Economy
a month ago

How inflation can now be main concern?

Mahmood Ali shoots counter-query to inquisitive newsmen

Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali addresses the DC Conference at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital on Monday. — Focus Bangla
Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali addresses the DC Conference at Osmani Memorial Auditorium in the capital on Monday. — Focus Bangla

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Inflation cannot be the main concern now when 10 million people are given foodstuff at cheap rates, says Finance Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali as price rises widely grab talk time.

"Only inflation has become concern? Not anything else? How inflation can be main concern? The minister said in reply to a query from reporters on Monday.

He added: "We have provided cards to 10 million people. They are now getting foodstuff at cheap prices."

Mr Ali's comment came as journalists drew his attention, after he chaired a session of the Deputy Commissioner (DC) conference at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium, on rising rates of inflation terming it a main concern for people in recent months.

The newsmen asked the minister whether he gave any directive to the deputy commissioners for taking measures to help rein in rising inflation.

The minister parried the question, and rather shot the counter-query as to how inflation can be main concern for people given the government intervention with cut-price supplies.

In January this year, the point-to-point inflation climbed to 9.86 per cent by official count, up from 9.41 per cent in December last year and 8.57 per cent in January last year.

With rising rates of inflation lower-and middle-income groups of people are passing tough times to buy food in particular. Many are forced to cut intake to some extent.

The minister makes a point here that all the major macroeconomic indicators and indices are now in upward trend and so there is nothing to be worried about over the country's economic condition.

"Whatever indices we have for measuring development are now increasing while the remittance inflow in February also witnessed an upward trend," he said detailing on the macroeconomic parameters.

The new finance minister deplores that a vested quarter is spreading propaganda over the country's economy.

He points out that BNP Secretary-General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has already mentioned that he did not see any development in the country.

The minister claims that Bangladesh has now reached its highest peak since independence and the country is now moving forward in line with the vision of Delta Plan 2100.

"If you roam through the roads and cities, you will clearly see how the country has developed and hopes garnered among the people," Mr Ali told the journalists.

He cites one practical proof to underpin his uplift claim. "If you ride the metro rail, then you can see how people have become happy and assured.

"Women can freely travel on the metro and they are quite happy."

On another question whether he asked the deputy commissioners to strengthen efforts to generate more revenues, the custodian of finance said they would work more vigorously to this end.

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