the real pictures of Bangladesh. “Every expatriate will have to work as an ambassador of Bangladesh,” she said.

She said some Bangladeshis try to tarnish the image of the country in foreign lands. “Stay vigilant so that they can’t do it,” she added.  

Noting that her government has been establishing 100 special economic zones and several high-tech parks across Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina called upon the Bangladeshi diaspora to invest personally or with foreign partners in Bangladesh. “You can search your investment partners. You can invest in Bangladesh,” she said.

The PM said the expatriate Bangladeshis can contribute to the socio-economic development of Bangladesh and its people, she said.

Focusing on her government’s measures to ensure the country's overall development, she said, "We have ensured development up to the grassroots."

She said Bangladesh has got the status of a developing country and will start its journey towards becoming a developing nation in 2026.

So, the expatriate Bangladeshis can play a pivotal role to smoothen the journey towards a developing nation, she added.

The PM said they have been working to transform Bangladesh into a developed, prosperous and Smart Bangladesh by 2041.

Sheikh Hasina reiterated that Bangladesh held the country's most free, fair and credible election on January 7, 2024 since 1975.

Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud and Bangladesh Ambassador to Germany Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, among others, were present.