Mustafa Kamal takes swipe at economists

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 01:14am on January 09, 2019


New finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal on Tuesday took a swipe at economists saying that they only saw fear, crisis and earthquake.
‘They [economists] even feel earthquake in dreams,’ he told reporters at the Planning Commission while commenting on suspicions expressed by economists that establishing good governance in the financial sector and freeing it from political influence would be tough tasks for the government.
The economists expressed the suspicions despite projection by a UK-based research organisation that Bangladesh would become the world’s 24th largest economy by 2033.
Mustafa Kamal, who replaced octogenarian AMA Muhith on Monday, requested all to keep faith in him and said that he would work to make the people self-confident as, according to him, self-confidence was an ‘intangible infrastructure’ the people of the country lacked.
He noted that the condition of the country’s banking and financial sector was not as bad as it was projected.
He hinted at changing aged-old laws and regulations to infuse dynamism in the financial sector that, according to him, was unexplored and untapped.
On Monday, while addressing finance ministry officials, Mustafa Kamal blamed oversight and negligence for high-flying non-performing loan, 13 per cent of the total loans.
He advised the bankers to be strict for checking the growth of bad loans and not to indulge kith and kin.
He also advised the bankers to introduce more than one rates to deal with good and bad borrowers and also take help from experts to prepare loan deals.
Fresh from serving as the planning minister in the past five years businessperson-turned-politician Mustafa Kamal said that borrowings from overseas banks should be made tougher.
He asked the tax officials to reduce the tax rate and expand the net while describing the present tax-GDP rate of 10 per cent much lower than the required 16 per cent.