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Bangladesh makes good progress despite Covid pandemic: PM Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday said that Bangladesh’s development forged ahead despite the Covid pandemic that affected the global economy and created food shortage even in many developed countries.

“We’ve been able to continue the development trend of Bangladesh despite facing the corona,” she told a function arranged to distribute the Swadhinata Purashkar-2022 (Independence Award-2022) at Shapla Hall of the Prime Minister’s Office.

The prime minister said that the people now get to know even the small problems of the country because of the media freedom guaranteed by her government.

“We know that massive food shortage has been seen in many developed countries as well,” she said, adding that many people throughout the world went below the poverty margin.

She said these problems faced by many countries went unreported, while in Bangladesh the media could write about it.

The PM said there were only one television and one radio station in the country in the past before she opened the electronic media to the private sector.

She said the people can now know about even small problems here due to information technology and a large number of television and radio stations. But many other countries are there who never publish such problems, she added.

Hasina said Bangladesh has gained economic self-sufficiency. “Now we can implement our development projects with 90 per cent finance from our own resources,” she added.

She said her Awami League government has been working to reach the benefits of independence to the doorstep of every house in the country.

“We achieved Independence. Our goal is to reach its benefits to every house upholding this Independence. And we’ve been working with this goal,” she said.

Earlier, the PM gave away “Swadhinata Purashkar-2022” (Independence Award-2022), the highest national award, to nine distinguished individuals and two organisations in recognition of outstanding contribution to their respective fields.

She handed over the prestigious award to the recipients or their family members, attending the function in person.

Ilias Ahmed Chowdhury (posthumous), Colonel Khandaker Nazmul Huda (posthumous), Mohammad Sahiudiin Biswas (posthumous), Sirazul Haque (posthumous), Siraj Uddin Ahmed and Abdul Jalil were honoured for their contributions to the Independence and the Liberation War.

Prof Dr Kanak Kanti Barua and Prof Dr Md Kamrul Islam were given the highest state award for their contributions to medicine, while Syed Mainul Hossain (posthumous) for his contribution to architecture.

The Power Division was given the Independence Award 2022 for successfully bringing 100 per cent of the country under the electricity coverage by increasing the daily power generation capacity to 25,514 megawatt now.

Bangladesh Wheat and Maize Research Institute received the award for its contribution in research and training.

On behalf of the awardees, Dr Kanak expressed his feelings in the award giving ceremony.

Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam moderated the function and read out the citations with brief life sketch of the recipients.

Bangladesh has been honouring individuals and institutions with the award every year ahead of the Independence Day.