Budget

National Budget 2022-23

Full text of finan minister's budget speech


Bangladeshpost
Published : 10 Jun 2022 12:45 AM | Updated : 10 Jun 2022 01:32 AM

Bangladesh National Budget 2022-2023

Chapter One

Tribute

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Blessed is the One in Whose Hands rests all authority. And He is the Most Capable of everything.

Madam Speaker

1. I, A H M Mustafa Kamal, Finance Minister, with your kind permission,am placing the supplementary budget for the fiscal year 2021-2022 and the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2022-2023 before this august House.

Madam Speaker

2. Before I start my presentation, I remember with profound respect, the greatest Bengali of all times, the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who is the cardinal source of our inspiration and the finest son of the soil.

I remember with deep respect Shaheed Bangamata and all martyrs of the fateful night of 15 August.

I pay my respect to the four national leaders who embraced martyrdom in the central jail.

3. I express my profound love and respect for the fearless heroes of the country, who sacrificed their lives for our emancipation, starting from our struggle for self-determination to ourwar ofindependence, and whose supreme sacrifice brought us freedom.

I pay my respect to the thirty lakh martyred freedom fighters and 2 lakh mothers and sisters, who lost their dignity during our independence war.

To the Almighty Allah, I pray for the forgiveness of the souls of all the martyrs.

4. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

Chapter Two

Sheikh Hasina: The Story of a Phoenix

5.It was the Autumn of 1947. There was the vast expense of lush green decorating the beautiful nature of Bangla. A morning of the fallen jasmines, pearl-like dew drops on the leaves of morning grass, waves of the untamed white twigs of catkins on the banks of rivers and edges of the forest, cluster of white clouds embracing the feathery blue sky, charming breeze swaying the sails of boat. Flock of birds flying on the edges of drifting clouds, chirping of the white-breasted waterhen in the bamboo bush, water lilies hugging each other under the shallow water of swampy lands, silvery stitches of fireflies piercing the dark night, spell binding lusters of the moon-all these making the whole nature a pageant of splendid beauty.

6. In contrast to the tranquility in nature, politics in Bengal was rife with tension at that time caused by the recent partition of India. The Father of the Nation Bangabandhu was a student leader at that time. He was busy maintaining peace and harmony in the communal riots of Kolkata in the wake of the partition. Besides, he was preparing to close his chapter in Kolkata to move back to Dhaka permanently. At this defining moment, on 28 September, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Sheikh Fazilatunnesa were blessed with their first child Sheikh Hasina. In her childhood, she was affectionately called ‘Hasu’ by all.

7. Sheikh Hasina passed her childhood in a rural household on the bank of Baigar, a tributary of Madhumati. In her early years, she went to school at Tungipara. Her family moved to Dhaka in 1954. Sheikh Hasina was eight at that time. Sheikh Hasina first studied in Nari Shiksha Mandir at Laxmibazar before moving to Azimpur Girls’ School from where she passed the secondary examination. In 1967 she passed the higher secondary examination from Government Intermediate Girls’ College and received her bachelor degree from Dhaka University in 1973.

8. She was elected vice president of the Intermediate Girls’ College Student Union from Chatro League. She was the General Secretary of Chatro League Branch of her college and became its presidentin the following year. Sheikh Hasina was a member of Chatro League in Dhaka University and became General Secretary in Rokeya Hall unit of Chatro League. She actively took part in all mass movements during her student life.

9. In fact, Sheikh Hasina is also a born politician. She inherited her political acumen from her father and ancestry. She grew up watching her father’s imprisonment for prolonged periods. She was raised in a middle-class Bengali environment under the care of her loving mother, who had to struggle to make ends meet. She was nurtured as a natural leader and politician as she closely witnessed the activities of many political leaders and her father’s political associates, who regularly visited their house.

Madam Speaker

10. Sheikh Hasina, along with Bangamata, played catalytic roles in the late 1960s in spearheading political activities and setting political strategies when her father Bangabandhu was imprisoned in Dhaka Cantonment as the number one accused in the Agartala conspiracy case. She proactively took part in the mass uprising at that time.

11. In the turbulent days of March 1971Bangamata Sheikh Fazilatunnesa and Sheikh Hasina, along with other members of the family, assisted Bangabandhu in taking important decisions. During the liberation war of 1971, Sheikh Hasina, an expectant mother spent her time in home detention amid many uncertainties.Her father was imprisoned in Pakistani jail, two brothers Sheikh Kamal and Sheikh Jamal were taking part in the liberation war, her mother with sister Rehana and youngest brother Russel were also detained like her in a house. She was blessed with a baby boy SajeebWazed Joy in May of 1971 while in detention.

12. The dark days were over on 16 December 1971 when we earned our victory. Bangabandhu returned to Bangladesh after his release from Pakistani jail and devoted himself for the reconstruction of the war-ravaged country despite facing many odds. He had been laying strong foundations and moving forward to realize the dream of establishing Sonar Bangla.

13. But the future of this unfortunate nation soon was shrouded with darkness again. A terrible fate awaited Bengalis on the fateful night of 15 August 1975 when anti-liberation forces brutally assassinated Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with all members of his family. Sheikh Hasina, along with her two children and younger sister Sheikh Rehana, miraculously escaped death on that horrific night as she was in West Germany at that time where her husband worked.

14. It was a time of profound sadness, fear, and constant anxiety for her. After staying in Germany for a few days, she moved to India under political asylum on 25 August and stayed there for six years. She initiated the anti-autocracy movement in 1980 from England.

15. Awami League was in an existential crisis, divided in many factions, battered by the events, following the assassination of Bangabandhu. Sheikh Hasina was chosen as the President of Awami League in the council meeting of February 1981 hoping the party would be united and rebuilt under her leadership. Awami League, the party that led the country to independence, was in a miserable state at that time. They desperately needed a trustworthy, dependable leader, who can steer the party. Ignoring threats to her life and overcoming all hindrances set by the military government Sheikh Hasina landed in Bangladesh at 4 pm on 17 May 1981. That day not only Dhaka’s Tejgaon airport, but the whole of Dhaka city turned into a massive gathering of people just like the time of homecoming of her father Bangabandhu on 10 January 1972. A truck carrying her and other national leaders slowly waded through the huge crowd to reach Manik Mia Avenue. On the dais, she burst out in tears. With her cried all the people around her, en masse, just like a raging wave that crashes on the sea beach. The unshed tears of 15 August finally burst open inundating nature.

16. Sheikh Hasina reorganized Awami League and started a movement, her struggle for the establishment of democracy in the country. Just like Bangabandhu who loved the people of Bangla and dreamt of a golden Bengal, Sheikh Hasina also loves the people of this country. She announced that she had lost everything with the death of her father, mother, brothers and close relatives. She has no expectation for her personal gains. Her only ambition is the continued progress and development of the country. She wants to sacrifice her life for the welfare of the people. She initiated and led a movement that eventually uprooted autocracy from the country and dislodged the military dictator in December 1990.

Madam Speaker

17. After the general election of 1991, while in opposition, Sheikh Hasina travelled to all corners of the country, from village to village, to listen to the people about their needs and expectations and stood beside them at their times of distress. She gathered much knowledge about the infrastructure development needs of the country. After her 21years’ of tireless efforts and struggle finally, Awami League came to power with the mandate of the people in the 1996 election under the able leadership of Sheikh Hasina. An era of new opportunities and possibilities ushered in when Sheikh Hasina became Prime Minister. During her administration from 1996 to 2001, the GDP growth of the economy accelerated to 6.2 percent. The inflation rate fell to 1.59 percent. There were other achievements as well which include, among others, instilling the ideals of independence and the spirit of the liberation war at all levels, institutionalizing democracy, repealing the infamous indemnity act, establishing the rule of law by initiating trial of the cases for killing of the Father of the Nation and the jail killing, promoting peace and human rights, signing of the Hill Tracts Peace Treaty, signing of the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty, unprecedented development in the agriculture sector, repealing the Vested Property Act, getting recognition of the International Mother Language Day, modernizing the defense system, effectively managing the devastating flood of 1998, empowering women, development of the children, reducing poverty level to 44.3 percent, running microcredit programme, building homes for the homeless, introducing allowances for valiant freedom fighters, developing new health policy to ensure health facilities for all – development of hospital facilities all over the country and establishment of community clinics, raising life expectancy to 63 years, introducing old age allowance for the first time in the country, introducing allowances for the distressed women, establishing foundation for the disabled, introducing ‘one house, one farm’ programme, establishing the Karmasangsthan Bank, correcting longstanding chaotic situation on the economic front, putting in place a modern and time befitting education policy for the development of the education system, introducing stipend for primary school students and female students at the secondary level, increasing literacy rate from 44 percent to 65 percent in five years, opening the 4.8 kilometer Bangabandhu Bridge on Jamuna for vehicular movement, laying the foundation stone of Padma Bridge at Mawa on 4 July 2001, taking measures for the protection of the environment. All these steps together laid a strong foundation for the economic development of the country. However, the journey for development came to a grinding halt again in 2001.

18. The evil anti-liberation forces did not stop even after killing Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with his family members on the fateful night of 15 August. The culprits made many attempts to kill the beacon of hope for Bangladesh, the worthy daughter of Bangabandhu, Sheikh Hasina. They tried to stop her tireless efforts to build a Golden Bengal, that Bangabandhu dreamt of, and to instill the spirits of the liberation war in Bangladesh. It was 21 August 2004. The time was 40 minutes past 5 in the afternoon. The party rally on the road in front of the Awami League office in Bangabandhu Avenue was just over. Sheikh Hasina, the then leader of the opposition, finishing her speech was standing in an open truck. Several thousand party workers and supporters were still present around the truck at the rally site. A ladder was placed at the end of the truck for her to walk down. Sheikh Hasina was walking toward the ladder. What happened next was the most brutal and heinous crime in the political history of Bangladesh. Grenades started exploding everywhere with loud noises. Not one, not two; one after another, the explosions continued. Grenades were exploding in such short intervals that are not seen even on a battlefield. When the sound of the explosions finally subsided, it became clear that it was not just the sound; the country witnessed the worst massacre in her history. It was a horrific scene – the parts of human body pierced by the grenades, were strewn all over the area. People in extreme shock, overawed by the explosions, were walking about unaware of what was on the ground. Although the assassins targeted Sheikh Hasina, she had a miraculous escape.

19. There have been as many as twenty assassination attempts to kill Sheikh Hasina. These attacks happened on 24 January 1988 in Chattogram, the same year also on 15 August; on 11 August of 1989 the criminals of Freedom Party threw grenades and fired bullets at her residence in Dhanmondi 32. Shooting attack on her took place when she was visiting Family Planning election booth at Green Road on 11 September 1991, shooting on her train at Iswardi on 23 September 1994, bomb attack on a public rally organized by Awami League at the Russel Square on 7 December 1995, shooting attempt on her in the Curzon Hall area on 7 March 1996 as she was coming from Bangabandhu Avenue, attempt to kill Sheikh Hasina by planting a 76 kilogram bomb on 20 July 2000 near her public rally at Kotalipara, Gopalgonj, planting of a powerful bomb beside Rupsha Bridge in Khulna on 29 May 2001, and attacking her motorcade in front of BMC Government Women College on 4 March 2002. By the grace of the Almighty, she miraculously escaped each assassination attempt and ignoring the death threats devoted herself for the welfare of the people of Bangladesh with added zeal.

20. Sheikh Hasina was sworn in as the Prime Minister for the second term with the victory of the Bangladesh Awami League with a two-thirds majority in the general election held in December 2008 with a manifesto of ‘A Charter for Change’, which opened up a golden door of possibilities for the nation and thus ensured the successful transition from the crisis. She has implemented our destiny changer, the ‘Vision 2021’. With the manifesto titled ‘Bangladesh Marching Ahead: Road to Peace, Democracy, Development and Prosperity’, Bangladesh Awami League formed the government for the second time in a row after winning the general election held on 5 January 2014 with a two-thirds majority and Sheikh Hasina became the Prime Minister for the third time. Bangladesh Awami League formed the government for the third time in a row after achieving thumping victory in the 11th National Parliament election held on 30 December 2018 with the manifesto ‘Bangladesh on the march towards Prosperity’, and Sheikh Hasina became the Prime Minister for the fourth time.

Madam Speaker

21. Under the dynamic leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh has been passing through an incredible golden era since 2009. Bangladesh has become a confluence of peace, progress, and harmony. Our success story on development is being written one after the other. Today Bangladesh is setting example for other countries to emulate for exemplary development. Some of the notable achievements out of thousands are highlighted below.

 Our National Parliament has become the centre of all state activities;

 In the last 13 years, the average GDP growth has been 6.6 percent, above 7 percent in FY2016-2017, FY2017-2018, and FY2018-2019 and exceeded 8 percent in FY2018-2019. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the GDP growth in FY2020-2021 is 6.94 percent which is remarkable;

 The average growth rate achieved during the Sixth Five-Year Plan period was 6.3 percent, and that increased to 7.6 percent during the Seventh Five-Year Plan period;

 Eighth Five-Year Plan (2021-2025), the Perspective Plan (2021-2041) and the Delta Plan-2100 have already been formulated and their implementation is underway;

 The size of GDP has exceeded Tk. 39 lakh crore fromTk. 4 lakh 72 thousand 338 crore;

 Per capita income has increased from US$ 543 in FY2005-2006 to US$ 2,824;

 Inflation is well within 5 to 6 percent;

 The poverty rate has declined from 41.5 percent to 20.5 percent, and the extreme poverty rate has fallen to 10.5 percent;

 Foreign exchange reserves touched a record US$ 48 billion (on 23 August, 2021);

 The size of the budget has increased by eleven times compared to that of FY2005-2006;

 The allocation for the social safety net programmes has grown from Tk. 2 thousand 505 crore to around Tk. 1 lakh crore;

 The power generation capacity has increased from 4,900 MW to 25,566 MW. Under the programme "Sheikh Hasina’s initiative - electricity in every house", 100 percent of the population of Bangladesh has been brought under the coverage of electricity;

 With the final settlement of legal disputes over maritime boundaries with Myanmar and India, Bangladesh has acquired ownership of 1,18,813 square kilometres in its territorial waters, including exclusive economic zones and continental shelves, in the Bay of Bengal. To take advantage of this open right to extract the blue waters of the sea and its resources, the strategy of Blue Economy has been adopted in the Perspective Plan 2041;

 Graduation from a low-income country; crossed the final stage for transition to developing countries from the list of least developed countries;

 The commitment made in the ‘Vision 2021’ to increase food production, alleviate food shortages and make the country self-sufficient in food production has already been achieved thanks to various effective measures taken by the government;

 The dream of Digital Bangladesh has become a reality. With the setting up of Union Digital Centers in 4,550 Union Councils; laying of optical fibres at the bottom of the deep sea, the launching of Bangabandhu satellite in space, the launching of mobile banking activities, setting up of ATM booths in Upazila towns and making internet facilities available, the services are now at the doorsteps of the people.

 The launch of the Bangabandhu-1 satellite has made it easier to provide internet services. About 17 crore mobile phones are currently in use in the country;

 Successfully achieved the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG);

 Received‘SDG Progress Award’ in recognition of SDG implementation progress;

 The maternal mortality rate has reduced from 348 per lakhlive birth in 2005 to 165 now, the under-five mortality rate has come down from 68 in 2005 to 28 in 2019 per thousand live births, and the presence of skilled health workers during childbirth has increased from 15.6 percent in 2004 to 59 percent in 2019;

 Implementation of a large number of mega-projects is currently underway in the country. The Padma Bridge, Metro Rail, Karnafuli Tunnel, and elevated expressway from Dhaka Airport to Kutubkhali near Jatrabari will be opened soon; Completion of several other major projects, including Payra Seaport, Matarbari Deep Seaport, Rampal Power Station will add a new dimension to the progress of the country;

 Through a land boundary agreement with India, Bangladesh got 111 enclaves of India by exchanging enclaves. As a result of this agreement, more than 51,000 people who had been stateless for 68 years got the opportunity to become the citizens of Bangladesh;

 Successful celebration of the Mujib Year (Bengali: Mujib Borsho) and the Golden Jubilee of Independence in presence of guests from home and abroad;

 The government has succeeded in combating terrorism. In this regard, the government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy. The rate of sabotage in the country has reduced a lot thanks to proper initiatives taken by the law enforcing agencies;

 The work of establishing 100 Special Economic Zones is progressing in full swing;

 The unfinished trial of Bangabandhu’s murder has been completed and the court’s verdict has been executed; thepeople who committed war crime and crime against humanity have been tried;

 The foreign policy introduced by Bangabandhu– “Friendship towards all, malice towards none”– has also been followed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Madam Speaker

22. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been honoured with more than half a hundred medals and degrees, including ‘Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize’, ‘Pearl S. Buck ‘99’ Award, ‘CERES’ Medal,Mother Teresa Medal, Paul Haris Fellowship, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Memorial Medal, ‘Champion of the Earth-2015’ Award, Agent of Change Award, ‘Planet 50-50 Champion’ award, ‘ICT Sustainable Development Award’, Women in Parliament Global Forum (WIP) Award, ‘Peace Tree’ medal for the exceptional contribution to the development of women and children’s education, South-South Award, the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals Award, Diploma Award, Cultural Diversity Award, Global Diversity Award, Indira Gandhi Peace Prize, and ‘Doctor of Humane Letters’ for her outstanding contribution to the country and public welfare. Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina ranked amongst the 50 most influential women in the world as enlisted by the Forbes Magazine in 2021.

23. Bangladesh’s remarkable rise and advancement in the socio-economic sector under the dynamic and strong leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina are now recognised worldwide. She is a symbol of infinite courage and foresightedness. Under her guidance, the whole nation is determined today to go far beyond from where they are today.

24. Bangladesh today has attained an incredible height in the comity of the world. This is attributable to the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s courageous leadership, patriotism, commitment to the people of the country, and the far-sighted economic philosophy. Once one of the poorest countries in the world, Bangladesh is now the 41stlargest economy in the world. According to the Center for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), a British economic research organization, Bangladesh will become the 25thlargest economy in the world by 2035 if economic growth continues. Bangladesh has emerged as the world’s wonder in the journey towards development and prosperity. The world leaders today are now in all praise for what Bangladesh has achieved. Indeed, the role of the Awami League and the people’s leader Sheikh Hasina are at the heart of these remarkable achievements. However, while striving for opening up the door for new frontiers of opportunities the traditions of the past were not lost sight of. There is a bridge between the past and the present which paves the way for building a prosperous Bangladesh. Sheikh Hasina, the worthy daughter of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu, is just like a phoenix. Having come out of the rubble after losing her parents, brothers and relatives, she dedicated her life to the welfare of the people of Bangladesh. To transform this country into golden Bangladesh, the dream she got from the Father of the Nation, the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s journey towards achieving the milestones for development may be described in the words of our great poet Rabindranath Tagore - "Floated the boat of light aiming at the sky."

25. Everything has been possible because Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is at the helm.

Now Bangladesh is a country of peace, equality and harmony

Only because Sheikh Hasina is there.

Once a bottomless basket, Bangladesh is now a developing country

Only because Sheikh Hasina is there.

Bangladesh will become a developed country,

Only because Sheikh Hasina is there.

26. Let us pay our humble tribute to the Father of the Nation and express our deep gratitude to the Hon’ble Prime Minister for her missionary zeal.

Chapter 3

Successful COVID-19 Management and Economic Recovery

Madam Speaker

27. With great pleasure I would like to inform this august House that as a result of timely and appropriate steps taken by our government and their effective implementation, Bangladesh has been able to successfully overcome the catastrophic situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic. As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus has so far infected countless people worldwide and caused about 6.3 million deaths. The whole world was devastated by the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. Our government, under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has ensured special healthcare during the pandemic period as well as adopted a coronavirus vaccination system for all and thus saved Bangladesh from massive loss of lives. At the same time, the effective implementation of various fiscal and financial incentive packages brought back the vitality of our economy in the shortest possible time.

28. Since January 2020, the effects of the outbreak of the pandemic began to be felt in different sectors of the economy, including imports and exports. As soon as the crisis began, we took immediate actions to deal with it. As directed by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, the Government formulated a comprehensive programme with short, medium, and long-term goals consisting of four main strategic blocks to address the crisis and its adverse effects on the economy. Our strategies were to prioritise job creation and discourage luxury spending, introduce credit facilities with low-interest rates through the banking system, provide support for the impoverished and jobless low-income population, and people engaged in informal sectors by widening the coverage of social safety net programmes and ensure money supply in the market. In the light of these strategies, we have so far launched 28 financial and incentive packages worth Tk. 1 lakh 87 thousand 679 crore and are successfully implementing them. Before launching all these fiscal and financial incentive packages, we have taken on board the views and suggestions of the people of different strata and professions including businessmen, economists, development experts, journalists, and researchers. In this way, we could deliver packages in a planned and integrated manner to ensure the benefit to a maximum number of people in the country. I would like to proudly inform the people through this august House that the implementation of these 28 incentive packages by the government has so far directly benefited about 73 million people and about 1,72,000 organisations (Appendix A Table 1).

Madam Speaker

29. In last year’s budget speech, I gave a brief overview of the implementation of these incentive packages. Today, I am presenting a narrative on how the people of the country benefitted from the successful implementation of the packages and how the economy of Bangladesh has turned around by overcoming the effects of the pandemic. The government provided Tk. 5,000 crore for salaries and allowances to sustain the employment of workers in the export-oriented sector, including ready-made garments which directly benefitted 3.8 million labor and staff that included 53 percent women workforce working in the sector. So far, 4,529 affected largeindustries and 1,53,861 affected cottage, small and medium enterprises availed of the low-interest working capital loan facility of Tk. 73,000 crore and Tk. 40,000 crore respectively to sustain their business. In addition, Export Development Fund, Pre-Shipment Credit Refinance Scheme, and Credit Guarantee Scheme for the SME sector have benefited both small and large businesses and industries. As a result, other manufacturing and service sectors, including export-oriented industries, returned to full production.

30. We provided food for about 13.9 million poor and low-income people who suddenly lost their jobs due to the outbreak of the pandemic. Besides, the government has sold rice at the rate of only Tk. 10 per kg among 7.06 million low-income families. To protect the poorest people during the crisis, we provided cash assistance amounting Tk. 2,500 to each of 3.5 and 2.7 million selected groups of people during the first and second phases respectively. We increased the coverage of the old age allowance and the allowance for the widow and the women persecuted by their husbands to 100 percent beneficiaries of the 262 poorest Upazilas of the country. We brought all the physically challenged people under the disability allowance. Following the directives of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, we provided safe and decent housing to more than 7.5 lakh poor people by constructing about 1,50,233 houses for homeless people across the country. As a result, millions of people in the country were protected from the effects of the pandemic.

31. In addition, following the implementation of the package announced by the government for the protection of agriculture and the rural economy, food production and supply of agricultural products were kept normal and thus the rural economy remained active. A total of 1 crore 65 lakh farming families in the country benefited from the agricultural incentive package. So far, 3,14,000 agricultural farms benefited from the Tk. 8,000 crore agricultural refinancing scheme set up to facilitate farmers to get loans. About 5.34 lakh low-income professional farmers and small traders have so far benefited from the Tk. 3,000 crore refinancing scheme for low-income professional farmers and small traders. Millions of rural people have benefited from the government’s lending packages through various institutions to boost employment in the rural economy and the rural economy is thus, fully operational. In recognition of the successful implementation of these timely steps taken under the leadership of the Hon’ble Prime Minister, the Commonwealth has named the Hon’ble Prime Minister as one of the successful women leaders in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Madam Speaker

32. Looking at the current dynamics of the country’s macroeconomic indicators, it is clear that Bangladesh has successfully overcome the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19. In the first wave of the pandemic from April to May 2020, our industrial production was somewhat disrupted, but from July 2020, it began to turn around sharply. According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, the monthly industrial production index returned to the pre-COVID level by November 2020. During the second wave in May-August, 2021, industrial production was again somewhat stagnated, but in 2021, industrial production was able to maintain strong overall growth. In the first eleven months of the current fiscal year (July-May), export earnings were US$ 47.17 billion, which is 34.09 percent higher than the export proceeds of the same period of the previous fiscal year. If this trend of exports continues, by the end of the year, the export revenue will exceed US$ 50 billion. In tandem with the industry sector, our agricultural sector could very successfully maintain its productivity throughout the crisis. With the assistance and incentives of the government in this sector, we could achieve the target of agricultural production in those two years, which helped us in ensuring food security in the country as well as keeping our rural economy vibrant. Despite the prediction of experts that due to disruption of our main overseas labor market the remittance flow will decline, our remittances continued to grow at a high rate. In FY2020-2021, remittances have achieved a record growth of 36.1 percent, which has strengthened the foundation of the country’s economy during the crisis. The cash incentives provided by our government against expatriate income have been an important catalyst for this success. Although the remittance income declined slightly from July-May of FY2021-2022 as compared to the same period of the previous fiscal year, we hope that the remittance income will return to normal during the rest of the year. The foreign exchange reserve rose to a record US$ 48.02 billion in August 2021 and is now at. US$ 42.11 billion (June 1, 2022). From these data, it is evident that the economy of Bangladesh is moving towards definite progress despite the adverse impact of pandemic shocks.

33. Another important factor behind the rapid economic recovery from the COVID pandemic is the successful implementation of vaccination programmes. Commercial production of the COVID-19 vaccine began in the world in early 2021. The Hon’ble Prime Minister announced that the government will bring all the citizens of the country under the free COVID-19 vaccine coverage as soon as possible whatever the cost may be. Despite various challenges in the global supply of vaccines, we have been able to procure the required vaccines from various alternative sources as per the 

socio-economic activities have returned to normal. As I announced in the last budget, we have been able to ensure the safety of life and livelihood of the communities at large.

35. Bangladesh’s success in its economic recovery despite the impact of the pandemic has also been lauded by many other quarters at the global level. According to the World Bank, "Bangladesh economy shows resilience amid uncertainty." The World Bank also said, "Bangladesh has made a strong economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic."According to The Wall Street Journal, "Bangladesh is becoming an economic powerhouse of South Asia."The Wall Street Journal compares Bangladesh’s success to those of South Korea, China, and Vietnam. The Hindustan Times writes, "Bangladesh: From a ‘basket case’ to a robust economy."US President Joe Biden recently wrote in a letter to the Prime Minister, "The drive, resourcefulness, and innovation of Bangladeshis – rebuilding after the 1971 war and now forging a path of economic growth and development – serve as a model for the rest of the world."

36. It is quite apparent from the positive signs in the economy that through the effective and timely implementation of the economic recovery programmes, including the creation of jobs and job security, creating domestic demand and running successfully the COVID-19 vaccination programme announced by the Hon’ble Prime Minister, the government has been able to successfully overcome the economic impact of the second and third wave of Covid pandemic. The government believes that "the bigger the challenge, the greater the opportunity for growth." Under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh is moving ahead at a consistent pace by turning all the challenges into opportunities.