Muhith rejects UNFPA population report
Outright rejecting the UNFPA's recent population report, Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said his ministry would write a letter to the UN organisation, asking further clarification.
"It seems sitting at their desks in New York the honourable clerks have prepared the report. So, they have to give a statement," Muhith told reporters after a meeting with the agencies concerned at the ministry.
He said according to the government statistics, the country's population is now 14.60 crore.
UNFPA on Thursday in its "State of the World Population 2010" report revealed that the population of Bangladesh is now 16.44 crore.
Muhith said National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT) conducts survey on regular basis and the government gives a projection on population based on the survey. Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), agriculture ministry and food ministry also prepare population report through their own arrangements.
The finance minister said UNFPA did not contact any of these government agencies. No government agency knows whether the UNFPA has any field staff. So, naturally the question arises on what basis it published the report.
Replying to queries, the finance minister said, "Of course we reject this report. I will now talk to my colleagues and write a letter to UNFPA. In the letter I will tell the UN agency that their action is condemnable and we do not accept it."
He said the country's population census would be held next year. A preliminary report can be published within three months. He hoped that in the next budget the government would be able to make population projection on the basis of new census outcome.
The finance minister also disagreed with the UNFPA's other projections including that on population growth in future.
The UNFPA report also predicted that country's population would be 22.25 crore by 2050.