Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday urged the countrymen not to pay heed to any propaganda over foreign reserve and bank liquidity as Bangladesh is economically stable despite many developed countries face economic crisis for the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia-Ukraine war.
"Inflation has increased globally. Many developed countries are at stake economically and facing trouble---their reserve is declining. But, we can say that we have been able to keep Bangladesh in a stable condition," she said.
The prime minister was addressing a graduation ceremony of the National Defense Course-2022 and Armed Forces War Course-2022 at Sheikh Hasina Complex of Defense Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) in Mirpur Cantonment in the capital.
Pointing at rumour on foreign currency reserve and liquidity in banks, she said, "Some words will be spread rapidly and you (people) might be misled. But, I will say there is nothing to be misled."
She said the reserve was only 2.5 billion USD while Awami League assumed power for the first time in 1996 as it was only 5 billion USD when her party came to the power for the second time in 2001.
The reserve increased to 48 billion USD from the 5 billion USD during the tenure of the present government as everything including import was almost stopped during the Covid-19 period, she said.
The premier said her government has taken every possible measure including purchasing Covid-19 vaccines, giving stimulus packages to industries and business establishments, reaching cash to every person up to grassroots level to protect Bangladesh economy and its people from the wrath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She said they have purchased the Covid-19 vaccines with giving Tk 12,000 crore in advance while developing of vaccine was on research stage, adding that if the research failed, Bangladesh would have to lose the money.
Bangladesh has administered the Covid-19 vaccines to its people free of cost despite the fact that no rich or developed country did it, she said.
She also said her government did not show any stinginess in spending money to protect Bangladesh and its people, urging people to show austerity in using electricity, gas and water.
She reiterated her call to bring all lands under cultivation so Bangladesh never falls in food crisis as the world is approaching towards serious food problem.
The prime minister said her government attached priority to ensure overall socio-economic advancement of Bangladesh with increasing employments and education rate and giving houses to homeless and landless and thus decreasing poverty.
She said Bangladesh has got recognition as a developing nation for measures taken by the government to reach benefit of socio-economic advancement to the grassroots.
"It has been possible to get the status of a developing nation as the democratic process continues," she said.
But, it is unfortunate that many people don't like Bangladesh to march ahead towards economic prosperity peacefully, she said, referring to construction of the Padma Bridge, metro rail, Karnaphuli tunnel and other development projects.
The prime minister said her government has been able to reach the economic growth to 8 percent as the 9 percent economic growth was achieved during the government of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Bangabandhu government had achieved 9 percent economic growth within a very short period despite he had to rebuild the war-ravaged country, she said, adding that if Bangabandhu had been alive, Bangladesh could be developed country in 10 years after the independence.
Following the footprints of Bangabandhu, the prime minister said her government has taken various measures to transform Bangladesh into a developed and prosperous country by 2041.
To materialise the Vision-2041, her government is implementing the 20-year long perspective plan 2021-2041, she said, adding that they also started implementing the Delta Plan-2100 to ensure Bangladesh's undisrupted development in the next 100 years.
"Bangladesh is a climate vulnerable country. So, we have taken the Delta Plan-2100 to continue Bangladesh's development spree in the next 100 years. It may require to be made time-befitting, correction, and addition over times. But, Bangladesh will never falls behind if the plan is implemented successfully," she hoped.
The prime minister said her government is working to transform the armed forces into modern with state-of-the-art equipment and knowledge following the Forces Goal-2030 which was formulated in line with the Defence Policy-1974 by the Father of the Nation.
She said her government also formulated National Defence Policy-2018.
The premier greeted the armed forces personnel as they always stand by the people in any disaster.
"In any disaster, armed forces personnel always stand beside the people and thus they have achieved confidence and trust of the masses," she said.
The armed forces personnel not only attained honour from the country but also from abroad as they are working with utmost efficiency and professionalism in the UN peacekeeping missions, she said.
"Especially the female armed forces and police personnel are getting huge admiration due to their role in the UN peacekeeping missions," she said.
The prime minister said Bangladesh prioritises solving any problem with any country through discussion and maintains friendly relations following its foreign policy "Friendship to all, malice to none" given by the Father of the Nation.
She said they have resolved enclave issue with India by implementing the Land Boundary Agreement while establishing rights in a vast sea area and on its resources through winning legal battle with two friendly countries, India and Myanmar maintaining friendly relations.
"We don't want war, we want peace as we know the brutality of war," she reiterated.
She greeted all the graduates and called upon the foreign military officials to work as ambassador of Bangladesh after going to their country and elsewhere across the globe.
The prime minister later attended the 19th joint meeting of the governing body of the National Defense College (NDC) and Defense Services Command and Staff College (DSCSC) held at Sheikh Hasina Complex, DSCSC in Mirpur Cantonment.
Sheikh Hasina, chairperson of the NDC and DSCSC, presided over the meeting.