Editor's Note

We have very consciously chosen to call our 19th anniversary supplement "The Testing Year". For any elected government of five-year term the first two are the most crucial. It is in these two years that a government put its stamp of what it may and can do. Beyond it the tenure of the government is more and more devoted to its re-election concerns and anxieties.

Sheikh Hasina's government has already spent its first year mainly setting its policy priorities and laying the groundwork for some of its major initiatives in infrastructure, energy and related fields including a radical shift in regional co-operation. The stage is now set for its crucial second year performance which will really determine the success or otherwise of this government.

In our supplement we have attempted to spell out, in some detail, the challenges before the government with some suggestions as to how it should move forward. After two years of caretaker government, which essentially focused on a free and fair election, we are now ready for the economic leap forward for which, we think, the country is now ready.

Our special focus has been in the area of politics and governance. Regrettably we do not see any shift from its previous narrow, partisan and confrontational nature that so vitiated our prospect for growth in the past. The parliament remains ineffective, first by opposition boycott and later by so-called debates that contained more mutual abuses than any debate of any substance.

The economy performed reasonably well despite the global meltdown. However huge challenges remain if we are to move towards higher GDP growth. The supplement focuses on specific areas of concern and suggests definite plan of action in some crucial areas. Climate change and its impact remain our big concern and, as before, we have spent considerable time, energy and space to discuss its impact on Bangladesh.

Our final section deals with policies and institutions. Here we highlight the need of this government to build institutions without which no sustainable development is possible. Again we notice serious lack of progress. In fact whatever progress that were made in some rare cases and now being set aside, the most disturbing example being the ACC.

In spite of the above there are clear signs of progress. People are now more aware of their rights and capabilities than ever before. They are also more confident and competent.

We hope our readers will find our supplement thought-provoking and intellectually rewarding.

We take this opportunity to thank our readers, patrons and advertisers for their generous and continued support that has brought into being by far the largest circulation English daily in the country. We remain ever grateful for all your support.

Editor & Publisher




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