Mashiur for diversification of tools to encourage investment

Terming the country’s investment instruments inadequate, Prime Minister’s Economic Affairs Adviser Dr Mashiur Rahman said diversification of investment instruments is urgently needed to encourage people for savings and investment, reports BSS. “I think our investment instruments are very limited . . . we need better and diversified savings tools rather than savings certificates to encourage people for savings and investment,” said Mashiur Rahman while speaking at a seminar-‘Rural Transformation and Entrep­reneur­ship Development in Bangladesh’ at a city hotel here today.

Social Development Foundation (SDF) organised the seminar with its Chairperson MI Chowdhury in the chair. Senior Secretary of the Finance Ministry’s M Asadul Islam, World Bank’s Practice Manger (Agriculture) Loraine Ronchi, and SDF Managing Director AZM Sakhawat Hossain, among others, took part in the discussion.

Additional Secretary of the Finance Ministry Arjit Chowdhury delivered the keynote address. Mashiur Rahman said the government set up SDF as a homegrown enterprise to address the issue of poverty and resolve the problems of the poor. Later, the World Bank and other donors and aid agencies joined it as its supporting hands, he added.

About the poverty reduction, he said poverty reduction progra­mmes should be prepared incorporating new ideas to avoid duplication. One of the problems is that a large number of ministries are engaged in more or less the same kind of activities, he said, adding that the country needs more efficient and better alternatives to switch from the less efficient to more efficient alternatives to save costs for services.

He also focused on professionalism for delivering better services and help the government guide the country towards rapid progress, saying that greater professionalism is needed to ensure proper  implementation of the Prime Minister’s initiatives. SDF Chairperson MI Chowdhury said SDF has been playing an important role in developing the socio-economic condition of the country’s disadvantaged people and women.

Though Bangladesh earned huge success in reducing poverty over the last one decade, the country still could not get rid of the curse of poverty, he added. Highlighting SDF’s various initiatives in poverty eradication, MI Chowdhury said SDF will also perform the responsibilities to be given by the government in the days to come and thus help build ‘Sonar Bangla’ as dreamt by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

In his keynote paper, Arjit Chowdhury said higher labour productivity is essential to  diversify the economy as the demand of high-level skill is also growing. “Investment in human capital is required to utilise the benefits of Bangladesh’s demographic dividend,” he added. He said the SDF successfully implemented many pro-poor projects while it is now in the final year of completing the Nuton Jibon Livelihood Impro­vement Project (NJLIP).

WB official Loraine Ronchi said a huge number of people in Bangladesh are still below the poverty line despite the impressive growth of the country. SDF through its various projects, including the NJLIP, has been playing a very important role in reducing poverty, she added.