Dhaka, June 14 (UNB) — The BNP on Friday said that the people will not accept the proposed national budget for 2019-2020 fiscal year as it will create pressure on them and increase inequality.
‘’The national budget of Tk 523,190 crore is highly ambitious. It’ll create direct economic pressure on the majority of the people. The rich will become richer and the poor will become poorer if it’s implemented,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
He said that the budget will not fulfill the people’s hopes and aspirations as it has been formulated against their interests.
“The people won’t accept the budget in the same way they didn’t accept the last general election,” he said while giving his party’s formal reaction to the proposed budget at a press conference at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.
Fakhrul said the middle and lower middle-class people will suffer the most if the budget is implemented as a huge load of VAT has been imposed on them.
The BNP leader also claimed that the government did not formulate the budget to address key problems faced by the common people, including those related to earnings, housing, education and health.
On Thursday, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal placed a Tk 523,190 crore budget for the 2019-20 fiscal.
“The people have no enthusiasm over the size of budget as the allocations in every budget get reduced at the end of every year,” Fakhrul said.
He said allocations for important sectors have shrunk comparatively as the government deviated from the welfare-state principle. “They confined the economy into a circle of loan-based dependency,” the BNP leader said.
Fakhrul leader said though the government has serious limitations in revenue collection in the outgoing fiscal, it set a bigger revenue target for the next fiscal by the National Board of Revenue. “Under the circumstances, the budget deficit will only increase further,” he pointed out.
He questioned the government’s performance in expending allocation under the annual development programme, ‘unusual’ rise in the expenditure in mega projects, ‘uneven’ GDP growth target and the mismanagement in macro economy.
As the government has kept Tk 145,380 crore deficit in the proposed budget, the BNP leader said a big portion of the budget is being spent to repay loan and interests.
“The government’s loan is growing for creating excessive posts in the public jobs, giving wholesale promotions, increasing salary structures and facilities. In the proposed budget, 20.5 percent of the total revenue has been allocated for providing salaries of the government employees. It’s not justified in any way,” Fakhrul said.
Mentioning that the government decreased the price of gold which is mainly used by the affluent section of society, he said the government has taken a position against the common people by increasing the prices of mobile phones, SIM cards, and mobile phone services.
‘Not for the people’
BNP Standing Committee Member Moudud Ahmed said that the government has formulated the new budget only to facilitate the beneficiaries of the ruling party.
“This budget has no relation with the common people,” he claimed.
He said though farmers have long been demanding ensuring fair prices of their produce, including paddy, the Finance Minister did not take any step in the budget in this regard.
The BNP leader alleged that the government has opened all ways for indulging in corruption by the ruling party leaders and activists.
He also criticised the government for not giving adequate allocation for the health and education sectors.
BNP Standing Committee Member Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan said people will get nothing, except a big burden of tax if this budget is implemented.
“In one sentence, I can say that this budget is a document of failures of the current government,” he said.
Another BNP Standing Committee Member Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury said that those who are now governing the country are not public representatives.
“They are oligarchs. They do business, politics, formulate policies and implement those for protecting their interest, not people’s interests,” he alleged.
Dhaka, June 13 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury on Thursday said the proposed national budget for fiscal year 2019-20 will facilitate only a section of people instead of fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the country’s people.
In an instant reaction to the new budget, he also said as the government has kept Tk 145,380 crore deficit in the proposed budget, it will have a negative impact on people’s life as the money will ultimately be realised from them.
Khosru said the current ‘unelected’ government and Parliament have no moral right to present any budget for the nation. “The budget they (govt) presented was formulated only to give a section of people all the facilities. The budget management is now confined to a quarter.”
The BNP leader said people’s hopes and aspirations were not reflected in the last general election. “The desires of the people of Bangladesh will also not be fulfilled through the new budget.”
Khosru, also a former commerce minister, feared that the government will fill up the huge amount of budget deficit by collecting money from people through raising the tariffs of the utility services.
He said the country’s macro economy which was on good track over the last 20 years is now getting affected for lack of good governance, investment and some other reasons. “Our economy is deviating from its correct course.”
The BNP also alleged that Bangladesh’s economy has now turned into ‘loan-dependent’ one. “It’s very dangerous that we’re going to be caught in a dead trap. We’ll face serious hurdle to repay the loan in the days to come.”
Earlier in the day, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal placed a Tk 523,190 crore national budget for the 2019-20 fiscal year with the target of 8.2 percent GDP growth.
Khosru said the 8.2 percent GDP growth is unrealistic as different organisations are raising questions about the country’s GDP growth. “A government which lacks accountability can only set such a GDP growth target.”
He also asked the reasons behind the bad condition of the capital markets, rise in unemployment rate and lack of investment if the country’s GDP growth is really high. “How can GDP growth accelerate without investment amid liquidity crisis faced by the banks?”
Khosru gave the reaction to the budget at his Banani office.
However, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam is scheduled to come with their party’s formal reaction to the budget at a press conference at its chairperson’s Gulshan office at 4pm on Friday.
Dhaka, Jun 11 (UNB) - The leaders of Bangladesh Awami League and its associate bodies on Tuesday greeted Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the occasion of the 11th anniversary of her release from prison.
They greeted the prime minister by presenting her with bouquets at her official residence Ganobhaban.
The Awami League chief was arrested from her Sudha Sadan residence at Dhanmondi on July 16, 2007 during the military-backed caretaker government.
On this day in 2008, conceding to the people’s spontaneous and repeated demands and pressure from different quarters, the caretaker government was compelled to release Sheikh Hasina from the special sub-jail set up on the premises of the Jatiya Sangsad Building.
Senior Awami League leaders first greeted Sheikh Hasina by handing over a bouquet to her followed by the leaders of associate organisations of the party.
The senior AL leaders included Amir Hossain Amu, Tofail Ahmed, Engineer Mosharraf Hossain, Begum Matia Chowdhury, Obaidul Quader, Advocate Sahara Khatun and Abdul Matin Khashru.
Besides, Dr Dipu Moni, Jahangir Kabir Nanak, Dr Hasan Mahmud, BM Mozammel Haque, AFM Bahauddin Nasim, AKM Enamul Haque Shamim, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, Barrister Mohibul Haque Chowdhury Nowfel, SM Rezaul Karim, Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap, Habibur Rahman Siraj, Mirza Azam, Advocate Quamrul Islam, Barrister Biplab Barua and Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokan were present.
Later, leaders of Dhaka North City AL, Dhaka South City AL, Awami Jubo League, Chhatra League, Sechchasebak League, Jatiya Sramik League, Krishak League, Mohila Awami League, Jubo Mohila League and Bangabandhu Awami Ainjibi Parishad greeted the prime minister by presenting her with bouquets separately.
Dhaka, June 11 (UNB) – A group of leaders of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) unlocked the main gate of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office after an 11-hour demonstration on Tuesday demanding cancellation of the party’s directives about age limit in forming its new committee.
The demonstrators reopened the BNP office around 10pm.
“We’ve postponed our protest programme for a day. We hope the party will accept our demands,” said JCD leader Asaduzzaman who was leading the demonstrators.
Earlier in the day, several hundred leaders and activists of the recently-dissolved JCD central committee gathered in front of the party office around 11am and started demonstration there. At one stage, they locked the main gate and continued their protest programme.
The protesters chanted slogans in favour of their demand for cancellation of the age limit.
The demonstrators of JCD, BNP’s student body, also demanded the cancellation of the announcement about dissolving their central committee.
They said they want BNP to form a short-term JCD committee without keeping any age ceiling.
The protestors also snapped the power connection to the BNP office around 12:50pm.
As some ex-JCD leaders, including Shamsuzzaman Dudu, Amanullah Aman, Fazlul Haq Milon, Shaheeduddin Chowdhury Anne, ABM Mosharraf Hossain, Shafiul Bari Babu came to the spot, the protestors engaged in argument with them and barred them from entering the office.
Ailing BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and some other party leaders were staying inside the office.
A group of demonstrators entered the BNP office around 3:55 pm and drove out some BNP and JCD leaders from there, and restored power connection to the office.
They also beat up a JCD leader, Rabiul Islam Nayan.
Ruhul Kabir Rizvi was receiving treatment inside the office at that time as he fell sick.
Two BNP standing committee members--Mirza Abbas and Gayeshwar Chandra Roy-- came to the BNP office in the evening to visit Rizvi.
The protesters allowed them entering the office.
Coming out of the office, Abbas said the JCD men are staging demonstration out of their huff, and the problem will be resolved soon.
Meanwhile, some ex-JCD leaders contacted party acting chairman Tarique Rahman through videoconferencing at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office seeking his directives to resolve the problem.
Later in the evening, a delegation of the demonstrators went to the Gulshan office to contact Tarique.
They came out of the BNP chief’s office around 9:30pm and reopened the BNP central office upon Torque’s assurance of resolving the problem.
The protesters also visited ailing Rizvi at the office.
On June 3, the central committee of BNP’s student body Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) was dissolved.
A BNP press release, signed by Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, said a new JCD committee will be formed within the next 45 days based on the opinions of its councillors.
It said those who will contest election for different posts of JCD will have to be primary members, students of any educational institution of Bangladesh and must pass SSC and equivalent examination after 2000.
On October 14, 2014, JCD’s last committee was formed making Rajib Ahsan its president and Akramul Hasan its general secretary.
Dhaka, Jun 10 (UNB) – Jatiya Oikyafront will forge a greater unity with all the pro-liberation and anti-government political parties to wage a strong movement for the ‘restoration’ of democracy.
“We’ll forge a greater unity. We’ll continue our movement for the restoration of democracy and free people from the hands of autocrat by creating a greater unity of all the pro-liberation and anti-government political parties,” said Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal president ASM Abdur Rob.
He came up with the remarks while talking to reporters after a meeting of Oikyafront’s steering committee on Monday evening at his Uttara residence.
Rob said they will hold their next meeting under the leadership of their convener Dr Kamal Hossain to take a political decision for launching a strong and united anti-government movement.
“We’ve adjourned our meeting as our top leader Dr Kamal Hossain is sick. We’ll work out their next course of action and strategy in the next meeting to be held with Kamal Hossain in the chair,” the JSD president said.
He said their meeting voiced concern over the life and security of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia as a bomb was recovered from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University where she has been undergoing treatment since April 1 last.
The Oikyafront leader said several thousand opposition leaders and activists are still in jail while lakhs of others are facing ‘false’ cases. “Our movement will continue until Khaleda Zia and our leaders and activists are not freed.”
Asked about Krishak Sramik Janata League (KSJL) president Abdul Kader Siddiqui’s ultimatum to quit Oikyafront, Rob said their unity is not of any party or individual. “This is the unity of people and the nation and it’ll remain intact.”
Kader Siddiqui said he gave Oikyafront until June 8 to remove the inconsistencies from the alliance, but he still did not get any reply.
“We discussed many things for a long time in a cordial manner today. But our meeting has been dissolved without taking any decision as our veteran leader (Kamal) is sick,” he said.
The KSJL president said he will give the alliance further time to give him a reply and remove the inconsistencies from the alliance. “If the problems are resolved, we’ll sincerely carry out our struggle. We also want a greater national unity. But the foundation of the national unity is not yet become strong.”
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, standing committee member Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan, Gonoforum executive presidents Prof Abu Sayeed, Subrata Chowdhury, general secretary Reza Kibria, JSD general secretary Abdul Malek Ratan and Gonoshasthya Kendra founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury were, among others, present at the meeting.