Tuesday, January 7th, 2020

BNP always opposes use of technology: Hasan

Published 10:17 pm | January 07, 2020

Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said BNP is always opposed to use of latest technology, so they are opposing the Election Commission’s decision to use Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in the city corporation polls.

“BNP always tries to make the polls and the election process controversial and questionable as they have realized that the countrymen are not with them,” he told a press conference at the meeting room of his ministry at Secretariat here.

The minister said the EVMs are being used in India, our neighbouring country, the USA and other countries. “But, I don’t know why BNP is always against the use of EVMs. Not only EVMs, they will also make allegations even if the polling will be held through ballot papers. Actually, they could sense their imminent defeat in the polls,” he added.

Hasan said the then prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia refused a proposal of installing submarine cable free of cost when BNP took power for the first time in 1991. “Later, we purchased the submarine cable facilities with huge amount,” he said.

The minister said their (BNP) statements underlined the BNP’s defeat in the upcoming polls. “Their (BNP) main target is to put the city polls into question and impede the ongoing democratic process,” he added.

Replying to a query on Dr Kamal Hossain’s comments on Begum Khaleda Zia’s health and her release, the minister said he (Dr Kamal) always relates constitution to every issue.

He said not only Dr Kamal Hossain, BNP is also doing ill-politics over the health issue of Begum Zia.

“The release of Begum Khaleda Zia is possible only through the judicial process. There is no other way. The government has no jurisdiction as regard her release,” said Hasan, also joint general secretary of Awami League.

He said, “BNP is continuously doing ill-politics over the health and treatment of Khaleda Zia. Actually, the government is making its all-out efforts to ensure the best medical treatment for her.”

Hasan said Khaleda Zia is being treated by the doctors of the country’s highest medical educational institution, the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).

“I’ve already talked with the concerned doctors. They told me that she (Khaleda) is suffering from age related problems. Besides, pain at her knee and waist is due to Begum Zia’s prolonged health problems. The doctors are trying to give the best treatment to her,” he added.

In his speech, Hasan said Awami League took charge on this day (January 7) in 2019 after a landslide victory in the general elections held on December 30, 2018.

“Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s able daughter Sheikh Hasina was sworn-in as the prime minister for the fourth time, third in a row, on January 7, 2019 after her party Bangladesh Awami League secured a landslide victory in the general election,” he added.

The minister said Bangladesh is moving ahead indomitably to fulfill the dream of Father of the Nation under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Bangladesh has already graduated to a middle-income country from the least developing one, said Hasan, adding that the country has gained remarkable progress in many socioeconomic indexes, including human development index, and achieved GDP growth higher than other countries in the last 11 years.

He said the GDP growth was 8.15 percent in the last year which was the highest among the all countries in the globe while the inflation of the country was lower than 6 percent.

The per capita income is now around 2000 US dollar while it was only $600 in 2008, he said.

“The remittance growth was 18 percent and the remittance was $1833 crore last year while it was $1585 crore in 2018”, he added.

The minister said Bangladesh has surpassed Pakistan in all indexes and even surpassed India in many social indicators.

He said the government has achieved a vast success in the education sector. “The rate of literacy is more over 75 percent. This year, a total of 3, 53,144,554 copies of textbooks were distributed among 4, 26, 19,865 students of pre-primary, primary, ebtedayee, secondary, dakhil and vocational institutions”, he added.

Hasan said Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, known as the role model of development, has been boosting this sector with various programmes including distribution of free books since 2010.

Besides, the government is distributing stipend among the mothers of 1.40 crore students between first grade and eight grade through mobile, a unique endeavour in the world, he added.

He said about 40 percent people were under the coverage of power before the AL government taking office in 2009. Now, about 95 percent people of the country are under the coverage of power, he added.

The minister hoped that cent percent people of Bangladesh will be brought under electricity coverage within the Mujib Year.

Hasan said about 84.05 percent works of constructing the country’s largest bridge on the Padma River has been completed without any support of the World Bank or other lending agencies.

It has been only possible for outstanding leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, he added.

Besides, he said, about 40 percent works of constructing tunnel under the Karnaphuli River have been completed.

Hasan hoped that the metro rail in Dhaka will be opened for masses on December 16, 2021.

The AL joint general secretary said Bangladesh is now a case study for the World Food Organization as it has become a food surplus country though the agricultural land didn’t increase even for an inch.

Bangladesh got nearly four-fifths of an area in the Bay of Bengal, ending a three-decade old dispute over a sea border with India and Myanmar, he said, adding that the country has settled the enclave dispute long after implementation of the historic Land Boundary Agreement (LBA) as per the Mujib-Indira Accord of 1974.

The minister said today the Digital Bangladesh is not a dream, but a reality.

Hasan said the information ministry has also a number of successes last year.

“Bangladesh Television (BTV), the state-owned TV channel, started airing its programmes in India from September 2 by using Bangabandhu 1, the country’s first communication satellite through DTH (Direct-To-Home) platform of Doordarshan, the state-owned TV channel of India,” he added.

He hoped that like BTV, Bangladesh Betar will also start to air its programme in India from this month.

The minister said, “I’m working relentlessly for the betterment of the journalists after taking charge of the ministry. Discipline has been established in the media sector following different steps.”

He said airing Bangladeshi advertisements in foreign channels has been stopped. “Besides, the cable operators are maintaining the serial of the Bangladeshi TV channels as per their on air date. After keeping Bangladeshi channels, the cable operators are keeping the foreign channels on the list,” he added. Newly appointed Information Secretary Kamrun Nahar was present on the occasion.

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