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2024 - New Year, New Pledge, New Hope

SM Salahuddin, Senior Output Editor |
Update: 2024-01-01 19:20:35
2024 - New Year, New Pledge, New Hope

The nation welcomes the year 2024 with a new pledge to advance the country on a higher growth track as it experienced remarkable infrastructure development apart from political and economic instabilities in the previous year.

2023 was perhaps the best year for the country since several major projects were completed.

September 2023 saw the inauguration of the long-anticipated Dhaka Elevated Expressway, providing an alternative route to and from the bustling airport road in the capital city. Additionally, a game-changer unfolded with the unveiling of the 82-kilometre rail line from Dhaka to Bhanga via the Padma Bridge, ushering in a new era of affordable rail connectivity in the southwestern region.

In October, the country celebrated the inauguration of its first tunnel, named after the revered Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, constructed under the Karnaphuli River. Furthermore, the newly opened terminal at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and the Cox's Bazar rail station are poised to accelerate connectivity and contribute to the nation's infrastructure prowess.

While these milestones promise a much-needed boost to the economy, they stand in stark contrast to the growing fractures within it. The economic landscape is marred by surging inflation, dwindling foreign currency reserves, a depreciating taka, sluggish exports, remittance inflows falling short of expectations, and troubles plaguing the banking sector. These combined factors have culminated in a severe crisis for the economy.

The low-income groups grappled with the harsh reality of making ends meet amid higher inflation and sluggish wage growth, leading to a decline in their quality of life. 

Additionally, the price of gold in Bangladesh hit a record high on December 23 as the Bangladesh Jewellers' Association increased it by Tk 1,750 to Tk 1,11,041 per bhori (11.664 grams) due to a spike in the international market.

The economic challenges were exacerbated by political uncertainty, intensifying public frustration. Tensions between the ruling Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party reached a zenith, culminating in a tumultuous January election marked by violence and allegations of rigging.

As the nation ushers in 2024, the preparation for the 12th Jatiya Sangsad (JS) elections scheduled for January 7 adds a new dimension to the New Year celebration. Political candidates from various parties engage in festive programs, encouraging citizens to exercise their voting rights.

Despite global unrest due to events like the Russia-Ukraine and Gaza wars, the entire nation anticipates economic and political stability in 2024. The collective hope is to harness the prospects for a better future, transcending the challenges of the past year and steering the country towards growth and prosperity.

BDST: 1920 HRS, JAN 01, 2024

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