President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday greeted people of the country on the eve of New Year.
In a message, the president wished happiness and welfare for all in 2019.
Hamid said though the celebration of Bengali New Year has merged with the national culture, the New Year (in Gregorian calendar) influences all because of the widespread use of the calendar in daily activities.
The president said New Year brings in new hopes in social, political, economic and cultural areas. He hoped that the county would march forward towards new possibilities, sharing sorrows and happiness of the past year.
“Let the pledge of the New Year be marching forward towards development and prosperity on the basis of past achievements and successes,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a separate message, the prime minister said, “The outgoing 2018 was a glorious year in history of the Bangalee nation... let the New Year bring in happiness, peace and prosperity to all.”
The premier said Bangladesh witnessed glorious success in 2018 in the arena of diplomacy, maintaining constitutional and democratic continuation and upholding the spirit of the Liberation War.
Terming Bangladesh the “role model” for development in the world, she said, “We have made huge developments as per the election pledges in sectors including agriculture, education, health, communications, information technology, infrastructure and power in the last 10 years.”
“We sent Bangabandhu Satellite-1 to the orbit, which made us the 57th country having satellite in space,” she said.
Hasina said the annual growth rate of GDP (gross domestic product) hit record 7.86 percent in the outgoing year, which is the highest in the country's history while the per-capita income surged to $1,751.
“Reducing poverty rate in the country now stands at 21.8 percent while the extreme poverty rate at 11.3 percent,” she added.
Mentioning the literacy rate is 73 percent, she said students have been getting free books. She said 90 percent of people are getting electricity and hopefully it will be upgraded to cent percent within a short time.
Talking about healthcare services, she said it is now at every doorstep of the grassroots people. Also, the average life expectancy has increased to 72 years.
“Digital Bangladesh is now a reality,” she continued.
At the end of the year, the pro-liberation forces are going to form the government once again as Awami league has become the winner in the parliamentary election, she said, adding that it is the biggest achievement in the outgoing year.
“Let's build a 'Golden Bangla' free from hunger, poverty, illiteracy and communalism, as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” she added.