‘People consider budget as worst one’: Ershad

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Dhaka, June 28: Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad on Wednesday said people consider the budget for the next fiscal year as the worst one although the Finance Minister thinks it is the best.

“This might be the best budget to him (Muhith), but this is the worst budget to people,” he said taking part in the budget discussion in Parliament. Ershad, the former autocratic ruler, said businessmen, FBCCI, BGMEA, BKMEA and all research organisations have described the budget as ‘intolerable’.

“Rickshaw-pullers, wheelbarrow-pullers, day-labourers and small traders are in great anxiety following the placing of the budget. “To them, this is the budget of darkness… they are not getting any ray of light,” he said. About Tk 112,275-crore budget deficit, the Jatiya Party chief said Finance Minister AMA Muhith will not be able to bridge the deficit. “He gave the budget proposals standing on an unrealistic base.”

Talking about Muhith’s claim of 7.4 percent GDP growth, he said Tk 66,000 crore will be needed as private investment while Tk 50,000 crore in the public sector to achieve the target.

“But the budget didn’t elaborate on the investment,” he said. Ershad said the GDP growth is not the only scale to measure the economic development. “Share market and money market are the main sources of economy. But both are in very shaky condition,” he said.

Claiming that the banking sector is affected by cancer, he said, “Looting is going in all the banks… thousands of crores of Taka are being embezzled from the banks in the name of loan while money is being siphoned out of the country. But, he (Finance Minister) didn’t say anything in this regard.”

Describing the heist of Bangladesh Bank money from the US Federal Bank as a rare incident, the JaPa chairman said although the names of many surfaced during investigation, those were not disclosed.

“We couldn’t even know their names although they’re living in this society. They’re out of touch. There’s nothing regretful than this,” He questioned the good governance in the country, saying, “Or else, this type of incident would not have happened. Disclose the names, identify the culprits.”

Mentioning that the share market shows the vibrancy of the economy, Ershad said, “Unfortunately, it has become a centre of looting. The government can’t take any effective steps to make the market vibrant after its debacle in 2010,” he said.

He said the government did not take any punitive measures against the culprits behind the share market debacle. “We say justice delayed, justice denied. But I’ll say here justice was betrayed.”

The JaPa chief also talked about the education and health care sectors, saying both are in a very much deplorable condition. “We can’t trust doctors. They give unnecessary pathological tests just for taking commission,” he said.

Source: UNB

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