Saturday, May 27, 2017

Budget of 2017-18: A History of the People of Bangladesh

by Swadesh Roy-
( May 25, 2017, Dhaka, Sri Lanka Guardian) The finance minister of Bangladesh, Mr. Abul Mal Abdul Muhith, will present the next fiscal year’s budget in the parliament on 1st June. It will be more than Four thousand billion Bangladeshi Taka (BDT), the biggest budget in the history of Bangladesh. The country is going to make another history through this budget because Bangladesh is going to produce a budget by almost their own wealth for the first time.
Bangladesh is going to propose a big budget wholly by its own wealth when it reaches the status of a middle income country. Besides, it is a country of five hundred million young workers, it is a country of ten million female garment workers, it is a country where maternity mortality is less than India (the biggest economy in South Asia), and it is a country where the sanitation facility is a hundred percent.
Bangladesh has prepared the budget for this fiscal year when the country will open the Padma Bridge (the longest bridge in the country) at its own cost, after cancelling the fund of World Bank in this project. But, last year World Bank invited the Prime Minister of Bangladesh to give a speech in their Bank on “How she is making this economy”; in addition, the chief of the Word Bank has visited Bangladesh to understand its economic progress.
The Sheikh Hasina led government is running the country for the last eight years and a half. In this tenure, this government has made a new Bangladesh, even a new economy which is not only developing the country but also has become a model for the developing countries. In the current fiscal year with regard to the the world, only Bangladesh has achieved 7.2% Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The country has achieved food sufficiency for seven years in their main food rice. Moreover, the country holds the fourth position in the fish producing sector in the world.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, this country was the eastern part of the Bengal. During that time, its total revenue was more than the total budget of the then European countries. Then it was a part of India; and India was ruled by the Mughal Emperor. This eastern part was one of the treasuries of the crops of the Mughal Emperor. No Emperor is for the people, so the people did not get the facility of their wealth accordingly. After the Mughal Emperor, Bengal was occupied by the British. In the regime of the British, some infrastructures were built up in Bengal and even in India. Because, after occupying Bengal the British within a hundred years occupied the whole of India. However, a portion of the revenue was spent here only for production, but a lion’s part of it was being sent regularly to Britain. People never got the benefit of that.
In the middle of August 1947, the British left India and then this part of Bengal became a part of Pakistan, which was created in the name of religion majority. It was a man-made disaster for Indian subcontinents because fifty million people were displaced and millions of people were killed in the name of the religion based partition. The Eastern part of Bengal was one of the main victims in Indian subcontinents. After this bloody- death and forced –displacement of people, the people of this area did not get their right to run their country and build up their economy; rather as a part of Pakistan, it became another colony. A colony of Pakistan.
So, from the very first stage, the people of this country started to protest against Pakistan; after one and a half decade, their leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman clearly said that the people of this area could not live as a colony people and they wanted their economic right in their own hands. Fighting for this economic- right reached to a freedom -fight of a country. In 1971, the eastern part of Pakistan was born by a bloody birth as Bangladesh, sacrificing three million people lives. That was the first time in its five hundred years’ history when people got their right in their own hands. But, the misfortune of the people of Bangladesh is that they did not get time to enjoy it. Within three and a half years, Sheikh Mujib was killed by the military government with the help of Pakistan. From then, the country was again run by the military ruler as it was ruled in the Pakistan era by the Pakistani military ruler.
So, it is true that in its five hundred years’ history, only last eight years and a half, it was governed by a strong hand of a people’s representative-who is for the people. This people’s representative is the Sheikh Hasina government. In these last eight years and a half, economic and social development cut a remarkable and extra-ordinary mark in the country’s five hundred years’ history. In this eight years and a half’ development history, the next budget is the biggest in the country’s five hundred years’ history. It has been prepared by Sheikh Hasina’s government and will be presented in the parliament by an Octogenarian, learned Economist and Historian, Abul Mal Abdul Muhith, the Finance Minister of Bangladesh.
Swadesh Roy, Executive Editor. The Daily Janakantha, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is a highest state award winning journalist; and can be reached at