PM slams Muhith for microcredit remarks
Staff Reporter:The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, on Saturday criticized her cabinet member AMA Muhith for praising the role of microcredit and Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus in eradicating the country's poverty.
‘A couple of days back, our finance minister highly praised microcredit and said poverty eradication has been done successfully due to microcredit. If poverty has been reduced for him (Yunus) then why the poverty rate was 60 per cent and reduced to 22 per cent now,’ she said.
The prime minister was addressing at the national council of Bangladesh Mahila Awami League at Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh.
She said, ‘I’ll urge the honorable finance minister to take the statistics during which regime poverty has been reduced. This is, of course, during the Awami League regime. It came down due to steps taken by the AL government where the finance minister was involved.’
During the 1996-2001 rule, the prime minister said, then finance minister SAMS Kibria was involved. ‘As a result, the poverty has reduced.’
During the BNP’s rule and caretaker governments the poverty reduction pace got stalled, she said adding that as it was nourished through microcredit while the microcredit lenders accumulated wealth.
Hasina said the hard-earned money of the rural women is used for repaying the high interest rate of the microcredit. ‘They live from hand to mouth, but cannot come out from the poverty, and those who do the microcredit business don’t want poor people to come out of poverty cycle as it’ll stop their business.’
She said the main aim of her government is to remove poverty from the country. ‘It’s a matter of regret that he (finance minister Muhith) praised such a man who stopped the World Bank from financing the Padma Bridge project… I had been threatened repeatedly by the USA. But he highly appreciated that person,’ Hasina said.
The prime minister said she is there in politics to develop the fate of the country’s common people, not to do business with them.