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Inequality to remain matter of concern in coming yrs: Muhith
Finance minister AMA Muhith on Thursday expressed concern over the income inequality prevailing in the country saying that the government could reduce poverty but not the income inequality.
‘No doubt, we have reduced poverty but inequality has not been reduced and this is going to be a matter of concern in the coming years,’ the finance minister said at the inaugural ceremony of 3rd BIFFL Green and PPP Convention and Expo 2018.
‘We are little bit unhappy about the growth of inequality. In this area, we deserve particular attention and inequality must be carefully checked because we have 10 million very poor people in our country,’ Muhith said.
Bangladesh Infrastructure Finance Fund Limited, a financial institution under the finance ministry, is organising the three-day event at the Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in capital Dhaka.
The finance minister also urged all to be conscious about green development to save life and the earth.
He said that the impact of climate change was a matter of serious concern for the whole world and Bangladesh was the worst sufferer of it.
‘So we have to care for green development in a very special manner,’ Muhith said.
He sought cooperation of global green activists and said Bangladesh was the leader of green development in the world.
The finance minister said now the energy generating capacity was more than the demand in the country and it would continue up to next 2024.
He said that the government had taken a crash programme for energy and the programme was the root of the country’s development in last 10 years.
‘By 2024, we should have energy generating capacity at 30,000MW…and the requirement in the country would be near 30,000MW. So this is a matter of great satisfaction for us and the matter of satisfaction for the economy,’ Muhith said.
Hitoshi Hirata, chief representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency in Bangladesh, said that the energy prices were becoming costlier and the efficient use of energy was very critical for Bangladesh.
‘JICA assistance has been little bit introduced in the energy and power sector in Bangladesh and we first formulated energy efficiency and conservation master plan. Under this plan, we estimated that GDP intensity of total energy consumption would decrease by 23 per cent in 2020 if energy saving measures were taken as per the proposal,’ he said.
AKM Abdullah, team leader of Bangladesh Investment Promotion and Financing Facility Project under World Bank, praised the government for adopting sustainable financing guidelines and promoting green financing.
‘We are promoting the use of advanced technology to reduce sulphur dioxide and other harmful emissions. Investment for reduction of sulphur dioxide emission and reduction of water pollution is not a charity to society and not a burden on the private sector,’ he said.
Abdullah said measures for reducing air and water pollution were mandatory steps not voluntary ones.
Additional finance secretary Md Ekhlasur Rahman and BIFFL executive director and chief executive officer SM Formanul Islam also spoke at the event.
Businesses are showcasing energy efficient and energy saving environment-friendly industrial technologies at the fair.