Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

‘Hawa Bhaban’ imposed 10pc ‘toll’ on business: Hasan

Published 12:24 am | March 03, 2020

dainik somoy sangbad

Online Desk : Information Minister and Awami League Joint General Secretary Dr Hasan Mahmud today said it is known to all that the key task of BNP’s alternative powerhouse ‘Hawa Bhaban’ was to impose 10 percent ‘toll’ on business during the BNP-Jamaat regime.

“When BNP was in power, they ran a ‘parallel’ government creating the “Hawa Bhaban” and its main task was to impose 10 percent toll on business,” he said. The minister said this while talking to journalists after addressing the first founding anniversary programme of the Dainik Somoyer Alo at the Officers’ Club in the city.

Dr Hasan said the US intelligence agency FBI gave testimony on corruption of BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman, elder son of BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, who has been awarded 10-year imprisonment in graft cases. He said BNP Chairperson, who is also a convict of graft cases, had ‘whitened black money’ giving fine.

Khaleda’s another son Arafat Rahman Koko’s laundered money was brought back from Singapore, he said, adding that these incidents were unearthed by foreign intelligence agencies and not by the government. “So, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir’s remark on corruption is applicable for their own party leaders,” he said.

The AL joint general secretary said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government is running the country in a proper manner, so massive development is taking place in every sector. The per capita income now rose to over $ 2000 from $600 and “we are ahead of Pakistan in social, economic and human indexes,” he said.

On the other hand, Dr Hasan said, the country became champion in corruption for five times during BNP regime. The AL government never interfered in court matters, the minister said, adding BNP chief Khaleda Zia did not get bail after lodging a petition with the High Court.

“Begum Zia is not a political prisoner. BNP sought bail for her better treatment. But, she is being provided with advanced treatment at BSMMU. Considering this, the court did not give her bail and this is a court matter,” he said.

The minister said judiciary is completely independent, that is why ruling party lawmakers and ministers had to appear before courts in connection with cases filed by Anti Corruption Commission (ACC). Replying to another question, Dr Hasan said media is now enjoying more freedom and working freely in Bangladesh than many developed countries. During the BNP regime, media had no freedom, he added.

Mentioning that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is media-friendly, he said there were 450 newspapers 11 years ago, but now the number stood at 1,250 while the number of television channels was only 10 and now it is 34, he added. Earlier, Dr Hasan inaugurated the founding anniversary ceremony by cutting a cake.

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman, Daily Observer Editor Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan and Amin Mohammad Group Deputy Managing Director Md Ramzanul Haque Nihad, among others, were present on the occasion.

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