December 12, 2008

Awami League Election Manifesto

Awami League unveiled today their election manifesto which looks promising. You can download the manifesto from here.

The salient features of the election promises include:

* Measures will be taken to reduce the unbearable burden of price hike and keep it in tune with the purchasing power of the people.
* Necessary steps would be taken for investment promotion, energy security, retaining and enhancing domestic demand, safeguarding value of money, assisting exports and continuing export of manpower.
* Strong measures will be taken against those having unearned and black money, against loan defaulters, tender manipulators, and users of muscle power in every stage of state and society.
* By 2011 electricity production will be increased to 5000 megawatt and by 2013 it will be further increased to 7000 megawatt.
* By 2013 poverty level and proportion of ultra-poor will be brought down to 25% and 15% respectively. At present there are 65 million poor people in the country. This number will be reduced to 45 million by 2013 and will further come down to 22 million in 2021.
* The number of unemployed people in the country, estimated at 28 million, will be reduced to 24 million by 2013 and will be further reduced to 15 million by 2021.
* Terrorism and religious extremism will be controlled with iron hand. Trial of war criminals will be arranged.
* The judgment of the Bangabandhu murder case will be made effective and the retrial of jail killings will be held. Trial of real criminals responsible for the grenade attack of the 21st August, 2004 through proper investigation will be arranged.
* Wealth statement and source of income of the Prime Minister, members of cabinet, Parliament members and of their family members will be made public every year.
* Parliament members will be allowed to express differing opinions.
* Use of religion and communalism in politics will be banned. Security and rights of religious and ethnic minorities will be ensured. Courtesy and tolerance will be inculcated in the political culture of the country. Militancy and extortion will be banned.
* Opportunities will be created for the expatriate Bangladeshis to take part in national reconstruction and their right to franchise will be ensured.
* Administration will be free from politicization and will be pro-people. Efficiency, seniority and merit will be the basis of appointment and promotion in public service. Administrative reform, right to information and e-governance will be introduced.
* Investigation and trial of assassination of all journalists will be made expeditiously and the real criminals will be given exemplary punishment. Persecution and intimidation of journalists will be stopped. All false cases against them will be withdrawn.
* Terrorism, discriminatory treatment and human rights violations against religious and ethnic minorities and indigenous people must come to an end permanently. Security of their life, wealth and honor will be guaranteed.
* In order to provide security to every citizen of the country, police and other law and order enforcing agencies will be kept above political influence. These forces will be modernized to meet the demands of the time. Necessary steps will be taken to increase their remuneration and other welfare facilities including accommodation.
* Ensure "food for all" by taking all possible measures and to make Bangladesh self-sufficient in food by 2013.
* Development of IT industry, strengthening of RMG and textile sectors and expansion of food processing, pharmaceuticals, leather, chemical products, toys, jewelry and furniture industries will be given priority. Special initiative will be taken for alternative use of jute and to make jute industry viable.
* Special steps will be taken to facilitate education, employment, movement and communication of the disabled and to enhance their social dignity.
* Child labor will be gradually abolished in all sectors.
* The arsenic problem will be tackled and measures will be taken to supply pure drinking water for all by 2011 and to provide sanitation facility in every house by 2013.
* Net enrollment at primary level will be increased to 100% by 2011 and by 2017 the country will be rid of the curse of illiteracy. Improvement in the quality of education, depoliticisation of educational institutions, and ensuring a higher salary scale for teachers will be ensured.
* IT education will be made compulsory at secondary level by 2013 and at primary level by 2021. The vision is to make Bangladesh digital in 2021.
* A South Asian Task Force will be formed for meeting the challenge of terrorism and militancy.

The proposed milestones are:

2010: 100 percent net student enrolment at primary level.
2011: Supply of pure drinking water for the entire population.
2012: Self-sufficiency in food.
2013: Each house brought under hygienic sanitation.
2013: Attain 8 percent annual growth rate; this will be increased to 10 percent in 2017 and sustained.

This looks like a solid vision. However even if Awami league wins the election these will be hard to implement without a proper democratic environment. Let us see what other parties have as its election manifesto under its belt. BNP is yet to unveil its election manifesto.

Photo: Mustafiz Mamun courtesy


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