Saturday, 10 December, 2022
E-paper

Shun street violence, come for negotiations: Planning Minister to political parties

Planning Minister MA Mannan has urged the political parties to come to the negotiating table to resolve the political issues without resorting to violence on the streets.

“I admit there is certainly uncertainty. This is not a matter to conceal”, he said adding that, use of sticks will not bring down the inflation or price hike.

“You have to come to a negotiating table. No one would benefit from a storm when it hits”, he said at an event at a city hotel where the World Bank released a new report titled: Bangladesh: Country Economic Memorandum-Change of Fabric”. 

Dandan Chen, acting country director of the World Bank for Bangladesh and Bhutan, made opening remarks at the function while its senior economist Nora Dihel, and lead economist consultant Zahid Hossain made two separate presentations on the issue.

Professor Selim Raihan, executive director of SANEM, Sonia Bashir Kabir, founder of SBK Tech Ventures and SBK Foundation took part in the panel discussion at the event. 

Responding to a question on economic reforms, the planning minister said it is a big failure that reforms could not be implemented in the banking and financial sectors.

There are some historical facts behind it, he said, adding that reforms will definitely take place, but might not be in an intensified manner.

Responding to a question on currency swap and allowing Bangladeshi traders to use Chinese currency Yuan for trade, he said currency swap will take place under a barter system.

There should not be any limit to it and as usually it will take place”, he noted.

The World Bank report focused on structural improvement to sustain high growth, boosting trade competitiveness and establishing digital connectivity and improvement of communication infrastructures for connecting rural areas with urban cities.

Dr Zahid Hossain said there are three major areas which should be focused to achieve the target to become a middle-income country and then a developed country by 2041.

“These are diversifications of export, reforms in financial sector and improvement in the efficiency of urban human resources”, he said adding, use of digital technology and threat of climate change will have to be taken into consideration in this regard.  

Nora Dihel said greater Dhaka generates one-fifth of the country’s GDP and almost half of its formal employment.

The already congested capital needs to be prepared to accommodate climate migrants, he added.

Dr Selim Raihan said less focus is being given on improvement of health, education and social sector.

“But unless our human resources are developed, we cannot take full advantage of the opportunities to be created with the digital technologies”, he said.

Sonia Bashir said though the percentage of the country’s total non-performing loans (NLP) is less than five among the women borrowers, they are not getting credit from the banks for their investment in business.