Finance Minister A M A Muhith said on Wednesday the country has been moving forward following capable leadership, effective policies, and a wide range of development initiatives of the government.
"We have to go forward. There is no reason to be disappointed about the future of the Bangladesh," he said while speaking as the chief guest at a seminar titled 'Future of Sylhet: Receipts and Expectations'.
The programme was organised by Bangladesh Study Trust (BST) in the city's CIRDAP Auditorium.
Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) chairman Dr. Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, former chairman of Rupali Bank Ltd Dr Ahmed Al-Kabir, BST chairman Dr. A K Abdul Momen, and BST secretary general Mamun Al Mahtab also spoke at the programme.
The finance minister in his speech also said the development of the country has been continuing for three basic reasons - firstly, because of the able leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Secondly, the government's policies and tactics are effective.
"We came to power in 2009, and focused on increasing the domestic demand apart from the expansion of export markets. The technique was quite effective in ensuring the country's development."
He also said the coverage of electricity across the country is the key component of overall development, as it has accelerated production capacity. Nearly 92 per cent areas of Bangladesh are now under electricity coverage.
Referring to the country's present literacy rate of around 60 per cent, Mr Muhith said, "(Many) people have low educational qualification in the country, but it doesn't matter (much) for them."
"If they learn to do something ... their intelligence is so intense that education level doesn't become an impediment at all for them to work."
He further said the average life expectancy has recently increased to 71 years from 48 years, as was during the independence of Bangladesh. It has been possible following gradual development of the country.
Stating that Bangladesh has been making continuous progress, the senior minister said, "Now I can go to retirement with satisfaction although I wasn't satisfied at all when I first thought about retirement in 2001."
The development of the country will continue for sure in the future, he hoped.
Talking about the development of Sylhet region, Mr Muhith said construction of the proposed Dhaka-Sylhet four-lane highway was at the final stage.
But the work slowed down due to allegations of various irregularities against the construction company doing the work, he added.
Speaking at the programme, the PKSF chairman said the entire Sylhet region receives a large amount of remittance. But a huge amount of money remains idle in the banks.
The government should take effective initiatives, like providing industrial gas and electricity connections, to encourage the people of Sylhet to make investments (in the country), he opined.
Mr Kholiquzzaman also emphasised ensuring quality education in greater Sylhet region, as it is still in a poor state in terms of education and proper training.
He also urged the government to give special focus on conserving environment, forests and other natural beauties in Sylhet, as the region has huge potentials of tourism.
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