‘Politics now synonymous with business’

Staff Correspondent

14 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

Executive Director of Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Dr Iftekharuzzaman has said politics has now merged with business, which is the main obstacle to the country’s development.

In a video message sent to the media on Sunday, he also called upon politicians to take responsibility of bringing about a change to this situation for the country’s betterment 

“In our first parliament after independence, the number of public representatives, whose main occupation was business, was 17.5 percent but now it has become 62 after a long process,” Dr Iftekharuzzaman said.

After a changed political scenario following 1975, the merging of politics and business has been institutionalised with the patronisation of military rulers and autocratic administrators.

Politics and business have now become identical not only at the national level but also in all the political space and both politics and business have been criminalised, he alleged.

“Any person, including a businessman, can enter politics. It is their basic right, but it becomes a problem when politics is used as a tool for multiplying own wealth and this tendency drives political entry,” he said.

As a result, politics doesn’t not control business, society, good governance now; rather business and business interests control them, Dr Iftekharuzzaman added.

“There is no difference between public and personal interests among those who have contributed to the merging of the country’s politics and business,” he said.

This trend has reflection in piling up huge resources by politicians, their involvement in drug trading and human trafficking and money laundering, he pointed out.

The state mechanism has become hostage in the hands of such businessmen-turned politicians-- be it banking or financial sector, apparel sector or road transport sector.

The central bank itself does not prepare banking policies now; rather loan defaulters, frauds and money launders determine that.

Similarly, RMG owners determine workers’ interest for the industry, while transport owners dictate whether or when transport law will be enforced or not.

“Nothing can be worse than this when it comes to the country’s development and democracy,” he said.

The TIB executive director also said that politicians have to take the responsibility of reversing the situation as they have created the scope for making this “Frankenstein.”