AMA Muhith: A person who wore many hats

AMA Muhith

Former Finance Minister AMA Muhith, who placed the national budget for the highest number of times in the history of Bangladesh, began his career in 1956 as a civil servant. 

He placed the national budget 10 times during the Awami League's tenures and two during military dictator HM Ershad's rule.

Born on January 25 in 1934 in Sylhet, Muhith played many roles in his life apart from being a finance minister. He was an economist, diplomat, freedom fighter, language movement veteran, writer and a historian.

He held important positions in the public service and was the first diplomat of the Washington embassy of Pakistan. Muhith transferred his allegiance to Bangladesh during the liberation war.

He played a vital role in drumming up the world's support to Bangladesh. Muhith was conferred with Swadhinata Puroskar, the highest civilian award in Bangladesh, in 2016 for his contribution to the liberation war.

After Bangladesh's victory in 1971, he worked as a secretary of the planning ministry and the Economic Relations Division under the finance ministry.

He took early retirement in 1981 and worked with different international organisations as a consultant.

He performed duties as a finance and planning minister from March 1982 to December 1983. A pioneer in environment movement, Muhith was the founder president of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) established in 2000.

Muhith along with others also founded a political party Gano Forum in the early 1990s. Later he joined Awami League in 2001.

He was elected a member of parliament in 2009 and 2014 from his home constituency in Sylhet. He was made finance minister in 2009 and in 2014 during Awami League government's tenure.

He was in charge of the finance ministry until the end of 2018.

During Muhith's tenure as finance minister, the country witnessed a significant increase of budget size, steady economic growth and inflation in control. 

He was one of the men behind Bangladesh taking mega projects and making a significant stride towards becoming a lower middle-income country.

"The country is doing better, a lot of work is being done and as a result, development is taking place," Muhith had earlier said in an interview with The Daily Star.

He authored nearly 30 books on different subjects, including liberation war, economic development, history and public administration.