He makes the call while delivering his speech on the first day of the maiden session of 11th parliament
President Md Abdul Hamid on Wednesday called for forging national unity of all on basic issues, saying peace and prosperity cannot take a permanent shape without it.
"I call for taking united efforts to build a unity of all irrespective of political affiliations, classes and professions on basic issues, including continuation of democracy, the rule of law and continued socioeconomic development," he said, reports UNB.
He also urged all the MPs from both the treasury and opposition benches to play an appropriate and effective role in fulfilling the expectations of the people.
He said: "The parliament is the centrepiece of people's hopes and aspirations. Alongside the ruling party, the opposition parties will have to play a constructive role in strengthening transparency, accountability, tolerance, human rights and the rule of law and successfully implementing the nation's dreams and aspirations to march forward."
The president was delivering his speech on the first day of the maiden session of 11th parliament in the evening. Leader of the House and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was present in the House, with the newly-elected Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair while he spoke.
Though the Leader of the Opposition HM Ershad was absent as he is undergoing treatment abroad, Deputy Leader of the Opposition GM Quader was present.
In his speech, Hamid highlighted achievements of the government in different sectors, including economy, trade and commerce, agriculture, power, foreign affairs, tourism, education, health, women and children’s development, rural development, expatriates' welfare, science and technology, information and communication technology, and public administration.
He 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 middle-income country. "The nation's expectation is that Bangladesh will emerge as a developed country by 2041."
Expressing his optimism, he said: "We will be able to establish a welfare state, achieving the desired goals by upholding human rights, establishing good governance and social justice, institutionalising democracy and ensuring direct involvement of people in every sphere of society."
‘Dec 30 polls was participatory, fair’
Regarding the 11th general polls held on December 30, President Hamid said the election was held in a free, fair, peaceful and neutral manner with the participation of all parties under the supervision of the Election Commission, and has earned praise at home and abroad.
"The government was formed, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, through an absolute majority in the election with the people's mandate.
The verdict of the people is the reflection of the unwavering support to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's popular election manifesto "Samriddhir Agrajatrai Bangladesh.”
He said: “The government is determined to implement the pledges made in the election manifesto. Everyone will have to work together to face the challenges in the implementation of these commitments.”
He added that the government's all-out efforts continue to strengthen and uphold the rule of law.
Development and growth
The president said the present government has been able to maintain sustainable economic growth in all economic indexes. "The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate is above 7% from the fiscal year of 2015-16. According to the final estimate, the GDP rate in the fiscal year 2017-18 was 7.78%. Bangladesh's economy is the 33rd in world in terms of purchasing power parity while 41st on the basis of the GDP size.”
He also said that the per capita income is now $ 1,751 while the foreign reserve crosses $32 billion whereas the inflation rate dropped to 5.4%.
He also mentioned that the size of the national budget and revenue collection has increased. "We are successfully implementing many large projects, including construction of the Padma Bridge and flyovers, with our own funds by increasing revenue collection."
Hamid also said employment opportunities have been created at home and abroad over the last 10 years.
"During the period, some 13.4 million people were employed in the country while around eight million abroad," he said, adding that in the last five years, over 3.4 million workers went abroad for jobs and earned about $73 billion.
He said the government is implementing a five-year-long health, population and nutrition development program at a cost of Tk115,486 crore to ensure healthcare.
The president said the government's 'zero-tolerance' policy against drug abuse, militancy and extremism has been praised worldwide, to the relief of people.
He also said monitoring centres have been established to prevent cybercrimes.