Dhaka – Bangladesh’s largest opposition party outside parliament on Wednesday launched a roadmap for the country’s development if the party assumes power in next election scheduled in early 2019.
Khaleda Zia, chief of Bangladesh Nationalist Party, announced the plan styled ‘Vision 2030’ at a press conference in Dhaka with a pledge to balance the executive power of Prime Minister through legal reforms.
Khaleda, also a former prime minister, said the Prime Minister’s absolute authority to run the executive made the position a “dictator”.
She called all concerned, including the development partners, to implement her vision targeting Bangladesh a higher-middle-income country by 2030.
Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Khaleda’s arch political rival, announced a vision for 2021 coinciding Bangladesh’s 50th anniversary of liberation from Pakistan to graduate the country to a middle-income country. She also planned Bangladesh to be a prosperous country by 2041.
The BNP, which boycotted the previous general election in early 2014, remained out of parliament for the last three and half years and now plans for the next general election. The party says the ruling Awami League party has been trying to turn Bangladesh into a one-party rule.
“The BNP wants to return the ownership of Bangladesh to its people,” Khaleda told the press meet organized at Westin Hotel in Dhaka.
During her more than an hour speech, Khaleda made a number of pledges beginning from curbing corruption to mega infrastructure development.
She said her party will never compromise with corruption.
“In order to curb the spread of corruption, establishing rule of law, accountability and transparency shall be thoroughly implemented with procedural and legal reforms,” she said.
Khaleda pledged to form a position of an Ombudsman to ensure accountability.
She also promised to repeal all black laws, including the Special Powers Act of 1974 and the controversial article 57 of the ICT Act.
On the economic front, the former prime minister said Bangladesh will be a higher-middle income country by 2030 when per capita income in Bangladesh will be $5000.
The party, she said, will adopt measures to boost annual growth rate to a double digit by this time.
Khaleda also covered social safety, law and order, defence policy, fighting of terrorism and militancy, development in the sector of Information Communication Technology, Bangladesh’s connection to the Asian Highway.