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 Home > Election 2001

 
 

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Bangladesh Nationalist Party

 

 

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia announced her party’s 32-pt election manifesto on September 7.

 

Highlights of BNP manifesto

  1. A 500-strong parliament and increased reserved seats for women 

  2. Three new ministries for freedom fighters, expatriates, and garments

  3. Special court in every district for speedy trial of criminals 

  4. Independent Anti-Corruption Commission with neutral persons 

  5. Disclosure of wealth of PM, ministers, MPs and others 

  6. Separation of the judiciary from the executive

  7. No anti-Islamic law and close ties with Muslim countries

  8. Autonomy of state-run radio and television 

  9. State patronisation for making local industries profitable 

  10. Permanent Pay Commission 

  11. Changes in the Ganges water-sharing treaty and fresh solution to CHT crisis 

  12. Zila Parishad, Upazila Parishad and Gram Sarkar

  13. Internet village with skilled IT experts

  14. Nationalisation of all non-government primary schools

 

To eliminate corruption, an Ombudsman will be appointed "in the shortest possible time", the Anti-Corruption Bureau will be recast and a "constitutional, independent and autonomous Anti-Corruption Commission" will be set up. Besides government officials, the commission will also include other people.

 

"The Commission would not be under the Prime Minister's Office or any other controlling authority. It would be completely independent," she added.

 

She said assets and property of all people's representatives, the prime minister, ministers and others of equal rank and status will be made public.

 

Women and Parliament

 

The BNP Chairperson said the number of seats in parliament will be raised to 500. Women's seats will also be increased and they will be directly elected.

 

It has become necessary to increase parliament seats due to increase in population.

 

Replying to a question in this regard, she said BNP and other component parties of the four-party alliance would be able to amend the Constitution to increase parliament seats.

 

"We are hopeful of getting two-thirds majority in parliament. If we do not get absolute majority, we will seek opposition's support and I hope they will support the initiative in the interest of democracy".

 

About the number of women's seats in a 500-member parliament, she said it might be 64 for all the 64 districts. "But we have kept the option open because we want to finalise it through discussion."

 

Electricity

 

The BNP Chairperson said if voted to power, her party would take up an "Electricity for All" programme, expand activities of Rural Electrification Board to bring more rural areas under power supply and reduce system loss in urban areas by improving management in the sector.

 

Exemption of religious institutions from electricity charges will continue.

 

Judiciary and Administration

 

She said Awami League in its last five years' rule politicised the administration and undermined the judiciary.

 

"We will separate the judiciary from the executive and ensure independence of the judiciary. No law contrary to Islam would be formulated."

 

Appointment, promotion and posting will be on the basis of merit, skill and experience.

 

Media

 

She said the state-controlled Radio and Television will be given "real autonomy" and "responsible" Radio, TV and newspaper in the private sector will be encouraged.

 

Job Creation

 

The private sector will be treated as the main driving force for development and protection will be given to domestic industries, she said. Training facilities for unemployed youths will be increased and steps will be taken to send more people abroad.

 

Appeals of government employees victimised during Awami League rule will be considered.

 

Permanent Pay Commission

 

A permanent pay commission for government employees will be constituted so that their salaries and allowances can be re-fixed automatically with increase in cost of living. National minimum wages will be fixed.

 

Formation of New Ministries

 

Khaleda Zia said a separate ministry will be set up for welfare of freedom fighters and their families. More freedom fighters will be involved in nation building activities and steps will be taken to enhance their social dignity, she said.

 

A ministry will be created for growth of the readymade garments sector. A separate division or a ministry will be set up for expatriate Bangladeshis, she pledged.

 

Besides steps for rapid industralisation, more export processing zones will be set up in different parts of the country to attract foreign investment.

 

"Our main target is self-reliance and economic emancipation of the people. We will not take any foreign loan which goes against national interest"

 

Education, IT and Telecom sectors

 

She said if elected, her party would give top priority to development of IT sector. Initiative would be taken to take Bangladesh on the 'information highway' and an Internet Village would be set up for building skilled IT workforce.

 

The education sector will get the highest budgetary allocation. All non-government primary schools will be nationalised and government contribution to salaries of teachers and employees of private high schools, colleges and madsassahs will be increased to 100 per cent.

 

Defence and Foreign Policy

 

Defence forces would be modernised and equipped to cope with the geo-political reality.

 

"We will build good relation with all countries on the basis of sovereignty and by following nonaligned foreign policy. We will try to build friendly relations with all countries of this region, especially with our close neighbours, and further strengthen relations with Muslim countries," she said.

 

Khaleda Zia said initiatives will be taken to resolve border problems, realise legitimate share of waters of all international rivers and to stop smuggling and cross-border terrorism through dialogue.

 

Initiative will be taken for necessary amendments to the Ganges Water Sharing Treaty, signed by the Awami League government.

 

"We will not allow any country to use Bangladesh's land, water, sea and air space for military purposes".

 

She said the CHT accord signed by AL government has totally failed to bring peace and stability in the hill tracts. All out efforts will be made to resolve the CHT problem within the framework of the Constitution through dialogue.

 

Local Government

 

Khaleda Zia said Zila and Upazila parishads will be strengthened and Gram Sarkar will be re-introduced to accelerate development.

 

Gas sector

 

About gas sector, the BNP Chairperson said her party, if elected, will give top priority to national interest. Supply of gas across the country and setting up of gas- based industries would be ensured.

 

Replying to a question, she said export of gas would be considered after meeting domestic demand and setting up gas based industries. "If export of gas becomes necessary, we will discuss with all and transparency would be maintained."


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