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Mahadi Hasan Badhon
For the first time since 1991, the finance minister of the country has been selected from outside the Sylhet region, putting an end to a 28-year-dominance by a single region in the ministry of finance.
Cabinet Secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam on Sunday announced the names of new cabinet members of the 11th Parliament where it was made clear that the finance minister this time will be a non-Sylhetian. AHM Mustafa Kamal, from Cumilla-10 constituency, has been chosen as the new finance minister of the country. He served as the planning minister during the last 10th parliament.
Since 1991, Bangladesh has seen a total of three finance ministers in five governments, formed by both Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party, until 11th national election on December last year and all of them were from Sylhet region.
After the end of Hussein Muhammad Ershad’s military dictatorship in 1990, M Saifur Rahman took the responsibility of the Finance Ministry of the fifth Jatiya Sangsad in 1991. He was a Member of Parliament from Sylhet-1 and Moulvibazar-3.
In the 1996 government formed by AL, Shah AMS Kibria became the finance minister from Habiganj-3 from July 1996 to July 2001. Habiganj is in the Sylhet district.
During the BNP-Jamaat’s tenure from 2001 to 2006, M Saifur Rahman returned to the charge of the finance ministry.
Again, Abul Maal Abdul Muhith, MP from Sylhet-1 constituency, served as a two time finance minister during the two consecutive terms of AL from January 2009 to December 2018.
Finance Minister is the head of the ministry of finance of the government in Bangladesh and is one of the most important positions in the cabinet.
The finance minister is responsible for formulating the government’s budget, does deal with all the other departments in terms of finance and does play an important role in deciding the funding levels for each of them.