No headache over CPD, TIB reactions on budget: Obaidul Quader

No headache over CPD, TIB reactions on budget: Obaidul Quader

Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader has slammed the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) and Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) for what he said playing the tune of the opposition and clarified that the government does not care about their reactions to the proposed budget.

He, also the general secretary of ruling Awami League, came up with the statement while speaking at a press conference on the proposed budget at his party headquarters in Dhaka on Saturday.

In its reaction, noted think tank CPD commented that the government could not show their efficiency in the proposed budget. The provision for whitening black money is conflicting with the electoral manifesto of the ruling party.

Taking a cue from the comment, Obaidul Quader said, “We are making arrangements to bring undisclosed income into the banking system. We have no headache over what the CPD and TIB said. They all speak in the tune of the BNP. Their speeches are not consistent with their activities.”

He defended the proposed scope for whitening black money, saying, “We have made arrangements to bring undisclosed income into the mainstream economy, through a 15 per cent tax. It would enhance money flow in the banking system. This provision has been kept to recover the money secretly held by many individuals.”

He, however, clarified that there would be no impunity in cases of illegal activities and that criminal offences would be tried under the prevailing law. At the same time, he believes that there should be a scope to correct different errors, like some may find their assets unmentioned in the income tax return due to submission of tax returns by a third party.

Referring to the BNP, the ruling party leader said, “The BNP now talks big over the money market, black money… alleges of swallowing the country. Their last budget was Tk 680 billion. Still, (their finance minister) Saifur Rahman had to run to various economic forums with a begging basket before announcing the budget.”

Pointing out a contrasting reality, he noted that the current finance minister did not have to go abroad to beg before the budget announcement. He also expressed confidence in their ability to control inflation through coordinated efforts.

In response to a question about corruption by Awami League leaders, Quader requested journalists to provide names of suspected corrupt leaders so that they can move the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) against them.

Awami League presidium members Qamrul Islam and Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, joint general secretary Mahbub Ul Alam Hanif, organising secretary BM Mozammel Haque, Sujit Roy Nandi, agriculture secretary Faridunnahar Laili, office secretary Biplab Barua, and deputy office secretary Sayem Khan.