Vol. 5 Num 816 Tue. September 12, 2006  

7cr people live under poverty line
NGOs blame WB, IMF prescriptions

Speakers at a seminar in Dhaka yesterday observed that the country's poverty ratio increased in the last few years due to adoption of the World Bank and IMF prescriptions.

They said in 1972, about 5 crore people were used to live under poverty line. But the figure rose to 7 crore in the year 2005, which resulted from adopting various suggestions made by these two international lending agencies, though aids from them increased by 63 percent during the same time.

The observation came at a seminar on 'Interest of World Bank and International Monetary Fund: Policy Making, Condition and Sovereignty' organised by the Alliance for Economic Justice (AEJB), a platform of 36 organisations, including Campaign for Good Governance, at National Press Club.

The seminar, chaired by Hoque Mukta, director research and advocacy of Karmojibi Nari, was held prior to the 50th summit of WB and IMF, due in Singapore from September 14 to 20. Jakir Hossain and Rashed Al Titumir of Unnayan Onneshan were also present at the seminar.

"The government has failed to monitor the domestic market by following WB and IMF prescriptions. As a result, poor people suffer more due to sky rocketing prices of commodities," said Mousumi Biswash of the Campaign for Good Governance.

She said, "By adopting WB and IMF prescriptions, about 2 crore people fall under poverty line during the last few years."

Abdullah Al Mamun of Karmojibi Nari said," As the national budget and other economic policies are usually formulated by following the WB and IMF suggestions, the ratio of poverty alleviation has come down".

Although the country's GDP has raised 5 percent in the last 15 years, poverty reduced only to 1 percent, said Monwar Mostafa of Unnayan Onneshan.

He said, "If we continuously follow the donors' prescriptions instead of our own homegrown policy, it would not be possible to remove poverty from the country."

Meanwhile, in protest against the intervention of WB and IMF, the AEJB has adopted some draft proposals, which would be publicised through a number of programmes. These programmes include seminars, submitting memoranda to deputy commissioners of 46 districts, lawmakers and finance minister, holding rally and forming human chain on September 16 in 46 districts, participating at Singapore summit and creating awareness through holding meeting there.