Opposition lawmakers in parliament on Sunday flayed the government for failing to control the price hike of rice and other essential commodities and address water logging in Dhaka and Chittagong.
Jatiya Party lawmaker Ruhul Amin Hawlader said that VAT burden on people ahead of the next general election would be suicidal when local and international quarters were hatching conspiracy against the general polls.
‘The way government is burdening people with VAT is unexpected; people of the country are shocked and speechless,’ said Ruhul Amin Hawlader, also Jatiya Party secretary general, while taking part in general discussions on the proposed budget for 2017-18 financial year.
‘Imposing VAT burden when local and international quarters are conspiring against next general election will be suicidal,’ he said.
He bashed commerce minister Tofail Ahmed for his failure to curb price hike of daily necessary items and rice.
‘Our commerce minister is seasoned politician, but has failed to rein in horse of price hike’, he said.
‘Lowest price of a kilogram rice is over Tk 50. How could the price reach so high. It looks like the government is indifferent,’ he added.
Hundreds of crores of taka are being laundered from banks but the government failed to take any effective steps against this, he said.
Another JP MP Sayed Abu Hossain said that many people living in Dhaka and Chittagong cities were suffering from water-stagnation for long.
‘The government is taking credit by saying that country is on highway of development but I 
want to know why they are failing to save people of Dhaka and Chittagong from water-logging,’ he asked. 
He also criticised finance minister for imposing VAT on raw materials of newspapers industry.
Another JP MP Mohammad Noman said people of the country knew very well how much the country was progressing when ‘little rain inundates Dhaka and Chittagong’.
Noman wondered what sin the people had committed that they would have to expatiate it through giving increased excise duty on bank accounts.
‘Finance minister often utter the word “rubbish”; he said Tk 4,000 crore was nothing when these money was looted from banks. But now finance minister says Tk 1 lakh is enough to be imposed excise duty on,’ Noman said.
‘If you have failed to curb corruption, imposing VAT will not bring you desired result,’ he said, adding that people were paying VAT but it was not reaching the government exchequer due to corruption.
Proposed budget would widen gap between poor and rich, he warned. 


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