NewAge, September 17, 2007
A group of left-leaning politicians and civic leaders, at a meeting on Sunday, urged the government not to sign a loan agreement, called Policy Support Instrument, with the International Monetary Fund.
They called on the government to publicise the conditionalities of earlier agreements with international lenders and also the agreements with multinational companies. They also urged it to rescind the conditionalities that were harmful to the national interest, and scrap the exploitative deals with rogue multinational companies.
‘The government cannot ignore the concern expressed by the businessmen about the evil designs and activities of the IMF and the World Bank, which are out to cripple the national economy,’ noted a resolution of the meeting, chaired by Badruddin Omar, president of the Jatiya Mukti Council.
The politicians and eminent citizens cautioned the government about raising utility tariffs, saying that by prescribing such a policy the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank want to increase the cost of production in order to turn Bangladesh into a mere market of foreign goods.
The meeting observed that the price-hike of essentials had made the public miserable, and the closure of jute mills and retrenchment of workers and shortage of fertiliser would have a devastating consequence on the economy.
The meeting’s participants expressed concern at the oppression of garment factory workers and harassment of university teachers and students, and demanded release of those who have been arrested.
‘All the fundamental rights and civic liberties of the people are being denied on the plea of the state of emergency in the country,’ they said in the resolution, demanding withdrawal of the emergency and restoration of human rights.
The meeting was attended, along with many others, by noted citizens Sirajul Islam Chowdhury, Sheikh Muhammad Shahidullah, Professor Akmal Hossain, and Manzurul Islam Khan and Mujahidul Islam Selim of the Communist Party of Bangladesh, Bimal Biswas of the Workers Party of Bangladesh, Khaliquzzaman of the Bangladesher Samaltantrik Dal and Tipu Biswas of the Jatiya Gano Front.