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Akbar Ali slams govt for 'rosy' development scenario PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 15 March 2008

Staff Correspondent

Chairman of the Regulatory Reforms Commission Akbar Ali Khan came down heavily on the Planning Commission Friday for incorporating wrong data in the government publication on millennium development goals.

"The Planning Commission in the publication stated that in 2007, 0.1 percent people in urban areas in Bangladesh did not have access to safe water," he said.

"I would believe this figure if the officials who have given the figure would drink WASA water for seven days," Akbar Ali, a former adviser to the caretaker government, told a seminar on sustainable development.

"They would be hospitalised if they did!" "They are singing lullabies to put us to sleep and giving us a rosy picture on our development," he said. The former adviser said people in the country were facing a silent famine owing to the escalating price of essentials.

The RRC chairman also pointed out that the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics put the figure for unemployment at 3 percent, while the Planning Commission said 13 percent.

"But just go to the street to test the data; you will get the right picture," he said, implying the unemployment figure was much higher than either of the quoted figures.

Akbar Ali underlined the need for reviving the country's river routes instead of constructing roads on a massive scale. "If we continue to construct newer and bigger buildings and roads, the time will come when there is no land left for cultivation to produce food for this huge population." He said the government must prioritise the nation's two big issues--land and water.

Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies and the United Nations Development Programme jointly organised the seminar at the Jatiya Press Club. BIDS director Dr Asaduzzaman presented the keynote paper.

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