State of emergency to be eased gradually:CA
Monday, 28 January 2008

UNB, Davos, Switzerland

The chief adviser, Fakhruddin Ahmed, has said the state of emergency will be eased gradually, but political parties have certain responsibilities and they need to establish accountability through reforms.

'State of emergency will be relaxed gradually, but you know why time is needed for that.

Political parties need to establish accountability within themselves through reforms,' he told a group of Bangladeshi journalists covering the annual meeting of the World Economic Summit 2008. While making comments on Bangladesh's first-ever participation in the WEF as well as on domestic politics, the chief adviser said the government would not impose any reforms on parties.

'But the parties, we hope, will perceive the necessity as people also want it.' He said the day would come when the parties within and outside the government would take decision for consensus on national issues for steering the nation towards sustainable democracy and development.

Admitting that political activities have slowed down, Fakhruddin reiterated his government's plan to lift the restrictions on indoor politics outside Dhaka. 'But political parties have also responsibility to bring dynamism in politics,' he said.

Replying to a question how Bangladesh was benefited from the WEF meeting, the chief adviser said he has been able to project Bangladesh's stories of successes as well as concern to the world political, economic and social leaders during his formal and informal interactions during the meeting.

'I've told them that Bangladesh will emerge as a developing economic power soon,' he told the reporters at the Congress Centre. The chief adviser said he also pointed out Bangladesh's concern over the climate change, stressing that Bangladesh would be one of the vulnerable nations in the wake of the global warming. The world leaders have agreed with this view, he added.

He hoped that Bangladesh would get substantial assistance from the Global Adaptation Fund to cope with the adverse impact of the climate change.

Asked whether Bangladesh was put in line with Pakistan, Afghanistan or Iraq as he had to sit with the leaders of those countries as a panelist at a session of the WEF, Fakhruddin said Bangladesh is completely different from other countries.

'Bangladesh is an example of peace and tranquillity in the region.' 'And I've told them that Bangladesh is different from others.

Bangladesh is now on the road to transition to democracy.' Replying to a question, the chief adviser said each country has its own perception about democracy, human rights and other issues.

Bangladesh has already framed laws to establish an independent National Human Rights Commission and enact the Right to Information Act to strengthen the foundation of democracy, he said. 'Question does not arise whether we will see these issues through western lens.' Fakhruddin said he also highlighted his government's one-year activities and its ultimate aim of holding a free, fair and credible election.

Bangladesh has been built up as a nation of peace and tranquility in the turbulent region. In reply to another question, he admitted the fact that the price rise on the world market, particularly price of petroleum products, rice and edible oil have impacted on the Bangladeshi market and aggravated the sufferings of the people as the country is to import all these items. He, however, said the government has decided to strengthen the OMS from next month and provide food through 30 lakh cards under the VGF programme. Fakhruddin said the government has finalised the process of importing 10 lakh tones of rice.

Besides, the government has taken adequate steps to ensure smooth supply of seeds and fertiliser, and provide irrigation facilities to boost the Boro production.

On the economic scenario, he said some says foreign investment has slowed down and export also came down. Now the scenario has started changing with the increase in export. Besides, with the implementation of the ADP, economic activities would be accelerated, he added.

The chief adviser said the public procurement rules were simplified to ensure quick procurement of goods including rice.

The foreign adviser, Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury, CA's press secretary Syed Fahim Munaim and Bangladesh permanent representative to UN offices in Geneva Ambassador Debapriya Bhattacharya were present.

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