Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud said World Bank assessment showed that the poverty rate has declined in Bangladesh even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The report of the World Bank styled ‘Bangladesh Development Update-Recovery and Resilience amid Global Uncertainty’ has said that the poverty rate in Bangladesh has declined to 11.9 per cent in the fiscal year 2021 due to economic recovery even in the COVID-19 situation which was 12.5 per cent in 2020 fiscal,” he said.
The minister added that “In fact, currently, the extreme poverty rate in Bangladesh is 10.5 per cent while the poverty rate is 20.5 per cent. The rate of poverty has reduced and the per capita income increased due to pragmatic steps taken by the government to keep the economic pace strong during the COVID-19 situation. And this is the statement of the World Bank, not ours.”
Hasan told reporters at a view-exchange meeting in the meeting room of his ministry at the Secretariat in the capital.
According to a report of the IMF, he said, the position of Bangladesh’s economy is the 41st among the 50 countries in the world. And, the economy of the country is better in terms of the PPP (Purchasing Power Parity), he added.
Mentioning that the country is marching toward prosperity despite the COVID- 19 situation, Hasan said that but BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir is claiming that the poverty rate is 42 per cent in the country.
He said the country’s poverty rate was 42 per cent when Begum Khaleda Zia was in power.
“Mirza Fakhrul is still living in the era of Begum Zia,” said Hasan, also Awami League joint general secretary.
He said the foreign currency reserve was three billion dollars during BNP’s regime. The government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has increased the reserve to 48 billion dollars, he added.
He said some amount from the reserve have been incurred due to price hikes in the products, fuel and transportation across the world. And with the rest reserve amounting to 40 billion, Bangladesh would be able to maintain import expenditure in the next six months.
The minister said it is comfortable for any country to have foreign reserves equal to their 3-month-import expenditure and Bangladesh has six months’ reserve.
Hasan said the country became champions in corruption for the five consecutive times during the Begum Khaleda Zia’s regime and the BNP-Jamaat government had realized illegal toll from every business by establishing ‘Hawa Bhaban’.
It is not appropriate for Mirza Fakhrul to provide untrue statements as he is a responsible leader and secretary general of a political party, he added.
The minister urged Mirza Fakhrul to read the report the World Bank and IMF.
Replying to a query over a statement of BNP’s secretary general on the Narail incident, the minister said BNP is the chief patron of communal forces and they do politics along with the forces. Even, many parties of their alliance openly claimed that they want to make Bangladesh like Afghanistan, he added.
He said BNP does politics of communalism and gave communal slogans during the polls. It is BNP, which is patronizing the communal forces, he added.
He said BNP carried out repressions and torched villages of the people, who voted in favour of the Awami League in 2001. Awami League opened shelter centres for minorities in many places, including Kotalipara and Banaripara in Barishal, he added.
He said the government has taken tough actions against any incident of communal forces as the party is a non-communal one and it practices secularism.
He said the father of the youth, who gave the Facebook post, and other five persons, who were involved in the attack, were arrested.
“The masterminds of the incident will also be brought to book”, Hasan added.
Replying to another query over the next polls, the minister said the elections will be held in Bangladesh like other democratic countries. There will be no benefit to seeing the dream of the caretaker government, said