Rizvi calls teachers' movement ‘justified’

BNP senior joint general secretary Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.Prothom Alo File Photo

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) has described the ongoing movement of public university teachers demanding the withdrawal of the new universal pension scheme 'prottoy' as justified and slammed the government for taking up such an anti-people policy.

“We consider this a justified movement… as per the provisions of the 'Prottoy' scheme, teachers will fund their pension from their own salary while the government will contribute half... This is a kind of mockery,” said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Wednesday.

He alleged that the Awami League government appears excessively antagonistic towards teachers and the education sector of the country, which is adversely affecting the quality of education.

“The justified pension money traditionally received by teachers is being slashed under the guise of the Prottoy pension scheme. This is merely a measure to push teachers towards adversity and starvation,” the BNP leader said.

He made these comments while speaking at a press conference at the BNP’s Naya Paltan central office.

Rizvi came down heavily on the government for curtailing teachers’ pension funds instead of taking steps to recover siphoned-off and looted money by corrupt elements and loan defaulters.

He argued that the government could ensure full pensions for teachers by recovering this plundered money. “If they can arrange full pensions, teachers would not have to go to coaching centers and private universities,” he added.

The BNP leader further criticised the government for depleting the state exchequer through widespread corruption and wrong policies like granting capacity charges to rental power plants.

“You are now curtailing teachers’ pension facilities by emptying the treasury through plunder. It’s completely an anti-mass policy,” the BNP leader observed.

Earlier on Monday, teachers and employees of public universities across the country went on an indefinite strike in protest against the 'Prottoy' pension scheme, bringing their academic and administrative activities to a halt.

They demanded the withdrawal of the universal pension scheme, introduced by the government and effective from July 01, terming it discriminatory.

Rizvi alleged that ruling party ‘cadres’ have created an awful situation across the country by resorting to violence against common people, opposition leaders, and workers.

He said BNP leaders and workers came under bloody attacks by ruling party men in different parts of the country, including Pabna, Natore, Rajshahi, and Bogura, while observing a program demanding the unconditional release of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia.