Political commitment must to reduce capital flight17 April 2016
Speakers at a round table on Saturday laid emphasis on good governance and political commitment at national level to combat money laundering and illicit transfer of capital from the country.
Equity and Justice Working Group, Bangladesh (EquityBD) and Daily Bonikbarta jointly organized the discussion titled "Illicit Financial Flow and Our Political Economy" in the city.
The round table was chaired by Member of Parliament (MP) the Chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Oil, Gas and Mineral Resources, Tazul Islam, and moderated by Editor the Daily Bonik Barta, Dewan Mohammed Hanif.
Among others, Amir Kashru and Lt Gen (Retd) Mahbubur Rahman from Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Former governor of Bangladesh Bank Dr. Salehuddin Ahmed Dr Hossain Zillur Rahman Chairman PPRC and ex Advisor to caretaker government, Faruque Ahmed Executive Editor, The New Nation, Chairman Department of Economics Dhaka University Dr. M A Taslim, Member Governing Board Bangladesh Bank, Dr Jamal Uddin Ahmed, Dr Rashed Al Titumir of Dhaka University, Chief Moderator EquityBD Rezaul Karim Chowdhury and Executive Director COAST spoke in the discussion.
Ahsanul Karim of EquityBD presented the keynote papers.
Ahsanul Karim of EquityBD in his key not paper showed that the illicit flow from Bangladesh was 7 percent of the GDP in 2014, and 11 percent higher of inflow of capital froim outside the country.
Bangladeshi people's deposit in Switzerland Bank was 41 percent higher compare to the figure of 2013 and the country position stands third in the second home program in Malaysia. The speakers were highly critical of the growing money laundering from Bangladesh at a time when a kind of impunity to money launders is allowing it to grow.
Corruption has become part of our financial system where a consensual relations among parties is allowing to grow unimpeded.
It is destroying banking and financial system, power sector, bridges and infrastructure are the target of big money launderers.
Some participants say money laundering has become essential to protect unearned income while others believe that lack of security to investment at local level is forcing investors to move out money to profitable investment abroad.
They believe that Bangladesh must create congenial environment to give safety to investment while stringent laws need to be enacted to stop illicit flow of capital abroad. The said money laundering has not hit the Bangladesh Bank's reserves highlighting the lack of capacity of the nation to protect reserves.
Dr Salahuddin urge for strict compliance of rules and strong role of regulatory bodies.
Dr MA Taslim opined that there should be study on why people transfer money; it is mostly because of hassles in law and insecurity in business investment.
Dr Rashid Al Titumir said that illicit flow happened from the stock of money, which is being accumulated out of public fund embezzlement, so corruption related to public fund need to be contained.
"Illicit flow is multidimensional, if there is political certainty, no good governance, illicit flow will happen," Dr Hossain Zillur said.