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Muhith may remain as finance minister

Muhith may remain as finance minister

“I don’t say no to anything the prime minister says. If she wants, I can continue as finance minister for one more year,” Muhith said while exchanging new-year greetings with journalists at his office.

The Awami League-led grand alliance is set to form government for the third time in a row after a landslide victory in the 11th parliamentary elections held on Sunday. 

However, Muhith, a sexagenarian who presented 10 budgets in a row in favour of AL government as finance minister, did not take part in the election.

Now, he has to be a technocrat minister if Prime Minister Hasina wants him to continue, although he was an elected lawmaker in the previous two terms of the AL government.

According to cabinet division information, the new cabinet is likely to be formed by 5 January after the Election Commission’s gazette notification regarding polls results and the oath taking of elected lawmakers.

Muhith’s contribution to the country’s present economic gains is seen very important although the economy went through some setbacks as well during his time, such as capital market debacle, fraudulent MLM business, theft of central bank’s money and loans scams in the banking sector.

In the discussion, the finance minister went through a number of important issues, including challenges for the new government and the just-concluded 11th parliamentary polls.Muhith said the main task of the new government would be to establish good governance in the country and bringing back discipline in the banking sector.

 

He hoped that the country will do some economic miracle in the next five years and is likely to get rid of the curse of poverty by this time.

“Bangladesh will make some impossible possible in the economy in the next five years. I hope that the country will be free of poverty in the next five years,” he noted.

However, he said some people will always depend on the government like Malaysia where 7 per cent population is still poor even though it is the best performer in terms of poverty reduction.

About the national polls held on Sunday, Muhith said usually a 40 per cent voter turnout in national polls is seen positively abroad, whereas in Bangladesh a 70 per cent plus vote cast is seen as a good election.

“The polling was good because more than 70 per cent voters have cast their votes. More people cast vote in the polls because they have already realised that the country won’t achieve without Sheikh Hasina’s leadership,” he said.