Update February 9, 2015

Dhaka 8-35 am, 26-September, 2020

Economy at risk : Muhith

Sumel Sarker

Finance Minister AMA Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith

09 February 2015, Nirapad News: The Finance Minister says the BNP-led 20-Party alliance though has no public support, it is affecting Bangladesh’s economy.

AMA Muhith says these violent programs will impede the government from attaining its targeted GDP growth rate in this fiscal year.

He shared his thoughts while presenting a report on the country’s socio-economic development and current macroeconomic situation at a press briefing on Saturday.

“The blockade and shutdowns are seriously harming the country’s economy. The amount of losses is increasing every day. This is not politics, this is terrorism. Khaleda Zia is doing this to thwart Bangladesh’s development.”

“Not a single person supports her or her terrorist activities. Her programmes are like deflated balloons.”

Muhith said the violence was impacting the government’s economic management. “We are now uncertain about reaching the targets we had set in the budget (for 2014-15 financial year).”

“We projected 7.3 percent GDP growth. Maybe we would have achieved 7.2 percent, but now it seems it will be lower than that”.

He also said the shutdown and blockade were mostly affecting the districts outside capital Dhaka. The government would take all necessary actions to normalize the economy at these districts, spending more money than the allotted sum by deploying extra police and BGB personnel to maintain peace.

But the total amount of the additional allocations was yet to be tallied.

Asked about the extent of losses in the violence since Jan 5, the minister said, “We haven’t calculated that yet. But we are keeping a watch. A coordination council meeting will take place in March.”

Asked for his opinion on when the turmoil would end, a visibly irritated Muhith retorted, “Nobody knows.”

“Do you (journalists) know that? In January I was hopeful that the situation will be under control within a week.”

BNP chief Khaleda Zia, who had called the nationwide nonstop blockade on Jan 5, wanted to thwart the country’s progress, said the minister. “Her only goal is to retard the progress we have made in the past five or six years.”

“We have achieved over 6 percent GDP growth rate overcoming many obstructions. She can try as much she wants, but Bangladesh’s people will continue the economic progress defying everything,” he said.

He also urged the people to resist the ‘terrorism that is going on in the name of movement’.

The finance minister at the media call at the Secretariat also highlighted the developments made in the past five years in economic and social sectors.

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