Bangladeshi Economy in critical condition: Khaleda

Posted on December 2, 2011

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Slams govt for inefficiency, graft

Projecting a bleak picture of the country’s economy, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday blamed inefficiency, corruption and mismanagement of the government for the situation.

“The economy is in deep crisis. An anarchic situation has been created in the macro-economic management but there is no visible initiative to overcome this situation,” she said and warned that the government would have to bear all responsibility for this situation.

Addressing a press conference at her Gulshan office, Khaleda also urged people to be united in the face of such crises to free the country of those who were bleeding the national economy white.

She, however, did not answer questions from reporters. Senior BNP leaders, including its acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, were present.

Khaleda said the government was maintaining a ‘scorched-earth policy’ regarding the economy to make its foreign masters happy.

“The government has borrowed about Tk 19,000 crore from banks till November this year while foreign currencies are being siphoned off through over-voicing. On the whole, the government is pushing the country towards bankruptcy.”

The BNP chief said the inflation rate reached 11.97 percent in September because of the government’s utter mismanagement and inefficiency.

Khaleda slammed the government for giving priority to mega projects and the “surprising absence” of its activities in the development of the rural economy.

“Concern over the economy is spreading… It has severely been damaged owing to giving away huge subsidies to the power and energy sector to overcome the crises.”

Khaleda reiterated her claim that the government had failed to tackle the sliding share market, adding, “before forcing banks and financial institutions to invest in the stock market, the present unstable situation has to be taken into consideration”.

All sorts of investment have come to a standstill. Employment opportunities and people’s income are not increasing as private investment has received a huge setback, she said.

“The situation is so bad that there is no foreign direct investment in the country due to political instability, non-coordination in the government policies and lack of trust on the government,” she added.

Khaleda alleged that unbridled corruption was taking place in the government’s purchasing process to set up new power plants.

Rules were breached in awarding inexperienced entrepreneurs of the party the work to set up rental and quick rental power plants, she claimed. As a result, the national grid is not getting electricity as expected and the gap between demand and supply is not gone yet.

“The hike in prices of all kinds of fuel oils by Tk 5 per litre has aggravated further people’s sufferings. The spending for oil imports and losses are increasing every year due to mismanagement and lack of farsightedness policies.”

She said industrial growth has “almost stopped” as the government has stopped providing new connections for gas and electricity in the residential-, commercial- and industries-levels for a long time. For the same reason, instability is prevailing in the real estate sector.

The former premier held the government’s inefficiency and genuflecting foreign policy for the loss of labour markets and India’s taking steps to build the Tipaimukh dam by keeping Bangladesh in the dark.

Khaleda said she recently wrote to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing concern over the dam project and calling for a joint survey by experts on its possible adverse impacts.

She, however, did not make public the response from Manmohan, which came a few days ago, saying that details of the letter would be publicised later through a press conference.

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Posted in: Bangladesh