It is undeniable that we have achieved a lot in the economy since the independence, our per capita income and average life expectancy have surpassed the neighbouring countries, we have managed to sustain our growth even during the corona period, we successfully implemented the mega-project such as the Padma bridge on our own funding, other mega projects such as the metro rail, elevated expressway and tunnel under the Karnaphuli river are also progressing. Our farmers can get big congratulations as the food production in the country has been continuously growing. Our expatriate workers can be congratulated as the remittance flow increased despite corona. We have become second in the world in terms of exporting readymade garments and the entrepreneurs and workers of the sector deserve credit for that feat.

The previous year started with the fear of the corona outbreak as like as 2020. The lethal virus has taken away many of our colleagues, relatives and well-wishers. Their passing saddens us. It is a matter of hope that normalcy is returning to public life and economy has bounced back with the decline of corona outbreak in the country towards the middle of the year. A new corona variant Omicron has broken out in the latter part of the year. Although the outbreak of the new variant seems comparatively less in South Asia, there should not any laxity in abiding by health guidelines and wearing masks. Also, all the citizens of the country must be vaccinated as early as possible.

The political arena was charged up throughout the year over the issue of allowing BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to take treatment abroad. Apart from negotiating with the government, BNP also took to the streets. The ruling Awami League men locked into infightings over the one-sided union parishad elections. State minister for information Murad Hassan had to resign on 7 December centering his unrestrained remarks. At the beginning of December, the United States imposed sanctions on seven current and former RAB officials. These two incidents were embarrassing for the government.

The president has called a dialogue over the formation of a new election commission towards the end of the year. Awami League, Jatiya Party and many other parties are participating in the dialogue while seven parties including BNP, CPB and Basad opted not to join the dialogue. Unfortunately, the last two commissions formed through the search committees drastically failed to uphold the peoples’ voting rights. The next parliamentary polls would be held next year, 2023. We hope the next election commission would be able to hold a free, fair and transparent general election. Let the country move forward.

Happy New Year. May 2022 bring happiness and prosperity for all.

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