Debt burden to get heavier with IMF’s loan: BNP

BNP on Thursday alleged that a $4.5 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will make people’s debt burden heavier since the government has depleted the national exchequer through “widespread looting”.

“It is a good thing that you are taking a loan from the IMF, but how will you repay it? You’ve already exhausted the reserves and you’ve siphoned off all money abroad. You’re not informing people about how and in which sector you will use the money. So, you’re imposing another burden of loan on people,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, reports UNB.

Speaking at a rally in front of BNP’s Nayapaltan central office, he also said the government needs the IMF loan as it has already depleted the exchequer by indulging in stealing.

Jatiyatabadi Swechchasebak Dal arranged the programme marking ‘National Revolution and Solidarity Day’ commemorating the ‘civil-military uprising’ on 7 November, 1975.

The rally was also meant for registering a protest against the issuance of warrants for the arrest of BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman and his wife Dr Zubaida Rahman in a graft case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).

Earlier on Wednesday, Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal confirmed Bangladesh will get $4.5 billion from the International Monetary Fund amid the hope that the lending agency will release the first instalment of the much-needed loan by next February.

Fakhrul said their party suggested the government stop megaprojects when the Coronavirus hit the country so that the allocated money can be used to protect the needy people. “But they didn’t pay heed to it. They siphoned off thousands of crores of taka abroad. “

He said a Bangladeshi power businessman has become one of the billionaires in Singapore, exposing how much money was laundered in the name of the power sector’s development.

The BNP leader said the remittance flow has decreased due to hundi (unofficial channel) business and the ruling party leaders’ trick to launder money abroad in various ways. “Awami League’s main goal is to indulge in corruption, stealing, and empty the resources of the country.”

He said even many ordinary Awami League leaders now own multi-story apartments in the capital and use luxurious vehicles.

Fakhrul said BNP has been on a movement to restore people’s voting and other rights and ensure a credible and inclusive election in the country.

The BNP leader said five opposition leaders have already been killed in the current movement for the restoration of democracy and people’s rights, and their sacrifices and blood will not go in vain. “It won’t be possible to suppress the people of Bangladesh with repressive acts as they have started waking up.”

He urged the government to quit and dissolve parliament by handing over power to a non-party caretaker government to create a scope for holding an acceptable election under a new election commission.

Fakhrul said the government is trying to play various tricks to divert BNP’s movement to a different direction.

Awami League has got so much isolated from people that it is now resorting to false cases to keep BNP top leaders away from politics.

“Awami League has been using false cases against opposition leaders and activists as its main weapon to suppress them since it came to power. “They also filed fictitious cases against BNP leaders and activists.”

Referring to a newspaper report, the BNP leader said a ruling party leader was arrested in Narsingdi with crude bombs and gunpowder, but a case was filed against Narsingdi Jubo Dal leaders, including its president and general secretary. It has manifested how scared they are and they can do such things.

He slammed the government for arresting BNP leaders and activists in different parts of the country.

Fakhrul alleged that the government has started filing fresh cases against the opposition leaders and activists and arrested BNP leaders in old cases in Dhaka city. “This is an old game to suppress opponents by implicating them in false cases and they have been playing this game for 14 years.”

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