Plundering of Bangladesh economy!



Ershad Majumdar
Photo: Barta24.com

Photo: Barta24.com

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I have been under home captivity for a long time. I am spending the day lying down and mobile base. I have not prepared any book for this year's book fair. I thought Mr. Alamgir Hossain was working in his office regularly. We are of the same age. So let me try to get started. The first thing that came to mind was the financial sector of Bangladesh. The supervisory body of this sector is Bangladesh Bank. There are some thieves inside this central bank. The big robber named PK Haldar used to patronize the thieves of the central bank. Haldar had to form a huge allied force to launder thousands of crores of rupees. There are people from all walks of life. So he was able to cross the border without any hindrance. Haldar even kept two beautiful women. They entertained Haldar and entertained his guests. In this way, Haldar used to smuggle out money in the hands of influential people in the government and private sectors. In this way, he took possession of four leasing companies and fled the country with thousands of crores of takas.

Mr. Haldar has cleared the way for bankruptcy not only of leasing companies but also of a couple of banks. The responsible officials of Bangladesh Bank knew the matter very well. The issue came to the notice of the government and the general public after small depositors of People's Leasing took to the streets. Bangladesh Bank wanted to quietly or semi-secretly stop People's Leasing. If thousands of small depositors become beggars or die, the governor does not care. The governor does not keep any news that the thieves are sitting inside his bank.

If not, will he get a job? No, I can't. He can even become the finance minister. Earlier, the reserves of Bangladesh Bank were looted. Nothing happened to anyone. Instead, the then governor happily went to Delhi to visit. The then ‘rubbish’ finance minister said it was not much money. Reserve looters smuggled dollars abroad and set up gambling venues. But those who have looted thousands of crores of rupees from leasing companies are in the country. Maybe a few people have been arrested. The main looter is PK Haldar sitting abroad and moving the call stick. The countrymen still do not know the identities of those who helped in looting the country's reserve dollars. They may still be working in Bangladesh Bank. Maybe they have gone abroad. The son of a famous farmer, the former governor is in the country. He probably knows everything. The former ‘rubbish’ minister also knows everything. Although he first said that eight hundred million dollars does not mean much. Later he often said that he would bring back the money.

PK Haldar gathered influential people in his looting gang who helped him in the looting in exchange for money. Haldar used to spend the looted money with both hands. He has empowered his servants. He has made them the owners of crores of rupees. Whoever he wanted would be made MD chairman. It had the support of Bangladesh Bank. Even Haldar had deposited hundreds of crores of money in his mother's name and some banks are going bankrupt. The government is also in disarray. Whoever gave the responsibility took part in the looting. A relative has robbed Basic Bank. Many have lost their jobs in the bank. But nothing happened to the relatives. Maybe in the future he can also become an MP or a minister. A former secretary declared rebellion against a former government and later became a minister. The government was happy and donated a Farmers Bank to the minister. That Farmers Bank eventually became a bone of contention like a farmer. That bank is now Padma Bank. By changing the name, he has now started taking deposits from the people.

As you know, the banks have defaulted on several lakh crores of money. The defaulters are influential people in the society. They became MP, ministers. The worst-hit are state-owned banks. There is no settlement of its deposit. The MD chairman or the board all pay the defaulter in a team. Some shares are distributed here and there. There was no such looting in the financial sector during the half-colony period. Although there was looting, it was limited to five to ten percent. During the Pakistan period the Bengalis had two banks. One is Mercantile (Pubali), the other is Eastern Banking (Uttara). These two were owned by Ak Khan Saheb and Zahirul Islam Saheb. Mr. Zahirul Islam's family still owns Uttara Bank. Mr. Ak Khan was the Minister of Industries during the Pakistan period. We have not heard any notoriety of Mr. Khan as a businessman or a minister. We don't hear much about the family of Mr. Zahirul Islam. However, Eastern Housing has a notoriety for occupying the land of the poor. I have not heard any notoriety of these two families during the Pakistan period regarding bank deposits. In 1983,  the National Bank was established in the private sector with a paid-up capital of only three crore taka. Its initiator and founder was Mr. Mujibul Haider Chowdhury. Many of them have become directors with a capital of five lakhs. At one stage, the directors realized that if Haider Chowdhury existed, they would not be able to loot. So he was expelled. National Bank is still in the possession of Sikdar Group. Now it takes four hundred crore taka to establish a bank. The person who got the license for political reasons sold the shares and became the owner of four or five hundred crore taka. The names of 22 families could be heard during the Pakistan period. Now the names of 22,000 Bengali families can be heard. Several years ago, a former MP known as Dwip bandhu opened an investment company called Bangladesh Commerce. He became an MP and transformed the bankrupt company into a bank and renamed it Bangladesh Commerce Bank. Now rumors are circulating that this bank is also going to be bankrupt.

Now Bengalis earn income in Bangladesh which means they rob banks and take that money to Canada and Malaysia. Now Bengalis earn income in Bangladesh which means they rob banks and take that money to Canada and Malaysia. Build a house there. They get their  sons/daughters married in Pakistan and India. Haldar's name has become very popular inside. For example, Al Amin Group has looted around Tk. 400 crore from People's Leasing. Again they joined hands with Mr. Darbesh to take ownership of People's Leasing. With the help of Mr. Darbesh, the gentleman came forward to take charge of the People's Leasing. He himself has paid money. Now he is saying that he will repay all the money in one hundred years. Just let him or they go abroad. Bank accounts should be opened. PK Haldar is saying the same thing. If given a chance to do business he will return the money and do business regularly. He cannot be arrested. There are still many brokers to broke for Haldar. As I have said before, PK Haldar has paid many brokers to work for him. One of the entertaining women is still out and doing regular office work and lobbying for PK.?

Never before has there been such a big scandal in the financial world as the looting of PK. Many are in the country defaulting on loans of Tk. 15,000 crore and trying to do business. Arefin of Alamin Group is still in the country. If there is effective and strong supervision in the management of the bank, there are not so many defaulters. The rich have realized that once the money is withheld, where will the bank go without baldness again? He has political influence over it. A shining example of this is the revered Darbesh. He took money from the bank in various ways and rescheduled it. He also became the owner of bank insurance. He has a game in the stock market. He has lobbied for Arefin of Alamin Group to take over People's Leasing. The depositors have been wandering behind Arefin for some time. Later it was seen that Arefin himself was sitting on People's Leasing money.

Now the government is in a financial crisis. It is trying to collect money from all around. Finding out where the surplus is to any organization. The government does not have the necessary funds for development at the moment. The revenue collection target is not being achieved this year. Even income tax payers who have no income are sending letters to others asking for advance income tax. Even fear of the law is being shown. The Income Tax Department considers such notices to be their routine work. Earlier, car insurance had first party and third party arrangements. Now the first party has been made mandatory. In the case of public and private companies, this system is fine. But for a middle class who thinks of the transport system in Dhaka city, even if it is a small old car for his family, compulsory first party insurance is a kind of oppression. For a car, the government collects 30/40 thousand takas a year in income tax, road tax, fitness and so on. There is also an annual income tax.

On the other hand, the relatives of the government are taking money from different banks in various ways. Returning the money is secondary. No one has anything to say. Banks fulfill their legal responsibilities by writing regular letters. If too much, make a case. PK Haldar is a new kind and new strategy. He has touched Bangladesh Bank. As a result, the bank's deputy governor and executive director took a monthly salary from PK. If he gave a big bet, he would give them a lot. He is a banker himself, he knows if making paper will kill money. He has bankrupted four leasing companies. Anyone who knew about Haldar's looting would get a share. He had a warehouse of land deeds. He used to buy land in the village very cheaply. He used to mortgage a bank by showing fifty taka for a piece of land, purchasing it for one taka. In this way he has looted ten thousand crores of taka. However, the government has not taken any humanitarian program to return the money to the depositors. On the contrary, Bangladesh Bank has hastily taken initiative to liquidate the small depositors of People's Leasing by making them beggars. Bangladesh Bank has given a license to leasing companies to collect deposits. It is the moral responsibility of the government and the central bank to protect the depositors.

Who will lead France for the next five years?



Dr Mahfuz Parvez
Macron and Le Pen Prepare for Showdown

Macron and Le Pen Prepare for Showdown

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France on Saturday (April 23) prepared to choose between centrist President Emmanuel Macron and far-right challenger Marine Le Pen to rule the country for the next five years after a bitterly contested and polarising election campaign. By Sunday (April 24) evening, the world will know whether France has elected its first female leader, or the first two-term president since Jacques Chirac.

Considering the election processes, It’s looking like Emmanuel Macron is headed for victory; he holds a ten-point average lead in polls over his challenger, the far-right Marine Le Pen. That she is still within range of Macron, who trounced her by 30 percentage points in 2017, has Western capitals nervous that the French could swap an ardent EU supporter for one closer to Moscow than Brussels.

However, Undecided voters are one concern, with as many as 11 percent still yet to make up their minds. The supporters of the far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon are another wildcard. The worry for Macron is not so much that they would go over to Le Pen, but that they simply won’t vote at all. Just under half of his first round voters don’t intend to cast a ballot on Sunday, but two-thirds of those who plan to vote say they’ll back Macron.

Michele Barbero, in a Paris dispatch for Foreign Policy Journal, spoke with one Mélenchon supporter who isn’t sure whether to vote on Sunday. “I feel disillusioned, desperate, and I have less and less confidence in politics to bring about more social justice,” she said.

As the election of Joe Biden in 2020 showed, a victory for a centrist candidate doesn’t magically de-polarize an electorate. So even a loss may not spell the end for Le Pen, who will be just 58 when the 2027 elections come around—and would no longer have to face Macron, who would be barred from serving a third consecutive term.

With Le Pen within arm’s reach of Macron, some world leaders have gotten off the fence. In a rare foray into French politics, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made the case for Macron in a Le Monde op-ed on Thursday. Sharing a byline with his left-leaning counterparts Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, the three men presented a choice between “a democratic candidate, who believes that France grows in a powerful EU. And a far-right candidate, who openly sides with those attacking our freedom and democracy.”

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the former Brazilian President has also stated his support for Macron, describing the election as one where “the future of democracy” is at stake.

Although U.S. President Joe Biden has not publicly expressed his preference, his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama still might. The former president would be leaving it late; he already had backed Macron by this time in the 2017 election cycle.

Perhaps doing Le Pen a favor, given the distance she has tried to put between herself and the Russian leader during her campaign, Russian President Vladimir Putin has stayed silent. Her ideological allies in Hungary and Poland have too.

Imprisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny has also stumped for Macron—while skewering his opponent, saying on Twitter that any so-called conservative who is sympathetic to Putin “is actually just a hypocrite with no conscience.”

Barring a too-close-to-call election, exit polls should predict the winner by the time voting ends at 8 p.m. Paris time on Sunday.

Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Professor, Political Science, University of Chittagong and Associate Editor, barta24.com

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Let’s talk about the elephant in the room



Tazlina Zamila Khan
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room

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Our nation has reached a point where just walking down the street is the most risky and courageous undertaking that one can perform. Once you go out into the street, there is no assurance that you will be able to return to your loved ones. No matter what mode of transportation you choose, such as a bus or a car, you are not protected. I was taken aback when I received some news about one of my students. He and his mother were driving home from school like they often did when their car collided with a rickshaw, killing one of the passengers. The chauffeur was able to flee the scene very quickly, but my student's mother was gravely injured. It was a traumatic experience for such a young boy like him to see such an occurrence unfold in front of his own eyes. The person who died could have been anybody, and it might have been someone you know. Every day, the number of accidents increases, and the worth of human life decreases.

Sometimes it does remind me of one of the dialogues of Spiderman II --‘Uncle Ben was killed that night for being the only one who did the right thing’. Bangladeshi street scenes are similar to this in terms of situation. Even if you are driving safely and, in your lane, you may be involved in an accident due to the negligence of another driver. Thousands of Uncle Ben is Somebody else's careless behavior resulted in these people's death. To make a safer road, how much blood must be shed?

According to a news report of The Daily Star which stated the road accident rates increased by 30%. In addition to reckless driving, a lack of skilled drivers, mental and physical illness in drivers, insufficient benefits for drivers, slow vehicular movement on highways and youths riding carelessly on motorbikes, an ineffective traffic management system, and a lack of awareness among the general public are all factors contributing to traffic fatalities and injuries.

If the management is tight, however, all of these issues will not be addressed for some time. What annoys me the most is that in our nation, there is no consequence for individuals who are guilty for their actions on the road. The vast majority of the time, drivers escape after murdering someone. Every attempt is made to bring justice to the victim's family, but all of it is in vain.

With each victim who escapes, it sends a message to the whole society that "it is alright to murder someone since no one else will come to haunt you." This is very hazardous, and sadly, this is the reality of the situation in the country. As a result, accidents are happening on the other hand culprits are moving freely without being punished.

Despite the government's stated goal of reducing road accidents by 20-25 percent by 2024 and 50 percent by 2030, the number of accidents in the nation has continued to rise over the last few years.

When it comes to following the rules of the road, motorcycles have a particularly difficult time. They indicate that time is more important than human lives by rushing to the destination with the passengers. Every member of the family is affected by even a little accident. No matter how sympathetic or empathic you are to the victim's family, you will never be able to replace the gap left by the death of a spouse, a daughter, or a son. It's impossible to fathom the anguish and misery endured by the families affected by such tragedies.

Despite this, traffic accidents are still being referred to as the elephant in the room. As a matter of fact, it should have been dealt with and resolved much sooner had it been given more priority. In reality, though, it is steadily increasing. Why has it been put off for so long?

Road accidents are still a severe problem, despite the fact that our communication system has undergone a major shift. Adequate driving instruction is essential, and law enforcement authorities should be harsher with those who breach the rules. To illustrate that no one is above the law, the perpetrators of these crimes should be punished.

The writer is a faculty member of a private school

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Japan, China and Asian Peace



Dr. Mahfuz Parvez
Japan, China and Asian Peace

Japan, China and Asian Peace

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Japan and China, two important countries in Asia, are also influential in regional and international politics. These two countries can play a leading role in peace and development in Asia. Although their pasts are conflicting, their peaceful alliance is essential to world reality. Especially for Asia-Pacific peace, it is essential that the two countries come together.

Considering the important position of two countries, researchers have worked on the positive aspects of the friendly role of Japan and China. As they look to the past and the present, some researchers have raised hopes for the future. Ezra Feivel Vogel was an one of them.

Ezra Feivel Vogel, (Born: July 11, 1930, Delaware, Ohio, United States, Died: December 20, 2020, Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States) was an American sociologist who wrote prolifically on modern Japan, China, and Korea, and worked both in academia and the public sphere. He was Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University and the author of a masterpiece titled China and Japan: Facing History, published in 2019 just before his death.

According to Ezra Feivel Voge, China and Japan have cultural and political connections that stretch back fifteen hundred years. But today their relationship is strained. China’s military buildup deeply worries Japan, while Japan’s brutal occupation of China in World War II remains an open wound. In recent years less than ten percent of each population had positive feelings toward the other, and both countries insist that the other side must deal openly with its history before relations can improve.

From the sixth century, when the Japanese adopted core elements of Chinese civilization, to the late twentieth century, when China looked to Japan for a path to capitalism, Ezra Vogel’s book examined key turning points in Sino–Japanese history. Throughout much of their past, the two countries maintained deep cultural ties, but China, with its great civilization and resources, had the upper hand. Japan’s success in modernizing in the nineteenth century and its victory in the 1895 Sino–Japanese War changed the dynamic, putting Japan in the dominant position. The bitter legacy of World War II has made cooperation difficult, despite efforts to promote trade and, more recently, tourism.

Vogel underscored the need for Japan to offer a thorough apology for the war, but he also urged China to recognize Japan as a potential vital partner in the region. He argued that for the sake of a stable world order, these two Asian giants must reset their relationship, starting with their common interests in environmental protection, disaster relief, global economic development, and scientific research.

Dr. Mahfuz Parvez, Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh and Associate Editor, www.barta24.com.
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Our victory: our pride



Syed Iftekhar
photo: Barta24.com

photo: Barta24.com

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In the 21st century, technology is a crucial factor for economic development. Bangladesh is not left behind, the current time the region is part of the global community. The country embarked on a long way since the declaration of independence in 1971.

Nowadays, Bangladesh turns 50 years. Digital Bangladesh is developing swiftly with this momentum that will lead the territory into achieving its future goals. Meanwhile, the region has commenced the journey towards Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's 'Sonar Bangla' through this massive triumph.

Here and now, Bangladesh is making an impressive leap on the Earth as our situation has dramatically improved. The world leaders have even noticed our successful transformation. Consequently, Bangladesh has ranked the fastest-growing economies in the world. From 1971 to 2021, Bangladesh ameliorated enormously; our food safety has significantly improved, poverty is also declining.

On the other hand, the private sector has expanded at an astonishing rate. Although there are still some sectors Bangladesh needs to address. We need to do major works more efficiently at present to secure an ample future. In this case, the present government is striving. As conscious citizens of this country, we have individual responsibility too.

However, as a firm citizen, I also have a gigantic dream. A dream for a better life, prosperous life. It is not just a conception. This would happen soon. I am immensely hopeful because without hope this country could not be created. Further, we could not overcome several obstacles as well as challenges. Nonetheless, the rigorous reality is hopes are not well enough. We must make a noteworthy endeavor to turn them into reality, thus, we can go far.

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