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Country's economy sick, fragile: Rizvi

Country's economy sick, fragile: Rizvi

Staff Correspondent

Bangladesh's economy has now become “sick and fragile” due to widespread plundering, corruption, and illicit transfer of money abroad by ruling party leaders, alleged BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Sunday.

“Nearly Tk 50 billion has been embezzled, depleting the reserves. The government currently holds $13 billion in foreign reserves...actually, there is only $7 to $8 billion in the reserves,” he said.

Speaking at a programme at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, Rizvi said the reserve will diminish further as the government will need to use $4 billion to clear overdue bills in the power sector.

“Sheikh Hasina's development seems like applying lipstick to the lips of a malnourished and dark woman…Bangladesh's economy will appear the same if you glorify a distressed and afflicted woman with cosmetics. Bangladesh's economy is sick,” he said.

Expressing concern about the faltering economy, the BNP leader likened the nation's situation to inhabiting an empty abyss, where solid ground seemed to be slipping away.

“Only from the banks, Tk 12,000 crore has been plundered. This isn't my statement; it's the statement of the CPD. About 12% of our GDP has been lost this way...can it be imagined?” he said.

Besides, Rizvi said Tk 92,000 crores have disappeared from the bank account alone. “Who are the looters? Who are these oligarchs? All these are people close to power. They either belong to Awami League or Awami League's money providers. They amassed huge wealth and money.”

He said the number of loan defaulters is growing alarmingly as the outstanding loans in the banking sector stood at Tk 156,039 crore.

The BNP leader slammed Road Transport and Bridges Minister and Awami Obaidul Quader for his remark that journalists need not enter the Bangladesh Bank while all the necessary information is available on their website, posing a question whether the central bank is a forbidden place or a restricted cantonment.

“Bangladesh Bank is an institution responsible for protecting people's deposits. It should always remain within the realm of accountability... Journalists can go there," he observed.

Rizvi said journalists are not allowed to enter the Bangladesh Bank so that the country’s people or the international community do not know about how the ruling party leaders have been plundering public money.

About the second phase of the election slated for Tuesday, he said the BNP leaders and workers are going to people and distributing leaflets with a call for boycotting the voting.

“People think that joining the elections under this dummy government means going against democracy, truth, and justice. We strongly believe that the people will respond to our call as they did in the first phase by boycotting the polls,” Rizvi said.

He said the country’s people will once again reject the Awami League government with disgust by not going to the polling stations on Tuesday.

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