All prospects will be fulfilled if AL govt continues: Muhith

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith. File photo

Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith today expressed his farm belief that all projections including growth would be fulfilled if the present Awami League government continues.

He, however, apprehended the growth will come down and there will be no prosperity if Khaleda Zia’s party takes power in future.

“In the coming year, growth will not be affected by election at all. But, it will depend on who will form the government after election. If it is Khaleda Zia (BNP), then you can be rest assured that the growth will be coming down and down and you also would have no chance of gaining prosperity under her party,” Muhith said.

He also said Khaleda Zia does not know what is prosperity, adding “If the present government continues, then all the projections including growth will be fulfilled,”

The finance minister said this while briefing reporters about the outcomes of his meeting with the Deputy Managing Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mitsuhiro Furusawa at the Hotel Westin in Bali.

Mentioning that there was no discussion about the upcoming election in Bangladesh during the World Bank Group and IMF Annual Meetings in Bali, he said “there is no such heat over the general election in Bangladesh. But, Fakhrul Islam Alamgir (BNP’s Secretary General) has been spreading such heat every now and then through delivering speeches and he has been doing that for the last 10 years,”

About the meeting outcomes with the DMD of IMF, Muhith said the IMF official noted that the overall economy of Bangladesh has been performing quite well.

But, the finance minister observed that the IMF has pointed out some weaknesses in the banking sector mainly on Non Performing Loans (NPL), deficit in provisioning side by side rising trend of imports.

“I also agreed with them when their mission (IMF) visited Dhaka recently,” Muhith said, adding that he would give a plan on banking reforms in about a month or in the next month where he would try to attend some of these concerns.

He went on, “In the next month, i’m bringing out a paper on banking reforms or what we should do for our banking sector,”

The minister also mentioned that one of the achievements during the current Awami League government was the creation of a capital market and “Now we can go for accomplishing other tasks,”

About the alleged allegation that high trend of imports is causing transfer of funds, Muhith said, “I don’t agree with this diagnosis as over the last one or two years, there was no such transfer of funds or siphoning off money …………..such activity takes place when there is uncertainty in the country. I don’t think there is any uncertainty in Bangladesh right now,”

Asked about the performance of Bangladesh in Human Capital Index released by the World Bank, he noted that index could be substantially increased if the government improves education further in the country.

Muhith said there is still scope for improvement in the literacy rate of the country with making improvement in the tertiary and higher education inBangladesh.

According to the Human Capital Index released on Thursday, Bangladesh performed better than the South Asian average as well as the Lower Middle-Income average in all criteria except for Stunting.

The finance minister also opined that Bangladesh can follow South Korea the way they have gained development in different socio-economic fields over the years.