Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury today sharply criticized finance minister AMA Muhith for proposing to cut the interest rate on all saving certificates in the proposed budget for 2015-16 fiscal.
She argued that the proposal for cutting the interest rate by at least two percent on all saving certificates will directly affect the middle, lower middle-class, elderly people, women, freedom fighters, teachers and different other employees.
The minister passed his comment while participating at the budget discussions in Parliament.
“Besides, tax at source has been imposed on interest from the saving certificates, which is another major blow to millions of families across the country as their income will decline sharply,” she observed amid clapping and thumping of desks by the treasury and opposition bench MPs.
The minister raised question on how the market economy will grow through slashing their incomes. “The consumption will not increase if they don’t have money in their hands,” added Matia.
Pointing that there are over 1.5 crore elderly people, which is ten percent of the country’s population, the senior minister told the House that the government should stand beside them as it is not possible for them to become businessmen at this age.
The minister went on to say, “If the elderly people go to invest the money through other people, they will get misleaded.”
She requested Muhith to reconsider the matter as there was nothing wrong to help those people. She also suggested enhancing the government’s drive against loan defaulters.
Matia also advised the government to take more loans from commercial banks as there is sufficient liquidity there.
The minister mentioned that if the government takes additional loan of Tk 3000 crore from the banks, the businessmen will face no problem. “The businessmen can take loan from abroad now as the central bank is giving its approval.”