'Although they (the DFID delegation) wanted to visit Myanmar as well, the authorities denied them entry to Rakhine state'
Finance Minister AMA Muhith has expressed his doubt over Rohingya repatriation, as the Myanmar government does not live up to its commitments.
The finance minister made the comment after a meeting with a delegation from British donor agency DFID at his office on Tuesday.
Muhith said the DFID delegation discussed issues mainly related to the Rohingya repatriation.
The delegation also praised the Bangladesh prime minister’s steps regarding the Rohingya issue, he said.
Muhith added that the delegation will visit the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar.
“Although they wanted to visit Myanmar as well, the authorities denied them entry to Rakhine state,” he said.
The finance minister further said the government has taken a move to relocate the Rohingyas to Bhasan Char, an island in Noakhali. “Those who entered Bangladesh before the recent exodus of Rohingyas will get shelter on Bhasan Char Island, and their number might be about 300,000. We can’t take care of one million Rohingyas.”
Muhith added that an allocation will be made in the upcoming budget for this purpose, as a proposal had been sent to his ministry from the Prime Minister’s Office. “But I can’t mention the specific figure of the allocation at this stage of budget preparation.”
He said the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry will implement the Bhasan Char project for Rohingyas. Bangladeshi locals will also remain there as its habitants alongside the displaced Myanmar nationals.
Mentioning that the entire world with the exception China and Russia is supporting Bangladesh over the Rohingya issue, the finance minister said the crisis might not be resolved soon as Myanmar is a not implementing the agreement signed with Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, a delegation of Hindu community leaders along with Religious Affairs Minister Principal Matior Rahman also met with the finance minister at his office.
Regarding the meeting, Muhith said, he will make an allocation of Tk 100 crore in the next budget for the welfare of the Hindu community at the request of the delegation.
However, the money will be spent on different welfare projects after the government’s approval, he said, adding that the amount will be added to a previous allocation of Tk 100 crore under the Hindu Welfare Trust formed by the government.