A new beginning
Mahmudur Rahman writes for DOT :
The replacement of thirty-six former Ministers is the biggest signal yet that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina means hard business in her third time consecutive running as Prime Minister. A full party cabinet with just two technocrat ministers suggests that she will stamp down on all the niggles of her previous government that were more than embarrassments. Thus ends, at least for now the bonhomie with the other parties of the Grand Alliance significantly in Jatiya Party solidly positioned as the opposition and the others left out. The door is still open in that an expansion of the cabinet isn’t totally off the cards but one senses that will be political accommodation more than anything else.
The government will be eager to crown the fiftieth anniversary of liberation with solid achievements and the appointments to Finance, Education, Planning have all been placed in trusted hands. The veterans that have lost out have been asked to focus on building the party further but this too does not rule out possible returns as and when necessary. The Foreign Minister will have his hands full in dealing with the Rohingya crisis, one that refuses to gain elevation to the international platform. The Finance Minister is, if early rumours are to be acknowledged interested in streamlining taxation and his plate is full with massive banking scams yet to be tackled. Expatriate Labour alternatives to traditional destinations needs new thinking that is expected of the new Minister and Shipping and Water Resources needs new and forceful focus.
The tried and trusted Bridges and Home Ministries Remain under the same helmsmanship and Sports gets a fresh lease of life in the previous Standing Committee Chairman stepping in to the role.
The challenges are there in terms of regional connectivity as well as internal connectivity. There’s significant work ahead in science, technology and ICT -again two ministries that have undisturbed leadership.
For many it will be learning periods and obviously mistakes will be made. How soon they can get their feet under the table and re-tyre the mistakes is to be seen. There has been a clear attempt to separate the party from the government, with the former custodianship extending beyond the Secretary General Obaidul Kader. Discipline and order is required in the rank and file and the senior leaders are best placed to bring about the changes required.
An overhaul is required in education and safe roads. The first to adapt from simple education to targeted knowledge that is now demanded including removing the menace of the ‘coaching’ era. The second is bringing back discipline to both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. With the majority that it enjoys the government can take hard decisions early on so as to smoothen the road ahead. Without these decisions the new-look government might have to give way to the old guard and old ideas.
Mahmudur Rhman is an Author,columnist,communications specialist