Mannan warns against ‘digital corruption’

Staff Correspondent

17 February, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Everyone should remain vigilant about “digital corruption”, as corrupt people have now become skilled in using technology, Planning Minister MA Mannan said on Saturday.

“All have to be aware of digital corruption. Everyone has to keep a close eye on this issue because those who are engaged in grafts or misdeeds are also getting smart in the use of technology,” he said.

The minister was addressing a daylong summit on financial inclusion organised by University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) at a city hotel.

Mannan said digital corruption not only takes place in Bangladesh but also in other countries frequently. But Bangladesh suffers most, as it is an impoverished nation, he said.

“We have to bear the brunt in such incidents. We lose everything when such acts of stealing take place because we’re a poor nation,” he said.

He observed that in the context of start of industrialization and a rise in use of technology and education rates even in rural areas, people usually tend to move to cities, which is widening a gap.

Calling for bringing about a change in youth’s mindset, he said: “Many young people prefer to remain unemployed rather than go to rural areas for jobs.”

They do not tend to join their workplaces in rural areas, he said, adding that they want to confine themselves to traditional desk jobs, which does not yield any results.

One has to work as per his competency or capabilities, said the planning minister.

In order to engage people in mainstream economic activities, the government has been providing different allowances and digital money transfer facilities so that the flow of money increases in rural areas, he said.

The minister called for expanding financial inclusion and utilizing innovative ideas with regard to this. 

Financial inclusion director of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a US based research and policy organization, Rebecca Rouse was the special guest at the event.

Managing Director APMEA of Fern Software, a global banking software company, Debbie Watkins presented a keynote paper at the summit.

CEO of bKash Kamal S Quadir, special advisor to ULAB trustee board Prof Imran Rahman and the university’s director Sajid Amit, among others, spoke. 

Speaking on the occasion, bKash CEO said the mobile banking facility is a major tool of financial inclusion in the country. He said it has two dimensions — one the one hand it is promoting financial inclusion of non-bankable people while at the same time these people are helping industrialists get bank loans on the other.

In his speech, Prof Imran Rahman raised the issue of fear among common people regarding digital money transfer system like credit cards and other facilities. He suggested raising awareness among central bank officials and other regulating bodies.

Sajid Amit, however, thinks that apart from expanding financial inclusion, mobile banking and agent banking systems help lower common people’s fear about technology.  

Banking products should now reach these people through digital banking facilities for the sake of enhancing savings to increase investment as well as jobs in the country, he suggested.