Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quade on Thursday warned that Bangladesh may face a Sri Lanka-like situation due to the implementation of mega projects with foreign loans.
“Sri Lanka has many similarities with Bangladesh. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka receive remittances from abroad, earn foreign currency from tourism and the garment industry,” he said.
Speaking at a discussion meeting, the Jatiya Party chief also said Sri Lanka did not become bankrupt because of the Covid pandemic and the Ukraine war.
He said there was a civil war for almost ten years in the country, but Sri Lanka has not gone bankrupt for that reason. “Sri Lanka has become bankrupt by paying the foreign debts.”
Jatiya Party arranged the programme at its Kakrail central office in memory of party founder HM Ershad marking his third death anniversary.
GM Quader said the national budget for 2022-23 was formulated depending on debts. “So, we urged the government to reduce the management cost, but it had not taken any initiative in this regard.”
He alleged that thousands of crores of taka are being spent for merrymaking unnecessarily.
He said the government could not collect tax from people as per its target during the last fiscal year. “The situation would be worse this time if the common people could not pay the tax.”
GM Quader, also the deputy opposition leader in parliament, said the government has been implementing mega projects with foreign loans. “When we have to repay the loan with interest, the situation of the country will become very bad.”
He said if a mega project is implemented with a loan of Tk 30,000 crore and earns Tk 365 crore in a year at a rate of Tk 1 crore per day, it will take 90 years to repay the original loan let alone the interests.
“Sri Lanka has become bankrupt while trying to repay the foreign debts with interests.”
The Jatiya Party chief said the banks in Bangladesh have been facing liquidity crisis due to debt dependence. “If the operation expenses are not reduced, the government will have to pay salary and allowance of the government employees by borrowing from the banks. That is why the situation in Bangladesh can be that of now in Sri Lanka.”
He also bemoaned that plundering of public money is going on in the country in the name of mega projects. “Thousands of crores of taka are being siphoned off abroad from the country every year.”
Quader said the government has now come up with a way to legalise the thousands of crores of laundered money earned illegally in exchange for taxes. “There’s no such precedent anywhere in the world. If the crime is forgiven by paying tax, then the murder and robbery can also be legalised through the tax.”
The leaders and activist of Jatiya Party and associate bodies observed the third death anniversary of former President Hussain Muhammad Ershad on Thursday amid various programmes.
HM Ershad, who was ousted in 1990 after his nine years of autocratic rule, died on July 14, 2019 at the age of 89 while undergoing treatment at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH), Dhaka.
Source: United News of Bangladesh