How can inflation be the main concern: Finance minister

Finance minister Abul Hassan Mahmood AliProthom Alo

Inflation cannot be the main cause of people’s concern in the country, said finance minister Abdul Hassan Mahmood Ali. He was speaking to newspersons today, Monday, after taking part in the deputy commissioners’ conference.

When asked whether the deputy commissioners’ conference had discussed how to bring the main concern of the people, inflation, under control, the finance minister responded, has this become the only concern now, nothing else? It was pointed out to him that this was not the only concern, but the main concern. The finance minister then repeated, how can it be the main concern even? Ten million people have been given family cards. They are getting various commodities are low cost.

The state minister for planning said politics and development cannot always be done according to mathematical calculations. In most cases projects are taken up on certain considerations

Finance minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali went on to say, “We are at our highest point since independence. The economic indicators are on the rise. There is no cause for concern. The BNP secretary general says he can’t see any development. Khaleda Zia had said that Awami League had made Padma Bridge in a slipshod manner and that the bridge would collapse.” He asked the journalists to highlight the actual picture. He said, “Bangladesh is proceeding towards the Delta 2100 plan. When you ride the Metro Rail, you can see this development and the continued development of the people.”

Also present at the deputy commissioners’ conference were state minister for finance Waseqa Ayesha Khan and state minister for planning Md Shahiduzzaman Sarkar. When the government says to slow down the pace of unimportant projects, how come unimportant projects are taken up? In reply to this question by the media, the state minister for planning said sometimes work is taken upon certain assumptions, but then it is felt that the decision was not correct. People can make such mistakes. But it is important to have the openness and courage to admit such mistakes.

At this point the newspersons pointed out, this is people's hard-earned money, so why should projects be taken up on assumptions? In reply, the state minister for planning said politics and development cannot always be done according to mathematical calculations. In most cases projects are taken up on certain considerations. Now there are directives from the prime minister to take up projects after carrying out feasibility studies. There can be errors in such selections. He looked forward to everyone’s understanding in this regard.

However, the state minister for planning, went on to say that mistakes and misdeeds were not the same thing. He says there may be mistakes, but there will be no misdeeds.

He went on to say, “It is the officials at the field level who implement the government’s political and development aspirations. They have been directed to be more attentive in their implementation. We are hopeful that the government’s image will be brightened further under the leadership of the district administration. To the people in our country, the government basically means the deputy commissioners and the UNOs. Their good work is seen as the good work of the government. They have been asked to be more people-friendly.”

The responsibility of drawing up plans is basically of the planning ministry and concerned departments. The state minister for planning said, at today’s programme it was said that if there was any requirements in the area, the deputy commissioners can also come up with project proposals which the government will then consider.

The planning ministry is extensive. What challenges does the new state minister for planning face. In reply to this question, he said, “I won’t say challenge. Political workers do not fear to serve the people. It is a matter to luck to get the opportunity to do so. The honourable prime minister has given me that opportunity for which I am grateful. I will try to carry out my duty in all sincerity.”

State minister for finance Waseqa Ayesha Khan said, “The matter of austerity was raised at the deputy commissioners’ conference 2024. They are involved with project implementation at the field level. That is why the deputy commissioners’ attention has been drawn to the priorities in Bangladesh Awami League’s election manifesto.”   

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