PM asks all to take vaccines...

Dhaka, Thursday   27 January 2022

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PM asks all to take vaccines

 Staff Correspondent

 Published: 08:52 PM, 7 January 2022  

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today addressed nation following the completion of the third year of third consecutive term of her government- PID

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today addressed nation following the completion of the third year of third consecutive term of her government- PID

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today asked for countrymen’s extra caution against quick-spreading new coronavirus variants, warning that the crisis was yet to be over, and urged all eligible people to be vaccinated in quickest possible time.

“The crisis is yet to end,” she told a nationwide televised address coinciding with the completion of the third year of third consecutive term of her government.

Sheikh Hasina called for stricter maintenance and enforcement of health guidelines as a new surge of corinavirus was quickly grasping the globe again, even after exposing Bangladesh and most other countries to a “deep crisis” in 2020 and 2021.

“I urge the people who are yet to get the jabs to take the vaccine immediately (while) health protocols must be followed (as well),” she said.

The premier said the inoculation campaign was underway in full swing while her government took steps to expedite the drive setting a target afresh to vaccinate one crore (or 10 million) people every month from January.

Sheikh Hasina said nearly half of the country’s population or 7.58 crore people so far received the first COVID-19 vaccine dose and nearly 5.46 crore people got the second one while the authorities started administering the third or booster dose last month.

“We have 9.5 crore doses in our stock” right now, the premier said.

The incumbent Awami League government under Sheikh Hasina’s leadership assumed office for the third consecutive term on January 7, 2019 following its landslide victory in 11th parliamentary election on December 30, 2018.

The Prime Minister said the pandemic affected Bangladesh economy as it had its onslaughts on other countries with many nations facing disasters but her government managed to recover the losses with “your (countrymen’s) help”.

She said her government was trying to keep moving the wheels of the country's economy by giving necessary policy supports and various progressive financial stimulus packages since the onset of the crisis.

She said the government so far announced 28 stimulus packages worth over Taka 1.87 crore and 56.76 percent of the amount was disbursed by October last year, befitting 6.74 crore individuals and 1.18 lakh organizations.

She said Bangladesh secured the number one position in terms of GDP in South Asia with 5.43 percent growth during the last fiscal, also heightening the per capita income to US$ 2554 in 2021.

The premier said different global watchdogs praised Bangladesh’s economic performance with World Economic Forum predicting the country to be 24th largest economy by 2030 while the Economist placed it in ninth position in a list of 66 successful emerging economies.

“The 2021 was a year of unprecedented recognition of our development. We achieved final recognition of becoming a developing nation last year. The achievement is a matter of joy and pride for the Bengali nation as it coincided with celebrations of the Mujib Year and golden jubilee of the country's independence,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the country was currently leading South Asia in various socio-economic indexes as the outcome of her government’s policy initiatives with a holistic approach, primarily whipping out poverty, developing health system and empowering women.

She said the policy initiatives simultaneously resulted in reduction in mother and children mortality rate, increase of average life expectancy.

“Bangladesh has progressed a lot in the last 13 years. . . It has been possible as the people have kept confidence in us,” she said in an apparent reference to her government’s successive elections to power.

The premier said her government was working with a target to turn Bangladesh into a welfare-oriented, developed and prosperous country by 2041 and “We hope you (people) will stand beside us as you did in the past to this endeavour”.

She said all her government’s endeavour to build a prosperous future for the new generation while the country also largely relied on the “unending vigour” of younger generation in building a progressive Bangladesh confronting all the odds.

“I firmly believe our generation after generation will march ahead with keeping their heads high,” Sheikh Hasina said.

The Prime Minister, however, said despite the development spree, anti-Bangladesh and anti-Liberation elements were reactivating staying at home and abroad to thwart the country’s march forward.

“They are trying to mislead people with false, fabricated and imaginary information on social networking sites. They are also trying to make us misunderstood by our development partners in foreign countries,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina urged people remain alert against these elements and allow them not play ducks and drakes with fate of Bangladesh’s people.

The Prime Minister said the development journey could not be hampered anyhow as the Awami League is always with the people as it believes that the people are the sources of all power.

Sheikh Hasina visibly outlined the governance policy at the onset of the fourth year of her government announcing that it would take tougher stance particularly against the three menaces --- corruption, communalism and militancy.

“We have taken a tougher stance against corruption. No corrupt elements irrespective of party affiliation and whatever powerful they might be are not or will be spared,” she said.

The premier said the Anti-Corruption Commission was working independently to lash out corrupt elements but added that a social campaign was simultaneously necessary to whip out “the disease”.

She said Bangladesh handled the militancy with an iron fist under an announced “zero tolerance” policy against the menace and simultaneously her government was committed to uphold the country’s tradition of interfaith harmony as a secular country.

“Followers of different religious faiths are living together maintaining mutual tolerance and will do the same in  future as well,” Sheikh Hasina said.

The Prime Minister said her party -- Bangladesh Awami League -- had announced a manifesto titled "Bangladesh on the Path to Prosperity" before the Eleventh Parliamentary Election in 2018, aiming to build a hunger-poverty-illiteracy free non-communal Bangladesh through establishing an efficient, service-oriented and accountable administration and wiping out terrorism-militancy.

Bangladesh will be an upper middle-income country by 2031 and a high-income prosperous country by 2041, she said, referring to the Eight Five Year Plan (2021-2015) which is being under implementation
involving with an estimated cost of Taka 64,95,980 crore.