PM urges NRBs to contribute to country’s progress as ‘son of soil’

DHAKA, Feb 26, 2019 : Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged the Bangladeshi engineers living abroad to make contribution to the country’s ongoing development as the ‘son of the soil’.

“Non-resident Bangladeshi (NRB) engineers can play immense role in development of ICT sector, agricultural and industrial production, communication and sea resources extraction,” she said while inaugurating first NRB Engineer’s Convention at a city hotel here.

The prime minister said NRB engineers can play role in overcoming the policy and institutional levels challenges to expedite the country’s ongoing development.

“Though now you are living abroad but you came from any village of
Bangladesh, which is the focal point of all our development. So, I will request you to find your root and particularly think of your own village development,” the premier said.

Economic Resources Division (ERD), Bridge to Bangladesh and A2I (Access to information in Bangladesh) jointly organized the two-day convention aimed at discussing the country’s development issues and finding ways to support to the government at policy making and institutional levels.

The prime minister said Bangladesh is moving forward and as an independent country, it’s a great fortune for us to take forward the country as dreamt by the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in a planned manner.

Planning Minister MA Mannan presided over the function while National Professor Jamilur Reza Choudhury and Bridge to Bangladesh Chairman Ajadul Hoque spoke on the occasion as ERD Secretary Monowar Ahmed gave welcome address.

The prime minister said her government has focused on identifying an area for its specific development as well as the requisites to make the country developed in overall aspects. “Pragmatic plans helped Bangladesh to emerge as the 41st largest economy of the world and fifth fast growing nation,” she added.

Sheikh Hasina said her government has concentrated on its efforts to elevate the country’s growth to double digit in future and further reduce the poverty rate.

“Country’s poverty rate dropped to 21 percent from 40 percent over the last ten years and it has already declined further which would come to light after the census,” the prime minister said, adding that social safety net programs and “one-house one-farm” project are playing a big role in poverty reduction.

Sheikh Hasina said the government has taken steps for augmentation of food production through conservation of agricultural lands and application of modern technologies.

Bangladesh origin engineers living in around 30 different countries are attending the conference to discuss various development issues and creating a professional communication between the NRB engineers and different engineering and technical field levels people in the public and private sectors in Bangladesh.

The prime minister said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman wanted to build Bangladesh as a beautiful one. But he got only three and a half years time for rebuilding the war-ravaged country.

“The future of the nation was smashed by killing of Bangabandhu,” the premier said.

“You are the proud souls of the nation. You have not only established yourself by your works on foreign soils, but also shined the image of Bangladesh around the world,” the prime minister said.

She thanked the NRB engineers for being united for the welfare of the motherland.

Recalling the significant role of expatriates during the War of Liberation, the prime minister said many of them extended their supports to reconstruct the country after the war.

Sheikh Hasina said her government is implementing several mega projects on priority basis which include the Padma Bridge, Metro Rail, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Rampal Coal Power Plant, Deep Sea Port.

Besides, works of the Dhaka Mass-Rapid Transit Project, LNG Terminal, Moheshkhali-Matarbari Integrated Infrastructure Development Program, Piara Sea Port, Padma Setu Rail Link and Chattogram to Cox’s Bazar rail line project are progressing, she said, adding country’s isolated island Sandwip was connected with national electricity grid line through underground cable.

The prime minister said her government had given permission to establish three banks for welfare of the expatriate people so that they can invest and put in their efforts for country’s development through these banks.

Reiterating her commitment to ensure civic rights of every citizen, the premier said steps were taken to provide every village with facilities of modern town. As a part of this initiative, every household will be brought under electricity coverage soon and internet service will also be available everywhere, she added.

The prime minister said her government has formulated a 100-year plan titled ‘Bangladesh Delta Plan-2100’ with a broader perspective for sustainable development of the country.

Welcoming any plan or suggestions from the NRBs for the welfare of the country, Sheikh Hasina said, “You invest here and also work for augmenting foreign investments.”

The prime minister hoped that the conference will help identify the Policy Level Challenges and Institutional Level Challenges and find specific ways to solve those quickly.

The suggestions from the conventions of NRB engineers 2019 will duly be considered and used for formulating national development policy, the premier said.

Sheikh Hasina said Bangladesh will celebrate the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 2020 and the Golden Jubilee of the independence in 2021 as a hunger and poverty free nation.

Bangladesh would be middle income country by 2021 and a developed and prosperous one by 2041, she added.