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Monday, November 20, 2017 09:43:14 AM
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Now the Shipping Minister interrupts the banking sector

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15th-Nov-2017       
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NEVER before had a government minister appeared so impudent and reckless in terms of intervening into the internal affairs of a different sector.  It is about to happen today as several news reports suggest that the Shipping Minister is scheduled today to visit the Bangladesh Bank (BB) in order to hold a series of meetings with the bank's employee's association leaders. He is also reported to discuss the 'overall condition and performance' of the banking sector with his counterparts. Moreover, the BB will bear costs of all the 18 outside participants and their meetings will be considered as official duties falling under official regular work hours.

    
It is an unprecedented event. The questions involuntarily arise - who is the Shipping Minister to evaluate the overall situation and performance of the banking sector? What are his credentials? Above all, who gave him the authority to unlawfully interfere in a completely different sector?

It appears, the government has no control over the Shipping Minister. Known widely as a leader of the transport drivers association, he did the same in 2013 by forming an association for ensuring salary and wages for garment workers. He even conducted most of the meetings inside the shipping ministry. Now he is about to interrupt the country's supreme banking and regulatory authority. It is, as if, the country is lacking in banking and financial experts and he is the trouble-shooter in this regard.

However, in order to participate in his meetings the BB authority has also granted paid leave to the members of the employees association from 14-17 November. Upon learning this, we can only say that the central bank's bureaucratic chain of command is either malfunctioning or has broken down.  

We severely protest such uncalled for and unethical interference of the minister in our banking sector. The ailing sector is near to the brink of collapse and instead of reforming it - the ruling party is attempting to politicise it. The Prime Minister, if she is aware of the gross irregularities taking place within the banking sector, must take serious note of her minister's unwarranted interference. The Shipping Minister is expected to do what he was appointed for - serve his ministry, and not cause needless disruptions elsewhere.

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