Roundtable discussion on ‘Accountability of ODA Use and Indebted Bangladesh’

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Dhaka, 06 October 2007. Equity and Justice Working Group –EJWG, has organized roundtable discussion on ‘Accountability of ODA Use and Indebted Bangladesh’ at the CIRDAP Auditorium, Dhaka, basically to initiate a policy discourse for demanding the debt cancellation of Bangladesh. In each year Bangladesh pays US 715 dollars to its foreign creditors as debt service, which is more than the country’s annual health budget. During 1980s an individual owed around Tk 4000, now it has been increased to Tk. 10,500. Alternatively annual ODA is decreasing gradually. The speakers says the loan conditionalities of the IFIs is limiting state investment in the public service sector like education, health, communication etc which is leaving poor out of these services and increasing social and economical inequalities. In these circumstances, Bangladesh would not be able to achieve MDGs Goal; the speakers at the seminar express their worries. Bangladesh needs US 7.5 billion dollars a year to finance the implementation of MDGs but the amount of ODA is 1.4 billion dollar a year, which is a huge shortfall of the requirement. Therefore, Bangladesh requires exclusively grant based finance and 100% debt cancellation.

Mr. Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Organizing Secretary of Bangladesh Awami League, Ex Parliamentarian and Ex Army chief Maj. Gen (Rtd) Mahbubur Rahman and Tasnim Rana of BNP, Jatiya Party policy maker and ex-parliamentarian GM Quader, Worker’s Party leader Rashed Khan Menon given speech in the seminar Mr. Don van Luijn of Oxfam Novib gives a speech on globa perspective of debt cancellation thereby releasing resources for essential services.

Mr. Rezaul Karim Chowdhury and Md Shamsuddoha respectively Convener and General Secretary of EJWG presented the keynote paper in the Seminar and Mr Rafiqul Islam Khokon and AHM Bazlur Rahman respectively from RUPANTAR and BNNRC moderated the seminar.