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Muhith blames Yunus for falling FDI

Experts term the comments ‘childish’

Staff Correspondent

Finance minister AMA Muhith on Thursday accused Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus of negatively projecting the country’s image outside which, he said, was affecting inflow of the foreign direct investment.
Referring to his recent meeting with Amartya Sen, another Nobel Laureate, Muhith said many positive aspects of Bangladesh were not highlighted internationally.
‘The reason is Yunus,’ he told reporters after the mid-term review of the 6th five-year plan at the Planning Commission.
The mid-term review, first of its kind, identified problems, including the falling FDI that slowed down the expected progress of the plan re-introduced by the present government after a gap of several years.
Experts termed ‘frivolous’ Muhith’s allegation against Yunus and said that it was a typical ‘blame game’.
They pointed out that the main problem was lack of good governance and the situation deteriorated further with a series of high profile financial scams which they blamed on political interference in the country’s banking system.
Muhith admitted that lack of governance was a barrier but claimed that it had improved under the present government.
He said Yunus had wonderful publicity machinery and all the Nobel Laureate had said was not true.
The present government has taken a series of measures
which went against Yunus and Grameen Bank. Muhammad Yunus has alleged that the government is trying to take over the Grameen Bank which is supervised by its stakeholders, mainly women.  
‘He [Yunus] does not want to quit Grameen Bank that he founded and that is the problem,’ said Muhith.
Former caretaker government adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman told New Age that the finance minister had tried to hide the real causes of the plummeting FDI by the ‘frivolous’ comments.
The mid-term review disclosed that that investment in FY2010-11 was 24.7 per cent, lower than the target of 25.9 per cent, and 24.9 per cent in FY2011-12 against the target of 26.8 per cent.
Muhith said the country was suffering badly because of dearth of FDI. The country needs FDI as our resources are limited, he said.
  American Chamber of Commerce in Bangladesh president Aftab Ul Islam said lack of governance was still regarded by foreigners as the biggest barrier to higher inflow of the FDI.
He also said that non-availability of lands had emerged as another major problem nowadays that frustrated many potential Chinese investors’ bid to relocate factories in Bangladesh.

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