Several MPs of ruling grand alliance yesterday slammed the government for corruption in the banking sector and said Bangladesh Bank had failed to supervise the banks.
During a general discussion at parliament on the proposed budget for 2019-20, Workers Party lawmaker Rashed Khan Menon said good governance would not be ensured if the corruption in banks persisted.
“They [Bangladesh Bank] could not manage their own money. People of the country did not find any accountability in their part,” he said.
Allowing new banks on political considerations and making banks a family business are real problems, he added.
The bank owners’ association is responsible for the deplorable condition the sector is in, he said.
“They even disobey the prime minister’s directives, saying that the banks’ interest rate cannot be fixed by [government] order.
“Looting, anarchy and indiscipline in the banking sector are not unknown to anyone.”
Menon then criticised the finance minister for not taking immediate measures to reform the banks. “Even the formation of a bank commission is subject to discussion.”
To meet the budget deficit, the government will borrow Tk 47,364 crore from banks, which will worsen the liquidity crisis, he said.
He then said that the finance minister had no control over the capital market and termed the allocation for the social safety net miniscule.
Referring to the proposed scope for whitening black money by investing in real estate, Menon said the prices of flats and lands would go beyond the reach of the middle class.
Menon then said, “People have lost their interest in casting their votes. This is dangerous not only for the electoral process, but also for democracy.”
If the state machinery tries to control the elections then political parties lose their relevance in the election.
JSD General Secretary MP Shirin Akhter said that criminalisation of economy, politics and decreasing employment generation were the real challenges facing the country.
She also proposed giving recognition to women’s unpaid work of women and forming a commission to ensure fair price in agriculture sector.
Workers Party lawmaker Mustafa Lutfullah termed the scope for whitening undisclosed money “graft friendly, unconstitutional, immoral, and discriminatory”.
He said, “The government has surrendered to corruption.”
BNP lawmaker Rumeen Farhana pointed out that a regular taxpayer would end up paying more in taxes than someone whitening black money.
She said the proposed budget had not shown any sensitivity towards the farmers.
BNP lawmaker Zahidur Rahman said the budget would protect black money holders.
Planning Minister MA Mannan said the budget was a realistic one.
Ruling party MP major (retd) Rafiqul Islam said that allocation for health sector should increase.