President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday greeted the countrymen on the eve of the New Year 2021 in English calendar.
In a message, on the eve of the New Year, the President wished happiness and welfare for all in 2021.
He said though the celebration of Bengali New Year has merged with the national culture, the English New Year influences all because of the widespread use of English calendar in daily activities.
The English New Year brings new hopes to the nation’s social, political, economic and cultural areas, the head of the state added.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, in her message, wished that the New Year would bring happiness, peace and prosperity for countrymen.
The premier said the year 2020 was an important milestone in the life of the Bengali nation because, 100 years ago, on March 17, 1920, a little boy named Sheikh Mujibur Rahman born in Tungipara, Gopalganj, became the greatest Bengali of all time.
“We have got an independent sovereign Bangladesh in return for his (Bangabandhu) lifelong sacrifice and visionary leadership and in exchange of the blood of 30 lakh martyrs and the respect of two lakh mothers and sisters,” she said.
She added that in order to celebrate the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation with due dignity, the government has declared 2020-21 as the ‘Mujib Year’.
But in the meantime, the hostile Corona pandemic seems to have turned the world into a death knell, she said, adding that like other countries, the government has kept the pre-announced plan on a limited scale and entered the war of life to get rid of this epidemic.
“I have given 31 point instructions, I have appointed a doctor-nurse-technician during the pandemic. We have given an incentive of Taka 1 lakh 21 thousand 353 crore under 21 packages in order to stand by the side of the poor and helpless people, to keep the wheel of the economy in motion and to continue the trend of development,” she continued.
As a result of the implementation of the pro-people and inclusive development policies adopted by the Awami League government over the last decade, Bangladesh has been ranked among the top five countries in the world in terms of economic progress, she informed.
If the situation had remained normal, it would have been possible to achieve 8.2 per cent GDP growth as per the initial projection of the last financial year, she said, adding: “Moreover, while the rest of the world is struggling to contain the negative growth rate, we have achieved 5.24 percent GDP growth in the corona period.”
“We have brought the poverty rate below 20.5 percent. We have increased the per capita income to 2,064 US dollars. We have also made unprecedented progress in the health sector, now the average life expectancy of our people is 72.6 years. We are providing electricity facility to 97.5 percent people,” the premier added.
With the installation of all the spans of the Padma Bridge, the two ends of one of the fast flowing rivers of the world are now connected, she said.
Construction of metro rail and expressways in the capital and tunnels under the Karnafuli River is progressing fast, she added.
Sheikh Hasina said that the government has modernized the road, rail and air communication system.
The number of internet users has exceeded 11 crore, she said, adding that “We have created free employment opportunities based on information technology.”
With the successful implementation of the first ‘Bangladesh Perspective Plan’, the achievement of Vision-2021 is almost over, she said.
The premier said that in the Mujib Year the government has promised that no one will be homeless as it will extend all the facilities of the city to the remote rural areas.
She said that they have formulated the second perspective plan to achieve the ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ by 2030 and to build a prosperous and hunger and poverty Bangladesh by 2041.
Sheikh Hasina made her optimism to celebrate the golden jubilee of independence on March 26, 2021.
She said that in the New Year people are moving towards a new world order as the Corona pandemic has sent a strong message to the world.
The premier called for mutual cooperation of all as it is the only way to deal with any global crisis.