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17th-Mar-2016

People`s money must be brought back

By Editorial Desk

A big reshuffling is underway at Bangladesh Bank (BB) management now replacing the governor with a new recruit and removing two deputy governors and two executive directors among few others. This is the government reaction to restore people's confidence in the bank following the cyber scam in which hackers have taken away US$ 101 million from the bank's account with Federal Reserves in New York.But question also arises about the incompetent people running the ministry of finance. They have a separate banking division but the finance minister has always allowed banks to be swindled by party men enjoying impunity. Many believe that the finance minister must also resign along with BB officials to give chance to rebuild the country's moribund banking and financial sector.    The theft has taken to the fore the highly deplorable security loopholes in the hands of an inefficient and incompetent bank management at BB that left the currency reserves unprotected. Now as the governor has been replaced and when the governor has rather characterized his resignation as the 'retreat of a hero' the first question is that there is no heroism that the governor can claim when leaving the central bank in a mess.  It is rather so sad and a shame that the country has lost so much money to global fraudsters because of incompetence of the governor and his management. The most relevant question is now who will refund the people's money to the bank. There is no question about the fact that the governor failed to take his responsibility seriously and he must be held accountable for the loss of people's money. It is a disappointment for him to claim his resignation as heroic. He used to be known as a sober man. Mere resignation can't exonerate the man who caused so much damage to the country's image and loss to its reserves. The most crucial point is that the resignation that the Prime Minister has even praised as 'moral strength and courage' of him for his so doing is out of place and loss of people's money does not matter to the Prime Minister even.  Many fear that the Prime Minister's remarks will send wrong message to swindlers as well as to inefficient bank management that closer party link is enough to enjoy impunity and overcome responsibility.   Now the point is that people want their money returned, it is nobody's money but people's money and those responsible for failure to protect the money must not escape. The money must be realised. But who will return the money if those responsible are allowed to escape without being held accountable for it. It is unthinkable that people in Philippines are gambling with Bangladesh money to make illegal fortune out of their illegal possession. There is hardly any scope to retrieve it.  The fact is that Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Atiur Rahman who pretends to be a littérateur has always neglected his professional responsibility over the past seven years as the leader of the regulatory body of the country's banking sector. In any other country the Finance Minister would have resigned. But we want the people's money to be realised from whomsoever.