Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday asked the army to stand beside the people always by bestowing its leadership upon the competent and patriotic officers.
‘The army will always stand beside the people. This is why the leadership will have to be bestowed upon qualified, competent and patriotic officers,’ she said while addressing the inaugural function of the Army Selection Board, 2019 as chief guest at Dhaka Cantonment in the morning.
PM’s press secretary Ihsanul Karim briefed reporters after the function.
The prime minister hoped that the selection board would recommend the army officials for promotion considering their qualities such as patriotism, belief in the spirit of the Liberation War, leadership quality, professional efficiency, discipline, honesty, trustworthiness and loyalty.
She said Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman formulated the Defence Policy 1974. In light of the policy, the present government formulated the Forces Goal 2030 to build a strong armed force for the country.
Bangabandhu was the first person who had ruled the country after taking birth in this soil, she said, adding that the people who ruled the country earlier came from another land.
Sheikh Hasina, the eldest daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, said her government would complete the unaccomplished works of Bangabandhu.
The prime minister said the government was relentlessly working to turn the country into a ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Bangabandhu by making Bangladesh a hunger and poverty-free country where no one would remain hungry.
On her arrival at the venue, chief of army staff General Aziz Ahmed received the prime minister.
PM’s principal secretary Md Nojibur Rahman, defence secretary Akhter Hussain Bhuiya and principal staff officer of the Armed Forces Division Lt General Md Mahfuzur Rahman, among others, were present.
Sheikh Hasina said her government had taken all effective measures for development, expansion and modernisation of the army.
The Forces Goal 2030 was now being executed aimed at enhancing professional excellence and human resources development of the armed forces, she added.
‘I personally think myself as a sebak (service provider) not prime minister,’ she said, adding that her government wanted to run the country as the people’s servant, not as ruler.
Describing becoming a developing country as an achievement, she said, ‘The country has achieved 8.13 per cent GDP growth and targeted to achieve 8.2 percent growth in the FY 2019-2020. We will make double digit GDP growth in the days to come.’
She said, ‘The GDP growth will increase further once the mega projects are implemented.’
The government had given the biggest ever budget of Tk 5,23,190 crore in the FY 2019-2020 and Annual Development Programme of over Tk 2 lakh crore as part of the foresighted plan, she said.
‘We have been preparing the plan for sector-wise development of the country since we were in the opposition,’ she continued.
The prime minister stressed the need for proper implementation of the budget as the people would get the benefit of it, asking the authorities concerned to control the inflation rate with the rising trend of GDP growth.
She said, ‘There was always a 5 per cent deficit in the budgets in the past and it had never crossed the limit.’
The people were now coming out of the poverty line due to huge development works to transform Bangladesh into a developed, prosperous and hunger-free country, the prime minister said, adding that five crore people were so far brought under the Social Safety Net programme.
Regarding women empowerment, she said, ‘Bangladesh is well ahead (in comparison to many other countries) in terms of achieving women empowerment. The recently held OIC conference (in Makkah) has appreciated our women empowerment situation.’
About her return to the country, the prime minister said, ‘I returned to the country in 1981 as the confidence and trust of the people in me are the main driving forces.’
‘An adverse situation had been prevailing in the country when I returned home. As many as 19 coups had taken place after 1975,’ she continued.
‘The people lacked confidence when I had returned home. But that situation is not prevailing now,’ she said.
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