Critics should look at positive changes at village level, says Hasina

Those who criticise the development initiatives of the Awami League government should take a look at rural areas to see the positive developments, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“The government has ensured that electricity reaches every household, and has been implementing several ‘mega projects’ for the development of Bangladesh. People will definitely get the benefit from those projects,” Hasina said as she spoke at the ‘Second National Conference on Reviewing the SDG Implementation,’ via video conferencing on Monday.

“There are people who criticise the government's expenditure. But they never focus on the project's outcome - how it will benefit people, how it will enrich the national economy, propel development growth and bring positive changes to people’s lives. This is really unfortunate.”

The prime minister urged her critics to take a look at the rural areas to see the positive changes and not bash the government while staying put in the capital.

She stressed the need for the development of connectivity and communication systems, saying it will strengthen the system of moving goods and people, and propel the national economy. Even the root-level producers will be able to market their products easily.

“It’ll strengthen the economy, alleviate poverty and benefit the people on the margins.”

Hasina said her government has upheld the freedom of expression in Bangladesh by ‘opening’ radio and television to the private sector in 1996.

“Now everyone can speak and participate in talk shows. There are also people who speak out and then claim they were silenced. But no one is going to gag you or strangle you. You can express your opinion, no matter what it is.”

The Awami League government aims to ‘bring positive changes to the lives of the working people,’ said Sheikh Hasina.

“And that’s why we’ve been implementing those SDG projects that are suitable for us.”

She thanked the officials for organising the national conference and suggested the government and private sector work in partnership. The government will ensure all necessary assistance, she assured.

“We’ll provide policy assistance and funding for implementing the SDG projects, but the stakeholders should utilise their funds and prevent any misuse. Also, they must take effective initiatives to implement international commitments,” she said.

The SDG goals can be achieved before 2030 if everyone works together, the prime minister said. She highlighted her government’s initiatives for the development of Bangladesh, adding they work to translate the dream of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman of creating a golden Bangladesh devoid of hunger and poverty into reality.