Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Thursday said that there were two groups at the country’s stock market — one was lion and the other goat — with the lion prevailing over the goat.
‘The lion must survive because of advantages they enjoy over the goat,’ said Kamal at a pre-budget parley with editors of the print and electronic media and representatives of the non-government organisations at Planning Commission in capital Dhaka.
He used the symbols of lion and goat to describe the prevailing situation at the share market after the Dhaka Stock Exchange index lost more than 700 points to stand at 5,233.59 points on Wednesday, the lowest since December 18.
Earlier, a number of editors of the electronic and print media inquired about the stock market and criticised the recent statement made by the finance minister over it.
On Monday, Kamal said he found no problem at the capital market despite the record 12-week slump in stock prices at DSE after a meeting with officials of Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission.
‘If we inject any fund — be it Tk 50,000 crore or Tk 5 lakh crore — for stabilising the market, the funds would simply vanish from the market,’ he said on Thursday, indicating manipulators at the market in an opaque remark.
‘You know who they are,’ he said.
Kamal said that the prices of securities were being reduced so that those could be purchased later at cheap prices.
He also noted that there was no way for investors but to make investment after collecting necessary information.
He appealed to the editors of the print and electronic media for making investors aware about the market.
The finance minister also assured the editors that he would consider demands they made regarding the media industry.
Earlier, Protom Alo editor Matiur Rahman requested the finance minister to withdraw 15 per cent duty on the import of newsprint in addition to cutting corporate tax of the newspaper industry and keeping the house rent of the journalists out of the purview of income tax.
At the concluding remark, Kamal said they did not want to see abysmal state at the stock market again, referring to the great debacles in 1996 and 2010-11.
‘We don’t want people scold us time and again,’ he said.
Kamal also focused on the banking sector, capital flight, traffic situation, quality of education and savings certificates while responding to issues raised by discussants including Bishwa Sahitya Kendra chairman Abdullah Abu Sayeed, former caretaker government adviser Rasheda K Chowdhury and SHUJAN member secretary Badiul Alam Majumdar.
On the allegation that no measure was taken to check the growing capital flight to ‘Begum Para’ in Canada, New York and Malaysia, he said money would always go to the profitable direction.
Kamal hoped that exciting time waited for the country in next 10 to 20 years as both foreign direct investment and local investment would grow significantly.
He reiterated the steps that the government was going to take to check the bad loans in the country’s ailing banking sector.
He also reiterated that compound interest was a major problem along with wilful defaulters for bad loans.
He said a list of wilful defaulters had already been prepared.
The government is planning to construct a circular railway to control traffic in the capital, he said.
Earlier, Abdullah Abu Sayeed said three government agencies were competing to construct flyovers in the capital although such infrastructure spoiled the beauty of surrounding areas and obstructed smooth movement of residents in those areas.
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