Good governance and social justice are the prerequisites for quality education and standard healthcare facilities, which can add an impetus to the country's mainstream development activities.
Economist Wahiduddin Mahmood made the observation at a discussion on 'A shared vision of faster sustainable growth, social justice and good governance', organised by Bangladesh First-Bangladesh 2025, a newly-established research organisation, in the city Monday.
Chaired by Dr Kamal Hossain, the discussion meeting was also addressed by former chief justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman, former commerce minister Amir Khasru Mahmood Chowdhury, former president of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) Yusuf Abdullah Haurn, Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil and Dr Reza Kibria.
"Depending on the pervasive public awareness, Bangladesh has achieved remarkable success in reducing the child mortality rate (which stands at 51 in every 1000) as well as enrolment of girl students, but for further improvement in these sectors the country must lay emphasis on quality education and standardisation of healthcare," Wahiduddin said.
Mentioning the tremendous success in the country's apparel sector and the potential of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs), Mahmood said without technical know-how and sound knowledge, which can be acquired only through quality education, further improvement in these sectors will be faced with various hurdles.
He also said without ensuring congenial atmosphere and proper economic policies the dream of achieving sustainable economic growth will remain a mirage. Concerted efforts of both the government and the private sector are needed to achieve it.
"Even in a democratic system there may remain institutional weaknesses, especially in governance, but politicians should respect the institutions such as university, Supreme Court and tax commission," added Mahmood.
Terming the current trend of democratic system in Bangladesh feudalistic, Habibur Rahman said elected representatives are playing hide-and-seek with the people as they do not pay income tax, telephone bill and they walk out of parliament without discussing the issues of national interest.
He lambasted the procrastination in separation of the judiciary from the executive body, saying that the separation in question would expedite institutionalisation of democracy, establishment of the rule of law and protection of fundamental rights of the people.
Amir Khasru Mahmood Chowdhury underscored the need for development of human resource as well as infrastructures to reap more benefit from the rapidly-integrated markets in the globalised world.
"We should overcome the political confrontation and any type of vandalism and destructive politics, rather we should concentrate on trade-related activities, which will help achieve economic emancipation," said Chowdhury.
Human resources should be developed, which will play an indispensable role in achieving economic emancipation, added the former commerce minister.
Jalil said to halve the number of the hardcore poor by 2015, the country must earn 10 per cent economic growth and within the next 40 years the country must achieve the zero growth rate of population.
On the other hand, Yusuf Abdullah Harun suggested private-public initiatives for accelerating the pace of development as it is not possible for the government alone to do all the things.