Bangladesh facing a partial famine: GM Quader

Jatiya Party (JaPa) leader GM QuaderCollected

There’s a partial famine going on in the country now, commented opposition leader in the parliament and Jatiya Party chairman GM Quader.

Quoting Nobel winning economist Amartya Sen, he said that famine does not occur from the lack of commodities, famine occurs from the lack of purchasing power. The government itself has admitted that almost 40 million (4 crore) people in the country do not have food purchasing ability.

GM Quader made the remarks during a discussion held on the occasion of late president and Jatiya Party founder HM Ershad’s 95th birth anniversary at the chairman’s office in Banani on Wednesday.

GM Quader said that according to government records alone, almost 26 per cent people in the country are suffering from food insecurity. Food items have gone out of their purchasing power. This huge section of people are borrowing to buy food.

He said that 10 to 15 million families (1 to 1.5 crore) or 40 million (4 crore) people are facing this predicament. Those who don’t belong to a family are not included in this record. They are borrowing Tk 50,000 at least to buy food every year.

Without borrowing they are left without food. People give loans to only those who can repay. Almost 40 million people are borrowing money to buy food but those who are ultra-poor don’t get loans from anyone, he added.

The leader of opposition in parliament said, the government keeps saying that there are no emaciated people in the country. Is it true? Most of the people in the country are in financial trouble.

If the government does not realise that the people of the country are suffering, how will it be solved? A situation, when people won’t be able to buy food at all and die of starvation, has not come yet. But that’s the way the country is headed, he continued.

Referring to the current situation, the Jatiya Party chairman said if a party fails to survive in politics with their ideology and beliefs, evil powers can rise up going forward. And abnormal politics can rise up.

So it is the duty of the government to allow normal politics to continue. And, it is the government’s responsibility to let the opposition work, he added.

Jatiya Party secretary general and opposition chief whip Md Mujibul Haque said, “Those who are saying that the Jatiya Party is breaking up are wrong. Jatiya Party is not splitting divided. Politics is like a moving train. Some will get off on the way while someone new will board, that’s how politics has been going on.”

“Even if a few people leave, it won’t do any harm to Jatiya Party, it will move forward in its own pace. A new generation will join the Jatiya Party and we’ll take Palli Bandhu’s politics forward along with them,” he added.

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