September 22, 2023

Development projects by the government have now become a way of looting money, said Debapriya Bhattacharya, a distinguished fellow of the Centre for Policy Dialogue. 
Usually, when capitalism evolves in a country, some people loot money in various ways, he said while addressing a dialogue organised by the Economic Reporters’ Forum (ERF) at its auditorium in the capital yesterday.
In the initial stage of capitalism, this looting is common, he said, adding it has been done in the 1990s using the development financial institutions like Shilpa Bank.
With the political patronage, a vested group took loans and did not repay those and thus, “launched the default loan culture in the country”, said the eminent economist.
In 1996, the stock market was another way of looting people’s money. Besides, low-performing companies were allowed to raise funds from the stock market, he said, adding that the companies’ shares later became junk stock.
At present, several individuals, groups and enterprises are looting funds from the government’s development projects with the political patronage, Debapriya said.
After such types of looting, the situation normally changes in the capitalist society by ensuring accountability, proper rule of law, and unbiased administration, he said.
“However, this did not happen in our country as accountability is weak due to a lack of a proper democratic culture.”
As a result, the young generation is seeking opportunities to migrate and the rich also do not invest in the country. Rather they try to keep their money abroad, he added.
The government hardly took any reform measures after 2014 as voices of the people who are the beneficiary of the measures were not strong amid an absence of proper electoral system, Debapriya said.
“Only due to this reason, economists are putting emphasis on a fair election.”
ERF President Sharmin Rinvi and Secretary SM Rashidul Islam were present at the event.
জ্বালানি তেলের দাম প্রতি লিটারে ৫ টাকা কমানোর কোনো প্রভাব বাজারে কোথাও পড়বে না বলে মত প্রকাশ করেছেন বিশ্বব্যাংক ঢাকা অফিসের সাবেক মুখ্য অর্থনীতিবিদ জাহিদ হোসেন।


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