Muhith seeks annual poverty reduction by 2 percent

Publish: 11:51 AM, October 21, 2018 | Update: 11:51:AM, October 21, 2018

DHAKA -Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith today underscored the need for reducing the poverty rate by at least 2 percent annually to attain the government’s goal for eradicating poverty from the country in the next 10 years.

“So far we’ve done well in poverty reduction. But, still our annual poverty reduction rate is yet to reach 2 percent as it is below 2 percent now and we’ll have to raise it to that level of 2 percent. Only then we’ll be able to eradicate poverty from the country in the next 10 years,” he said.

The finance minister was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the day-long ‘Bangladesh Kishore-Kishori Sommelon 2018’ held at the Bangabandhu International Conference Center (BICC) here.

Organised by the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF), its board of directors member Naznin Sultana and Deputy Managing Director M Fazlul Kader spoke on the occasion chaired by PKSF Chairman Dr Qazi  holiquzzaman Ahmad. PKSF Managing Director M Abdul Karim gave the vote of thanks.

The finance minister said although the present government has defeated poverty in many ways, but still now nearly three crore people in the country live below the poverty line, including one crore people in extreme poverty.

He said eradicating poverty not really means that there would be no poverty in the country, rather there would be some people who would always remain below the poverty level like the physically and mentally challenged, widowed,
and aged people.

Muhith said the state would have to look after this section of people and some 10-14 percent such people in any country remain under the supervision of the state.

Mentioning that the poverty rate in the USA is around 14 percent while that is 7 percent in Malaysia, he said that the goal of the present Awami League government is to lower the poverty rate to at least 10 percent.

“If we can continue our ongoing operations (various poverty alleviation programmes), then we’ll be able to attain that target in the next 7 to 10 years. So, the next 7 to 10 years are very much important for us,” he added.

The finance minister said after the War of Liberation in 1971, the then war-ravaged country started its journey with a poverty rate of 80 to 90 percent. “Then the basic principle of the government towards development was poverty alleviation and still it continues,” he said.

Quoting some words from Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Muhith said if the country could properly develop its soil and its people, then the people of the country would be happy and joyful and
Bangladesh would turn as a prosperous country which has already dreamt by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“By 2041, Bangladesh will become a prosperous and peaceful nation in the world,” Muhith said adding that the juveniles of the country would have to take the lead to steer ahead the nation with their hard work and devotion.
“You will be the main force of the country,” he added.

He said that the future of any country depends on the new generation while the juveniles of today are the state leader, philosophers, and social reformists for the future. “Our state organ and mechanism have been working
for ensuring their welfare,” he opined.

According to PKSF, the ‘Bangladesh Kishore-Kishori Sommelon 2018’ has been organized with the participation of selected 710 juveniles out of one lakh students from some 11,000 educational institutions through various creative
and knowledge-based competitions. After the inaugural session, a workshop was held with the participation of the juveniles.

Earlier, the finance minister handed over crests to the successful juveniles while a video documentary on the ‘Bangladesh Kishore-Kishori Sommelon 2018’ was played at the function.