Prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said Bangladesh has witnessed a tremendous progress only because of the continuation of democracy and elected governments.

“Bangladesh couldn’t not have developed so much without the continuation of the democratic process,” she said while opening 11 newly completed projects under the Ministry of Housing and Public Works..

The prime minister inaugurated the projects, joining a programme at Ramna Batamul (Ramna Park) through a virtual platform from her official residence Ganobhaban .

The projects were implemented in the 2021-2022 fiscal by the Public Works Department, the Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and the National Housing Authority.

PM Hasina said her government took Bangladesh forward as per its plans and Bangladesh gained the status of a developing country in 2021.

“It has been possible only because democracy continued and elected public representatives have been in power since 2009,” she said.

Focusing on her government’s steps for the development of Bangladesh, the PM said, “We’ve been working for the overall development of the country’s people. It has been possible (to do such development works) only because today a public representative government is in power.”

She said the people voted Awami League to power in the 2014 and 2018 elections as the AL government worked for the development of the people. If there is a continuation of democratic trend, the people will witness development, she said.

“I hope you all notice the change Bangladesh witnessed in the last 14 years (2009-2023) and it has been possible as only AL is in power,” she added.

The premier said her government has already developed the country as "Digital Bangladesh" and now its target is to transform the country into a "Smart Bangladesh" by 2041 where everything including people, governance, economy, education and health sectors will be Smart.

“Inshallah, we’ll be able to do so (to accomplish the target of building Smart Bangladesh),” she added.

Noting that the international organisations predicted that the global economic downturn might worsen in 2023, Hasina said the government has focused on raisinh food production and already asked all not to leave a single inch of land uncultivated in a bid to protect the country from the blow of the economic recession.

She also asked the people to practice austerity in using electricity, water and other resources during the global crisis induced by the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia-Ukraine war and economic sanctions and counter-sanctions.

The projects opened today include six from the Public Works Department, three of the National Housing Authority and two ones of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk).

The six projects of Public Works Department are - 20-storey judges quarters (90 flats) at Azimpur in Dhaka; nine 10-storey housing buildings (324 flats) for government officials and employees at Mirpur-6 in Dhaka; Renovation of Bangladesh Supreme Court Bar Library Bhaban, Annex Bhaban and Auditorium; Nine 10-storey housing buildings (324 flats) for government officials and employees at Noakhali Sadar; Infrastructural Development and overall beatification of Dhaka Ramna Park including Ramna Lake; and six 13-storey housing buildings (288 flats) for government officials and employees at Tejgaon in Dhaka.

Three projects of National Housing Authority are - 1040 residential flats (Swapnanagar-1) for middle-income people in Mirpur-9; one 14-storey housing building (100 flats) in Mirpur-15; and Site and Services Residential Plots in Sunamganj.

Two Rajuk projects are Purbachal Water Supply Project Phase-I; and Progati High School Bhaban, Palkhan High School and Purbachal Adarsha College Bhaban in Purbachal new city project.

Chairman of parliamentary standing committee on Housing and Public Works Ministry Eng. Mosharraf Hossain, State Minister for Housing and Public Works Sharif Ahmed spoke at the event, while Housing and Public Works Secretary Kazi Wasi Uddin delivered the welcome speech.