Economy
2 months ago

PM’s Adviser Mashiur praises governor for restricting journalists’ entry into Bangladesh Bank

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Economic Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Mashiur Rahman on Sunday expressed his support to the decision of restricting entry of journalists into the central bank.

"I should compliment the governor on restricting journalists' entry into the bank," he said while in the audience of a session titled "Fiscal and Monetary Policies in the Evolving Economic Order (Risks, Vulnerabilities and Solutions)"on the first day of the two-day 'First Development Studies International Conference' in a city hotel.

The event was organised by the Department of Development Studies of Dhaka University and Bangla daily the Bonik Barta.

The advisor said information that should be truthfully conveyed to the people might be distorted through entry of journalists into the banks.

"If they (journalists) have access to partial information, then they get some private opinion of some bank officials, then whole thing is distorted," he said.

"It is good thing (the restriction)," he said, adding that in order to compensate the restriction the governor may think of some effective means of regular communication with journalists so they know what are the facts and what are being considered in the central bank.

"That would be part of forward guidance because people need to know what are happening so that they can anticipate," he said.

Bangladesh Bank (BB) imposed a strict restriction on journalists' access to its headquarters late last month.

"From now on, journalists will only be able to visit the spokesperson of the central bank at its building using a specific permit issued by the bank," Mezbaul Haque, BB spokesperson, told reporters.

Journalists have condemned the restriction and registered protests in front of the office of BB Governor Abdur Rouf Talukder.

Economic reporters from various news outlets staged a sit-in programme in front of the building.

Organisations including Dhaka Reporters Unity, Economic Reporters Forum and Dhaka Union of Journalists denounced such move by the central bank terming it hindering freedom of the press and people's right to know.

The Editors' Council and Newspaper Owners' Association of Bangladesh (Noab) condemned the central bank's decision to impose restriction on journalists' entry into its headquarters and demanded ensuring free access of journalists to the bank.

Transparency Internat-ional Bangladesh (TIB) also termed the ban on access of journalists to the BB as a reprehensible example of arbitrary imposition of secrecy.

Expressing deep concern over such action, the organisation, earlier in a statement, called for immediate withdrawal of such ban on disclosure of banking and financial sector information in the public interest.

TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said that most of the news of big scams in the financial sector in the last few years has come from the sources of journalists.

Such steps have been taken to hide the fact that the policy and leadership of the BB have become hostage to the criminal gang, he said.

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