An interview of the finance minister of Bangladesh
| by Swadesh Roy
( January 06, Dhaka, Sri Lanka Guardian) `Bhutan is a beautiful country, I like Bhutan so much. If you go there, you can see how they are doing. You can see a beautiful vast land and an emerging economy.’ When I asked the finance minister of Bangladesh Abul Mal Abdul Muhith to tell about the economical relation between Bangladesh and Bhutan he started to tell in this way.
|Abul Mal Abdul Muhith|
The finance minister of Bangladesh is the senior most member of the cabinet of Bangladesh. He is a Harvard educated economist. I asked him about the relation and economical cooperation with Bhutan and Bangladesh. He said first about the beauty of the nature of Bhutan and the emerging economy of them. He said that, Bangladesh already has made a good trade relation with Bhutan but we are going to another phase of economical cooperation. He said, Bhutan has a huge hydroelectric potentiality. India has made deal to produce more than 20,000 mw hydroelectricity in joint venture with Bhutan. Bangladesh has offered them to produce hydroelectric power jointly. Bhutan has verbally agreed and now two of the advisers of the prime minister of Bangladesh will go to Bhutan to discuss about this matter. Bangladesh wants to make an agreement with Bhutan to produce hydroelectricity in joint venture.
Economy minister of Bangladesh said that, for the progress of this region we have to come under a same economic banner. That is why we need first a monetary and fiscal coordination. For this coordination the members of the SAARC countries have to sit regularly. He said that, it is very much needed that the finance ministers of the SAARC countries sit twice a year. Before budget, in the starting of the year that means any time of the January, finance, planning and commerce ministers of the SAARC countries have to sit together and they will discuss about their budget. It will help to build-up a fiscal and monetary coordination. Then we will go to prepare our budget. After declaring budget, they will sit together on the month of august. In that meeting, they can review their budget progress and the others. It will help to make coordination on monetary and fiscal policy. In this way, all the countries of the SAARC can discuss their revenue policy and the exchange rate of the money. They can make a common revenue and money exchange policy.
If SAARC countries can enter in this phase, then the trade of this region will get a new life because, exchange rate of money will not vary a lot; besides revenue policy will be same. Then all the countries will get the facility to enter each other’s market easily and in a normal course.
It will be a new phase of the economic relation of this region. If the SAARC countries can coordinate their fiscal and monetary policy, they can go a long way in future. Besides that countries like, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives are now very much serious about regional cooperation, on the other hand, a large economy like India has understood that, these small countries are not negligible rather than it is necessary for Indian economy. So we can say that, this region will be entering in a new phase of the economy, what the finance minister of Bangladesh is thinking. It is true that he is a man of optimism and he has the ability to survive his own country’s economy in this world’s economic recession.
( Swadesh Roy, Executive Editor, Daily Janakantha, Dhaka, Bangladesh )