Shun Aid Dependency; Stress Domestic Resource Based Politics and Economy

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Dhaka, 19th November 2008: Today in a seminar organized by EquityBD held in national press club, titled “Doha Conference on Development Financing: Reproduction of Poverty in Bangladesh and Demand for Compensation’ speakers inquired this interim government to declare country position in terms of development financing in public in the upcoming United Nations Finance for Development (UNFFD) conference to be held in Doha during 29th Nov – 2nd Dec 2008. They requested the Finance Minister not to take the position in line with the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. Speakers also urged the politicians and bureaucrats to come out from the dependency on foreign aid, and give concern in the mobilization of domestic resources.

EquityBD convenor Rezaul Karim Chowdhury moderated the seminar while Md. Shamsuddoha, Secretary General of the organization reviewed the outcomes of Monterrey Consensus, the 1st World Conference of Development Financing, and highlighted the expectation from the Doha conference.

Among others, Professor Dr. Abu Ahmed, Sapatahiki Editor Golam Mortaza, BSS Editor Joglul Ahmed Chowdhury, Ex MP Sahiduzaman and Shamsuzzaman Dudu, Ex Ambassador Waliur Rahman, Journalist Farooque Ahmed, AHM Bazlur Rahaman, Mostafa Kamal Akanda took part in the discussion. Md. Shamsuddoha, in his presentation, urged that Bangladesh require innovative financing instruments as the country is facing climate change risk and the Finance Minister who will lead the country delegation in Doha conference should demand SIDR cyclone and climate change compensation. He also inquired government position in asking reform of World Bank and International Monetary Fund, debt cancellation and reparation of historical exploitation. He also mentioned that study shows that Bangladesh pay $ 1.50 for per $ 1.00 of aid and loan money.

Dr. Abu Ahmed said ‘historically development aid is practiced as a part of system that generates deepening inequality and dependence across and within the country’. The rich countries always try to sell their loans by the name of development projects, we should innovate mechanism to mobilize resource of our own. He also demanded to disclose statistics of foreign currency drain in the frame of profit repatriation, education and health expenditure of rich people in abroad. Journalist Farooque Ahmed mentioned that aid / foreign loan has made a commercialization of development. Ex MP Sahiduzzaman and Shamsuzzaman Dudu, stated that a patriotic and democratic government is a must for pro poor domestic resource based economy. Shaptahiki Editor Golam Mortaza demanded that the government should not negotiate further on any loan with international financial institutions and also not to sign any contract with any foreign company, until a political government takes power in the country. Prominent journalist and columnist Jaglul Ahmed Chowdhury urged to examine the present global crisis that Bangladesh can take some opportunities. Ex Ambassador Waliur Rahaman argued all the politicians and others to take a vision for silver jubilee of the liberation of Bangladesh in 2021 for a sovereign economy without any foreign aid and loan.

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