News Published: Sunday, Feb 27, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Development onus is not on lenders
Speakers urge reforms in internal policies at book launch
Star Business Report
Global lenders such as World Bank and International Monetary Fund should not be blamed for a country's failure to adjust their policies to get benefit, said a former central bank governor yesterday.
"The World Bank and International Monetary Fund have not always done bad things only. The success of their guidelines depends on how we deal with them," former Bangladesh Bank governor Salehuddin Ahmed said.
The former governor was speaking at a book launching ceremony in the conference room of Policy Research Institute of Bangladesh (PRI) in Dhaka.
"Many of their advices may have failed, but it does not mean that they were ineffective," he said.
Mashiur Rahman, economic adviser to the prime minister, unveiled the book “Unnayaner Arthaneeti” written by Dr Rizwanul Islam, former special adviser of International Labour Organisation (ILO). The book was published by University Press Ltd.
Ahmed said Bangladesh must carefully handle the growing young population and offer them employment. "Many countries have failed to do this, while some have dealt with the issue and were benefited."
Developing countries have gained very little from globalisation, as all the people could not take advantage of the phenomenon within a country, Islam wrote in his book.
"Globalisation is not a bad thing. We cannot progress by bypassing it. The benefit of it should be distributed equally," he said.
He wrote: "The investment in Bangladesh's agriculture sector has to be increased even if the country aspires to become an industrialised nation. Besides, the number of export-oriented industries has to be increased, as we tend to rely on a handful of sectors."
The book also features issues like development theories, poverty, economic growth, agriculture, food security, employment and income equality.
SR Osmani, professor of Development Economics, University of Ulster, UK, said the benefit of globalisation is not being equally distributed. "We have to find out whether the international political system or a country's domestic policies are responsible."
"The same applies to Bangladesh. When we talk about globalisation, we only call for changes in the global political structure and do not focus on internal policies," he said.
Economist Wahiduddin Mahmud, former finance minister M Syeduzzaman, Director General of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies MK Mujeri, PRI Chairman Zaidi Sattar and its Executive Director Ahsan H Mansur spoke on the occasion.
Mahfuz Anam, editor and publisher of The Daily Star, and Fahmida Khatun, additional research director of Centre for Po-licy Dialogue, were also present.