Menon criticises Muhith for being miserly with education sector

Workers Party president Rashed Khan Menon on Wednesday in Parliament criticised Finance Minister AMA Muhith for his reluctance to allocate more fund in the budget for the education sector.“He (Muhith) seems to be miserly for the education sector of the country,” Menon said, taking in the general discussion on the proposed national budget for the next fiscal (2013-14).
He alleged that the obstinate attitude of the Finance Minister caused a big problem for the MPs as they are committed to enlisting more educational institutions under the MPO (Monthly Payment Order) scheme.
“The MPs are facing problems in their respective constituencies,” said Menon whose Workers Party is a partner in the ruling 18-party alliance.
He said the Finance Minister should look after the matter of welfare of education in the country.
Menon also criticized the government and the Finance Minister for not taking any effective measure for the capital market of the country. He said that a huge number of small investors of the capital market lost their entire capital in the market due to the manipulations by vested quarters.
He demanded of the government to take proper and effective steps to bring those culprits to book.
About the power sector, the Workers Party chief said the government has achieved commendable progress in the power sector, but suggested transferring its focus from the small quick rental plants to big power plants.
He mentioned that due to the highly expensive quick rental power plants, the government so far increased the power tariff on six occasions. “Why shall we take the responsibility?” he asked.
Menon demanded putting the power sector on a strong base by establishing big power plants under the government’s initiative.
Regarding the Trade and Investment Cooperation Framework Agreement (TICFA), he said this would reduce country’s ability to bargain with the USA on any issue.
The left leaning lawmaker said the Cabinet recently approved the draft of the TICFA. “This will increase the scope of the USA to increase its military presence in the region.”
He demanded discussion on the TICFA in Parliament to comply with the Constitution, saying that “not merely to comply with the Constitution, the government should place the TICFA in Parliament to ensure transparency also.”
Menon also demanded rationalizing the duty enhancement on Bidi and cigarette, mentioning that in the proposed budget the duty on Bidi industry has been enhanced by 33 percent while the duty on the cigarette increased by 8 percent only.
“This is not fair, this will force the Bidi industry to face dire consequences,” he said, adding that increasing the duty was not the proper way to discourage this industry. “We’ve to look after the workers in this sector, we’ve to ensure their alternative jobs,” he said.
Talking about the recent incidents in the country, Menon alleged that Jamaat-e-Islami along with BNP and Hefajat-e-Islam are plotting conspiracies in the country to foil the trial of the war criminals.
“That’s why they are attacking the law enforcing agencies and various state structures,” he said.(Source: UNB)

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