Mega projects to revamp national economy: PM

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said the country’s economy will witness a complete overhaul once the mega projects are completed.

“The Padma Bridge is being constructed with own finance, no loan was taken. We’ve taken the remaining mega projects through conducting economic surveys by local and foreign experts. Many mega projects are being implemented not only on the basis of loan, but also through foreign partnerships,” she said, addressing the nation this evening on the eve of Pohela Boishakh, the first day of Bangla New Year.

In her about 14:46-minute address, broadcast by the state-run BTV and Betar as well as other private media outlets, the premier said that her government has taken local and foreign loans to implement the projects.

“But, we keep vigilant eyes so that the loans don’t become burdens,” she said and added that many people spread misleading information about the mega projects.

The Prime Minister said the main target of her government is to bring dynamism in the economic activities, generate employment, scale up assets and ease the livelihoods of the people through infrastructure development.

Mentioning that the “Years 2022 and 2023” will be milestone years for Bangladesh in terms of infrastructure development, she said the much cherished Padma Bridge is going to be opened in a few months, which is expected to contribute 1.2 percent to GDP.

By the end of this year, Metrorail will be launched in a 14 km section from Uttara to Agargaon, she said, adding that “it is hoped that Metrorail will bring a revolutionary change in the transport system of the Capital Dhaka”.

She continued that the country’s first tunnel under the river Karnaphuli will be opened in Chattogram next October, while the first unit of the 1,200-megawatt Rooppur nuclear power plant, the largest development project in the country’s history involving Taka 1.13 lakh crore, is expected to be commissioned by the end of the next year.

She went on saying that last month, a state-of-the-art 1,320-megawatt power plant at Payra was inaugurated ahead of schedule.

“Work on the remaining other mega projects is advancing fast,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh’s economy is standing on a solid foundation over the last 13 years which becomes evident when the composite indicators of the economy are considered.

In 2009, the size of GDP was only US$ 102 billion, but it increased to $ 416 billion in 2021, while per capita income rose to $ 2,591 from $ 702, she added.

The premier said these achievements have been possible due to far-reaching political thinking and the adoption and implementation of far-sighted economic programmes.

“Today, Bangladesh has emerged as a ‘role model’ of development as a result of governing the country through people’s participation upholding the democratic trend,” she noted.

Sheikh Hasina said she thought that it is the responsibility of the government to work for the development of the country. “We are proud to be able to contribute to the realization of the dream of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to build a happy and prosperous Sonar (Golden) Bangla.”

She reiterated her vow, saying: “As long as I live and Almighty Allah allows me to work, I will continue to work for the people.”

The Prime Minister called upon all, at the advent of the Bangla New Year-1429, to build a happy-prosperous ‘Sonar Bangla’ being imbued with the spirit of Bengali nationalism and secularism.

“Let’s build Bangladesh as a developed-prosperous Sonar Bangla being inspired by mutual good relations and brotherhoods, where there will be no discrimination, no differences between human beings and religions,” she said.

The Prime Minister ended her address wishing good health for all and urging to enjoy the Bangla New Year maintaining health safety protocols.