Finance Minister AMA Muhith has said business operation is being disrupted in most districts outside Dhaka because of the political programmes of the BNP-led alliance that have been going on for over a month.
The minister made the statement while addressing in a press conference on releasing a comparative report on economic indicators between the periods of 2001-2005 and 2009-2014 at his ministry office yesterday.
He said economic activities at the district levels should be kept out of the purview of the political programmes for the sake of the country’s economic health.
“There is no disruption in the lives and business activities in Dhaka in the blockade,” he claimed.
He also said that the government will do an official assessment of losses in March.
When asked when the turmoil was going to come to an end, the minister refrained from saying anything. However, two weeks ago, he announced that the situation would be brought to normalcy in seven days.
“The situation in the districts outside Dhaka is very serious. So, our job is to bring the situation outside Dhaka to normalcy” he said yesterday.
Expressed doubts about achieving the projected 7.3% GDP growth for this fiscal year if the political programmes continued, he said the BNP and its allies are the enemies of Bangladesh and that their chief Khaleda Zia wants to bar the development in the country.
The former bureaucrat said there has been sharp decline in the foreign assistance to GDP ratio because of the political turmoil. Over the last couple of years, the country’s per capita income doubled and food production has been raised to 38.1 million tonnes.
In 2005-06 fiscal year, per capita income was $506. In FY2013-14, it rose to $11,000.
In reply to a query, he said: “I do not want to talk about the country’s industrial sector because Begum Khaleda Zia does not to want to see the country achieve the maximum GDP growth.”
He also said that there has been a real revolution in the information and communication technology sector in the country.
So far, more than 60 people have died and scores injured in different parts of the country in violence, mostly involving arson on vehicles on the highways by supporters of the blockade and hartal.
The BNP-led 20-party alliance has been enforcing a non-stop blockade since January 5 in protest against the “confinement” of their chief Khaleda Zia.
She had been kept confined to her Gulshan party office since January 3 ahead of a party rally marking “Democracy Killing Day.”
On January 12, the security around her office was relaxed but Khaleda never came out; instead she said in a press conference that she was going to stay there and the blockade would continue unless the government took the first steps towards solution.
Source: New Age