Branding the current government as a ‘fraud’ one, BNP on Tuesday alleged it is ‘plundering’ public money from every sector like Bargis, a group of Maratha soldiers who had indulged in large scale plundering of people’s wealth during the 18th century.
“This government has become a completely fraudulent one. It’s a government for the looters, by the looters and of the looters, as there’s nothing, but plundering everywhere,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
Speaking at a discussion, he further said, “From the grassroots to the upper level of the regime is involved with plundering. If you talk to people both in rural and urban areas, investors and bankers, you’ll get an idea about how looting is going on everywhere.”
Nationalist Research Centre, a pro-BNP body, arranged the programme titled ‘My Country, My Industries’ at the Jatiya Press Club.
Fakhrul alleged that ruling party men are ‘looting’ from the TR and Kabikha projects to mega ones and distributing the ill-gotten money among the Awami League leaders and activists. “Once Bargis used to plunder people’s wealth, now the ruling party men and their cohorts are doing nothing, but looting.”
To get rid of the current situation of the country and ‘restore’ democracy, he said ‘patriot’ leader Khaleda Zia must be freed from jail and a government with people’s mandate will have to be installed.
The BNP leader said a fresh and credible election must be held under a neutral government by reconstituting the Election Commission to establish a pro-people government.
About the rawhide crisis, Fakhrul said many orphanages and religious institutions that dependent on the income from selling rawhides are now in a deep trouble due to a serious slide in their prices during the Eid-ul-Azha. “The prices of rawhides were lowered in a planned way to force people to damage the skins of sacrificial animals.”
Referring to reports of some local and Indian newspapers, the BNP secretary general said around Tk 80,000 crore have been recently invested in a leather processing hub at West Bengal’s Bantala near Benapole border for its massive expansion.
He also said the tanneries in India’s Kanpur have been shut as cow slaughtering is prohibited at the butcher houses there. “The Indian government has now permitted the tanners of Kanpur to shift to Bantala.”
Fakhrul said there might have a correlation between the crisis in leather industry in Bangladesh and the expansion of Bantala leather hub’s expansion. “A sudden announcement was made that rawhides can be exported. We should think about where will the rawhides go through export?
He also said though a place was allocated at Savar for relocating the tanneries from Hazaribagh, the government was never sincere in this regard. “They (govt) did not take necessary measures for the relocation of the tanneries and save the industry. So, this industry has collapsed. There’s no scope to see the matter lightly.”
The BNP leader also said no manufacturing industry, except the garment one, is developed in Bangladesh as the government has failed to take effective steps and create a scope for it.
He said the country is falling behind for the government’s failure to tap the potentials in the industrial sector. “We’re also failing to create jobs for lack of manufacturing industries.”