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Dhaka Tribune

Politics a major business venture, says Debapriya

This was stated at the release of UNCTAD’s ‘Least Developed Countries Report, 2018’ on Thursday

Update : 22 Nov 2018, 02:17 PM

Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) Distinguished Fellow, Debapriya Bhattacharya, said on Thursday that politics is now a major business venture in Bangladesh.  

He made the comment in replying to a question at a briefing on the “Least Developed Countries Report 2018: Entrepreneurship for Structural Transformation” released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The release programme was held at BRAC Inn auditorium in the capital.

“Graduation to a developing country from a Least Developed Country (LDC) is not all about development. It’s a part of the development tale and Bangladesh has to be prepared for the remaining part of the tale. For the transition to graduation, Bangladesh will have to create a smoother pathway,” said Debapriya Bhattacharya. 

Bangladesh needs structural transformation, especially in entrepreneurship, to become a developing nation, he added.

He said, for creating entrepreneurship, a competitive economy is required. In the absence of a competitive economy, there will be an opportunist quarter who will work to serve individual interests or a specific sector, instead of serving the entire business community.

To become a competitive economy, a competitive politics is needed in the country, he said.

On the other hand, in creating a competitive political environment there is a role for entrepreneurs, said the economist, adding that in selecting leadership from among entrepreneurs, there must be competition. 

On the participation of business people in the elections, he said it is more visible as more politicians are doing business.

As a result, an unholy nexus is being developed between political and business people as they are framing policies to serve the interests of each other and people cannot differentiate between business and politics, he added. 

“So, in Bangladesh, politics is now a major business venture.”             

In coming out of the situation, the economist has urged the government and the National Board of Revenue (NBR), to scan the wealth statements of election candidates.

After the NBR’s observations on the statements, the election commission will take it into consideration and make it public, he recommended.

In addition, after being elected as a member of parliament and after taking the oath of office, the lawmaker has to declare his/her connections with business, if any, said Debapriya. 

THis will help people understand whether lawmakers are making laws in the people’s interest or to serve their own business interests, he added.

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